Joburg Film Festival honours artists

Creative activist Gcina Mhlophe has grabbed another award. /Supplied
Creative activist Gcina Mhlophe has grabbed another award. /Supplied

Veteran storyteller Gcina Mhlophe and filmmaker Jahmil X.T. Qubheka were among those who received recognition at the Joburg Film Festival's awards gala on Saturday night.

Mhlophe was honoured with the Legend Award, while internationally acclaimed author Deon Meyer received the Global Storyteller Award.

"I feel humbled. It was unexpected. I wear the stories of my people like an amour," Mhlophe told Sowetan.

"It's my power and the thing that gets me connected to my ancestry and everywhere I go in any part of the world, I feel like a cultural ambassador," she said.

Qubheka and Layla Swart were honoured with the inaugural Emerging Storyteller Award for their film work in productions including Knuckle City and Sew the Winter to My Skin.

The awards were hosted by The Queen actress Dineo Moeketsi at Inanda Club in Johannesburg.

Sowetan sister publication Business Day investigative journalist Karyn Maughan received the Fearless Storyteller Award.

English film Rocks was named Best Film, while local film Flatland scooped the award for Best African Film.

French movie Our Lady of the Nile was honoured with a Special Recognition Award from the festival's jurors.

The jury panel included author Zakes Mda, NCIS: New Orleans actress CCH Pounder, local leading lady Florence Masebe, Nigerian filmmaker Femi Odugbemi and Canadian writer Nataleah Hunter-Young.

Ten films were selected to compete at this year's festival that kicked off on Tuesday.

"The quality was incredibly high," festival director Bongiwe Selane said.

"Each was recognised for its powerful message and ability to provoke important debate on an array of issues."

The winner of Joburg Film Festival's Youth & Audience Development Programme was also announced.

The programme gives recognition to young emerging filmmakers across Gauteng.

Over 100 aspiring film makers aged between 18 and 25 from Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Mogale City and Sedibeng submitted videos under the theme "Your Kasi, Your Story".

Malefetsane Masitha from Sedibeng in the Vaal was the overall winner.

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