After a drive-in screening of the closing film Dust, a thriller by Pieter du Plessis, the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) award winners were announced during a pre-recorded ceremony. The festival is hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) in the College of Humanities.
In the shorts category, the judges emphasised how impressed they were with the overall quality of all 23 entries. The Best Short Film was Exam directed by Sonia K Hadad. The animation Ruby and Roach by Erentia Bedeker received the awards for Best African and Best South African Short Film. The judges commended the innocence of the film that does away with preconceived ideas.
Sam Soko was awarded Best Documentary for Softie. ‘It is increasingly important that we not only share our stories but protect the artists that do so,’ he said. Influence, directed by Diana Neille and Richard Poplak, scooped the award for Best South African Documentary. The jury commended them for bringing a journalistic knife-edge to film.
The opening film This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection by Lemohang Jerimiah Mosese received the award for Artistic Bravery and Best Direction, with the Best Actress Award going to the late Mary Twala.
Film Stam (The Tree) directed by Louw Venter won the Best South African Film Award. The Best Cinematography Award went to Take Me Somewhere Nice by Ena Sendijarevic. Farewell Amor scooped two awards for Best Screenplay and Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwire was named Best Actor, the first award that he has ever received as an actor. In his speech, he noted the profound impact that the late, great Joseph Shabalala had on his career.
The Awards for Best Editing and Best Film were awarded to Force of Habit a film from Finland, directed by seven directors and edited by nine editors. The directors are Kirsikka Saari, Elli Toivoniemi, Anna Paavilainen, Alli Haapasalo, Reetta Aalto, Jenni Toivoniemi and Miia Tervo.
Jawad Rhalib received the Amnesty International Human Rights Award for FADMA: Even Ants Have Wings. Navlia RawHeath from Amnesty International Durban said that, ‘the film was chosen because of its fascinating depiction of the passive resistance and gentle yet firm action towards changing deep-seated prejudices about stereotypical roles of the sexes.’