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Durban awards winners

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DIFF honoured its two favourite sons, Qubeka and Worsdale, during the awards ceremony on Saturday 27 July. Intense pressure on the morality police also prevailed with the unbanning of the opening film and a screening on the last day.

Presenting the award for Best Feature Film to the film The Land of Hope. The International Jury commended Sion Sono for a film that “masterfully and humbly draws together an array of cinematic means of expression to engage us in a story”. The international Jury, which comprised of Egyptian curator and festival programmer Sherif Awad, renowned festival programmer Paolo Bertolin, South African filmmaker Sarah Blecher, film curator June Givanni and South African actress Hlubi Mboya, also awarded Best South African Feature Film to South African filmmaker Andrew Worsdale for his film Durban Poison. International Jury member, June Givanni on behalf of the International Jury also gave reason as to why the film directed by Jahmil XT Qubeka could not be considered for competition by saying “As a jury, we were privileged to be taken on a global journey through cinema, and we would like to thank Peter Machen and the Film Festival programmers for this great hounor. However, we have to express our regret that this journey could not include Of Good Report, which the Film and Publication Board did not license for public screening in time for us to take it into consideration. The jury is saddened and concerned about the limitations to freedom of expression that are still in force on the continent and beyond, but we are glad that on this occasion the decision has been over-turned." The Durban International Film Festival acknowledged the film’s achievements in stimulating worldwide debate and highlighting important issues in South African society.

Festival manager Peter Machen therefore announced a new annual award for Artistic Bravery, the first of which was given to Of Good Report director, Jahmil XT Qubeka. Prof Cheryl Potgieter also gave special mention and a prize to Festival Manager Peter Machen for his outstanding work during the festival and acknowledging his contribution to the festival as a whole. The full list of awards:  Best Short Film – Mercy Best South African Short Film – The Brave Unseen Best Documentary Film – Far out isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story Special Mention: Best Documentary Film – I Am Breathing Best South African Documentary Film – Angel’s In Exile Special Mention: Best South African Documentary Film – Orania Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award – Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer Audience Choice Best Film – Felix Audience Choice Best Documentary – Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer Audience Choice Best Wavescapes Film – Stand Audience Choice Best WildTalk Film – 2 Wings Many Prayers Best Feature Film – The Land of Hope Best First Feature Film – Wadjda Best South African Feature Film – Durban Poison Best Direction – Xavier Dolan for Laurence Anyways Best Cinematography – MatÍas Penachino for Halley Best Screenplay – Asghar Fahradi for The Past Best Actor – David and Eitan Cunio for Youth Best Actress – Paulina Garcia for Gloria and Suzanne Clément for Laurence Anyways Durban International Film Festival Award for Artistic Bravery – Jahmil XT Qubeka

The full list of awards is as follow:

Best Film: Love (Amour) (France, Austria, Germany), directed by Michael Haneke

Best South African Feature Film: Adventures in Zambezia (South Africa), directed by Wayne Thornley

Best First Feature Film: Sleeping Beauty (Australia), directed by Julia Leigh

Best Director: Benh Zeitlin for Beasts Of The Southern Wild (USA)

Best Actress: Deanie Ip in A Simple Life (Tao Jie) (Hong Kong SAR China)

Best Actor: Joseph Wairimu in Nairobi Half Life (Kenya, Germany)

Best Cinematography: Gökhan Tiryaki for Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da) (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey)

Best Screenplay: Ercan Kesal, Ercan Ceylan and Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da) (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey)

Special Jury Mention Feature Film: Goodbye (Be Omid E Didar) (Iran), directed by Mohammad Rasoulof

Best Documentary: 5 Broken Cameras (Palestinian Territories, France, Israel, The Netherlands), directed by Guy Davidi

Best South African Documentary: The African Cypher (South Africa), directed by Bryan Little

Documentary Special Jury Mention: Calvet (Costa Rica, France, Nicaragua, United Kingdom, United States), directed by Dominic Allan

Best Short Film: The Bird Spider (La Migala) (Spain), directed by Jaime Dezcallar

Best South African Short Film: Doppelganger (South Africa), directed by Joshua Rous

Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award: Call Me Kuchu (USA), directed by Malika Zouhali-Worral and Katherine Fairfax Wright

DIFF Wavescape Audience Choice Award: The Art of Flight (USA), directed by Curt Morgan

DIFF Documentary Audience Choice Award: Searching for Sugarman (Sweden, United Kingdom), directed by Malik Bendjellou

DIFF Feature Film Audience Choice Award: The Lady (France, United Kingdom), directed by Luc Besson

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