Directed by Ousmane Samassékou , The Last Shelter won the Best South African/African feature at the 2021 Encounters South Africa International Documentary Film Festival.
Directed by Ousmane Samassékou , The Last Shelter won the Best South African/African feature at the 2021 Encounters South Africa International Documentary Film Festival.

Documentary by Cape Town production powerhouse scoops top award

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jul 8, 2021

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Cape Town - A film produced by Cape Town-based documentary production powerhouse Steps has won the Best South African/African feature at the 2021 Encounters South Africa International Documentary Film Festival.

The Last Shelter directed by Ousmane Samassékou (France/ Mali/ South Africa) is the second film in the Generation Africa slate of 25 films on migration to win an award at the festival.

The Last Shelter is the second film in the Generation Africa slate of 25 films on migration to win an award at the festival.

Generation Africa is the latest collection being produced by Steps, with 25 films in co-production with 16 countries across Africa.

Generation Africa brings together stories reflecting the lived experiences of Africa’s youth through the topic of migration.

In awarding The Last Shelter a citation, the jury said: “We were moved by The Last Shelter, which gave us full access to the House of Migrants in the Malian City of Gao, a haven for African travellers. Ousmane Samassékou’s great access to the two young protagonists, the intimacy of the observational style of filming against the vast melancholy landscape of the desert made this a favourite with the programming team. Last Shelter was successful in achieving the purpose of the documentary; to cast a lens on world issues through the experiences of its subjects.”

It was produced by Point du Jour – Les films du balibari (France) in co-production with DS Productions (Mali) and Steps (South Africa) with broadcaster Arte GEIE.

South African audiences will have a chance to watch the film at the Durban International Film Festival, online from July 22 to August 1.

Samassékou said the award was doubly important “because South Africa has been a great source of help in the development and production of this film through Steps’ Generation Africa programme. It was through a workshop organised by Steps in Burkina Faso that I learned about the migrants’ home and decided to make it the subject of my film. Secondly, this is the first award that the film has received in Africa and I am very happy that it happened in South Africa.”

The other film screened at Encounters, and that will also screen at DIFF, is Zinder directed by Aicha Macky, which earlier won the Ladima Foundation’s Adiaha Award for Best Documentary Film by an African woman.

“It is a huge honour to have two films recognised at Encounters for their excellence in telling these truly compelling and necessary stories from Mali and Niger,” says Don Edkins, producer at Steps and Generation Africa.

“Both films hold up mirrors to our uniquely African stories, which are important to the global narrative of migration and futures of youth on the continent, and enable us to begin authentic and vital conversations around this.”

Cape Times

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