SAG Award Nominee Celebrates South African Citizenship Win

Stelio Savante - Photo Credit - Gene Silvers
Molly Se-kyung

New York based actor, producer, filmmaker and former Capetonian – Stelio Savante – has joined thousands of South Africans in celebrating the South African Supreme Court’s ruling on citizenship. The court summary declared that it was constitutionally invalid for South Africans to lose their citizenship when acquiring those from other nations. The ruling comes after the Democratic Alliance (DA) appealed a high court order that originally dismissed the party’s application that the legislation was inconsistent with the South African constitution. However this new ruling reinstated SA citizenship for all those who lost it.

Stelio Savante
Stelio Savante B – Photo Credit – Gene Silvers

Savante – who has 135 international credits to his name – described the elation that he and other South Africans were experiencing – “I gratefully wake to celebrate with the tens of thousands of fellow South Africans who’d unnecessarily and inadvertently been deprived of their citizenship courtesy of a flawed and contradictory law that violated international human rights. “

As with countless others, Stelio – a former Camps Bay and Rondebosch resident– was blindsided by a law that was implemented many years after he’d immigrated to the United States.  He was personally notified that he had been excommunicated, stripped of his South African citizenship and immediately appealed to Home Affairs in South Africa and to South African consulates in the United States. Despite his success as a character actor –  in theater, TV series and most prominently in internationally released independent and studio features that have accumulated almost $400million in world-wide box office proceeds, and leading roles in billion dollar grossing video game franchises – the American Movie Award winner and SAG Award nominee (SA’s first male nominee in this category), still holds South Africa close in his heart and visits and films in South Africa whenever he can.

He continuedSouth Africans are a proud, loving and hospitable people. We love our country, we love our countrymen, we are proud of our nation’s growth, our nation’s contributions to the sciences and the arts. We are grateful for the way that God has Blessed our nation with so many natural resources and a wealth of beauty from coastline to mountain top, from desert to the grasslands. We were born and raised in South Africa, we will always be South Africans at heart. And we are always going out of our way to employ, refer and celebrate other South Africans. Their victories are our victories. And this victory is both a relief and a celebration. An answer to prayer. Thank you to the DA for staying the course. Thank you to our Supreme Court.”

A longtime favorite of film critics, including Richard Propes and Jackie. K. Cooper; Savante has been enjoying a thriving career for over three decades.

His recent credits include ‘What Remains’ on Starz with Anne Heche, Kellan Lutz, and Cress Williams, Angry Neighbors for Lionsgate with Frank Langella, Bobby Cannavale, Stockard Channing and Ashley Benson, ‘Running For Grace’ on Netflix with Matt Dillon and Jim Caviezel, the indie box office hit ‘Nefarious with Sean Patrick Flanery, and action thriller ‘Infidel’ with Jim Caviezel and Claudia Karvan for MGM.

He is currently portraying Moses in the biblical epic series ‘The Chosen’ on Netflix & Peacock, the highest crowd-funded project of all time, with over 500 million downloads. He also featured in lead and supporting roles for several films at this year’s Berlin, Cannes and Tribeca markets and festivals. Including Jennifer Esposito’s directorial debut, Fresh Kills opposite Domenick Lombardozzi, Annabella Sciorra, and Esposito. And in the human trafficking thriller, ‘Pursuit of Freedom’, best film winner at the Anatolia International film festival, the Switzerland International film festival, nominated for a human rights award as best film with the Political Film Society of America.

He will next be seen in the upcoming Netflix Series Captain Fall, and guest starring in the Dick Wolf series FBI on CBS. South Africans will also know him from the ‘Call Of Duty’ video game franchise, where he voices the leading specialist character ‘Ajax’. And from his role as Major Shawn Dixon, in the SAFTA winning ‘A Million Colours’ aka ‘Colors Of Heaven’ which was acquired by Netflix.

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Molly Se-kyung is a novelist and film and television critic. She is also in charge of the style sections. Contact: molly (@) martincid (.) com
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