2054-4714-0-0 2484160South African actress Florence Masebe’s win at the recent AMAA (Africa Movie Academy Awards) for her role in Ntshavheni wa Luruli’s Elewani was celebrated at a special event hosted by Lebogang Maile, the Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, on 2 May at Johannesburg’s Emoyeni Estate.

Also celebrated was Elelwani's win in the production design category of the AMAA. Elelwani is the first ever film to have been shot in the Tshivenda language and was filmed in Venda, Gauteng.

Said MEC Maile: “I have convened this event because I believe it’s important for us to celebrate Gauteng-based filmmakers. Furthermore, I would like to confirm that provincial government fully supports the creative industries.”

Masebe expressed her gratitude at being honoured at the event, saying: “The head office of what is termed ‘Mzansi’s Golden Economy’ is Gauteng. Most of the artists in South Africa live and perform in Gauteng so it’s reassuring when the MEC decides to honour us.

“I would like to thank the MEC on behalf of the Gauteng filmmakers who travelled to the Bayelsa State in Nigeria two weeks ago to attend the AMAA, which was a very difficult trip. The Gauteng province was quite well-represented at the awards ceremony. Elelwani had 11 nominations at the AMAA, which was more than any other production. South Africa came back with four awards – two for Elelwani as well as Adventures in Zambezia’s win for best animated film and Ulhlanga: The Mask’s win for best cinematography.”

Masebe described her best actress AMAA win as the most humbling and biggest moment of her career. She continued: “To be judged the best actress across the whole continent was amazing. However, winning an award in a foreign country is different to winning one at home, where you’re surrounded by family and friends. At the AMAA I only celebrated when I got back to my hotel because the hotel staff had been watching the ceremony and saw me win. So I celebrated with them.

“I would like to thank the Gauteng provincial government for all the support they give to the arts. We artists are all about telling honest South African stories and we can’t do that unless we own our own films. So often local stories are told by foreign filmmakers and they should be told by South Africans.”

Mzwandile Masina, CEO of the GFC (Gauteng Film Commission), an agency of provincial government, concluded by saying: “The GFC is all about engaging with the industry. There are lots of Gauteng-based artists here tonight and we urge you to network among yourselves and with us.”

Earlier this year the, the GFC supported the filmmakers of Elelwani and the South Africa-Germany-France co-production, Layla Fourie, to attend the Berlin Film Festival.

Courtesy of Screen Africa