Award-winners Announced At 34th Durban International Film Festival

The 34th edition of the Durban International Film Festival, with principal funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund,  this evening (Saturday, July 27) announced its award-winners, prior to the screening of the closing film Free Angela – And All Political Prisoners at the Suncoast CineCentre Cinema. Presenting the award for Best Feature Film to the film The Land of Hope, the International Jury commended Sion Sono for a film that “masterfully and humbly draws together an array of cinematic means of expression to engage us in a story”. The Best Feature Film award carries with it a cash prize of R50 000.

The international Jury, which comprised of Egyptian curator and festival programmer Sherif Awad, renowned festival programmer Paolo Bertolin, South African filmmaker Sarah Blecher, film curator June Givanni and South African actress Hlubi Mboya, also awarded Best South African Feature Film to South African filmmaker Andrew Worsdale for his film Durban Poison. The Best South African Feature Film award carries with it a cash prize of R30 000.

International Jury member, June Givanni on behalf of the International Jury also gave reason as to why the film directed by Jahmil XT Qubeka could not be considered for competition by saying “As a jury, we were privileged to be taken on a global journey through cinema, and we would like to thank Peter Machen and the Film Festival programmers for this great hounor. However, we have to express our regret that this journey could not include the South African competition entry OF GOOD REPORT, which the Film and Publication Board did not license for public screening in time for us to take it into consideration. The jury is saddened and concerned about the limitations to freedom of expression that are still in force on the continent and beyond, but we are glad that on this occasion the decision has been over-turned.

Festival accolades for Of Good Report

Following the refusal to classify the Opening Night Film Of Good Report, the Film and Publications Board reversed their decision and gave the film an R-Rating of 16 this afternoon (Saturday, July 27). The film was not screened in any of its allocated slots as a result of the refusal for classification and so could not be in competition. The Durban International Film Festival acknowledged the film’s achievements in stimulating worldwide debate and highlighting important issues in South African society. Festival manager Peter Machen therefore announced a new annual award for Artistic Bravery, the first of which was given to Of Good Report director, Jahmil XT Qubeka. Of Good Report will now be screened a preview on the last day of the festival (Sunday, July 28) at 12h00 at Suncoast CineCentre.

Professor Cheryl Potgieter also gave special mention and a prize to Festival Manager Peter Machen for his outstanding work during the festival and acknowledging his contribution to the festival as a whole. The Deputy Vice Chancellor of Humanities also touched on the currently vacant post of the Centre for Creative Arts Directorship stating that the position is currently being advertised and that an appointment would be happening soon.

The full list of awards is:

  • Best Short Film – Mercy (dir. Eliza Subotowicz)
  • Best South African Short Film – The Brave Unseen (dir. Duan Myburgh)
  • Best Documentary Film – Far out isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story (dir. Brad Bernstein)
  • Special Mention: Best Documentary Film – I Am Breathing (dir. Emma Davie and Morag McKinonn)
  • Best South African Documentary Film – Angel’s In Exile (dir. Billy Raftery)
  • Special Mention: Best South African Documentary Film – Orania (dir. Tobias Lindner)
  • Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award – Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer (dir. Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin)
  • Audience Choice Best Film – Felix (dir. Roberta Durrant)
  • Audience Choice Best Documentary – Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer (dir. Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin)
  • Audience Choice Best Wavescapes Film – Stand (dir. Anthony Bonello and Nicolas Teichrob)
  • Audience Choice Best WildTalk Film – 2 Wings Many Prayers (dir. Lloyd Ross)
  • Best Feature Film – The Land of Hope (dir. Sion Sono)
  • Best First Feature Film – Wadjda (dir. Al-Mansour Haifaa)
  • Best South African Feature Film – Durban Poison (dir. Andrew Worsdale)
  • Best Direction – Xavier Dolan for Laurence Anyways
  • Best Cinematography – MatÍas Penachino for Halley
  • Best Screenplay – Asghar Fahradi for The Past
  • Best Actor – David and Eitan Cunio for Youth
  • Best Actress – Paulina Garcia for Gloria and Suzanne Clément for Laurence Anyways

Durban International Film Festival Award for Artistic Bravery – Jahmil XT Qubeka

Sunday is the last day of screenings with film screenings at Suncoast Cinema, Ster Kinekor Musgrave, Cinema Nouveau Gateway, Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre (University of KwaZulu-Natal), Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre (Kwa-Mashu), and the Blue Waters Hotel.

The 34th Durban International Film Festival is organised by the Centre For Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) with support by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder), National Film and Video Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism, HIVOS, City of Durban, German Embassy in South Africa, Goethe Institut of South Africa, French Season in South Africa, and a range of other valued partners.

