LallaLand Blog: Silwerskermfees 2017

07 September 2017
Read about Lalla's trip to Camps Bay to attend Silwerskermfees 2017.

My favourite assignments for LallaLand are film festivals.

I’ve said this before but there’s really something special about them.

Around the globe significant film festivals are a highlight on the entertainment calendar. Cannes, the Venice Film Festival, Berlin International and Sundance create tons of buzz around the world.

Here at home, the locally produced silver screen culture is growing at a rapid pace and along with its development we’re starting to see an increase in South African film festivals too.

The Jozi F.F, South African Eco F.F, Encounters South African International Documentary Festival, the South African International F.F, the Cape Town International Film Market & Festival among others, and not forgetting Silverskermfees.

Silwerskermfees has made quite a name for itself, and like most great festivals, it didn’t happen overnight.

Last year I was able to make my way to The Bay Hotel, in Cape Town, where four days of film ‘festival-ing’ was to take place under the Silwerskerm banner.

It was in its sixth year. I was a freshman.

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed I brought along an open mind ready to take it all in.

Soon after arriving, the atmosphere consumed me and I was quickly sucked into this new world. I was taken aback by the camaraderie, spirit and hunger of the creatives I came across and interacted with.

When I received the mail to say we had the go ahead to cover the four-day event this year, I was thrilled.

There’s just something spectacular about attending a film festival.

Over the past seven years, Silwerskermfees has acted as a platform for filmmakers to launch careers. It is a place to celebrate, learn, and network.

When I arrived at The Bay Hotel this year, the bustling reception rang with loud chatter from creatives from all corners of the industry.

Directors, producers, writers, actors and actresses, critics, and film aficionados came together to create a wonderful ambiance all in the name of local cinema. Wow, what a vibe.

For the first time Silwerskermfees opened the program to the public by showing films at Theatre on the Bay.

This year 65 films were screened, of which six feature films premiered at the festival.

Ten short films entered and a ‘short-short film’ category was added to the program, which consisted of twelve-minute movies; with eleven entries for the first year.

Here are the results for all the films in competition.


Best director: short film – 12 minutes

Harold Holscher – Langsaan

Best script: short film – 12 minutes

Versnel – Dian Weys

Best editing: short film 

Skoon – Johan Prinsloo

Best director: short film – 24 minutes

Nico Scheepers – Die Maan val Bewusteloos

Best script: short film – 24 minutes

Soldaat – Amy Jephta

Best actor: Short film

Carel Nel – Slaaf

Best actress: short film 

June van Merch – Vossie vergas homself

Best short film – 12 minutes


Best short film – 24 minutes



Best actor

Bennie Fourie – Vuil Wasgoed

Best supporting actor

Beer Adriaanse – Wonderlus

Best actress

Lea Vivier – Wonderlus

Best supporting actress

June van Merch – Raaiselkind

Best sound design and original music 

Vuil Wasgoed – Janno Muller en Benjamin Willem

Best script

Wonderlus – Johan Cronje

Best production design

Vuil Wasgoed – Merishen Wessels

Best cinematography

Willie Nel – Meerkat Maantuig

Best editing

Vuil Wasgoed – Quinn Lubbe

Best director

Morné du Toit – Vuil Wasgoed

Best film


Our film scene is at an interesting phase of its ascension and an important one at that. It’s evident at all events regarding our cinema, and this year’s Silwerskermfees was no exception.

Speaking with a few of the talent at the festival, I was again blown away by the enthusiasm.

It was a great place to get a feel for the state of our movie industry - which, after leaving the festival, I can vouch is ‘booming’.

In the world of movies, the budding South African film scene may be entering its teenage phase, but Mzansi has one of the oldest film businesses in the world. Our first documented silent movie was released in 1911 (The Great Kimberley Diamond Robbery), which was only a year after the first motion picture was shot in Hollywood in 1910, called In Old California. Who knew?!

Storytelling is part of our DNA as a nation and so are moving pictures.

A big shout out to M-Net Movies and kykNet Films for nurturing our industry and giving opportunities to those who are brave enough to take on the challenge of movie-making

They have done incredible work assisting the expansion of the SA film scene, and built platforms such as Silwerskermfees to acknowledge and praise our movie makers.

Yes sure, our views of our homegrown films have been clouded by the greatness that is the multi-billion dollar machine known as Hollywood, but that isn’t stopping creators from showing the world what is possible with a smaller budget, a point to prove and the mentality of an underdog.