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Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Entries Are Open for the 2014 Time of the Writer Schools Short Story Competition

Time of the Writer School Short Story Competition 2014

The 17th Time of the Writer International Writers’ Festival invites high school learners to submit their short stories for the annual Schools Short Story Competition.

The deadline for entries is Thursday, 28 February 2014.

Held in conjunction with the festival, which is hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Creative Arts, The Time of the Writer Schools Short Story Competition is open to all high school learners and aims to encourage creative expression in young people.

The competition is the springboard for future storytellers and, with its long-standing commitment towards nurturing a culture of reading and writing among the youth, it has received wide and growing appeal in previous editions of the Time of the Writer Festival.

Competition information

There is no particular topic for the short stories and they can be written in English, isiZulu or Afrikaans. A maximum of five pages (preferably typed) are to be written. Illegible entries will not be considered.

Winners will be awarded cash prizes, book vouchers and complimentary tickets to the festival.

Entries can be submitted via any one of the following methods:

Fax: 031 260 3074
Hand delivery: Centre for Creative Arts, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College Campus, Mazisi Kunene Ave, Durban, 4041, South Africa.

Festival information

The Time of the Writer Festival takes place from 17-22 March 2014. As one of the country’s premier literature festivals, Time of the Writer brings together some of the world’s best authors, publishers, and editors; it also offers a platform to KwaZulu-Natal talent. The festival provides Durban with an educational yet entertaining programme of workshops, reading sessions and panel discussions. This year’s edition of the festival will also include a storytelling focus in partnership with The Gcinamasiko Arts & Heritage Trust.

In addition to the nightly showcases, a broad range of free day activities including seminars and workshops are formulated to promote a culture of reading, writing and creative expression. This includes the educator’s forum with teachers, on the implementation of literature in the classroom, the community writing forum with members of the public interested in literature as well as visits to schools by the festival participants.

For more information on the festival or the competition, please contact the Centre for Creative Arts on 031 260 2506/1816 or email

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Poetry Africa 2012, Fourth Evening: Siddiq Khan, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Rustum Kozain, D’bi Young and More!

Poetry Africa

The Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology Volume II was launched at the Wellington Tavern on Thursday night. Later, at Poetry Africa 2012’s main event, in the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Oswald Mtshali, renowned poet, and chair of this year’s selection committee noted that “poetry has immeasurable range. It is enriching spiritually and emotionally”. He commended the publisher of the collection, the Jacana Literary Foundation, for promoting poetry, saying as an adjudicator it took “superhuman” effort to choose between the two finalists for this year’s award.

Neels Jenssen from the EU took the mic, commending all the poets published in this year’s anthology. He said “your work is another stepping stone towards a common culture in SA”. He announced that Vonani Bila had won second prize with his poem, “boys from seshego”, while Siddiq Khan was the overall winner with his poem “Anthem for Old Nations”. An insouciant, confident Khan then read his poem.

The Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology Vol IIThere is a PlaceHandsome JitaThe Makings of YouGroundworkRivers...and Other Blackness...Between Us

Ghanaian poet Nii Ayikwei Parkes set a low-key, mellow tone for the main evening’s line-up. He brought in a musical element, asking us to “compare the weight of a guitar string / to the weight of the people it moves”. Although he tackled difficult topics, like slavery, his melodious voice, and nuanced lyrics stood in sharp contrast to some of the angrier poets attending this year’s festival who also wrote about racism. In a humourous poem called “This is not a love poem”, Parkes wrote “this is not a love poem – it’s a sexed-up dossier … a lingering breath of hot air / as it creeps up your thighs / it’s a game, a solo, while I riff a plan to strip you of everything you own”. In the next poem, called “This is a love poem”, Parkes cajoled the woman of his dreams to let him make “you a part of me”.

Niels Hav, from Denmark, the next poet up on stage was funny too, but not erotic. He explained that for him, poetry must be “emblematic. A reader must feel at home with his own feelings in my poem”. He wrote about falling in love with five consecutive women he sees on a bus, who don’t notice him, concluding wryly: “It always ends up that way, you are left standing on a curb, sucking on a cigarette, mildly unhappy”. I loved his poem about a pen where he said: “Poetry is not for sissies / a poem must be a Dow Jones index / a mixture of reality and sheer bluff”. He congratulated SA on “moving in the right direction”, reading a poem he wrote about the country years ago, focussing on the “butterfly effect”, how a small change in one part of the world can create ripples far away. A pragmatic poet, Hav concluded: “if you want something said / you’ll have to say it yourself”. His last poem, concise, pointed, dealt with the end of Western society: “we’ll be gone / they’ll be gone / Hallelujah”.

