South African filmmaker Rehad Desai’s Miners Shot Down scooped the Jury’s first prize at FESPACO, Africa’s premier Film and TV festival. This is the first win for a South African documentary at this biannual event that has been running now for over 45 years, the documentary competition included film from 19 countries.
The film takes a forensic real time at the Marikana massacre of 2012 where 34 miners were killed and over 100 injured. Its been described as ‘devastating cinema’ and a heart wrenching film that resonates far beyond its borders with a story that interrogates the power and ruthlessness of capitalist exploitation in an age of increasing economic inequality.
The film won the Cinema for Peace Justice Award in February this year which is designed to single out the most valuable film in the fight for social and legal justice produced in the world during 2014. In addition it won the Audience Prize in January 2015 at the prestigious Black Movie Film Festival in Switzerland where it competed with 60 other documentary and fiction films from around the world.
The FESPACO award now provides a total of 11 festival prizes making this film one of South Africa’s most acclaimed film for many years. The film has been nominated for numerous South African Film and Television Awards scheduled to be announced later this month.
Rehad Desai stated ‘the win at FESPACO means so much to both me and the team behind this film, being affirmed by our fellow African filmmakers and the huge audiences in Burkina Faso provides us with the encouragement we need to continue to take this film out to the widest possible numbers at home and abroad to ensure that justice and truth wins the day.’