Three AFDA films selected as candidates for the student Oscars

News, 29 March 2019

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AFDA is proud to announce the selection of three AFDA 2018 graduation films as candidates for the Student Academy Awards 2019.

The Student Academy Awards is an international student film competition conducted by the Academy and the Academy Foundation. Each year over 1700 college and university film students from all over the world compete for awards and cash grants, with films being judged in seven categories, four domestic school categories (Animation, Documentary, Narrative and Alternative) and three international school categories (Animation, Documentary and Narrative). The presentation ceremony is annually attended by a capacity audience in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

AFDA has submitted films in three categories. AFDA Port Elizabeth’s genesis group of postgraduate students’ film, Isikhalo (The Outcry), directed by Loren Buchner and Sisanda Dyantyi, represents AFDA in the narrative film category. The animation category slot is taken by third year AFDA Johannesburg film, Escape from Planet Zoid, directed by Bailey Spencer and Tanyaradzwa Musasiwa and AFDA Johannesburg postgraduate film, Zomile Inyembezi, directed by Vutlhari Wisdom Mhangwane, is selected in the documentary category. 

“My team and I are honoured to be recognized for the hard work which we put into this documentary and we are forever grateful to AFDA for giving us the platform to express ourselves and create stories that we care about.” says director of Zomile Inyembezi, Vutlhari Wisdom Mhangwane.

She passionately continues, “This nomination is a huge deal and receiving it is confirmation that we are heading in the right direction towards helping more people in our communities facing different societal issues. It is an honour and it feels surreal. I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity to tell a narrative, highlighting the unfair policing of women’s bodies in South Africa. I hope that Zomile Inyembezi reaches as many teenagers and youth members in society as possible. We will never stop sharing our stories and encouraging women to make their own choices regarding their bodies.”

AFDA Port Elizabeth campus Dean Michael Ivy has this to say, “I am so incredibly proud of my first ever BA Honours in Motion Picture Medium students.  I am extremely excited and also humbled that such an amazing group of Eastern Cape individuals can together portray such a strong statement about consent within in marriage through a film named Isikhalo: The outcry.  Port Elizabeth and the rest of South Africa celebrates with our campus for being selected as the official entry from AFDA into the Student Academy Awards / Oscars”

In 2006 AFDA won the Best Foreign Student Film award at the Student Academy Awards with the honours film, Elalini, directed by Tristan Holmes.

A huge congratulations to all the cast and crew!


Zomile Inyembezi (documentary, 24 min)

Synopsis: Zomile Inyembezi is a 24 minute long documentary, centered on creating recommendations to break down the stigma surrounding abortions - so that South African women can stop self-inducing them or having illegal backstreet terminations. 

The documentary is divided into three segments. The first theme is ‘Stigma-the Cause’, the second is ‘Stigma-The effect’ and the last one is ‘Stigma-The deconstruction’. Physical theatre will be employed to show poetic translations of the themes linking to the narrative of the protagonist. Additional interviewees include: a public hospital nurse, vox pops of people commenting on how they feel about unsafe abortions and giving advice on potential recommendations pertaining to deconstructing the stigma surrounding them.





Palmira Obadias - Ciko Sidzumo


Writer - Vutlhari Wisdom Mhangwane
Director - Vutlhari Wisdom Mhangwane
Associate Producer - Nkhanikheni Mudzusi
Associate Producer - Dayne Witbooi
Assitant Producer - Sizithobile Skhosana
Cinematographer - Lwazi Manzi, Ciko Sidzumo & Louise van der Merwe
Production Designer - Farai Mukuwane
Costume, Make-up and Styling - Farai Mukuwane
Editor - Peter Gillon Donaldson
Sound Design - Thandolwethu Nkabinde
Composer - Audrey Seme
Visual Effects - Lungile Sithebe & Tunde Ogundipe
Data Wrangler - Peter Gillon Donaldson
Colourist/Grader - Severin House 

Escape from Planet Zoid (animation, 10min)

Synopsis: A selfish young girl gets sucked into a video game for her mischievous behaviour and through trials set up for her, must learn the value of empathy.





Shadow - King Aladeoba
Mbali - Naledi Mthimunye


Writer - Bailey Spencer & Tanyaradzwa Musasiwa
Director - Bailey Spencer & Tanyaradzwa Musasiwa
Executive Producer - Thabo Wesi
Cinematographer - Dumisani Rankin and Marlet van der Westhuizen
Editor - Lungelo Mahlobo
Sound Design - Darren Hawkins
Visual Effects - Simba Chagweda
Data Wrangler - Karabo Malepo
Colourist/Grader - Karabo Malepo 

Isikhalo (Drama, 24min)

Synopsis: Ciki, a young woman who grew up in a small Hamburg village, marries Bantu a suburban high school teacher. After moving to Ntselamanzi Township with Bantu, she discovers that her husband is not the man she imagined him to be. Supported by her fellow stokvel friends, Ciki finally stands up to his archaic interpretation of cultural standards, and so begins a journey of courageous self-discovery.




Ciki Mbatha - Sivenathi Marawu
Bantu Mbatha - Zola Booi
Gladys - Olwethu Katoo
Nomonde - Nombasa George
Khanyisa - Ndileka Mfunda
Nox - Suliwe Sihlwayi
Babalwa - Belinda Sakata
Fundiswa - Simangalisiwe Mankayi
Father - MyMan Nozewu
Ciki's Elder - Ayabulela Willem
Landlord - Athenkosi Gabada
Shop Customer - Loren Buchner


Writer - Loren Buchner & Sisanda Dyantyi
Director - Loren Buchner & Sisanda Dyantyi
Executive Producer - AFDA Port Elizabeth
Associate Producer - Athenkosi Gabada
Cinematographer - Vuyile Yis Faba
Production Designer - Ryan Reid-Thomson
Costume, Make-up and Styling - Alimpo 










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AFDA is registered as the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, and is a private higher education institution which offers higher certificate and degree programmes. It is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) as a private higher education institution under the the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration certificate no. 2001/HE07/012. Our programmes are accredited and we participate productively in the ongoing reaccreditation and quality assurance processes of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) to ensure the quality of our programmes.
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