Last up before the interval was beloved SA poet, Rustum Kozain. His poetry, a mixture of earnestness, passion and melancholia, never fails to cut to the quick. Reading a poem about his first lover, he referred to the “failed algorithms of heartbreak”. Although aware that “it’s not done to apostrophise some romantic absence”, he focussed on the perpetual presence of hurt, both politically (as in apartheid) and privately (romantically). He premiered two new poems not performed publicly before. The first one, “Gods of War”, inspired by a photograph of two sisters in contemporary Syria, was raw and intense, questioning the existence of God in a world tainted by the brutality of war. Kozain asked: “Who wants to rule this tired republic of shame and men in suits smirking / when God dies in Syria, where he was made / what does it matter?” His poetry evinces a visionary element, he is in search of something sacred, as revealed by the last poem he read, “Kingdom of Rain II”, from his second collection Groundwork. This poem shows ecological thinking as the poet explores his feeling of kinship with a leopard: “Yes, I want to let that leopard know / that it is part of me / and I am part of it / in all the ways that that could mean.”

After the interval, D’bi Young, a bold warrior poet from Jamaica (currently living in Cape Town), arrested the audience with her provocative poems about taboo topics, such as incest, slavery, HIV/AIDS and menstruation. Sounding a little like Joan Armatrading, she sang about her need for acceptance, and a revolution of love.

Closing the evening session was Tumi Molekane, a well-known SA rapper. Members of the audience, knew his songs by heart, interjected as he spoke about Gangsters: “this one’s a rebel / could kick start a coup d’etat”. Molekane was a performer with panache, thanking Peter Rorvik and the Centre for Creative Arts for “making me collide with all these intellectual people and sex-bombs”. He had the crowd up and dancing with his rendition of “I can’t decide if it’s the money”, before MC Carol Gumede wrapped up, thanking all the poets, and sending us home.

Book details

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Award-winners Announced at 33rd Durban International Film Festival 2012

The 33rd edition of the Durban International Film Festival, with principal funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, announced its award-winners, prior to the closing film. Winner of the Best Feature Film award, Love (Amour) was applauded by the International Jury as “unmissable”, and the film’s director Michael Haneke, as a “contemporary master with an astute understanding of his cinematic world”. The Best Feature Film award carries a cash prize of R50 000.

The international Jury which comprised Zimbabwean filmmaker and novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga, hot South African director Oliver Hermanus, producer and television presenter Kgomotso Matsunyane, and Canadian producer and director Peter Wintonick, also awarded the Best First Feature Film prize (R20 000) to Australian director Julia Leigh for Sleeping Beauty.

Animation Film wins best SA prize

Receiving a cash prize of R30 000, the Best South African Feature Film was awarded to Adventures in Zambezia (South Africa), directed by Wayne Thornley. Of the large number of South African films screened this year, the jury’s unanimous voice lauded this film as one with “strong writing and direction, and beautiful animation infused with the spirit of the continent…” and one that “tells an African story from an African perspective while having clear global appeal”.

The Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award, with a prize of € 2,500, went to Malika Zouhali-Worral and Katherine Fairfax Wright’s film Call Me Kuchu which focuses on attacks on gay people in Uganda.

A total attendance of 31,012 was recorded, including workshop and seminar programmes – 1,500 up on 2011 figures.

Says DIFF Director, Peter Rorvik: “Feedback has been very positive, from filmmakers and public alike. The selection of films has drawn good responses, and we were particularly pleased with the increased line-up of South African films this year. The French Focus went well, while the Wavescape component and the schools screenings were as popular as ever. Moving the festival hub and industry programmes to the beachfront was well-received and the success of the Durban FilmMart and Talent Campus is a good indicator of industry development both locally and across the continent. Congratulations to the award-winners, thank you to the juries and also the audience for voting in the audience awards. Special thanks to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, the National Film and Video Foundation and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism and other funders and partners.”

The full list of awards is:

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

“Michael Haneke is undoubtedly a contemporary master with an astute understanding of his cinematic world. Amour is a simple, universal, beautiful and emotional film, tackling a subject most other filmmakers avoid – old age and death. His craftsmanship is unmatched. His collaboration with his two key performers, Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant, is an exercise in artistic brilliance. This is an unmissable film; a gift.”

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

“We were particularly impressed with the large number of South African films that were screened this year. Of the several strong contenders, we were unanimous in choosing Adventures in Zambezia as the best South African film. With strong writing and direction, and beautiful animation infused with the spirit of the continent, it tells an African story from an African perspective while having clear global appeal. In the process, it challenges the dominant animation studios on their own turf, and shows that the South African film industry can produce universally accessible world class cinema without sacrificing its own identity.”

