Mdantsane film-maker Qubeka scoops top SA industry awards

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Mdantsane-born film-maker Jahmil Qubeka and his team scooped several awards for Sew the Winter to My Skin at the South African Film and Television Awards at Sun City on Saturday.
The film, which has been showcased around the world, including at the Toronto Film Festival last year and opened at the Cape Town Film Festival, was on show at The Cinema at the Steve Biko Centre in King William’s Town last month.
The film, a feature inspired by John Kepe, a Robin Hood figure in 1940s South Africa, scooped five awards at the Saftas.
Qubeka said he was humbled and inspired by the array of awards they received.
“Our productions are all about promoting an authentic South Africa on an international scale, and we are proud to have had the Sew the Winter to My Skin as part of South Africa’s entry into the Oscars.
“We are extremely proud and honoured for the recognition of what we are doing and extremely grateful for the support we have been getting,” he said.
Qubeka and his partner, Laylor Swart, founded Yellow Bone Entertainment, and have already created three films in the more than two years they have been running the company.
Swart, a producer and editor, also scooped Best Youth Achiever at the prestigious event.
“It’s a nice feather in my hat, and obviously a great honour to have accomplished so many awards in the little time we have been running our company.
“It really is a new dawn for film in South Africa as I don’t think there’s ever been a film that has won both best short film and best feature film, which we did in one night.
“Those are both the most prestigious awards in the film industry,” she said.
The Cape Town-born co-owner said their award for best short film was for Stillborn, a Xhosa sci-fi short which opened at the International BRICS Film Festival held in China in June 2017.
Eastern Cape-born actors Zolisa Xalavu, Brenda Ngxoli and Mandisa Nduna are among the actors in the recent film, with Xalavu scooping an award for best supporting actor in a feature film on Saturday evening.
The pair said the awards were a breath of fresh air, ahead of their latest film, Knuckle City, which comes out in May.
The boxing film was shot in East London, Mdantsane and Potsdam.
“We have received so much support from the government and its agencies, with the most being from the department of trade & industry, industrial development corporation and National Empowerment Fund, among others.
“They have played a great role in helping us make these films real and in taking them around the world,” said Swart...

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