Walter Sisulu University Film Students recognised at Pan Scocial Landscape film event

JUNE 24, 2015

Walter Sisulu University’s filmmakers received a nod of validation for the top three awards, for Best Director, Best Editor and Best Camera Operator at the institution’s film premiere recently.

The young and inspired filmmakers captivated audiences with their heartrending documentary productions at the institutions journalism department.

Sibusiso Mrhaji, Zethu Mthambeka and Aviwe Mtila walked away with awards for Best Director: Umkhondo, Best Editor: Lucky Number 7 and Best Camera Operator: Abandoned, respectively.

The film premiere was a continuation of last week’s showcase which was abruptly interrupted by unforeseen power load shedding.

WSU broadcasting lecturer, Sharon Cumming said the films produced by the students reflect an array of social and domestic issues with relevance to the Eastern Cape and the international audience.

“The criteria used were for the documentaries to be relevant to society. We also looked at the logistics involved with the production as well as television appeal,” she said.

In its 6th year running, the difference this year was that the documentaries ran 24 minutes long as opposed to previous years’ 12 minutes.

“Increasing the film lengths makes them more suitable for television broadcast” said Cumming.

Best director, Sibusiso Mr Mrhaji said his passion has always been with film.

“I’ve been doing film work for the Steve Biko Foundation for a while now, but I must admit I did not expect to win, looking at the tough competition,” said Mrhaji.

The documentary premiere is the only one of its kind for young local filmmakers in the Eastern Cape.

For the selection of the films the students had to pitch ideas to a panel of expert judges from local organisations and media experts.

"I'm very glad and surprised I got to win two awards. It's always great being recognised for your work. I fell in love with film while I was working on this documentary. I would love to pursue it one day, but I'm venturing into print media right now as an intern for Forbes Africa magazine,” said Aviwe.

Best Editor, Zethu Mthambeka concluded, saying that she was also surprised at the accolade.

“Even though I have been editing for I while, I did find the experience of this project quite challenging and overwhelming," she said.