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WINNERS OF 29TH DIFF (article first published : 2008-08-4)

This is the impressive line-up of award-winners at the 29th Durban International Film Festival

Best Film: Foster Child (Philippines), directed by Brillante Mendoza - …"delving with remarkable skill into the everyday lives of his extremely well-developed characters, the director fuses documentary and drama to create a brave, humane and unconventional film." Best South African Feature Film: Triomf, directed by Michael Raeburn - …"by immersing itself into the often sordid world where poverty, and the educational gaps that attend it, meet an arrogant sense of entitlement, Triomf exposes a series of universal truths. The dirty secrets of capitalism, of racism, of manipulative politics, of the human heart are mirrored in the secrets of one family, whose disintegration reminds us that a nation's history is written by individuals". Best First Feature Film: Captain Abu Raed (Jordan), directed by Amin Matalqa - …"for its gentle, insightful approach in delivering a wonderful story."

Best Director: Lance Hammer for Ballast (USA) - …"for his astonishing and subtle directorial debut, delivered in an utterly unique style". Best Actress: Cherry Pie Picache in Foster Child (Philippines) - …"delivering a spectrum of emotions and revealing a natural and authentic understanding of her character, Cherry Pie Picache is remarkable as a foster mother in Foster Child." Best Actor: (Shared) Hanno Koffler in A Hero's Welcome (Nacht Vor Augen) (Germany) - …"for his subtle, nuanced performance and convincingly conveying his inner turmoil" and Rapulana Seiphemo in Jerusalema (South Africa) - …"for a powerful, intense, and utterly memorable performance."

Best Cinematography: Shanker Raman for Frozen (India) - …"for his beautiful use of black and white and unusual composition which delivers a strong reflection of the inner world of its characters." Best Screenplay: Singing Chen and Lou Yi-an for God Man Dog (Lio Lang Shen Go Ren) - …"for conveying five different stories in a focused, clever and unconventional way."

Special Jury Mention: Ain't Scared (Regarde-Moi) (France), directed by Audrey Estrougo - …"for a remarkably accomplished first film."

Best Documentary: Patti Smith: Dream of Life (USA), directed by Steven Sebring - …" this exquisitely filmed and historically charged documentary captures the passion, calm, poetry, the venom and uncompromising energy of an incredible human being. " Special Mention Documentary: Send a Bullet (Manda Bala) (Brazil/USA), directed by Jason Kohn - …" this shocking and beautiful film reveals the complexity of difference and the extremes of opulence and poverty in Brazil." Best South African Documentary: 50 Years! Of Love? directed by Karin Slater - …" a challenging journey which makes us laugh, cry, and entertain cultural difference as we ponder the complexity of navigating a life with another human being."

Best Short Film: I Love You (Mozambique) directed by Rogerio Manjate - … "for telling a relevant story and providing an uncluttered – yet non-didactic – message and for encapsulating how effective the short film form can be." Best South African Short Film: Sibahle directed by Joshua Rous - …" humorous and heart-warming, this visually stunning, well scripted South African story, has universal appeal and a great surprise ending."

Big Fish School of Digital Film Short Film Newcomer Award: Cutting Silence (South Africa), directed by Reina-Marie Loader - …"simple and beautiful, this powerful messaged film shows women gripped by fear at the thought of a child dying because of culture and tradition."

Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award: Taking Root: The Vision Of Wangari Maathai directed by Alan Dater and Lisa Merton (USA) - …" a graphic and inspiring portrayal of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Wangari Maathai and her dynamic role in empowering rural women and environmental restoration in the face of often brutal opposition."

Audience Choice Best Wavescapes Film: Sharkwater (USA) directed by Rob Stewart.

The international jury comprised Masoud Amralla Al Ali (Artistic Director of the Dubai International Film Festival), Abolfazl Jalili (Director), Franηoise Kersebet (Department of Culture, Reunion), Bongiwe Selane (Producer). The best South African feature film jury was made up of filmmakers Junaid Ahmed and Darren Murray as well as choreographer Ntombi Gasa. On the Documentaries and South African Documentaries Jury were photographer Val Adamson and historian Vashna Jagarnath as well as artist, filmmaker Greg Streak. The Short Film Jury comprised Sizakele Moloko (Lincolnwood), broadcaster Zandile Tembe and Andile Ntimbane (Collective Film and Video).

The jury for the Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award were Nonhlanhla Mkhize (Director, Durban Gay and Lesbian Centre) and David Spurrett (Philosophy Department, UKZN) as well as Coral Vinsen and Poonitha Naidoo, both from Amnesty International Durban.

Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN) the Durban International Film Festival is funded by National Film & Video Foundation, SABC, HIVOS, Royal Netherlands Embassy, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Stichting Doen, the German Embassy in South Africa, Goethe Institute of South Africa, Industrial Development Corporation, and the City of Durban, with valued support from a range of other partners.




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