An AIDS film hasn’t won an Academy Award since Tom Hanks struck gold in Philadelphia 12 years ago. Last year, however, an unlikely contender emerged: South African director Darrell Roodt’s viral tragedy Yesterday was nominated for best foreign language film.  He lost—but courted further distinction when HBO, which brought us the HIV Emmy winner Angels in America, aired Yesterday this fall. Set in an impoverished village near Johannesburg, the film follows a young woman named Yesterday as she trudges to a faraway doctor who tells her she has HIV. Enter Yesterday’s miner husband, who finds out that he, too, has the virus, and comes home to die. But Yesterday promises her daughter that Mom will live long enough to see her first day of school.  “I wanted to make a film about hope in an otherwise hopeless situation,” Roodt says. The country, which has the greatest number ofHIV positive people in the world, finally agreed to roll out antiretroviral meds after filming ended. “But the sad truth is that it’s still extremely difficult for poor rural people to receive any help.” Here’s to tomorrow.