Local film bags international award

By Drum Digital
11 April 2012

Local film with a star-studded cast Otelo Burning has recently won a Golden Owl award at the CineramaBC International Film Festival in Balneário Camboriú, Brazil.

The film, about a group of Kwazulu-Natal township kids who discover the joy of surfing in 1989 in the midst of apartheid conflict, scooped the award in the Best Movie by the Audience category.

The cast of the film boast an impressive cast. Generations actor Jafta Mamabolo plays the lead as Otelo. Comedian and Forever Young reality show star Thomas Gumede acts along side Mamabolo as New Year.

“The film played to a packed cinema and was highly praised and applauded by the audience,” said CineramaBC Festival curator Barbara Sturm.

The focus of the festival, at which films and documentaries from both well-known and new directors from around the globe are exhibited, is on ways of bringing human empathy and sensibility to the big screen.

The Brazil win is the latest in a series of accolades for the Otelo Burning. It recently bagged 13 nominations at the 2012 Africa Movie Academy Awards, announced in Ghana, and also won the Best South African Feature Film award at the fifth Cape Winelands Film Festival in March.

“This latest win is wonderful news,” said Otelo Burning director Sara Blecher. “It’s particularly exciting to win an audience award in a country like Brazil, which has so many similarities to ours.”

Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution, which distributes the film in South Africa, says audience awards bode well for films.

“Oscar winner Tsotsi began its journey to the Academy Awards by winning the audience prize at the Edinburgh film festival,” Kuun said.

“Audience awards are great indicators of how cinemagoers will respond to a film. This latest win has given us even more confidence that Otelo Burning is set to become another South African classic.”

Otelo Burning will hit cinemas on 11 May.

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