South Africa: awards winners at the Durban International Film festival

The Durban international film festival ended the 3rd of August with an important success as a movie festival. This year was the 29th edition and it lasted for 12 days.

Open seminars and workshops also registered good attendance, indicating the heightened interest in filmmaking processes in KwaZulu-Natal.

A selection of festival films were honoured on Awards Night, with a total of 19 prizes being awarded. The Best Film prize, which carried a cash prize of R30 000, went to Foster Child (Philippines), directed by Brillante Mendoza.

The International Jury praised the film for “delving with remarkable skill into the everyday lives of its extremely well-developed characters, and for fusing documentary and drama to create
a brave, humane and unconventional film.”

The Best South African Film award went to Triomf, directed by Michael Raeburn. The jury had this to say: “by immersing itself into the often sordid world where poverty, and the educational gaps that attend it, meet an arrogant sense of entitlement, Triomf exposes a series of universal truths. The dirty secrets of capitalism, of racism, of manipulative politics, of the human heart are mirrored in the secrets of one family, whose disintegration reminds us that a nation’s history is written by individuals” The award carries a cash prize of R20,000.

The popular Audience Choice Best Film award went to the festival’s opening film Jerusalema, directed by Ralph Ziman. Rapulana Seiphemo picked up the best actor award for his role in Jerusalema.

The full list of award-winners are:
Best Film: Foster Child (Philippines), directed by Brillante Mendoza
Best South African Film: Triomf, directed by Michael Raeburn
Best First Feature Film: Captain Abu Raed (Jordan), directed by Amin Matalqa
Best Director: Lance Hammer for Ballast (USA)
Best Actress: Cherry Pie Picache in Foster Child (Philippines)
Best Actor: (Shared) Hanno Koffler in A Hero’s Welcome (Nacht Vor Augen) (Germany); and Rapulana Seiphemo in Jerusalema (South Africa)
Best Cinematography: Shanker Raman for Frozen (India)
Best Screenplay: Singing Chen and Lou Yi-an for God Man Dog (Lio Lang Shen Go Ren) (Taiwan)
Special Jury Mention: Ain’t Scared (Regarde-Moi) (France), directed by Audrey Estrougo
Best Documentary: Patti Smith: Dream of Life (USA), directed by Steven Sebring
Special Mention Documentary: Send a Bullet (Manda Bala) (Brazil/USA), directed by Jason Kohn
Best South African Documentary: 50 Years! Of Love?, directed by Karin Slater
Best Short Film: I Love You (Mozambique), directed by Rogerio Manjate
Best South African Short Film: Sibahle, directed by by Joshua Rous
Big Fish School of Digital Film Short Film Newcomer Award: Reina-Marie Loader for  Cutting Silence
Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award: Taking Root: The Vision Of Wangari Maathai (USA), directed by Alan Dater and Lisa Merton (USA)
Wavescapes Best Surf Film: Bustin’ Down The Door (USA), directed by Jeremy Gosch
Audience Choice Best Wavescapes Film: Sharkwater (USA), directed by Rob Stewart
Audience Choice Best Film Award: Jerusalema (South Africa/USA), directed by Ralph Ziman

Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN) the Durban International Film Festival is funded by National Film & Video Foundation, SABC, HIVOS, Royal Netherlands Embassy, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Stichting Doen, the German Embassy in South Africa, Goethe Institute of South Africa, Industrial Development Corporation, and the City of Durban, with valued support from a range of other partners.

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