Shnit International Shortfilmfestival came to an end on 11 October when over 200
filmmakers and guests congregated at the Cape Town Club to see the awarding of the Made In South Africa jury and audience awards 2015, as well as the premiering of this year’s Realtime films. Thirteen films competed this year for the national awards across fiction, documentary and experimental genres.
Brett Williams and Hayden Phipps’ The Parcel opened the night by
taking home the Made in South Africa Audience award. Nominees included Nosipho
Dumisa and Travis Taute’s Nommer 37 and Thati Peele’s
Lerato. Audience award voting was held digitally for the first time this
year through a system developed by Cape Town specialists Qurio and implemented
in shnit cities all around the world.
South African jurors Bridget Pickering and Ian Rijsdijk spoke on behalf of a jury which
also included Sibs Shongwe la Mer, praising all of the films in competition and
drawing attention to the challenges of choosing just one film to take home the Made in South Africa jury prize, before the nominees – Simon Wood’s Orbis, Greg Bakker’s Windstil and Zamo Mkhwanazi’s The Call – were announced and screened to the receptive audience.
Jury president Sharlto Copley, unable to attend in person, made a surprise special appearance via hologram to announce the winner as Windstil. Copley said of the films and selection that he had looked for the film which both moved him and had the most potential to move an international audience. he also drew attention to the film’s powerful leading performance by Morne Visser as well as its topical subject matter in the light of the true life events that inspired the film.
Both the audience and jury winners received shnit’s National Competition 2015 medallions, as well as goods and services to the value of over R10,000 from Media Film Service and Moviemart. Both films will screen around the world in 2016 as part of the shnit National Winners programme package.
The Realtime Competition
The night culminated in the premiering of the Realtime competition films 2015. The
competition saw filmmakers Thea Small, Willem Grobler and Bongani Vincent each
given 72 hours to produce a completed short film over the course of the shnit
In the fifth year of the programme, shnit partnered with the South African Film
Orchestra and Atmosphere Film Audio collective to run the competition in two
stages, with the first being an open composers competition in which South African
composers were invited to submit scores inspired by one of three themes, Injustice,
Retribution or Redemption. Three scores were selected from 41 entries and one
given to each of the three filmmakers as inspiration in turn for their film.
For maximum effect, the South African Film Orchestra was present on awards night,
playing live alongside the premiering of the films. The winning film by audience
vote was The Great Gatsby: Redemption.