Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking has won the prestigious International Stevie Business Award of the Year for the groundbreaking work it is doing in poverty eradication.

Sibusiso M FTI
Nicknamed the Stevie� for the Greek word �crowned,� the awards will be presented at a gala dinner at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. Recipients of International Stevie Award trophies were selected from more than 30 countries.  Big Fish is the only African organisation to win.

Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking addresses job creation and skills training for the increasing number of historically disadvantaged Grade 12�s in South Africa, who have no access to tertiary education.   For the past five years, Big Fish has been doing what South Africa�s new ministry for Higher Education has been set up to achieve � to address tertiary training in an all-encompassing, holistic manner ensuring high employment rates of young South Africans.

With an 85% employment rate of former students and the balance working for themselves in freelance capacities, earning high salaries, this training is benefiting their extended families and contributing significantly to the economy.

�Having trained many of the students, I have seen some of South Africa�s most talented youth rise from a place of disillusionment to a place of success and hope.  What is remarkable about Big Fish�s training is their ethos and drive to produce socially responsible filmmakers� says Jacques Pauw, CNN multi-award winner and head mentor for advanced training.

�The Stevie Awards are internationally recognised as the premier business awards. It�s very heartening to see the sterling work of Big Fish recognised internationally. Big Fish continue to produce high caliber students ready to enter the industry. A great day for South Africa.� says Rehad Desai, Board member South African Screen Federation (SASFED) and Director of Tri Continental Film Festival.

Says Dr Melanie Chait, Director of Big Fish: �We are truly honoured to have won the Stevie award.  Many NGO�s are doing remarkable work which so often goes unnoticed, yet their interventions are having a significant impact on addressing core social and economic issues.