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Higher Education News South Africa

SA film student wins international award for riveting zombie drama

Promising South African filmmaker Raheem Razak is one of six winners of the 2024 Sony Future Filmmaker Awards which were hosted in Los Angeles yesterday evening, 30 May.
Image supplied
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In a glittering event that celebrated some of the best and brightest talent in the world, Razak’s Anguish; a piece about a son taking care of his zombie mother during a zombie apocalypse was chosen as one of the most outstanding submissions.

“I cannot begin to express how honoured I am to win this award. This film was a labour of love, and it is truly special to be recognised by Sony and Creo for my work. It feels amazing to represent my country South Africa, and I hope my career will go from strength to strength from here,” says Razak, who is currently a student at the South African film school Afda.

Established by Creo, an organisation that helps amplify the voices of young creatives across the globe, the awards provide a gateway for the development of exceptional cinematic talent and champion filmmakers with an original perspective on storytelling.

Chosen by a panel of expert judges led by chair Justin Chadwick, the full list of winners for the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards 2024 include:

Raheem Razak (South Africa, Student), Katie Blair (USA, Fiction), Olawunmi Hassan and Adaobi Samson (Nigeria, Non-Fiction), Solmund MacPherson (Canada, Environment), Kyle Novak (Czech Republic, Animation), and Cristian Daniel (Uruguay, Future Format).

As part of their prize, this year’s winners and the wider shortlist took part in a week-long industry immersion programme, culminating in last night’s awards ceremony.

This one-of-a-kind prize provides filmmakers with an invaluable opportunity to connect with their peers and leaders in the field and to gain exclusive behind-the-scenes access.

The programme comprises workshops led by Sony Pictures executives, covering a range of topics including keynotes by major cinematographers, screenings and Q&A sessions, insights into working with talent agencies and using cutting-edge technologies, animation and film scoring and music rights.

In addition to this, the six winners each received a range of cash prizes and Sony camera equipment.

This year’s winners were selected from over 8,400 films by more than 5,000 filmmakers across 148 countries and territories submitted across six categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Environment, Animation, Student, and Future Format.

The winners were chosen by Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, co-founders and co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics (Call Me By Your Name, The Father, Whiplash); Rob Hardy ASC, BSC, BAFTA award-winning cinematographer (Civil War, Mission: ImpossibleFallout, Ex-Machina); and Kate Reid BSC, acclaimed British cinematographer (Game of Thrones, Great Expectations, Silo), awarding creative excellence and original approaches to narrative.

The winners were drawn from 30 shortlisted filmmakers selected from a longlist by celebrated Australian filmmaker Unjoo Moon and Emmy-award-winning cinematographer Robert Primes ASC. Both stages of the judging process were chaired by award-winning director Justin Chadwick (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, The Other Boleyn Girl, Tulip Fever, Shardlake).

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