Student filmmakers win top prize

Two Johannesburg filmmakers walked away with a top prize at the annual South African Film and Television Awards.

HONOURED STUDENT: Gena Du Plessis poses with the 'heavy horn' at the SAFTA's. Photo: Willie du Plessis

HONOURED STUDENT: Gena Du Plessis poses with the ‘heavy horn’ at the SAFTA’s. Photo: Willie du Plessis

Ana Patrick and Nicolas, a film by Gena Du Plessis, won best Student Film at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA), in Midrand on Friday night. The film was directed by Bongani Vincent and starred Lauren Jenae Vankeirsbilck

Du Plessis and Vankeirsbilck are students at AFDA – The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance and their film depicts an unconventional relationship between two men and a woman. When one of them is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, all three struggle with fear, anxiety and denial which turns their perfect worlds upside down.

Du Plessis describes the moment they won, “My sugar levels dropped … The event itself blew me away. So professional.”

Lead actress in the film, Lauren Jenae, told Wits Vuvuzela, “I didn’t even know we were nominated!” She said she discovered their nomination while rehearsing as one of the presenters for the awards show.

Jenae added that she believes in the value of student films. “I even think they are better quality than professional films,” she said.

The SAFTAs are an annual event celebrating “creatives” in the film industry who have managed to do exceptional work in their field. This year’s SAFTAs were held at the Gallagher Convention Centre.