The 2018 Durban Gay & Lesbian Film Festival announces its Jury Award winners

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Faces by Joseph Adesunloye

The 8th annual Durban Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, that finished its 10-day run on 30 September 2018, with 57 titles screened during the programme, has announced the Jury awards for 2018.

“Our Jury this year really had their work cut out for them, with some tremendously well made short, documentary and feature films,” says festival director Jason Fiddler. “The standard of local, African and international LGBTIQ+ filmmaking constantly challenges us to choose the best films in the various categories that we offer submissions to the Festival each year.”

The format of the festival continued its eclectic tradition of including a diversity of subjects and film formats. Filmmakers from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Cuba, Denmark, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Tonga, the United Kingdom, and United States joined South African titles in making for a rich experience for DGLFF’s audiences. The Jury this year included filmmakers Akona Matyila, Dayakar Padayachee and film critics David Walker and Dylan Wilson, community leader Nonhlanhla Mkhize, and assisted by Fiddler and assistant festival director Mthokozisi Lembethe.

Lembethe was jubilant about this year’s Festival, and the winning films: “We keep seeing new faces in our audience, people of colour and all kinds of persuasions, coming to attend in 2018. This is definitely building on last year’s success with Inxeba (The Wound) and it’s good to see our Mzansi filmmakers getting recognition for their hard work!”

Jury leader Dylan Wilson said that difficult choices had to be made by the Jury this year, with “the field being so full of great films, we needed to be super focused and find films that went beyond the average, that was already of a pretty high standard,” adding that “(UK-Nigerian director) Joseph Adesunloye’s Faces was the stand-out choice for the Jury as Best Feature Film this year.”

“I’m very glad that our South African director Sean Steinberg’s feature film (S)he, a story of an intersex teen’s struggles, was acknowledged for its efforts with a Jury Special Mention,” enthused Lembethe, adding that “(South African) Philip Nolte’s Afrikaans-language tragi-comedy Vossie Vergas Homself winning Best Short Film in Competition, as well as Best Gay Comedy, was a worthy winner” whilst just beating the coming-of-age drama Something About Alex from Netherlands director Reinout Hellenthal, that won Best Trans Short Film.

The DGLFF remains the oldest operational city-based LGBTIQ+ film festival in Africa, and one of only a few on the entire continent. Fiddler feels that “without the DGLFF, there’d be an even greater silence on LGBTIQ+ rights, and human rights stories from Africa. We are committed to ensuring ongoing cultural expression for our diverse community. This is clearly demonstrated by our Jury deciding that Ghanaian filmmaker Gamel Baba Apalayine Jnr’s film The Mob be given a Special Mention for Artistic Bravery in recognition of his work in highlighting the violent responses of society towards gay love.” This is the first such time that the Festival has given out this award.

JURY AWARDS 2018:

Best Feature Film in Competition – Faces (2018 | United Kingdom)

Special Mention – Feature Film in Competition – (S)he (2018 | South Africa)

Best Feature Documentary Film – George Michael: Freedom (2018 | United Kingdom)

Special Mention – Feature Documentary Film – Kings, Queens & In-betweens (2017 | United States)

Best Short Documentary Film – Becoming A Queen (2018 | China)

Special Mention – Short Documentary Film – Pinky Gurung (2018 | Nepal)

Best Short Film in Competition – Vossie Vergas Homself (2017 | South Africa)

Runner Up – Short Film in Competition – Something About Alex (2017 The Netherlands)

Special Mention for Artistic Bravery – The Mob (2017 | Ghana)

Best Lesbian Short Film –(2017 | Germany)

Special Mention – Lesbian Short Film – Naughty Amelia Jane (2017 | India)

Best Trans Short Film – Something About Alex (2017 The Netherlands)

Best Gay Comedy Short Film – Vossie Vergas Homself (2017 | South Africa)

Special Mention – Gay Comedy Short Film – Hi, It’s Your Mother (2018 | Canada)

Best Gay Drama Short Film – Dylan, Dylan (2018 | France)

Special Mention – Gay Drama Short Film – Hello, Stranger (2018 | Belgium)

Details of films including synopsis can be downloaded from the DGLFF 2018 festival programme on their website.

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