For more information about the Durban International Film Festival you can log onto the website


Film Review

Pacific Rim (3D): Review

Pacific Rim, a tour-de-force of non-stop action and special effects as the war between mankind and strange invaders intensifies.

Monstrous creatures, dubbed the Kaiju, start rising from the sea, devastating cities, and killing the populations. Mankinds last hope is in the Jaegers, massive robots piloted by teams, sent forth to protect and patrol.

There is not a moment to catch your breath in this action packed sci-fi. From beginning to end there are spectacular sights, and intricate sequances.

One cannot help but think of the much weaker Battleship, mixed in with some Godzilla, and a dash of Alien. That being said, Idris Elba and Ron Perlman are both veterans from the Alien franchise. Idris was also in South African recently shooting the historical drama Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.

Although Pacific Rim won’t stretch your IQ very far, your adrenal gland will get a workout. If it lives up to the huge online hype remains for the viewer to decide, but for a romp with some robots, it will certainly satisfy.

Pacific Rim opens 2 August 2013 on South African screens.


Jimmy In Pienk: Review And Info

Jimmy In Pienk


For the first time in his life Jimmy gathers the courage to leave his home and travel to Cape Town to seek help from his uncle in mastering the art of hairdressing and becoming a metro-sexual man.

.For the first time in his life Jimmy gathers the courage to leave his home and travel to Cape Town to seek help from his uncle in mastering the art of hairdressing and becoming a metro-sexual man.

For the first time in his life Jimmy gathers the courage to leave his home and travel to Cape Town to seek help from his uncle in mastering the art of hairdressing and becoming a metro-sexual man.

He convinces Jimmy to enter his reality TV show, “SA’s Next Super Stylist”. If Jimmy wins the competition, he can take home the prize money and save his family. With no experience in hairdressing, Jimmy knows that he is likely to fail, but he is willing to risk becoming a laughing stock if it offers him even just the slightest chance at saving his family. Under the fabulous tutelage of Bunny, his gay hair guru, Jimmy sets out to master the art of hairdressing and becoming a metro-sexual man.

With the final of the competition around the corner and the loan sharks’ deadline looming, can an honest country boy like Jimmy keep up an elaborate lie, or will the urge to be himself sabotage his chances at winning the contest and saving his beloved farm?

With the final of the competition around the corner and the loan sharks’ deadline looming, can an honest country boy like Jimmy keep up an elaborate lie, or will the urge to be himself sabotage his chances at winning the contest and saving his beloved farm?


Jimmy In Pienk is a heart warming look into the polarised lives and cultures of the Western Cape, with the winelands on one side, and the quirks and conformity of city life.

Jimmy’s encounter with the gay scene of Cape Town provides many awkward and humorous moments, without being over-the-top, slapstick, or ridiculous. Although a lot of the humour is aimed at South Africans, and those who understand the culture, there are plenty of laughs for every viewer.

Louw Venter delivers a great performance as the lovable Jimmy, allowing us to feel for him, empathise, and in the end, celebrate his awakening as he realises his life-long desire to be creative.

Terence Bridgett is the ever flamboyant Bunny, in the midst of his own crisis in the gay community. We see Bunny change through the film, going from look to look as he is involved with one boyfriend after another, until he eventually learns to love himself.

Veteran actor Gys de Villiers, as Fredrique, is the character you’ll love to hate. Try as you might, you just can’t go so far as to loath him. As with Jimmy and Bunny, Frederique is also fighting demons, being shunned from his family, and decades later having his nephew Jimmy show up begging help.

Tinarie van Wyk-Loots is on a rapid ascent in the film world, and appears here as the adorable Rika, a young actress fighting to survive in Cape Town, one of the worlds busiest film destination.

The film takes us on a tour of life, love, and family, set with backdrop of South Africa’s Mother City.

Jimmy In Pienk will certainly do its part to further the local South African industry, winning hearts, and proving yet again, that “local is lekker” by delivering a world class film.

Jimmy In Pienk is a South African “must see”.


Hanneke Schutte, the Johannesburg-based writer and director of the quirky new comedy ‘Jimmy in Pienk’ which opens in cinemas on 16 August, has directed a short film starring Willem Dafoe, following her win at this year’s Jameson First Shot, which saw her fight off stiff competition from hundreds of other talented screenwriters and directors.

The competition, now in its second year, aims to discover talented film writers and directors from South Africa, Russia and the United States. It gives winners a ‘first shot’ in the film industry. Winners have their script made into a short film by award-winning production company Trigger Street Productions, and starring two-time Academy Award nominee Dafoe. The team of judges included Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti and Dafoe.

