Bring on 2024 after a multi award-winning 2023 for AFDA students and alumni

Jan 19, 2024 | Alumni, News

Starting 2024 with a celebration of the numerous accolades won by AFDA students and alumni throughout the award-winning year of 2023 is a great way to start the year. Here they are: 

13 Golden Horn awards at the 17th annual SAFTAs.

The AFDA Johannesburg 2022 honours graduation film “Shumba”, directed by Nigel Wurayayi, won the Best Student Film Award adding up the tally to 9 Best Student Film Awards by AFDA since the inauguration of the SAFTAs.


AFDA alumnus Mandla Ngcongwane from Black Brain Pictures was in on the act once again adding two more Golden Horns to his trophy cabinet.

AFDA alumni editors Melanie Golden and Richard Starkey also added to their Golden Horn collections together with cinematographer alumni Willie Nel who has made the SAFTAs his home.

AFDA alumnus Rethabile Ramaphakela, co-founder of Burnt Onion Productions, which produced the third season of the Netflix series “How to Ruin Christmas”, won in five categories as a South African comedy series, including Best TV Comedy.

5 awards at 11th Silwerskermfees Awards

AFDA alumni power-couple Corne and Rene van Rooyen’s film, “Hans steek die Rubicon oor”, walked off the blue carpet at the 11th Silwerskermfees Awards with the Best Feature Film Award with Corne also taking the Best Feature Film Director Award.

AFDA alumnus Edward George King hit the top of the charts taking two awards in the soundtrack category; Best Short Film Original Soundtrack for the film “Volle Bors”, produced by fellow alumni Jordy Sank and Best Feature Film Original Soundtrack for the film “Old Righteous Blues”, directed by fellow alumni Muneera Sallies.

AFDA alumnus Frankie Opperman was also in on the act picking up the Best Documentary Director Award for the film “Langafstand”. 

3 awards at the Simon “Mabhunu” Sabela Awards

“AFDA student films and alumni excelled at the Simon “Mabhunu” Sabela Awards. The Best Student Film Award went to AFDA Durban’s honours  film, Winterslaap. Two AFDA Durban LP alumni 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. 

2 awards at Durban International Film Festival

AFDA Durban 2022 honours film “Winterslaap”, directed by Leandros Brown and Daniel Howells won the Best South African Student Film award at the 2nd edition of the Isiphethu International Student Film Festival at the Durban International Film Festival 2023 and AFDA alumna Sandulela Asanda won the Best South African Short Film award for her film “Mirror Mirror”.

1 Gold award at the Loeries

The AFDA Durban 2022 Honours film Winterslaap, won Gold at the 2023 Loeries for Best South African Student Film. 

3 awards at the South African Student Film Competition

AFDA hounours students films “Stigma”, directed by Simphiwe ‘Fiddy’ Ngcobo and produced by Nqobile Cele was declared the winner with “Amadelakufa Esizwe”, directed by Nhlakanipho Mngomezulu and produced by Onwaba Msebi finishing in second place and “God Is”, directed and produced by Owami Kayeni taking third place. Unfortunately, there was no prize for third place, but the crew of “God Is” assisted on “Amadelakufa Esizwe”, so they made a deal to split the prize.

1 award at the 3rd Annual South African Social Media Awards

AFDA alumnus Tsoanelo Moyo made it two in a row at the 3rd Annual South African Social Media Awards winning the Most Popular Video Series On Social Media award.

1 at the Western Cape Cultural Affairs Awards

AFDA alumna Muneera Sallies won the Most Innovative Contribution of an Artist/Organisation in Film, Audio-Visual, Interactive Media, and Photography at The Western Cape Cultural Affairs Awards.

1 at the SANEF Nat Nakasa Awards

AFDA alumnus Daniel Steyn, one of GroundUp’s lead journalists on the Thabo Bester prison escape story, won the 2023 Nat Nakasa Award for Media Integrity. The awards are hosted annually by the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF). 

1 at the Viva Texas Film Festival

AFDA alumnus Henk Pretorius’ feature film “Forever Now”, directed and written by Henk,  won the Best Narrative Feature Film award at the Viva Texas Film Festival 2023.




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