South Africa film scoops international award

The Edit Room founders Tami and Dylan Marriott have been honoured at a film festival in Puerto Rico.
The Edit Room founders Tami and Dylan Marriott have been honoured at a film festival in Puerto Rico.
Image: SUPPLIED

Alone, a South African short film, has scooped the best short film award at the Enfoque International Film Festival.

The founders of The Edit Room in Durban, Tami and Dylan Marriott, received word that their film had competed against 475 entries from around the world and scooped the prestigious award at the festival in Puerto Rico.

The 30-minute film, with a powerful message that resonates with all experiencing the isolation of lockdown, is the first SA film to claim the accolade.

Hosted in Puerto Rico since 2008, the festival was established to show inspiring films that can change people’s lives. 

According to writer and director of Alone, Tami Marriott, the film was something of a surprise even for the film makers.

“It was never intended to be what it became. We filmed the bulk of it over a year ago as a passion project to bulk up our individual portfolios,” Marriot said.

The original script was written about a girl who was trapped indoors and could not go outside because of a zombie apocalypse that had destroyed mankind

“The original script was written about a girl who was trapped indoors and could not go outside because of a zombie apocalypse that had destroyed mankind.

“As busy lives go, after filming it — we never got around to editing or recording the voice over.

“So, it sat on a hard drive gathering dust and guilt because it had not been completed.

“Then, Covid-19 hit us and we started conceptualising a story to support those who are alone and taking emotional strain.

“It was only when I started writing this script that it clicked. Everything about our zombie film worked into our current message and with a few adaptions, we could make it a powerful story.”

The logistics of rewriting and recording the new voice over while adhering to stringent social distancing regulations proved a challenge, Marriott said.

“It was a group effort through and through. When it was filmed, lockdown wasn’t a problem.

“When it came to editing, it was. One of our editors is in Pretoria, our voice over artist in Cape Town, our sound designer is on the South Coast and our graphics artist is on the North Coast.

“Through the internet, we managed to pool our resources to pull it off,” she said. 

Feedback was astounding after The Edit Room launched Alone across all social media platforms on April 28, she said.

As a result, the film makers decided to post the film on Film Freeway which is a tool for filmmakers to get their work submitted into festivals.

“I noticed there was a call for Covid-19-related films and saw the opportunity to spread our message further than just Durban.”


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