AWARDS AT DIFF 2011
32nd Durban International Film Festival
21-31 July 2011
Best Film: Nader and Simin, A Separation (Iran), directed by Asghar Farhadi
"…a masterpiece! We are awarding Best Film for the simplicity and precision of Asghar Farhadi's craft and his portrayal of the complexities of this family and society in a way that is subtle and universally understood." With "astonishing performances by the ensemble cast."
Best South African Feature Film: Skoonheid (South Africa), directed by Oliver Hermanus
"The film is meticulously made, and tells a complex South African story with universal appeal. The film's subtlety, control and knowledge of film history reveal a director on a remarkable trajectory."
Best First Feature Film: The Dynamiter (USA), directed by Matthew Gordon
In presenting this award, the jury "applauds an exciting new talent. Matthew Gordon shows remarkable maturity and restraint whilst delivering a powerful and emotional film."
Best Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev for Elena (Russia)
"...we see a master filmmaker at work. Through this seamlessly constructed film, Andrey Zvyagintsev invests this seemingly simple story with immense emotional impact, while treading a line of ambiguity that challenges his audience."
Best Actress: Nadezhda Markina in Elena (Russia)
"In a performance that is both subtle and profound, Nadezhda Markina in the title role of Elena, creates a character whose quiet composure and desperation to protect her family, leads us down a complex path that ultimately keeps us sympathetic even as she commits a heinous crime."
Best Actor: William Patrick Ruffin in The Dynamiter (USA)
"At just 14 years of age and acting for the very first time, William Patrick Ruffin delivers an effortless central performance that is deeply engaging and deeply moving, providing an anchor for the film as a whole. We see a very bright future."
Best Cinematography: Mikhail Krichman for Elena (Russia)
"With a cool eye, from the first shot to the last shot, the cinematography of Mikhail Krichman is precise and crisp. Krichman employs dazzling technique that morphs with each scene, creating a beauty that starkly contrasts the chilling narrative."
Best Screenplay: Asghar Farhadi for Nader and Simin, A Separation (Iran)
"This screenplay is simultaneously a complex multi-layered narrative, while at the same time addresses simple and basic interactions. This magnificently written film forces us to confront the human foibles inherent in all of us, and in microcosm powerfully examines broader society."
Special Mention Feature Film: Skoonheid (South Africa), directed by Oliver Hermanus
"…for the courage to explore this taboo subject matter in Africa today through this powerful film."
Special Mention South African Feature Film: Eldorado (South Africa), directed by Shaldon Ferris and Lorreal Ferris
"This year there was a remarkable selection of South African films which represented a great diversity of content and genre. Among these great films we'd like to give a special mention to Eldorado, from first-time filmmakers Shaldon Ferris and Lorreal Ferris."
Best Documentary: Position Among the Stars (Stand van de Sterren) (The Netherlands), directed by Leonard Retel Helmrich
"With its incredibly intimate portrayal of life in Indonesia's slums, this daring documentary illuminates family relations while treating its subjects with dignity."
Best South African Documentary: Dear Mandela (South Africa/USA), directed by Dara Kell and Chrisopher Nizza
"A movie about courage, this documentary is beautifully shot, socially relevant and still manages to offer humour as it reveals a growing grassroots political literacy in South Africa's informal settlements."
Best Short Film: Dirty Laundry (South Africa), directed by Stephen Abbott
"With a fresh storyline and strong acting, this is a colourful and humorous mini-snapshot of the "dirty laundry" of ordinary South Africans."
Best South African Short Film: Dirty Laundry (South Africa), directed by Stephen Abbott
Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award: Sobukwe, A Great Soul (South Africa), directed by Mickey Madoda Dube
"... Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe's dream that the people of Africa be treated with dignity, and enjoy equal opportunities to land and housing, became the foundation and struggle of every freedom-fighting organisation. An important film about a compassionate leader and historic fighter for justice and equality."
DIFF Wavescape Surf Film Festival Audience Award: A Deeper Shade Of Blue (Australia), directed by Jack McCoy
DIFF Documentary Audience Award: Fire in Babylon (United Kingdom), directed by Stevan Riley
DIFF Feature Film Audience Award: The First Grader (Kenya, United Kingdom, South Africa), directed by Justin Chadwick
INTERNATIONAL JURY: Flavio Florencio, documentary filmmaker and founder of Africala Film Festival, Mexico; Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, producer/director/writer; Katrina Sedgwick, director and CEO of the Adelaide Film Festival and the AFF Investment Fund (AFFIF); Lorna Tee, producer; Mansour Sora Wade, Senegalese filmmaker.
BEST SOUTH AFRICAN FEATURE FILM JURY: Peter Machen, journalist and film critic; Madoda Ncayiyana, filmmaker; Niren Tolsi, journalist (Mail&Guardian)
DOCUMENTARIES AND SOUTH AFRICAN DOCUMENTARIES JURY: Val Adamson, photographer; Nyasha Mboti, film researcher; Julie Frederikse, producer
SHORT FILM JURY: Zandile Tembe, Ukhozi FM; Andile Ntimbane, Collective Film and Video; Jerry Pooe, founder of Eager Artists Production and Wushwini Arts Centre
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL DURBAN HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD JURY:
Anita Khana, Uhuru Productions; Nonhlanhla Mkhize, Director of Gay and Lesbian Centre; Poonitha Naidoo, Amnesty International Durban; Lindy Stiebel, Head of School of English at the University of KwaZulu-Natal; Coral Vinsen, Amnesty International Durban
The 32nd Durban International Film Festival is organised by the Centre For Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) with support by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder), National Film and Video Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism, HIVOS, City of Durban, German Embassy, Goethe Institut, Industrial Development Corporation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture, and a range of other valued partners.