More awards for South Africa's Felix
16 April 2014
South African feel-good movie Felix
has added to its long list of
accolades by winning three more awards at international film festivals in March and
The film won the youth jury prize for best film at the Reel 2 Real International Film
Festival for Youth in Vancouver, Canada, the best film award at the Kikife
International Children's Film Festival in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, and the adult
jury prize for best picture at the Augsburg Children's Film Festival in Germany.
This brings the number of awards the film has won to 13, both locally and
internationally, since it started showing on the festival circuit in October last year.
Announcing their choice at an awards presentation on 10 April, the Canadian youth
jury (aged between 9 and 12) explained why they'd voted for the film.
One young juror said: "I liked Felix
because it showed happy people
working together to achieve a good
end-goal. With great music and numerous comedy
was my favourite film."
They also reacted positively to the way that Felix
Africa. "I liked Felix
because it was really engaging, it made you share
his hopes along the way," said another juror. "I also liked getting a window into
current South African culture and the way Felix never gave up."
Director Roberta Durrant and Hlayani Mabasa, who plays Felix in the movie, travelled
to Germany to attend the Augsburg Children's Film Festival, which ran from 31 March
to 13 April. They were awarded "Die Goldene Klappe Award" for best picture by an
adult jury, and were guests of honour at the launch of the festival, which opened with
a screening of Felix
Written by Shirley Johnston, Felix
tells the story of 14-year-old Felix
Xaba, who dreams of becoming a saxophonist like his late father, against his mother
Lindiwe's wishes. When
Felix takes up a scholarship at a private school, he defies his
mother and turns to two ageing members of his father's former band (Royston
Stoffels and Thapelo Mofokeng) to help him prepare for the school jazz concert.
The cast includes Johannesburg-born Oscar nominee Dame Janet Suzman in her first
South African film, South African Film and Television Award (Safta) best actress
winner Linda Sokhulu (Isidingo
) in her feature debut, and newcomer
Mabasa, who was chosen from over 400 hopefuls across the country.
The film is currently in competition at the Toronto International Film Festival for Kids,
which runs from 8 to 21 April.
SAinfo reporter and National Film
and Video Foundation