PMB-born filmmaker scoops Delhi Film Festival award

2018-01-11 13:55
Pietermaritzburg-born filmmaker and actress, Liana Hassim, scooped the award for best short film at the Delhi International Film Festival.

Pietermaritzburg-born filmmaker and actress, Liana Hassim, scooped the award for best short film at the Delhi International Film Festival. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg-born filmmaker and actress Liana Hassim has scooped the award for best short film at the Delhi International Film Festival.

Gracie, directed by 28-year-old Hassim, won the award last month. She could not make it to Delhi so will formally be handed the award in Durban next month.

Hassim, who now lives in Durban, told The Witness the award came as a surprise: “But it’s really amazing to be recognised on such a big platform — and an international one at that. It’s my first win on an international stage.”

The film centres around the life of a five-year-old girl, but intertwined plot strands deal with xenophobic attacks and rape. It has been screened at international film festivals in Cape Town and Russia.

“For me, the film deals with many current issues. Gracie represents the innocence and purity that children have and how they see the world,” explained Hassim.

Directing the film was initially challenging because its themes were different from what she was used to. “It was unusual for me because my previous films were horror or very political films.

“But I knew this had an important message when I saw people crying after watching it. The film obviously touches people and resonates with them.”

The film lasts just 30 minutes and was shot in one week in Durban in 2016.

Hassim is currently working on two more projects, one of which is
a romantic comedy to be filmed in Pietermaritzburg.

“People say Johannesburg and Cape Town is where the film industry is, but I really want to focus on creating films in KwaZulu-Natal. [It] has so much to offer, like amazing weather and beautiful locations.”

In the future she wants to act more and aims to open a production company.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  awards

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