Shnit International Shortfilmfestival Cape Town: WINNERS
shnit International Shortfilmfestival came to Cape Town’s biggest ever end on Sunday 11 October, as over 200 filmmakers and guests packed out three floors of the Cape Town Club to see the awarding of the Made In South Africa jury and audience awards 2015, as well as the premiering of this year’s Realtime films. Thirteen films competed this year for the National Awards, across fiction, documentary and experimental genres.
Made in South Africa Audience Award
Brett Williams and Hayden Phipps’ punchy, slick and haunting The Parcel opened the night, taking home the Made in South Africa Audience award. Nominees included Nosipho Dumisa and Travis Taute’s edge of the seat Nommer 37 and Thati Peele’s moving Lerato. Audience award voting was digital for the first time, courtesy a system developed by CT specialists Qurio and implemented in all shnit cities.
Made in South Africa Jury Prize
South African jurors Bridget Pickering and Ian Rijsdijk spoke on behalf of a jury that also included Sibs Shongwe –la Mer, praising all the films in competition and saying how hard it was to choose just one winner for this prize. Nominees, Simon Wood’s Orbis, Greg Bakker’s Windstil and Zamo Mkhwanazi’s The Call were then announced and screened to the receptive audience.
Jury president Sharlto Copley couldn’t attend in person but made a surprise hologram appearance to announce the winner as Windstil. Copley praised all the nominees for their honesty and for bringing light and inspiration into a country that needs it. These are the kinds of voices that need to be supported and encouraged, he said.
He chose Windstil for how much it moved him and for its potential to move an international audience, and drew attention to Windstil’s powerful leading performance of Morne Visser as well as its topical subject matter in the light of the true life events that inspired the film.
Audience and Jury winners received shnit’s National Competition medallions 2015 and over R10,000’s worth of goods and services from Media Film Service and Moviemart. Both films will screen around the world in 2016 as part of the shnit National Winners programme package.
The Realtime Competition
The night ended with premiers of the Realttime competition films 2015. Filmmakers Thea Small, Willem Grobler and Bongani Vincent were each given 72 hours to produce a completed short film over the shnit festival weekend.
This year shnit partnered with the South African Film Orchestra and Atmosphere Film Audio collective to run the competition in two stages. In the first, South African composers were invited to submit scores inspired by one of three themes, Injustice, Retribution or Redemption. Three scores were then selected from 41 entries and one given to each of the three filmmakers as inspiration for their film.
The South African Film Orchestra was present on Awards night, playing live alongside the premiering of the films, to a rapturous response. The winning film by audience vote, The Great Gatsby:Redemption, had the audience in stitchesand saw Grobler and producer Nicki Priem receive prizes to the value of R5000 from Exposure Gallery and Lensbaby. The composer competition was hailed as a great success and will continue into the future.
Biggest Ever Shnit
A shnit weekend that included a gigantic open-air Opening Night at the Castle of Good Hope, capacity outdoor screenings at the Company’s Garden Restaurant and at shnit’s long-standing home in Cape Town, The Labia Theatre, as well as engaged and intimate Stellenbosch screenings and the highly successful first ever industry-building Elements Film Lab, has been roundly praised as setting a new bar for the festival in SA and for its focus on developing the short film format and platforms for exhibition. 41 South African films in total were screened, and audience responses were hugely enthusiastic.
Thanks as always to all of shnit’s generous partners and sponsors, without whom nothing would be possible, most notably funding partners the National Film and Video Foundation and the Cape Film Commission through the National Lottery Development Fund.
The festival’s exponential growth continues and shnit will return in 2016.