U.S. Audience Award for SA Movie
Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile has congratulated the makers of South African film Fanie Fourie's Lobola, which won the Audience Choice Award for Best Comedy at the 19th Sedona International Film Festival in Arizona, US last week.
The film, which opened in local cinemas last weekend, tackles the thorny subject of cross-cultural relationships in contemporary South Africa with humour and honesty.
Fanie Fourie's Lobola also won the Jozi Film Festival Audience Award last month, and according to website Screen Africa has been selected to screen at the 39th Seattle International Film Festival in the US, which takes place from 16 May to 9 June.
"Once again, South African film makers are doing us proud on the international stage," Mashatile said in a statement on Thursday. "This is a great achievement. We are not just sharing our stories with the globe, but also showcasing the world-class talent within our film industry."
The minister said he was confident that the South African film industry could reach even greater heights.
"That is why we continue to support it, through the National Film and Video Foundation and as we implement the Mzansi Golden Economy strategy," he said, referring to his department's plan to increase the role of arts and culture in job creation.
"It's through these efforts that we hope to enhance skills within this crucial sector and also increase the growth of the industry locally and abroad."
The film's producers, Lance Samuels and Kweku Mandela of Out of Africa Entertainment, said that winning the audience award "against the level of competition at Sedona is a huge accolade for Fanie Fourie's Lobola.
"This is a highly regarded festival, and the audience award is widely recognised as one of the most important awards of any festival, because the winning film is selected by the audience attending the festival rather than by a few members of a festival jury."