Tue. Oct 20th, 2020

DIFF’s finest: Durban International Film Festival announces award winners

Festival winners include ‘This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection’ starring the late Mary Twala along with other African films.

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The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) 2020 went virtual for the first time this year in its 41-year history.

The Centre of Creative Arts and the University of KwaZulu-Natal present the festival to promote the film industry and create networking opportunities.

The festival showcases films from the African continent, or which filmmakers in the African diaspora of African descent have made.

This year, the virtual DIFF ran from 10 to 20 September with also a few drive-in screenings for films in KwaZulu-Natal. 

DIFF focus on ‘Shifting Paradigms’

The theme this year was “Shifting Paradigms”.

According to the DIFF official site, the plots of the chosen films are relevant to worldwide challenges.

Using different lenses, the movies on the programme “interrogate history to right wrongs and restore human dignity to previously disenfranchised populaces”. 

The programme included feature films, short films and documentaries.

‘The envelope please…’

Here are the winners of the DIFF Awards 2020:

‘This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection’ (2019)

Lesotho-born, Berlin-based filmmaker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese wrote, directed and edited This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection, which opened the festival and was one of the most-talked-about films this year.

It premiered at the Venice International Film Festival and had its African premiere at the Durban International Film Festival as the opening film.

The movie tells the story of an 80-year-old widow who awaits the return of her son from the gold mines. However, she descends into grief and mourning when she receives the news that her son has died.

It stars the late Mary Twala, a veteran South African actress who has featured in Sarafina! and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and passed away in July this year.

This film took more awards than any other film, namely for Best Direction, Artistic Bravery and Best Actress (Mary Twala). 

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Mary Twala in ‘This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection’. Image: Supplied

‘Farewell Amor’ (2020) 

This film tells the story of an Angolan immigrant who is reunited with his wife and daughter after 17 years. They discover that they share a love for dance.

Ekwa Msangi wrote and directed Farewell Amor. Msangi won Best Screenplay and Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine won Best Actor for the movie. 

‘Force of Habit’ (2019) 

Force of Habit dissects the use of power towards women in their private lives and in society. It follows 11 women and dives into the female gaze. This comedy/drama film won Best Feature Film and Best Editing. 

‘Stam’ (‘The Tree’) (2019) 

Stam was another popular film in 2020. Louw Venter wrote and directed the suspense-driven film.

He interconnects various lives and looks at addiction, misogyny and other contemporary issues.

Stam won Best South African feature Film and will also be on DStv’s Box Office in October. 

More winning films

Other films that won awards at DIFF 2020 include:

  • Best Cinematography: Take Me Somewhere Nice – A drama feature film written and directed by Ena Sendijarevic.
  • Best South African Short Film and Best African Short Film: Ruby and Roach directed by Erentia Bedeker.
  • Best Documentary: Softie directed by Sam Soko.
  • Best South African documentary: Influence directed by Diana Neille and Richard Poplak.
  • Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award: Fadma: Even Ants Have Wings directed by Jawad Rhalib.
  • Best Short Film: Exam directed by Sonia K Hadad. 

For more information on the awards visit the DIFF website.

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