Record-Breaker, The World Unseen, Wins 11 SAFTA Awards

London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) July 01, 2009 -- The World Unseen has played at film festivals across the globe and has garnered numerous awards including the Silver Medal at the Verzaubert Film Festival, Best Director at Clip (Tampa) Intl. Film Festival and the Audience Award for Best Fiction Feature at the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Director Shamim Sarif received the World Cinema Best Director prize at the Phoenix Film Festival and was named Woman of the Year at the After Ellen 2008 Visibility Awards where her second film, I Can’t Think Straight was awarded Best Theatrical Release.

Most recently, The World Unseen has shown itself to be an international film phenomenon and a force to reckoned with in its newest awards achievement, 11 wins, listed below, from the 2009 South African Film and Television Awards:

· Best Director · Best Cinematographer · Best Supporting Actor & Actress · Best Ensemble · Best Writing Team · Best Editor in a Feature Film · Best Production Designer · Best Costume Designer · Best Make-up/Hair Design in a Feature Film and · Best Sound Designer

Written, directed, financed and produced entirely by women, the motion picture is an Enlightenment Productions film, in association with DO Productions. Producer Hanan Kattan and co-producer Brigid Olen have teamed up on this project along with associate producer Daisy Allsop. Lisa Tchenguiz-Imerman and Katherine Priestley serve as Executive Producers. The World Unseen is the second feature directed by award-winning novelist Shamim Sarif, who also served as the screenwriter on the film, adapting her own book of the same name.

Set in 1950’s South Africa at the beginning of apartheid, free-spirited Amina (Sheetal Sheth) has broken all the rules of her own conventional Indian community and the new apartheid-led government, by running a café with Jacob, her black business partner. When she meets Miriam (Lisa Ray), a young wife and mother, their unexpected attraction pushes Miriam to question the rules that bind her to a traditional role. As Amina helps Miriam’s sister-in-law to hide from the police, a chain of events is set in motion that changes both women forever.

The international cast is headed up by award-winning Canadian actress Lisa Ray. Her performance in the Academy Award-nominated film “Water” earned her the Best Actress Award from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. Other cast members include Sheetal Sheth (“Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World”), Parvin Dabas (“Monsoon Wedding”), Bernard White (“The Matrix”) and Nandana Sen (“Black”). The stellar South African cast includes Grethe Fox, David Dennis, Natalie Becker, Rajesh Gopie and Colin Moss.

Press quotes from International Press include:

‘The World Unseen is a small film that packs quite a punch. It covers the personal and the political, but is never heavy-handed…A film fest favourite (and prize winner), The World Unseen is engaging and intelligent.’ Toronto Sun

‘Sarif brings more than a dozen interconnected characters to life…and is a deft enough storyteller to The World Unseen an open ending that seems just right.’ LA Times

‘Sarif has created a haunting film that is expertly handled from beginning to end…and a pleasure to watch.’ Edge Boston

‘An enjoyable, gorgeously shot melodrama’ TimeOut, Chicago

About Enlightenment Productions Enlightenment Productions is based in London, England. Formed in partnership between Hanan Kattan and Shamim Sarif, the company is dedicated to producing entertaining independent feature films of integrity. For more information, please visit:

About Enlightenment Films

Enlightenment Films has been created as a Sales Division of Enlightenment Productions. With the launch of their new Sales arm, Hanan and Shamim hope to extend their vision to partnerships with like-minded distributors. For more information, please visit: []

If you’d like more information, please contact Kerry-Ann at +44 (0) 20 7824 8755 or

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Press Release Submitted On: July 01, 2009 at 10:44 am
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