The 39th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) held its awards ceremony on Saturday, 28 July, at Suncoast CineCentre as filmmakers and film-lovers gathered to watch the official closing film Rafiki, directed by Wanuri Kahiu.
A total of 17 awards were given out at the ceremony:
Best Feature Film: The Reports on Sarah and Saleem, directed by Muayad Alayan and produced by Muayad Alayan, Rami Alayan, Hans de Wolf, Hanneke Niens, Rebekka Garrido, Rodrigo Iturralde, Georgina Gonzalez and Alejandro Duran. The award is accompanied by a cash prize of R50 000.
Best South African Feature Film: High Fantasy, directed by Jenna Bass and produced by David Horler and Steven Markovitz. The film received a cash prize of R25 000.
Best Documentary: New Moon, produced and directed by Philippa Ndisi-Hermann. The film received a cash prize of R25 000.
Best South African Documentary: Sisters of the Wilderness, directed by Karin Slater and produced by Ronit Shapiro. The award is accompanied by a cash prize of R25 000.
Best Direction: Constantin Popescu for Pororoca.
Best Cinematography: Liviu Marghidan for Pororoca.
Best Screenplay: Jennifer Fox for The Tale.
Best Actor: Bogdan Dumitrache for his role as Tudor in Pororoca, directed by Constantin Popescu.
Best Actress: Maisa Abd Elhadi for her role as Bisan in The Reports on Sarah and Saleem.
Best Editing: Anne Fabini, Alex Hall and Gary Level for The Tale.
Artistic Bravery: The award was won jointly by High Fantasy, directed by Jenna Bass, and Supa Modo, directed by Likarion Wainaina.
Best South African Short Film: Stillborn, directed by Jahmil X. T. Qubeka and produced by Huanxi Media Group, Xstream Pictures and Yellowbone Entertainment. The film received a cash prize of R20 000 sponsored by the Gauteng Film Commission.
Best African Short Film: Aya, directed by Moufida Fedhila and produced by Appel d’Air Films. The film also received a cash prize of R20 000 sponsored by the Gauteng Film Commission.
Best Short Film: The Patience of Water (La Paciencia Del Agua), directed by Guillem Almirall. The film received a cash prize of R20 000 from the Gauteng Film Commission.
Audience Choice Award: The State Against Mandela and the Others, directed by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte, which received a cash prize of R25 000.
Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award: Silas, directed by Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman, and produced by Appian Way, Big World Cinema and Ink & Pepper Productions.
Best Wavescape Film: Heavy Water, directed by Michael Oblowitz.
DIFF has recently been included as a Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival by the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences, which means that both the winners of the Best Documentary, New Moon, and Best SA Documentary, Sisters of the Wilderness, will now automatically qualify for consideration for an Oscar nomination.
The Shorts jury included creative media education and development specialist Alicia Price and Leon Van Der Merwe of the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival. The fiction feature jurors were South African producer Bongiwe Selane, Nigerian actor Hakeem Kae Kazim and Nigerian actress Nse Ikpe-Etim. The documentary film jury included South African producer Uzanenkosi, Zimbabwean producer Nakai Matema, Nigerian filmmaker Mahmood Ali-Balogun and Berlin-based freelance filmmaker, writer and curator, Dorothee Wenner.
The 2018 edition of the Durban International Film Festival came to an end on 29 July and was part of a month-long feast of film in Durban, which included the BRICS Film festival and industry programmes, the Durban FilmMart, Isiphethu, Talents Durban, and the Nature Environment and Wildlife Film Congress.