The Encounters South African International Documentary Festival has given awards to two African films at this year’s event.
GENERATION Africa film “The Last Shelter” recently won the Best South African/African feature Award at the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival and will be heading to the Durban International Film Festival later this month.
Generation Africa is a documentary film project that seeks compelling stories to put forward a new narrative on migration – from the perspective of young Africans.
This is the second award for powerhouse Steps, a Cape Town-based documentary producer.
The first being “Zinder” which won the Adiaha Award for Best Documentary Film by an African woman.
The Last Shelter directed by Malian director Ousmane Samassekou, journeys to the infamous House of Migrants in the Malian city of Goa on the edge of the breathtaking Sahel desert.
The jury awarded the film for its full access to the House of Migrants, in the Malian City of Gao, a haven for African travellers.
Ousmane Samassékou’s great access to the two young protagonists, the intimacy of the observational style filming against the vast melancholy landscape of the desert made this a favourite with the programming team.
“The Last Shelter” was successful in achieving the purpose of documentary; to cast a lens on world issues through the experiences of its subjects,“ cited the jury.
Samassekou said the award was doubly important.
“It was through a workshop organised by Steps in Burkina Faso that I learned about the migrant’s home and decided to make it the subject of my film.
“Secondly, this is the first award that the film has received in Africa and I am very happy that it happened in South Africa,” said Samassekou.
South African audiences will have a chance to watch the film at the Durban International Film Festival, online from July 22 to August 1 when the Durban International Film Festival takes place online.
Don Edkins, producer at Steps and Generation Africa said: “It is a huge honour to have two films recognised at Encounters for their excellence in telling these truly compelling and necessary stories from Mali and Niger.
Both films hold up mirrors to our uniquely African stories, which are important to the global narrative of migration and futures of youth on the continent, and enable us to begin authentic and vital conversations around this,” he said.