Four young talented South African filmmakers have been selected as part of a group of 15 finalists in the prestigious The Journey Awards, created by Louis Vuitton to showcase the talents of emerging filmmakers.

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In a time without love
Students from the most prestigious international film schools were asked to make a film using the theme of Journey to win one of two awards: The Jury Award and the People's Choice Award. The Awards are headed by Wong Kar Wai, one of the world's most visionary filmmakers working today. The winners are to be announced on the 15 December.

The four South African filmmakers are Michael van Rooyen, Mark Strydom, Sarah Jane Nicholson and William Francis Nicholson.

Ksenija Micic, producer for Mark Strydom's film, In a Time Without Love, says the film was inspired by a story set in South Africa during the time of Apartheid. "The film sets to tell a story of love and demonstrates that something inspirational can come out of such turbulent times."

Micic explains that they heard about the competition through AFDA, "and we realised that this was such a fantastic opportunity. The competition not only offers two cash prizes, each of $25 000, for the Jury Awards and People's Choice Awards, but it will also be flighted in every Louis Vuitton store worldwide. This was an opportunity to compete with young filmmakers and be assessed by world class film industry experts such as Sofia Coppolla and Alfonso Curon and, of course, Wong Kar Wai."

Micic adds that is wonderful to be selected as one of 15 finalists globally. "It is great to be competing at an international level. This also creates motivation for us to do better and better and also means that the quality of our work is on a par with international standards. This demonstrates to the South African audiences that they must believe in our films and also start to finance them."

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Louis Vuitton Journey Awards
Asked about the other three South African stories, Micic responds: "In SA there are so many untold stories. The South African films selected clearly show original ideas and thinking. I believe what appealed to the committee about our film was that it had a narrative that the brief detailed but we took it further."

Micic says that they shot the film mainly in Gauteng. "We shot in and around Johannesburg and the locations varied from Boksburg to Wits and Zwartkop. We also shot at the coast. The film boasts an incredible cast with Jerry Mofokeng, James Borthwick, Jonathon Pienaar, Tessa Van Duuren and Litha Booi who won a AAMA for Best Upcoming Actor for his role in Gugu and Andile at this year's awards."

Micic concludes: "Studying at AFDA gives you a chance to nurture your craft, you discover your strengths and it prepares you. I think that we are gaining more recognition. It is great to receive recognition for your craft and cross fingers that we win these awards. Our aim is to make this film into a feature film and what better way to start than getting recognition for the short film."

To view the finalists' entries, go to www.journeysawards.com.