South African film continues to impress, and each year seems to reveal a wealth of new talent - both in front of and behind the camera - though in truth much of the talent has been around for years, just without much limelight. There is no question, however, that the growth of international film projects shooting in South Africa has given the local industry a boost, both in business and experience, and it feels like there is an ever more invigorating slate of films to seek out.
Herewith then are my favourite South African films for 2016. As usual, there are many local films that I missed, and I don't necessarily select films based on critical worth alone. Some are genuine works of exceptional beauty, but some were just fun, or a worthy effort imperfectly executed. All, however, I consider admirable ambassadors for the country's film scene. In fact, in a year where the actual Springboks proved to be such dismal stewards of the symbol on the international rugby scene, this collection of Springbok Cinema has contributed more prestige to the symbolic Springbok than its namesake, the national rugby team.
Noem My Skollie (Call Me Thief)
Director: Daryne Joshua
My favourite South African film of the year, as much for the filmmaking as for the story of the making of the film, which is based on the actual experiences of its writer John Fredericks, who survived in South Africa’s most notorious prison by telling stories to the inmates. Check out my full review here.