“Jameson First Shot has been the most incredible experience,” says Schutte. “Willem Dafoe was wonderful to work with. He was incredibly easy to direct and always open to suggestions when we were on set. It was a life changing experience and a fantastic opportunity. Last year’s films got millions of views on YouTube, and I’m really hoping there’ll be a similar response this time round.”

Schutte’s winning script, ‘Saving Norman’, tells the story of a hypochondriac ex-ping pong player who never got over missing a major tournament final because of a cold.Her submission was chosen for its freshness, originality, good structure, good shots, good sound and above all, great story.

“Hanneke’s win bodes well for ‘Jimmy in Pienk’,” says Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution, which is distributing the comedy in South Africa. “It’s a prestigious competition and winning it attests to her talent and is a great indication of her flair for comedy.”

It’s not the first time that Schutte has attracted attention in the industry. She started developing ‘Jimmy in Pink’ in 2006 for a pitching competition run by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and the UK Film Council. The film was one of four genre-specific loglines picked from the entries to be developed with a UK script editor and a local script editor. The script was written in 2009, after which funding was secured from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

‘Jimmy in Pienk is produced by Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat of film development and financing company Light & Dark Films (LNDF). He has produced four feature films and a host of television shows that have sold in more than 60 territories. LNDF has arranged funding for eight feature films, and produced five feature films and three live-action TV series. The company has won awards on every continent and sold its work to all major territories and a host of small ones.

‘Jimmy in Pienk’ represents a full circle for NFVF-developed talent,” says Bhyat. “The film is the result of the NFVF’s investment in the development of writers, directors and producers. It is a unique voice in the crowded and often underwhelming local film landscape and I believe audiences are going to find it refreshingly charming.”

Jimmy in Pienk Official site:


Khumba Marks First 3D Animated Feature Film To Be Released In Afrikaans

Khumba The Movie

In an exciting first for South Africa, ‘Khumba’, the South Africa film about a half-striped zebra who is blamed for the drought by his superstitious herd and forced to go in search of a magic waterhole, will be released in Afrikaans in cinemas when it opens on 25 October 2013.

‘Khumba’ is the second animated feature produced by Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios, following the successful global release of ‘Adventures in Zambezia’. It features the voice of Liam Neeson as a malicious leopard, as well as the voices of Jake T Austin, AnnaSophia Robb, Lawrence Fishburn and Steve Buscemi. The film is directed by Anthony Silverston.

‘Khumba’ tells a story which is universal, so we are delighted to be able to release it in both English and Afrikaans as it will appeal to a wider audience,” says director, Anthony Silverstone. “It’s a great family story about the struggle to feel comfortable in your own skin and learning to fit in.”

The film tells the story of Khumba, a zebra who has only half his stripes. When he is blamed for the lack of rain by the rest of his insular, superstitious herd, he embarks on a daring quest. In his search for the legendary waterhole where the first zebras got their stripes, Khumba meets a quirky range of characters and teams up with an unlikely duo: Mama V, an overprotective wildebeest, and Bradley, a self-obsessed, flamboyant ostrich. But before he can reunite with his herd, Khumba has to come face to face with Phango, a sadistic leopard who controls the waterholes and terrorizes all the animals in the Great Karoo. It’s not all black and white in this colorful adventure with a difference.

“It’s a delightful story that is beautifully told,” says Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution, which is releasing the film locally. “To be able to release a 3D animated film of this quality in Afrikaans is a major achievement for the industry and it’s sure to delight audiences.”


Bush TV Going Online

Bush TV, an experiential eventing and Film and TV production company, whose philosophy is “sparking the imagination of the African child” will be embarking in production in the new-media space; streaming over the internet. We will be starting a daily internet streaming breakfast show over the internet.

As from the 1st of August 2013 Bush TV will be streaming over the internet, initially starting with a 3-hour breakfast show that will stream daily from 6-9 in the morning. The content will focus on selling South Africa internationally as a tourist destination by showing it’s diversity, be a space where youth can find out about empowerment initiatives, a space where artists can reach a wider audience, a partner to creative industries’ events, pioneer in the ICT sphere amongst other things.

The initiative is spear-headed by Khululekile Banzi and Smartie Olifant who both have a history in community TV as well as in Film and TV production. They have put together a team of interested people that range from production, ICT, marketing, legal and administrative team. They are still amassing talent; including sign-language presenters, behind and in front of the screen. They also need to build partnerships, synergies, advertising, sponsorship, and content in the form of events, films, etc.