The Durban International Film Festival closed off with a bang recently with many locals film taking home awards. This year, the festival presented close to 60 feature films, documentaries and short films alongside the isiPhethu programme which ran from September 10 to 20.
In charge of making the tough decisions were juries Angus Gibson and Layla Swaart from South Africa; Mykel Parish Ajaere from Nigeria, Or Lee-Tal from Israel and Abbessi Akhamie from the USA.
The short film jury consisted of Bongi Ndaba, Edmund Mhlongo, Teboho Pietersen, Jayan Moodley from South Africa and Munyaradzi Chidzonga from Zimbabwe.
And the documentary jury was made up of Lesedi Moche, Monica Rorvik, Theresa Hill and Enver Samuel from South Africa and Dr Cynthia Fuchs from the USA.
Winner of Best Short Film was “Exam” directed by Sonia K. Hadad.
For both Best African Short and Best South African Short Film, all votes of the jury went to the animation “Ruby and Roach” by Erentia Bedeker.
Best Documentary was awarded to the Kenyan documentary “Softie” by the Kenyan Sam Soko. “It is increasingly important that we not only share our stories but protect the artists that do so.” shared Soko. Best South African Documentary winner went to “ Influence”, directed by Diana Neille and Richard Poplak
Opening film “This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection” by Lemohang Jerimiah Mosese was awarded for Artistic Bravery and Best Direction, with the late Mary Twala receiving the Best Actress Award.
“Stam” (The Tree), directed by Louw Venter won the Best South African Film Award. Best Cinematography Award went to “Take Me Somewhere Nice” by Ena Sendijarevic.
“Farewell Amor” scooped two awards for Best Screenplay and its actor Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwire was awarded for Best Actor. The Awards for Best Editing and Best Film were awarded to “Force of Habit” a film from Finland, directed by seven directors and edited by 9 editors.
The Amnesty International Human Rights Award was given to “FADMA: Even Ants Have Wings” by Jawad Rhalib.