British-Nigerian Hakeem Kae-Kazim Photo: YouTube

Selecting award worthy films at the 39th Durban International Film Festival is no easy feat when there are a number of quality films on offer during the 10 day festival.

However, when a jury this good is chosen, one can rest assured that the most deserving films will get the prizes.

This year, with over 180 offerings at DIFF, the jury have their work cut out to find the Best Feature Film, Best SA Feature Film, Best Documentary, Best SA Documentary, Best Short Film, Best SA Short Film, Best Actor Award, Best Actress, Best Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Artistic Bravery, Audience Choice, Wavescape Audience Choice and Amnesty International Durban Human Rights recipient.

In charge of sourcing through the Fiction selection are award winning South African producer, Bongiwe Selane, well-known British-Nigerian actor, Hakeem Kae Kazim and Nse Ikpe-Etim, who acted in "TESS".  

Selane made her debut film Happiness is a Four-Letter-Word in 2016. She also won a SAFTA for her reality show, Culture Shock, the 2013 and won Best South African Short Film at DIFF in 2015 for the short film, "Unomalanga and The Witch".  

Kazim gained his claim to fame for his performance in the Oscar-nominated film, Hotel Rwanda. He’s also acted in "The Triangle," "Pirates of the Caribbean 3" and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine".

As part of the documentary film jury, is one of South Africa’s most prolific and award winning producers, Uzanenkosi Mahlangu, he has 11 SAFTA’s under his belt for his one of a kind drama series, "InterSEXions".

Joining Mahlangu’s on the search is Nakai Matema, a Zimbabwean producer known for his documentaries, "Rehad, Desai’s My Land", "My Life," and "A Fighting Spirit".

Nigerian filmmaker Mahmood Ali-Balogun will also be on this panel as he is most familiar with being on juries in film festivals.

Balogun had adjudicated at some of the world’s most prestigious festivals such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Cairo International Film Festival and Abuja International Film Festival to name a few.

Dorothee Wenner, a veteran, also a jury member is a Berlin-based freelance filmmaker, writer and curator.

The Shorts jury include Alicia Price, Head of the Film Department at SAE Cape Town and Leon Van Der Merwe, COO and board member and director of the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival.

Some films in the features competition include, Clint (India) directed by Harikumar Ramakrishna Pilla, Farewell Ella Bella (SA) directed by Lwazi Mvusi and High Fantasy (SA directed by Jenna Bass - while films in the competition in documentary are "We Could Be Heroes," directed by Hind Bensari, "Whispering Truth To Power," directed by Shameela Seedat and "The State Against Nelson Mandela" and "The Others," directed by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte from France.