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Wednesday, December 5, 2012


It was a night of glamour and glitz when artists from KwaZulu-Natal stepped onto the red carpet celebrating the province’s success at the 2012 Ethekwini Local Filmmakers Association (EFA) awards, with newcomer Philani Sethebe scooping an award for the Best Actor category for the film, Nothing for Mahala ,Gazi.

Rueben Smith won the award for Best Supporting Act (Finding Joy); Best Film (The Puzzle) went to Andile Buwa who also scooped the award for Best Director of Photography;  Best Actress was scooped by Bongiwe Hlophe (For Khathazile), Best Supporting Actress was Mabongi Sibisi (Indoda Ayikhali). In the category for Best Director, Philani Sithebe scooped the prize for Knife Edge, Best Editor went to Mthokozisi Lembhethe (Paving Forward). Philani Sithebe was also awarded for Best Screenwriter (Knife Edge) and the best promising screenwriter was awarded to Samkelo Dingi (The Farewell).

Umlazi born producer Bongani  Khambule (Umlazi Gangsters) received a R10,000 voucher for equipment rentals from DT Broadcast Studios, while industry newcomer Vincent Mhlangu received a R60,000 Bursary to Study a three year Motion Picture Production course from AFDA Film Academy.

Formed last year, EFA is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving and developing the local film Industry by uniting all Durban Filmmakers, developing an audience for local films and creating an economically viable film industry in the city. The EFA award ceremony, set to be an annual event, has been created to recognize the best of the best in the city's film industry and provide an opportunity to be exposed and at the same time showing gratitude in what they do.

Speaking at the event, eThekwini Deputy Mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala applauded EFA for their outstanding accomplishment in hosting the EFA Awards.“EFA was born out of struggle and hardship. Up and coming filmmakers did not have the platform to raise their own issues. They had to borrow the equipment to shoot movies. When the Mayor’s office was approached, we discussed with the DFO how we could help them. We reached agreement that representing artists in KwaZulu-Natal they should speak with one voice. Building from this foundation firmly using once voice, this resulted in the formation of EFA.”

Shabalala further thanked Toni Monty, from the Durban Film Office, for her and the team’s dedication in realizing the passion and work for aspirant film makers. She said she was pleased that the EFA had started their operations slowly and small and was equally pleased with their hosting of the EFA awards.

EFA Chairperson Andile Buwa said: “It is really fulfilling to be part of the making of history with the filmmakers on the frontline of their own empowerment. For a very long time we relied on the organizers of festivals and development agencies to do it for us, and this experience has taught us that if you ever wanted to get something done it may not happen unless you make it happen yourself,” he said. “It is for the first time ever that the filmmakers have created a platform for themselves that recognizes their own work. Ethekwini Local Film Awards is set to be an annual event which will set trends for filmmakers in other regions for them to learn from what the Durban filmmakers have achieved.”

Buwa acknowledged the important role played by the eThekwini Municipality, particularly the honourable Deputy Mayor, Nomvuzo Shabalala, and Durban Film Office to ensure that Durban filmmakers find their voice. It was through their tireless efforts that this association was born and exists today.”

Toni Monty of the Durban Film Office encouraged and applauded EFA for their tireless efforts. “It has been only a year since the association started and already the good work is bearing fruit.”

More information from Silindiwe Dube, FBI Communications on 0731 208 5525 or 072 744 2865 or e-mail: /