×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Violin Player,’ ‘Tess’ Take Top Awards at Durban Film Festival

The 37th Durban Intl. Film Festival wrapped Saturday night with an awards ceremony that was followed by the closing film, Marco Del Fiol’s “The Space in Between: Marina Abramovic and Brazil,” a documentary about the acclaimed performance artist’s search for spiritual healing in South America.

The award for the Best Feature Film went to “The Violin Player,” by Bauddhayan Mukherji, which the jury described as “a seductive and mysterious tale of a violin player’s mundane life, and an interesting take on how chance encounters are almost predestined.”

The award for Best South African Feature Film went to Meg Rickards’ “Tess,” which the jury heralded as “a measured and uncompromising debut feature.”

“Martha and Niki,” directed by Tora Mkandawire Martens, won the award for Best Documentary, with the jury calling it a “visual feast that skillfully intertwines a profound reflection on (an) art form with the inner journey of two compelling characters.” The jury also made a special mention of “Action Commandante,” by Nadine Cloete, for “its exceptional quality and commitment to its subject matter.”

The Best South African Documentary went to “The Journeymen,” directed by Sean Meterlekamp, which opened the fest June 16, and was praised as a “strong and uncompromising cinema that is simultaneously disturbing and life-affirming.”

Popular on Variety

Best Short Film went to “Grandma’s Day (Dzie’n Babci),” directed by Milosz Sakowski, with a special mention for “Ave Maria,” by Basil Khalil.

The Best African Short Film Award, which is supported by the Gauteng Film Commission, went to “New Eyes,” directed by Hiwot Admasu.

“eKhaya (Home),”  by Shubham Mehta won the Best South African Short Film award, which is also supported by the Gauteng Film Commission.

The shorts jury also made special mention of two other films: “Amagugu,” directed by Ndududo Shandu, and “Discovery of Fire,” directed by Gerhard Pretorius.

The Best Actor Award went to Mohsen Namjoo for his performance in “Radio Dream,” directed by Babak Jalali. The award for Best Actress went to Christia Visser for her role in “Tess.”

The award for Best Direction went to Ciro Guerra for “Embrace of the Serpent,” while Guerra and Thoedor Koch-Grunberg also won Best Screenplay. Best Cinematography went to Chris Lotz, for “The Endless River.”

A new award for Best Editing, sponsored by the South Africa Guild of Editors, went to Linda Man, for “Tess.” The award for Artistic Bravery was given to Gabriel Mascaro’s “Neon Bull,” for its unique portrayal of a little-known community of Brazilian Rodeo workers.

The Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award for the film that best reflects human rights issues, which comes with a cash prize donated by the Artists for the Human Rights Trust, went to “Noma,” directed by Pablo Pineda.

The international jury this year was made up of four jurors: Bianca Balbuena, an award-wining producer from the Philippines; Fibby Kioria, the program director of Maisha Foundation, an initiative founded by Mira Nair to empower filmmakers in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda; Sherif Awad, a film critic who currently works for the Luxor African Film Festival; and Trevor Steele Taylor, a former programmer for the Cape Town International Film Festival, the Weekly Mail & Guardian Film Festival, and the Durban Intl. Film Festival, who’s currently the curator for film at the National Arts Festival.

The South African feature film jury consisted of filmmakers Jahmil Qubeka and Melissa Parry, while the documentary jurors were filmmakers Rehad Desai, Omelga Mthiyane, and Riaan Hendricks. The short film jurors were filmmakers Neil Coppen and Sumayya Rawat.

The Amnesty Jury consisted of Coral Vinsen, Nonhlanha Mkhize, Betty Rawheath, and Mark Povall.

 

 

More Film

  • The Cold Blue

    Erik Nelson Wants to Preserve the Past With 'The Cold Blue' World War II Documentary

    Erik Nelson describes his documentary “The Cold Blue” as “the garage band of movies” — he didn’t have the large team or crew other documentary contenders have. “The Cold Blue” is a World War II documentary that looks at raids and B-17 bombing missions that took place during the war. Nelson’s team looked at 34 [...]

  • Ray Manzarek

    Film News Roundup: Concert-Documentary 'The Doors: Break on Thru' Set for February

    In today’s film news roundup, one-night showings of a Ray Manzarek tribute and the season premiere of “Doctor Who” have been set for 2020, and the MPAA hires a copyright expert. ONE-NIGHT SHOWINGS The Doors and Trafalgar Releasing are teaming on the worldwide Feb. 12 release of “The Doors: Break on Thru – A Celebration [...]

  • Richard Jewell

    Warner Bros. Hits Back at Atlanta Paper Over 'Richard Jewell' Legal Threat

    Warner Bros. is standing behind “Richard Jewell,” the Clint Eastwood drama that is the source of controversy over its portrayal of a female journalist trading sex for scoops. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sent a legal threat to the filmmakers on Monday asking them to include a disclaimer noting that the film took dramatic license. In a [...]

  • The Irishman

    'Captain Marvel,' 'The Irishman,' Other Original Scores to Miss Out on Oscar Nominations

    The Regina Spektor song from “Bombshell” and at least six major scores including “The Two Popes” and “The Irishman” won’t be on Oscar’s music shortlists when they are announced next week. That’s because none of them are on the official Academy eligibility lists from which music-branch members are now voting. Preliminary voting ends tomorrow afternoon, [...]

  • Golden Globes Zodiac signs

    Golden Globes Nominees as Zodiac Signs

    The Golden Globes nominees aren’t the only stars of awards season. Variety turned to astrology to assign Zodiac signs to this year’s nominees. Some selections required a little more nuance — Olivia Wilde’s “Booksmart” is a Virgo with a prominent Sagittarius rising and Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” is a Sagittarius that wishes it were a [...]

  • Two-time Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks portrays one

    How Production Designer Jade Healy Recreated the Beautiful Neighborhood of Mister Rogers

    Production designer Jade Healy is doing double duty this awards season. For one, her work can be seen in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story.” There, she created a world of angst and individuality, making use of negative space as a couple reaches the end of their relationship. In Marielle Heller’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content