Animation wins big at Durban festival

2012-07-30 10:51
Charl Blignaut
Durban - A chirpy young falcon called Kai looks set to take South African animated film to new heights.

He's the star of Adventures in Zambezia that has lifted the prize for Best South African Feature Film at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF).

In the movie, created by Cape Town's Triggerfish Animation Studios, Kai leaves the nest to make a life for himself in the bustling bird metropolis of Zambezia.

Although local audiences will only be able to see it at Christmas, the 3D film has been sold to over 40 territories thanks to a deal with Sony.

It is already showing strong box office returns in Israel, the first country to screen it.

Captivating crowd-pleaser

Cited by the jury for its "beautiful animation infused with the spirit of the continent", Adventures in Zambezia is a notch up from Jock of the Bushveld, which was the country's highest grosser in the past year, earning R14m at the local box office.

Triggerfish's next feature offering, Khumba, is also almost complete.

Another captivating local crowd-pleaser, The African Cypher, won the award for Best South African Documentary.

Director Bryan Little had audiences cheering, crying and laughing all week in Durban with his story of street dancing groups that change their destinies through the power of movement and working as a team.

Winner of the top international prize in Durban, Best Feature Film, was Austrian director Michael Haneke's Love (Amour), which also walked off with the honours at Cannes this year. 

Watch the Adventures in Zambezia trailer:

The full list of DIFF winners:

Best Film
Love (Amour) (France, Austria, Germany), directed by Michael Haneke

Best South African Feature Film
Adventures in Zambezia (South Africa), directed by Wayne Thornley

Best First Feature Film
Sleeping Beauty (Australia), directed by Julia Leigh

Best Director
Benh Zeitlin for Beasts Of The Southern Wild (USA)

Best Actress
Deanie Ip in A Simple Life (Tao Jie) (Hong Kong SAR China)

Best Actor
Joseph Wairimu in Nairobi Half Life (Kenya, Germany)

Best Cinematography
Gökhan Tiryaki for Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da) (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey)

Best Screenplay
Ercan Kesal, Ercan Ceylan and Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da) (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey)

Special Jury Mention Feature Film
Goodbye (Be Omid E Didar) (Iran), directed by Mohammad Rasoulof

Best Documentary
5 Broken Cameras (Palestinian Territories, France, Israel, The Netherlands), directed by Guy Davidi

Best South African Documentary
The African Cypher (South Africa), directed by Bryan Little

Documentary Special Jury Mention
Calvet (Costa Rica, France, Nicaragua, United Kingdom, United States), directed by Dominic Allan

Best Short Film
The Bird Spider (La Migala) (Spain), directed by Jaime Dezcallar

Best South African Short Film
Doppelganger (South Africa), directed by Joshua Rous

Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award
Call Me Kuchu (USA), directed by Malika Zouhali-Worral and Katherine Fairfax Wright

DIFF Wavescape Audience Choice Award
The Art of Flight (USA), directed by Curt Morgan

DIFF Documentary Audience Choice Award
Searching for Sugarman (Sweden, United Kingdom), directed by Malik Bendjellou

DIFF Feature Film Audience Choice Award
The Lady (France, United Kingdom), directed by Luc Besson


  • tom.kleinenberg - 2012-07-30 12:13

    A minor note, Triggerfish's next feature is Khumba not Khumbu.

  • julian.booyens - 2012-07-30 15:41

    With it been local why do we get to see it after the international market?

  • arthur.hugh - 2012-07-30 15:49

    I remember visiting them when they were making the film, can't wait to see it, well done you guys!

  • marius.koen.16 - 2012-07-30 21:30

    And why the voices of American actors? Dont we have talent here?

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