‘Inxeba’ (known internationally as ‘The Wound’) scooped both Best Director for John Trengrove and Best Actor for Nakhane Touréat the Durban International Film Festival (13 to 23 July). The win was announced at the closing ceremony, held on Saturday 22 July. This is a latest in the film’s award-winning streak, which has seen it pick up a number of accolades from all around the world.
‘Inxeba’ had its African premiere in competition at DIFF, screening at The Playhouse in Durban. The film was in competition against Serpent (South Africa), Le Clair Obscur (Turkey), La Belle et la Meute (Tunisia), El Hombre que Cuida (Dominican Republic), Asinamli! (South Africa), Liyana (South Africa), Vaya (South Africa), Atanyn Kereezi (Kyrgyzstan), and Basta (Morocco).
“From the very beginning, the process of making Inxeba was characterized by intense collaboration and risk taking. This film demanded everything from those who came on board”, says director John Trengrove. “I am so grateful to the incredible cast and crew who put their faith and trust in this journey. This film is a testament to their efforts. I want to dedicate this award to the silent and faceless queers throughout the African continent who face insurmountable obstacles every day in a struggle for identity and dignity”.
‘Inxeba’, which premiered internationally at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and later opened Berlinale Panorama, was a 2014 Durban FilmMart project. This initial pitch enabled the team behind it to obtain funding from a number of international financiers, resulting in a co-production between South Africa, France, Germany and The Netherlands.
According to a Sundance review, “John Trengove’s hard-edged but beautifully wrought study of clashing Xhosa models of masculinity will be an eye-opener to outsiders — and some South Africans too.”
‘Inxeba’ is the first feature from writer-director John Trengove, and is co-written by Trengove, Thando Mgqolozana and Malusi Bengu. The Xhosa initiation ritual which forms the landscape of the film is also the subject of ‘Inxeba’ co-writer Mgqolozana’s novel, ‘A Man Who Is Not a Man’.
‘Inxeba’ will continue to travel around the world, having been sold to 19 countries for theatrical release thus far, and will be distributed in South Africa by Indigenous Film Distribution. It will open nationwide on 2 February 2018.