Durban Poison, a film by Andrew Worsdale, has scooped the Best South African Feature Film prize at the 34th Durban International Film Festival.
Durban Poison tells the story of a police investigation into four murders and charts the doomed romance of outlaw lovers. The Best South African Feature Film award carries with it a cash prize of R30 000.
Also honoured at the prize giving ceremony on Saturday night was The Land of Hope, which was named Best Feature Film. The international jury commended director Sion Sono for a film that “masterfully and humbly draws together an array of cinematic means of expression to engage us in a story”.
Meanwhile, controversial opening night film Of Good Report was finally shown on Sunday, the last day of the festival, after the Film and Publications Board reversed their decision not to classify it and gave the film an R-Rating of 16.
Festival organisers acknowledged the film’s achievements in stimulating worldwide debate and highlighting important issues in South African society. A new award, for artistic bravery, was handed to Of Good Report director, Jahmil XT Qubeka, at the awards ceremony on Satuday night.
The full list of awards is:
• Best Short Film – Mercy (dir. Eliza Subotowicz)
• Best South African Short Film – The Brave Unseen (dir. Duan Myburgh)
• Best Documentary Film – Far out isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story (dir. Brad Bernstein)
• Special Mention: Best Documentary Film – I Am Breathing (dir. Emma Davie and Morag McKinonn)
• Best South African Documentary Film – Angel’s In Exile (dir. Billy Raftery)
• Special Mention: Best South African Documentary Film – Orania (dir. Tobias Lindner)
• Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award – Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer (dir. Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin)
• Audience Choice Best Film – Felix (dir. Roberta Durrant)
• Audience Choice Best Documentary – Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer (dir. Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin)
• Audience Choice Best Wavescapes Film – Stand (dir. Anthony Bonello and Nicolas Teichrob)
• Audience Choice Best WildTalk Film – 2 Wings Many Prayers (dir. Lloyd Ross)
• Best Feature Film – The Land of Hope (dir. Sion Sono)
• Best First Feature Film – Wadjda (dir. Al-Mansour Haifaa)
• Best South African Feature Film – Durban Poison (dir. Andrew Worsdale)
• 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