At the inaugural Durban South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live
Performance (AFDA) year-end awards, South of the West won the Best First
Year Film Award.
The event was a celebration of the pioneering group of first-year students who
enrolled in AFDA’s Durban campus at the beginning of 2013.
Excellence was recognised in the following categories: Best First Year Film, Best
First Year Animation, Best Television Production, Best Song, Best Group
Document Pitch, CLVA Award (student representative body) and most Dedicated
Said Franco Human, AFDA Durban Campus dean, “All the students’ awards were
nominated through the marks they received for the projects or individual work
for the individual awards. The CLVA award is for the student who is on the CLVA
committee who has shown the values of AFDA and voted for by the students in
AFDA co-founder and CEO Bata Passchier was the keynote speaker. He
congratulated the students on their challenging and pleasant journey as the
first group of students at the Campus.
Passchier also thanked staff members and the students’ parents by saying, “The
task of an excellent teacher is to stimulate seemingly ordinary minds into
unusual effort and guide them to their success, and it is no easy task.
“After a short journey we all sit here this morning overwhelmed with pride and I
would like to congratulate the staff and students for getting this far. A special
thanks and congratulations need to be extended to your parents. Without their
support none of this would be possible’.
Lloyd O’Connor, head of the Performance School commented, “Bryce Courtney,
the author of The Power of One, once said, “Winning is a state of mind that
embraces everything you do’.
“Reflecting on this I think to one degree or another all the students are winners
but those who won awards had an extra edge. What it means to win for a
performer in any discipline is nothing short of a self-actualising experience.’
First-time director and writer Nathan Rice of winning film South of the West
wanted to pay homage to the great Hollywood Westerns, yet with a distinctly
South African subtext, in his first-year project straight out of the Wild West.
Zwakele Majozi, the hero of the film, enters what seems to be a “whites only’
bar and asks for whiskey. AFDA student Charles Matthews, the super bad
cowboy, confronts Majozi and a shoot-out follows.
The hero shoots dead the bad cowboy and his two cronies. After that he asks
for whiskey again, and Whiskey, the local good time girl, enters the bar. They
leave hand in hand, watched by a bewildered barman.
Said lecturer Richard Green, head of the Film School, “The film is slick, well shot,
has great production design with almost flawless continuity in lighting, shot
selection and performance. These disciplines along with the editing, VFX and
sound design have set a bench mark for first-year films.’
Other winners were Man In a Box for Best Group Pitch; Kryptoheight for Best
First Year Animation; 031 Pulse for Best Television Production; Do Not Disturb for
Best Stage Performance; Lauren Flockhart for Best Song; Anja Schuulst for the
CLVA Award; and Temara Prem for Most Dedicated Student.
Applications and registrations for the 2014 AFDA first-year students are open.
Contact Milena on email@example.com to apply, register for enrolment or for