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Monday, September 14, 2020


(Siviwe Jali's design for the award)

The Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal invited KZN-based visual artists and fine craftspeople to submit proposals for the design of an award for the 41st annual awards of the Durban International Film Festival. This competitive process asked the province’s artistic community to submit design proposals. The adjudicators met to review the proposals, and it was unanimously agreed to select the design provided by the 29-year old multi-disciplinary designer Siviwe Jali as the winning design.

“This award for the Durban International Film Festival Awards is a piece of artwork with striking visibility and that we immediately felt would generate a sense of pride for the film industry. The award is inspirational, celebratory and has an African aesthetic,” says Centre for Creative Arts director Ismail Mahomed.

(Left: Siviwe Jali)

Hailing from the Bluff in Durban, Jali submitted his proposal because he saw a great challenge as a designer and a chance to find new ways to solve design problems.

“I am excited and happy to have been awarded this, but it still has not fully sunk in,” says Jali. “I wanted the design to be reminiscent of the history of film and embody the Modern African aesthetic but also years later when the winner looks at the award, it should feel like a piece of art sitting on their shelf that happens to be a celebration of their achievement.”

Jali aptly points out he used a font by Kevin Karanja, a Kenyan graphic designer.

The 29-year-old Durban-based designer, who started his career as a jewellery designer, now owns an industrial design studio called UMUGQA and studied at Durban University of Technology (DUT) and University of Johannesburg (UJ). He has won several awards throughout the years but is most proud of the fact that he gets to be a designer for a living every single day. His perception to design has been shaped by his experience and personal journey in life.

Jali will produce a minimum of 15 awards for the festival, which will be presented during the DIFF 2020 Film Award Night taking place on September 19, 2020.

To see more of Jali’s work visit