All the winners from the 2021 Jozi Film Festival

This year's annual Jozi Film Festival took place between 1 and 10 October, with limited physical screenings at The Bioscope, an on-demand digital platform for all 10 days, as well as free online screenings on each night of the festival, followed by live question-and-answer sessions.

Mutant, winner of Best South African Feature-Length Documentary.
Mutant, winner of Best South African Feature-Length Documentary.

The most-watched film on the festival’s on-demand platform (determined by finished views) was the short fiction film Farmhouse (Plaashuis), directed by Dian Weys, followed by Trapped, directed by Athi Petela, both from South Africa.

The most-attended free live screening was Murder in Paris (directed by Enver Samuel), followed by I Am Here (directed by Jordy Sank), again both local productions.

“Our toughest category to judge this year was Best South African Feature-Length Documentary,” said Lisa Henry, the festival organiser. “All four films in that category are worthy winners, but ultimately the winner is decided by a points system and only two points separated all four films in competition.” The laurels ultimately went to Mutant, co-directed by Lebogang Rasethaba and Nthato Mokgata.

Says Rasethaba: “Mutant was released during a time when people weren’t interested in engaging in anything difficult. It was the pandemic, life was difficult enough; we got lots of rejection. Things feel a little lighter now and perhaps it’s time to start thinking about the things that didn’t go away. What I am trying to say is that we appreciate this affirmation, this vote of confidence, because all we really want is for as many people as possible to watch the film.”

Henry added: “If we don’t accept three or more films into a category, no award is given out in that category. This year we only accepted two feature-length fiction films, Binti (Tanzania), directed by Seko Shamte, and Run George (South Africa), directed by Vuyani Makausu. No awards were therefore given out in the Best Feature-Length Fiction Film category this year, but we applaud both filmmakers for their productions.”

Enver Samuel, named Best Director for Murder in Paris alongside Jordy Sank for I Am Here, said, “It's wonderful to share a major award again with Jordy and his film, I Am Here.” The films also shared the award for Best South African Documentary at the 2021 Durban International Film Festival.

“Both our films honour remarkable women, one who survived the Holocaust and the other who fought against the evil of apartheid [Ella Blumenthal, and Dulcie September, respectively]. While the award is for Best Director, I think it's our main protagonists in our respective doccies that deserve the real honours. Thank you, Jozi Film Festival.”

The 2021 Jozi Film Festival winners are:

Best South African Feature-Length Documentary
Dir: Lebogang Rasethaba and Nthato Mokgata

Best International Feature-Length Documentary
High Maintenance (Israel)
Dir: Barack Heymann

Best South African Short Documentary
Lefu – The Funeral
Dir: Omelga Mthiyane

Best International Short Documentary
Stolen Fish (Spain)
Dir: Gosia Juszczak

Best South African Short Fiction Film
Five Tiger
Dir: Nomawonga Khumalo

Best International Short Fiction Film
Identibye (Iran)
Dir: Sajjad Shahhatami

Best South African Student Film
The Inescapable
Dir: Arné Boshoff (Open Window)

Best Young Director
Emilie Petra Badenhorst and Kanya Viljoen

Best Director (co-winners)
Enver Samuel (Murder in Paris) and Jordy Sank (I Am Here)

All the winners of the 2020 Jozi Film Fest
All the winners of the 2020 Jozi Film Fest

The Jozi Film Festival announced the winners of the 2020 festival as it came to a close...

21 Sep 2020

Honourable mentions

South African Feature-Length Documentary
Dir: Victor van Aswegen

South African Short Documentary
Lindela Under Lockdown
Dir: Sihle Hlophe

South African Short Fiction Film
Some Mothers’ Sons
Dir: Mbulelo Grootboom and Luntu Masiza

Festival organisers thanked the jury and the festival’s sponsors and partners Easy Equities, Flow Communications, CN&CO, The Bioscope and Left Hand Films for their support.

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