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Durban Festival Gives Awards to Andrew Worsdale, Jahmil Qubeka

'Poison' and 'Report' honored in event's salute to two banned directors

Durban Poison,” written and directed by Andrew Worsdale,  was awarded the best South African feature film prize at the 34th  Durban International Film Festival. Worsdale’s road-movie thriller is inspired by a Bonnie & Clyde-type couple who went on a booze- and drug-fueled killing spree in the 1980s. The film, in the photo above, premiered at the festival.
On Saturday at the kudos ceremony, the festival inaugurated its first award for artistic bravery, presenting it to Jahmil Xt Qubeka for his film “Of Good Report.” Thus the fest saluted two filmmakers who’d been banned, decades apart. In 1987, under the apartheid regime in South Africa, the festival premiered Worsdale’s directorial debut, the cult feature “Shot Down.” The ironically titled film was banned in South Africa almost immediately after its release in the territory.
More than 25 years later, Qubeka’s film had been slated as the opening night event on July 18, but was pulled because

 the FIlm & Publications Board refused to classify it. 
Following intense industry debate and an appeal, the FPB reversed its decision and gave the film an R-rating, mean it can be seen by audiences aged 16 and over.  Peter Machen, the ever-tenacious head of the festival, managed to squeeze in a screening of the film on Sunday, the last day of the festival.
Of Good Report” concerns a high school teacher who becomes obsessed with a 16-year-old student. The board had stopped its original screening less than a half-hour into the film.

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