The 43rd Durban International Film Festival announced its award winners during a live-streamed event on Facebook and YouTube on August 1.
After an intense process of judging the films in competition, musician, writer and producer Bruce Retief’s “1960” - which was chosen to open the film festival - walked away with the Best SA Feature Film prize.
“1960” was Retief’s passion project which tells the story of a retired singer whose past is bought back to life after the remains of an apartheid-era policeman are discovered 60 years after he went missing.
The film is directed by both King Shaft, whose work is noted on shows like ”Uzalo“, ”Isibaya“, and ”Skeem Saam“, among others, and Michael Mutombo, whose work includes ”Harry’s Game”, “Skroef ‘n Sexy” and “District 9”.
The jury said the film did a beautiful job of portraying the historical period, offering a crisp window to the past.
“The film is a powerful historical re-imagination that lays bare some of the chasms of trauma in our history and the effect that this has generationally.”
“We come from a legacy of a lot of pain and a lot of secrets. '1960’ offers a sensitive portrait of a powerful woman with full agency and highlights a narrative that is also sensitive to gendered erasure. The film also does a beautiful job of portraying the historical period, offering a crisp window to the past,” they shared.
“Bangarang” was announced Best African Feature, “Bantu Mama” won Best International Feature Film, while “Girl, Taken” won Best South African Documentary, and Best International Documentary went to “Wind Blows the Border”.
Lebanese-Syrian film-maker Noura Kevorkian’s “Batata” won the Best Amnesty Human Rights award for her storytelling on the plight of Syrian migrant workers.
Director of the Centre for Creative Arts, Ismail Mahomed said it was inspiring to be back in cinema but also to see online audiences tuning in.
“It shows us that there is still huge enthusiasm from our South African audiences for the festival, both audiences who have been attending for years and new audiences. It encourages us to continue to develop and look forward to DIFF2023,” said Mahomed.
A total of 18 awards were announced.
Best South African Student Film: “Where is Mr Adams?”
Best International Student Film: “Mona & Parviz”
Best South African Short: “Prayers for Sweet Waters”
Best African Short: “Sixteen Rounds”
Best International Short: “Miette“
Best South African Documentary: “Girl, Taken”
Best International Documentary: “Wind Blows the Border”
Best SA Feature Film: “1960”
Best African Feature Film: “Bangarang”
Best International Feature Film: “Bantu Mama”
Best Performer: Clarisse Albrecht in “Bantu Mama”
Best Supporting Performer: Babetida Sadjo in “Juwaa”
Best Cameo Performers: Ricky Kofi Adelayitar and Brimah Watara in “Public Toilet Africa”
Best Screenplay: “Ring Wandering”
Artistic Bravery: “No U-Turn”
Best Cinematography: “Bantu Mama”
Best Direction: Agam Darshi in ”Donkeyhead“
Best Amnesty Human Rights: “Batata”