The 5th Annual Jozi Film Festival was held from 15-18 September 2016 at Rosebank’s Cinema Nouveau, The Bioscope in Maboneng and Eyethu Lifestyle Centre in Soweto. A total of 40 films were selected for screening from just under 300 entries. The festival closed with an awards evening held at La Vie En Rose at Killarney Country Club.
Indigenous Film Distribution is celebrating the honours awarded to two of its South African films. Dora’s Peace, directed by Kosta Kalarytis, won the award for Best South African Feature Film, while John Barker’s Wonder Boy for President won the Audience Choice Award.
“Our goal is to ensure that we continue to grow the audiences for quality South African feature films with the accent being a varied offering, and both Dora’s Peace and Wonder Boy for President are captivating and unique local films that have been successful outings to their intended audience segments,” says Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution.
Dora’s Peace, starring Khabonina Qubeka in the title role, and directed by Kosta Kalarytis, tells the story of Dora, a Hillbrow prostitute who sets out to save a gifted young boy from the violent clutches of organised crime. In the process, she is forced to rediscover aspects of her own lost humanity.
Critics praised the film calling it a poignant crime drama and a strong debut from director Kalarytis. Qubeka’s performance described as magnetic, with her complex characterisation of an aging sex worker eschewing stereotypes.
Barker’s film ‘Wonder Boy for President’, starring comedy heavyweight, Kagiso Lediga in the title role, as well as a host of other top comedians, is a satire which pokes fun at the state of South African politics. Wonder Boy, a charismatic and confident young man from the Eastern Cape, is coerced into running for president by two shady characters. Their aim is to mould him into a great politician and then manufacture his downfall at the right time, for the right price. Their task is made somewhat easier when the hugely popular young politician falls for the leader of the opposition.
“We would like to congratulate the casts and crews, as well as the directors and producers of both films,” says Kuun. “We also want to thank the audiences who watch films and help to give life to our stories. There are many more to look forward to in the coming months.”
The full list of winners includes:
No awards were given out for Best International Feature or Best Documentary Short this year as there were less than three films in their categories.
Colbert Dube, winner of the JFF and Easy Equities Short Phone Film competition, received his prize for his film Jozi: Love/Hate and runners up Mexiy Van Der Merwe (JoHustleBurg) and Nduduzo Shandu (Crossing the Divide) each claimed R1 000 from JFF as runners up. Shandu also won Best SA Short Fiction Film (Amagugu) and was nominated alongside 5 other directors for Best South African Documentary for Soweto: Time of Wrath.
Also announced at the Awards was a partnership for 2017 between Discovery and the Jozi Film festival. Discovery Network's Commercial Director for Africa, Debbie Brady, spoke about the launch of a special competition for new and aspiring African filmmakers. The "Discovery Channel Don't Stop Wondering" Award will call for short-form films that showcase and celebrate unique African stories, and speak to Discovery's ethos of sparking curiosity. Shortlisted submission will be judged by Discovery's team of internationally recognised programme commissioners.