The Jozi Film Festival ended in fine show biz style – with an awards ceremony for the best films on show. The big winners were Kanye Kanye, Orania, Fanie Fourie's Lobola and Zama Zama. Cellphone films also had a category.


After a weekend jammed with movie screenings, the Jozi Film Festival (JFF) awards ceremony was a fitting finish. The ceremony was held at Villa Arcadia on 17 February.

In all, 23 films were screened during the festival at three venues: The Bioscope Independent Cinema in the city centre, Villa Arcadia in Parktown and Kliptown in Soweto. The festival began at The Bioscope on Friday, 15 February with Fanie Fourie's Lobola. Akin Omotoso, the winner of last year's Best Feature Film for Man on Ground, officially opened JFF 2013. "This is a great city and a great city should see itself reflected on screen," said Omotoso.

Screenings of Fanie Fourie's Lobola, Orania and Extraction were all sold out. Trish Malone's scriptwriting master class was also filled to capacity. And about 300 people attended the open air screening in Kliptown.

Rounding off the film infused weekend was the awards ceremony at Villa Arcadia in Parktown, possible through the festival's partnership with Etana Insurance, which has backed it from the beginning. Comedian John Vlismas hosted the event, and was again the perfect choice of MC.

The winners of JFF 2013 are:

•Best Documentary Short Film – Siphe Bongwana for Energy is Power

•Best Documentary Feature Film – Tobias Lindner for Orania

•Best Short Fiction Film – Joint winners: Guy Spiller for My Room at the Centre of the Universe and Nevil Sandama for iBalaclava

•Best Student Film – Mikles Manneke for Kanye Kanye

•Best Feature Film – Vickus Strijdom for Zama Zama

•Audience Choice Award – Henk Pretorius for Fanie Fourie's Lobola

The winners of the first-ever Vodacom Mobile Phone Film Competition were also announced. This competition was open to anyone living in Joburg or telling stories about the city in a one- to three-minute film shot on a cellphone. The top 10 films submitted for this category were uploaded to a dedicated YouTube site, where the public voted via sms for their favourite.

The winners are:

•First place – Justin Sandmann for Today's Special

•Second place: Jacqueline Wetselaar and Rohin Gosling for Jozi Dreams

•Third place: Donna Sibande for Better Tomorro

The winners all received a Blackberry phone, Blackberry Internet Service for a year as well as airtime from Vodacom. Gift Mphefu, Vodacom's portfolio manager of digital products, handed out the prizes.

JFF's sponsors and partners included Etana Insurance, Vodacom, Communications Advisory, Audio Network, Deacon Designs, Left Hand Films, and Fort Greene Filmworks.

"In the past, a network provider might have exclusively used television and radio advertising to reach and impress potential consumers," said Vodacom's Sergio Martins, the cellphone company's brand manager for youth. "Now it's very different – it's about leadership, reaching the community, and building up the people we're talking to. Importantly, it's about putting into action rather than merely talking. Words are just words, nothing more. The youth respond to action, and companies have to be seen to be acting on their promises."

Audio Network, a production music library, also offered free music downloads to entrants and a R1 000 prize for Best Use of Music in a Mobile Phone Film, which was won by Sandmann for his film, Today's Special.

Spearheaded by Lisa Henry, Shareen Anderson and Brendon Burmester, the festival was born out of a desire to create a platform for local talent. It aims to reach new audiences by taking films to venues not traditionally associated with film. It was first held in 2012.