“AFDA is delighted that our student films and alumni have excelled once more at the Simon “Mabhunu” Sabela Awards. Once again, the Best Student Film Award went to AFDA Durban’s recent Honours’ graduates for their film, Winterslaap. Writers/directors Leandros Brown and Daniel Howells collected the statue on Saturday night during a prestigious and landmark celebration at the ICC for the tenth annual Simon Sabela Awrds. Two AFDA Durban LP alumni also took away acting awards: Byron McNeil won the Best Supporting Actor for the film Bonsai, and Fanele (PK) Zulu won Best Actor for the film Uthando Lwethu. We’re so proud of them all. It makes us realise that the work the staff are doing at AFDA Durban is of a very high standard when our students and alumni are recognised on such a prestigious platform.” says AFDA Durban Dean, Dr Janet van Eeden.
“We are incredibly honoured to win the Simon Sabela award. It is a testament to all the hard work, dedication and unwavering support from AFDA, the team, our families, our lecturers and the Dean of AFDA Durban, Dr Janet van Eeden. Winning this award is a great achievement for myself personally and professionally and I want to recognise all the people who have believed in me and have made this possible.” says writer and director of “Winterslaap” Daniel Howells.
It is such an honour for a local actor like myself to be honoured for work done. All I ever wanted is to act and perform, and this recognition just proves to me that this is definitely the path I’m meant to be on. I’m grateful for the support of my family and friends without who I would definitely not be where I am. I will continue to work as hard as I can to achieve this dream of live performance. Grateful and blessed.” says AFDA Live Performance alumni Byron McNeil
The Simon “Mabhunu” Sabela film and television awards recognise outstanding achievement and excellence within the South African Film and Television industry, with a special focus on KwaZulu-Natal. The awards are an initiative of the Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs and are implemented by the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission.
Mr Simon “Mabhunu” Sabela, in whose honour the Film and Television Awards are named, was a legend in both big screen and television. Not only was he South Africa’s first Black film director, he also had a long and successful career which saw him feature in over 34 movies, both nationally and internationally.
AFDA Durban have won the Simon “Mabhunu” Sabela Best Student Award for 8 years in a row. AFDA Durban is also home to the Simon “Mabhunu” Sabela Award statue which stands tall on its campus.