DIFF: Victory in Durban for low-budget SA movie

2014-07-27 15:01

A small Cape Town love story won big, Pakistan and Marikana beat Mandela, Tony Kgoroge added another trophy to his cabinet and an African has lifted the top prize at the Durban International Film Festival’s annual awards.

Jenna Cato Bass has made waves at the country’s most important film festival with her fresh and original debut feature.

It was one of the lowest-budget features at the festival but the 27-year-old Capetonian writer-director’s film, Love the One You Love, lifted three awards at the Suncoast CineCentre in Durban last night.

It won best local feature, best local director and best actress (Chi Mhende). Mhende plays a sex-line operator in love with a dog handler in a strange and compelling film that wonders if love is a conspiracy.

Malian master Abderrahmane Sissako’s visually sumptuous and politically charged Timbuktu also lifted three trophies?–?for best overall film, best cinematography and best actor (Ibrahim Ahmed).

Ahmed shared his statuette with critically acclaimed South African actor Tony Kgoroge, who plays a policeman in Cold Harbour.

The statuettes they received were different this year and featured a giraffe design.

“We are extremely happy that the festival finally has an iconic award,” said manager Peter Machen.

“Venice has the Golden Lion, Berlin has the Golden Bear, now Durban has the Golden Giraffe.”

The documentary categories were more hotly contested than ever with almost as many doccies as fiction features making this year’s line-up.

Mahdi Fleifel’s debut feature, A World Not Ours, took top honours. It’s an intimate portrait of life in a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon.

Rehad Desai continued his winning run with the harrowing Miners Shot Down, which documents events as they unfolded, leading to the shooting at Marikana.

The film also won the Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award for “the human rights abuses so vividly portrayed”.

The full list

» Best Feature Film: Timbuktu by Abderrahmane Sissako

» Best Direction: Noaz Deshe for White Shadow

» Best Screenplay: Love is Strange written by Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias

» Best Cinematography: Sofian El Fani?–?Timbuktu

» Best Actor: Ibrahim Ahmed?–?Timbuktu and Tony Kgoroge?–?Cold Harbour

» Best Actress: Chi Mhende –?Love the One You Love

» Best South African Feature Film: Love the One You Love by Jenna Cato Bass

» Best Direction in a South African Feature Film: Jenna Cato Bass

» Best First Feature Film: Salvation Army by Abdellah Taïa

» Best Documentary: A World Not Ours by Mahdi Fleifel

» Best SA Documentary: Miners Shot Down by Rehad Desai

» Special Mention: Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me by Khalo Matabane

» Best direction in an SA documentary: I, Afrikaner by Annalet Steenkamp

» Special Mention: Fatherland by Tarryn Crossman

» Best Short Film: Out of Place by Ozan Mermer

» Best SA Short Film: Keys, Money, Phone by Roger Young

» Film Festival Award for Artistic Bravery: Peter Brunner?–?My Blind Heart

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