Fresh from its excellent opening weekend performance at the box office, South African romantic comedy ‘Fanie Fourie’s Lobola’ has won the Audience Choice Award for Best Comedy at the 19th Annual Sedona International Film Festival, a nine-day festival held in Arizona, from 23 February to 3 March 2013. Situated close to Arizona’s Grand Canyon, Sedona attracts
many tourists with its natural year-round beauty, comprised of hidden canyons,
red rock trails and sacred sites.
Touted as a celebration of the best in independent film from around the world, the Sedona festival includes features, shorts, documentaries, animation and foreign films. It has been recognised by filmmakers and audiences as one of the top festivals in the world, and named the “Fest to Impress” by MovieMaker Magazine. The film festival honours filmmakers motivated by passion for their art and driven by a love for making timely, moving and important films.
This year, the festival screened 145 films. “To win the Audience Award for Best Comedy against the level of competition at Sedona is a huge accolade for ‘Fanie Fourie’s Lobola’, said the film’s producers, Lance Samuels and Kweku Mandela of Out of Africa Entertainment. “This is a highly regarded festival, and the audience award is widely recognised as one of the most important awards of any festival, because the winning film is selected
by the audience attending the festival, rather than by a few members of a festival jury. This is the second audience award that the film has won, following the Jozi Film Festival Audience Award in February.”
Helen Kuun of Indigenous Film Distribution, which released the film in cinemas in South Africa this past weekend, says it’s worth noting that Academy Award winner ‘Tsotsi’ won the Audience Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and the People’s Choice Award at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival in the same year. “Another independent film that followed a similar course and was hugely popular with audiences was New Zealand’s ‘Whale Rider’, which won the World Cinema Audience award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and continued to rake in Audience Choice Awards in the year that followed.”
“Audience awards are among the best harbingers of a film’s success, because they are decided on by regular cinemagoers and are an accurate reflection of the mood of the time and what people are enjoying and are interested in seeing on screen,” adds Henk Pretorius, director of ‘Fanie Fourie’s Lobola’.
‘Fanie Fourie’s Lobola’ tells the tale of what happens when an Afrikaans guy and a Zulu girl fall in love and have to navigate their way through the complicated process of lobola.