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Monday, August 30, 2010


Durban International Film Festival awards top films.

The winner of the Best Feature Film of the 31st edition of The Durban International Film Festival was The White Meadows (Iran). Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof, the film was lauded by the International Jury as a “timeless and poetic narrative”. “The film conjures up a landscape that is visually stunning and intriguing because it is both harsh and beautiful. It is an enigmatic and poignant political allegory and takes the viewers through a journey on life’s fundamental questions and beliefs,” the jury said. The Best Feature Film award carries a cash prize of R50,000. Cash prizes of R25,000 and R20,000 are also awarded to the winners of the Best South African Feature Film and Best First Feature Film respectively.

The Best South African Feature Film was awarded to Life, Above All; Chanda, directed by Oliver Schmitz. Calling it “beautifully filmed and masterfully edited, with astounding performances, the jury highlighted the film’s “universal resonance”. Thirteen year old Khomotso Manyaka who played the role of Chanda in the film was named Best Actress by the International Jury. “It was a natural and touching performance that movingly portrays the resilience, determination and integrity of her character,” the jury said.

The Best First Feature Film was awarded to Peepli Live (India), directed by Anusha Rizvi. The International Jury noted: “Peepli Live is an ambitious and well-realized film that deals with serious political issues in a witty and entertaining manner. It creates an enchanting world of colourful characters, images and music that engrosses viewers throughout.”

The International Jury comprised producers Aihara Hiromi (Japan) and Christoph Thoke (Germany) and South African academic, writer and producer Bhekizizwe Peterson.

Best Director went to Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone - USA) and Best Documentary to Waste Land (UK/Brazil) by Lucy Walker, Joao Jardim and Karen Harley. Waste Land was also voted Audience Choice Best Film by the DIFF audiences and in addition was awarded the Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award, which is awarded to the documentary film that best reflects human rights issues. The award carries a cash prize of 2,500 euros.

Other awards included Best South African Documentary to The Cradock Four by David Forbes; Best Short Film to The Same Old Story (Spain) directed by Jose Luis Montesinos, and Best South African Short Film to In A Time Without Love by Mark Strydom.

The rest of the awards include: Best Actor - Sebastian Hiort af Ornäs as Sebbe in Sebbe (Sweden) for a sustained portrayal that sensitively captures the vulnerability and growing maturity of a young man.”

Best Cinematography went to Odyssey Floresfor Lola (The Philippines); Best Screenplay: went to Efthymis Filippou and Giorgos Lanthimos for Dogtooth. Special Jury Mention went to Uganda directed by Caroline Kamya. Special Mention Documentary was Mugabe and the White African (UK) directed by Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson and Special Mention Short Film was The Abyss Boys (South Africa) directed by Jan-Hendrik Beetge.

The 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 of South Africa, Goethe-Institut South Africa, Industrial Development Corporation, Commonwealth Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture, and a range of other valued partners.

For more information click on the Centre for Creative Arts advert (above) and move to the Durban International Film Festival page or email or call 031 260 2506.