Durban Film Festival 2018: all the winners
Kenya, South Africa, Romania, South Africa, Palestine headline with winners at 39th Durban International Film Festival where two documentaries automatically qualify for Oscar consideration, writes Wanda Hennig.
Groundbreaking Kenyan film Rafiki directed by Wanuri Kahiu—a lesbian love story—closed #Diff2018, the 39th Durban International Film Festival this weekend. Rafiki screened directly after the awards ceremony where a layered, textured, beautifully crafted Palistinian/Netherlands/Germany/Mexico collaboration—a Palistinian/Israeli story woven around infidelity, intrigue and high drama—won the Best Feature Film category.
Two DIFF-awarded documentaries automatically qualify for consideration for an Oscar nomination, DIFF having from this year been included as a Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival by the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences,
A total of 17 awards were given out at the ceremony:
Best Feature Film: The Reports on Sarah and Saleem, directed by Muayad Alayan and produced by Muayad Alayan, Rami Alayan, Hans de Wolf, Hanneke Niens, Rebekka Garrido, Rodrigo Iturralde, Georgina Gonzalez and Alejandro Duran.
Best South African Feature Film: High Fantasy (South Africa), directed by Jenna Bass and produced by David Horler and Steven Markovitz.
Best Documentary: New Moon (Kenya), produced and directed by Philippa Ndisi-Hermann. (Automatically qualifies for consideration for an Oscar nomination.)
Best South African Documentary: Sisters of the Wilderness (United Kingdom/South Africa), directed by Karin Slater and produced by Ronit Shapiro. (Automatically qualifies for consideration for an Oscar nomination.)
Best Cinematography: Liviu Marghidan for Pororoca (Romania).
Best Screenplay: Jennifer Fox for her brave, thoughtful, interesting “memoir-style” feature film The Tale starring Laura Dern (United States).
Best Actor: Bogdan Dumitrache for his role as Tudor in Pororoca (Romania).
Best Actress: Maisa Abd Elhadi for her role as Bisan in The Reports on Sarah and Saleem (Best Feature Film).
Best Editing: Anne Fabini, Alex Hall and Gary Level for The Tale (United States).
Artistic Bravery: won jointly by High Fantasy (South Africa), directed by Jenna Bass and Supa Modo (Kenya) directed by Likarion Wainaina.
Best South African Short Film: Stillborn, directed by Jahmil X. T. Qubeka and produced by Huanxi Media Group, Xstream Pictures, and Yellowbone Entertainment.
Best African Short Film: Aya, directed by Moufida Fedhila and produced by Appel d’Air Films.
Best Short Film: The Patience of Water (La Paciencia Del Agua), directed by Guillem Almirall.
Audience Choice Award: The State Against Mandela and the Others (France), directed by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte, which received a cash prize of R25 000.
Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award: Silas (Canada, South Africa, Kenya) directed by Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman.
Best Wavescape Film: Heavy Water, (United States) directed by Michael Oblowitz.
The shorts jury included creative media education and development specialist Alicia Price and Leon Van Der Merwe of the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival.
The fiction feature jurors were SA Producer Bongiwe Selane, Nigerian actor Hakeem Kae Kazim and Nigerian actress Nse Ikpe-Etim.
The documentary film jury included South African producer Uzanenkosi, Zimbabwean producer Nakai Matema, and Nigerian filmmaker Mahmood Ali-Balogun.
DIFF 2018 was part of a month-long feast of film in Durban, including the 3rd BRICS Film festival and industry programs, the Durban FilmMart, Isiphethu, Talents Durban, and the Nature Environment and Wildlife Film Congress.