Lead actress Khabonina Qubeka, director Kosta Kalarytis and scriptwriter Andrew Herold
Dora's Peace lead actress Khabonina Qubeka, director Kosta Kalarytis and scriptwriter Andrew Herold show off their trophy at the Jozi Film Festival 2016 awards evening. (Image: Jozi Film Festival on Facebook)

Dora's Peace, a crime drama with grit and heart that was shot on location in Johannesburg, took top honours at the fifth Jozi Film Festival awards ceremony on Sunday, 18 September.

The film, starring Khabonina Qubeka as a Hillbrow prostitute who takes on the local crime bosses in aid of a gifted 12-year-old boy, was named Best South African Feature Film at the festival's closing awards evening at Killarney Country Club.

Dora's Peace opened in local cinemas on 26 August, earning critical praise for first-time director Kosta Kalarytis and screenwriter Andrew Herold - but especially for Qubeka in her first lead role in a feature film.

Qubeka's performance 'magnetic'

Safta and Naledi-nominated multiple times for her roles in Muvhango, The Lab, The Wild and Rhythm City, Qubeka is a familiar face on South African television. And judging from Dora's Peace, she might soon be as familiar to lovers of local cinema.

Steyn du Toit, reviewing the film in the Cape Times, wrote: "Thanks to the spot-on casting of its lead actress, a new breed of local silver screen icon has the potential to be born."



The Star Tonight's Theresa Smith was no less fulsome. "This is Qubeka's film, her performance is magnetic," she wrote. "[She] creates a complex character, eschewing stereotype to show us an older woman who has learnt to survive."

And for Emmanuel Tjiya of the Sowetan, "Qubeka's genius in her portrayal is that she manages to capture a strong character, with countless demons, but at the same time bring to the table so much heart and vulnerability it's sure to resonate with a female audience".

Forthcoming role in Gersh Kgamedi musical

South African audiences can look forward to catching Qubeka on the big screen again in mid-2017, when she takes on a new challenge in Gersh Kgamedi's musical She is King.

Gauteng film fans who haven't her yet in Dora's Peace can still catch the movie at Maponya Mall, Southgate, and Sterland in Pretoria.

Dora's Peace was produced by One Man Band in association with The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Gauteng Film Commission (GFC).

The other award winners at the 2016 Jozi Film Festival were:

  • Bon Voyage (Marc Wilkens) - Best International Short Fiction
  • Amagugu (Nduduzo Shandu) - Best South African Short Fiction
  • A Billion Lives (Aaron Biebert) - Best International Documentary
  • Doc-U-Mentally (Francois Wahl) - Best South African Documentary
  • Tabula Rasa (Sandor Csoma) - Best Student Film
  • Wonder Boy for President (John Barker) - Audience Choice Award

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission