INXEBA (known internationally as The Wound) won the prizes for best director for John Trengrove and best actor for Nakhane Touré at the Durban International Film Festival on Saturday, July 22, writes ESTELLE SINKINS.
This is the latest in a string of awards for the film, which has been lauded at film festivals around the world.
Inxeba had its African premiere in competition at DIFF, and was in competition against Serpent (South Africa), Le Clair Obscur (Turkey), La Belle et la Meute (Tunisia), El Hombre que Cuida (Dominican Republic), Asinamali! (South Africa), Liyana (South Africa), Atanyn Kereezi (Kyrgyzstan), and Basta (Morocco).
“From the very beginning, the process of making Inxeba was characterised by intense collaboration and risk taking. This film demanded everything from those who came on board,” said Trengrove. “I am so grateful to the incredible cast and crew who put their faith and trust in this journey.
“This film is a testament to their efforts. I want to dedicate this award to the silent and faceless queers throughout the African continent who face insurmountable obstacles every day in a struggle for identity and dignity.”
Inxeba, which premiered internationally at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and later opened Berlinale Panorama, was a 2014 Durban FilmMart project. This initial pitch enabled the team behind it to obtain funding from a number of international financiers, resulting in a co-production between South Africa, France, Germany and The Netherlands.
It is the first feature from writer-director Trengove, and is co-written by Trengove, Thando Mgqolozana and Malusi Bengu, and produced Urucu Media. The Xhosa initiation ritual which forms the landscape of the film is also the subject of Mgqolozana’s novel, A Man Who Is Not a Man.
The film will open in South African cinemas on February 2, 2018.
Also recognised was Vaya, directed by Akin Omotoso. Named best SA feature film, the movie weaves together three separate stories to create a gripping yet compassionate portrait of small-town characters immersed in the intimidating, alluring, and dangerous world of big-city Johannesburg and Soweto.
The best documentary prize went to Strike A Rock, directed by Aliki Saragas. The film was described by the jury as ‘a powerful documentary that reflects the context of the current South African society’.
The best South African short film was Hangman, directed by Zwelethu Radebe.
Among the special awards handed out was one for artistic bravery, which was presented to Liyana directed by Amanda and Aaron Kopp. The film tells the story of a Swazi girl, who embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue her young twin brothers.
This animated African tale is born in the imaginations of five orphaned children in Swaziland who collaborate to tell a story of perseverance drawn from their darkest memories and brightest dreams.
Liyana has enjoyed excellent reviews throughout the festival and before its DIFF premiere, scooped an award in Los Angeles.
The Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award, which is given to the film that best reflects human rights issues and comes with a cash prize of R10 000 donated by the Amnesty International, went to Strike a Rock and Mama Colonel.
This year’s opening film, Serpent, was given the African Critic Award for its innovative and original cinematography into African film industry.
The international jury included: Carolyn Carew, an award winning producer; David Max Brown, who heads up the Film School of AFDA; Thandi Brewer, an award-winning writer, director, script editor and facilitator; Phillipe Lacoste a producer and director whose first feature film Run, won the Jerusalem Film Lab Award and was presented at the Un Certain Regard section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival; Etienne Fourie, co-founder of Figure One Films; and Michel Zongo a director, cameraman and scriptwriter from Bukina Faso.
The South African jury was made up of Thandie Brewer and Khalo Matabane; while Neil Brandt, Meganthrie Pillay and Roy Zetisky represented the documentary jury. – Entertainment Reporter
The full list of winners is:
- Best feature film – A Father’s Will.
- Best South African Feature Film – Vaya.
- Best director for a South African Film – Inxeba – The Wound.
- Best South African Documentary – Strike A Rock.
- Best International Documentary – Dusk Choru.
- Best Actor – Nakhane Touré (Ixeba – The Wound).
- Best actress – Mariam Al Ferjani (Beauty and the Dogs).
- Best Screenplay – La Soledad.
- Best Editing – La Soledad.
- Best International Short – Witnesses
- Best African Short – All of Us.
- Best South African Short – Hangman.
- Best direction in the international competition – A Father’s Will
- Best Cinematography – A Father’s Will.
- Artistic Bravery – Liyana.
- Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award – Strike a Rock and Mama Colonel.
- African Critic Award – Serpent.