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

Sleeping Beauty is a tour de force. Julia Leigh, in her first directorial efforts, has announced herself as a talent of the future. This ground-breaking, provocative, and arresting film explores society’s obsession with beauty. This was a film that stayed with the jury’s collective mind, from the very beginning. Leigh unifies all the creative elements in perfect harmony, which makes for an excellent, unforgettable cinematic experience.”

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

“A true director demonstrates the perfect marriage of content and creativity. This is an unforgettable cinematic feast of energy, emotion and magic realism. The direction is assured, appropriate and intelligent. Styled in an organic, visceral mix of images and dreams, Zeitlin’s direction is as impressive as it is resonant.”

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

“For her diverse and emotive interpretation of Ah Tao, a 70-year-old Hong Kong maid who suffers a stroke and moves into a nursing home, Deanie Ip delivers an outstanding, endearing, evocative and under-stated performance. Her sensitive portrayal is truly moving and authentic.”

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

“From the very opening moments of Nairobi Half Life, actor Joseph Wairimu charms us with his endearing characterization of Mwas. His role as a young actor who tries to resist becoming a reluctant hustler, transcends both comedy and drama. His performance embodies the hunger of Kenyan youth hoping to carve out better lives for themselves.”

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

“From the opening shot until the very last frame, Gökhan Tiryaki’s controlled and deliberate cinematography uses attention to details, lighting and framing to enhance this very meditative film about life and death. His unobtrusive camerawork and naturalist lighting constructions make this film’s journey increasingly haunting.”

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)

“…a truly original, unpredictable, and philosophical exploration. The quiet release of the narrative demonstrates an assured sense of control and vision. A film that debates fundamental human principles, Once Upon A Time in Anatolia is a rare piece of cinematic storytelling.”

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

“Every filmmaking country has a responsibly to address the disturbing and continuing issue of censorship and control when it comes to the expression of life through cinema. Mohammad Rasoulof’s Iranian film Goodbye (Be Omid E Didar) is a brave work that reminds us that there are still too many countries that mute the voices and visions of artists. We can never take freedom of expression for granted no matter where we live. Mohammad Rasoulof has made a haunting film to show us the length that governments can go to extinguish the voices of its people.”

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

“…for its emotional impact and power in making the political personal, and for taking us so intimately into a community’s lives.”

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

“…for conveying the energy and creativity of young people across South Africa today.”

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

…for being a reminder of the transformative power of art, both in terms of its subject matter and form.”

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

“A subtly nuanced and poetic take on the fear and pain of loss that brings metaphor powerfully to life.”

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

“This South African short exemplifies visceral camera work, high production value, and an innovative take on an established plot device.”

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

“At a time when many gay people live under threat of attack, the Amnesty International jurors chose to give the 2012 Human Rights Award to the filmmakers of Call me Kuchu. This film has the potential to travel globally. In particular, it can be used in the African region to inform, encourage discussion, and support campaigns against hate crimes, and especially by defenders of the human rights and freedoms of LGBTI people. It is one of only a handful of current films in circulation on this vital human rights issue.”

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

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

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


The International Jury of Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwean filmmaker and novelist), Oliver Hermanus South African director), Kgomotso Matsunyane (South African director, producer and television presenter), and Peter Wintonick (Canadian producer and director), awarded prizes to fiction feature films for the following categories: Best Feature Film Best First Feature Film; Best Direction; Best Cinematography; Best Screenplay; Best Actor; Best Actress.

Best South African Feature Film Award Jury: Junaid Ahmed (Director and Producer, Fineline Productions), Peter Machen (Journalist and Film Critic) and Madoda Ncayiyana (Director and Producer, Vuleka Productions).

Best Documentary and Best South African Documentary Jury: Lindiwe Dovey (director of the Film Afrika festival and academic at SOAS, University of London), Rosie Motene (television presenter, actress) and Robbie Thorpe (director and producer, Rififi Pictures).

Best Short Film and Best South African Short Film Jury: Tiny Mungwe (filmmaker, project coordinator, Durban FilmMart), Darren Murray (Producer, Collective Film and Video), Zandile Tembe (radio journalist, Ukhozi FM).

Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award Jury: Hylton Alcock (producer, Catch a Fire Production), Anita Khana (producer, Uhuru Productions), Nonhlanhla Mkhize (director, Durban Gay and Lesbian Centre), Liz Palmer and Coral Vinsen (Amnesty International Durban).

The 33rd Durban International Film Festival was organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) with support by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder), National Film and Video Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism, HIVOS, City of Durban, German Embassy in South Africa, Goethe Institut of South Africa, Industrial Development Corporation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture, France-South Africa Seasons 2012-2013, and a range of other valued partners.

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