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Cape Winelands Film festival AWARDS Highlights

AWARDS EVENING OF FIFTH EDITION OF THE CAPE WINELANDS FILM FESTIVAL (CWFF)

Films from Azerbaijan, Serbia, Belgium, France, Germany, Russia, Mexico, Slovakia and South Africa were among the winners of the 5th edition of the Cape Winelands Film Festival (CWFF), which had its last screenings on 24 March 2012 in Stellenbosch and Cape Town. The programme included award winning features, documentaries and shorts from more than 48 countries.

Ilgar Najaf from Azerbaijan won the Grand Prix Award for Buta,  a story about a lonely 7 year old boy (named Buta), who lives in a mountain village with his grandmother. He is befriended by an old man, a liquid soap merchant who once loved (and lost) Buta’s grandmother. The old man’s friendship and wise advice helps Buta to overcome his difficulties in life. Buta’s grandmother, in the meantime, is weaving a special carpet in memory of Buta’s mother. The carpet features a ‘buta’ pattern, which

represents love. The boy is inspired by grandmother’s work, and decides to make his own “buta” made of rocks and stones, high on the top of the mountain…

The Award for Best Director went to Serbian director Miloš Radivojević. How I Was Stolen by the Germans tells the story of director and writer Radivojević’s childhood and how his life was influenced by the people he grew up with. As a child he felt neglected by his communist family and was taken care of by a German officer, who occupied his home during the Second World War and was the only person who offered him any love and warmth during his child-hood.

The First Feature Award went to Flemish film-maker Bavo Defurne for his sensitive film about first love, North Sea Texas.

A Special Mention Award from the feature jury was made for The Giants (Belgium).

Full list of Feature film Awards

Grand Prix Award: Buta

Special mention: The Giants

Best director: Milos Radivojevic (How I was Stolen by the Germans)

Best new director: Bavo Defurne (North Sea Texas)

Best actor: Zacharie Chasseriaud (The Giants)

Best actress: Zoe Heran (Tomboy)

Best script: Rugerro  Diapola  (Appartment in Athens)

Best cinematography: Gerardo Barosso (The Last Christeros)

Best editing: Maros Slapeta (Visible World) 

Best South African Feature Film :  Otelo Burning ( Sara Blecher)

Special Mention Award :  Lucky (Avie Luthra)

The powerful documentary Raising Resistance by Bettina Borgfeld and David Bernet (Germany) won the Best Documentary Award. The ground in Paraguay is perfect for the cultivation of soy. In recent years, countless acres of forest have been chopped down to make room for the growing of this protein-rich bean. The land of a farmer named Geronimo is now completely surrounded by soy plantations. These are generously sprayed with pesticides - poison that only the genetically modified soy plants are immune to. Unfortunately, the pesticides spread farther than the boundaries of the soy fields. So not only is there less and less land for the campesinos, or local farmers like Geronimo, but it also becomes impossible for them to cultivate healthy crops themselves. In Raising Resistance, Bettina Borgfeld and David Bernet capture the campesinos as they revolt against the enormous soy business in their country. Led by the ever-friendly Geronimo, they squat a section of farmland, try to stop the spraying of pesticides, and make their voices heard in the media. The film-makers also give the floor to the large landowners.

The Serbian documentary  Cinema Komunisto received a special mention award from the jury.

The Best South African Documentary Award went to The Dawn of A New Day.

The Best Short Film Award was awarded to the Russian production 1937.  Director Samantha Gray won Best South African Short Film for But We Slept.

Commenting on the 5th edition of the festival, Festival director Leon van der Merwe noted that the “overwhelming international response to the CWFF’s short and feature film competition once again indicated that the festival is being perceived as the most important film festival platform in South Africa for quality productions from around the world, especially regarding features by new directorial voices, who are looking for opportunities to exhibit their work in South Africa”. The festival has been listed since 2010 as one of the leading film festivals in the world by International Film Guide.

Jury members included Malu De Martino (Brazil), Dr Ibrahim Saleh (Egypt), Professor Torsten Schulz (Germany), Letebele Masemola–Jones (RSA), Vladan Petkovic (Serbia), Paul Weinberg (RSA), Xavier Garcia Puerto (Spain), Jacques de Villiers (RSA), Dylan Valley (RSA), Dr Ian-Malcolm Rijsdijk (RSA), Errol Schwartz (RSA), Dr Liani Maasdorp (RSA) and Zulfah Otto Sallies (RSA).

Once again various sponsors, media partners and individuals ensured the continuation of the festival:  Distell and Oude Libertas; The City of Cape Town; The Office of the Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Western Cape Investment and Trade Promotion Agency (WESGRO), the Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Western Cape Government, the Protea Hotel Fire and Ice – Cape Town; Mandela Rhodes Place, Nu Metro Theatres, The Fugard Theatre, the NFVF, ARTSCAPE, CityVarsity, Consul General of Brazil in Cape Town, The Embassy of Spain, the Embassy of Israel and Tararam, the Embassy of Belgium and the Flemish Government Representative, the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town, SAGE, Turkish Airlines, BMW, Visual Impact and The Callsheet.

Full details: Contact Leon van der Merwe at info@films-for-africa.co.za

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