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Johannesburg - The makers of South African romantic comedy “Fanie Fourie's Lobola” have done South Africa proud, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said on Thursday.
On Tuesday, the film's director Henk Pretorius announced it had won the Audience Choice Award for Best Comedy at the 19th Annual Sedona International Film Festival in Arizona in the United States.
Mashatile said: “This is a great achievement. We are not just sharing our stories with the globe, but also showcasing the world-class talent within our film industry.
“We have confidence that the South African film industry can soar to even greater heights, that is why we continue to support it through the National Film and Video Foundation, and as we implement the Mzansi Golden Economy strategy.”
He said in a statement the strategy sought to increase the role of arts and culture in job creation.
“Its through these efforts that we hope to enhance skills within this crucial sector, and also increase the growth of the industry locally and abroad,” Mashatile said.
On Tuesday, Pretorius said audience awards were an accurate reflection of the mood at the time, and what people were enjoying.
“Audience awards are among the best harbingers of a film's success because they are decided on by regular cinema-goers.”
The Sedona International Film Festival was held from February 23 to March 3 and included features, shorts, documentaries, animation, and foreign films. This year the festival screened 145 films.
“To win the Audience Award for Best Comedy against the level of competition at Sedona is a huge accolade for 'Fanie Fourie's Lobola',” the film's producers Lance Samuels and Kweku Mandela said.
This was the second audience award the film had won. It won the Jozi Film Festival Audience Award in February.
In the film an Afrikaans man and a Zulu woman fall in love and have to navigate their way through the complicated process of lobola, or payment by a bridegroom's family - usually in cash or livestock - to the bride's family.
The film was released in South African cinemas over the past weekend. Its stars newcomer Zethu Dlomo as Dinky and Eduan van Jaarsveld as Fanie. - Sapa