Young filmmakers to compete for R67‚000 at Jozi Film Festival

A new category at this year’s Jozi Film Festival will give young documentary makers a chance to compete for a R67‚000 cash prize.

Official submissions for the sixth annual Jozi Film Festival will open on Monday 6 February‚ and includes a new category for young filmmakers to compete for a $500 cash prize towards their next project.

The Discovery Channel Don’t Stop Wondering Award category will see filmmakers from across the continent submit short 2-5-minute length documentaries showcasing unique African stories.

The festival’s founder and organiser Lisa Henry told TshisaLIVE that they are excited at the opportunity to allow young filmmakers to express themselves and get coverage at the festival.

“We are still a young film festival‚ run almost entirely by volunteers. So it is exciting for us to partner with the Discovery Channel on such an exciting initiative. We really believe that this competition will unearth some of the most exciting young filmmakers this continent has to offer‚” Lisa said.

It will be the first time that the festival will offer a cash prize to a winning documentary and Lisa said that despite the potential costs of making a documentary she felt the prize was fair.

“We have seen a number of high-quality documentaries produced on a very limited budget so we feel that the prize will go some way to covering the costs of the winner’s next project. Of course‚ you also have to look at the exposure that winning the category will give‚ which could be priceless‚” Lisa said.

Head of the University of Johannesburg’s School of Film and Television Phyllis Dannhauser told TshisaLIVE that she felt the prize money could be just be enough to finance a filmmaker’s next project.

“It would be tight to shoot any project on R67‚000 but it is possible. The benefit of documentaries is that you often have a small production team and you can be creative with the project on a small budget‚” Phyllis said.

Young filmmakers interested in entering their project into Discovery Channel Don’t Stop Wondering Award competition can upload their entry onto the festival’s website from Monday.

The top 10 projects will be broadcast on Discovery Channel in July and August‚ and later at the sixth annual Jozi Film Festival in September.

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