The RapidLion – The South African International Film Festival, hosted its second awards ceremony at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg last night. Videovision Entertainment’s production, SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS won the Best Original Songfor ‘Angels’, while A UNITED KINGDOM which was acquired for distribution in South Africa by Videovision Entertainment received the Best of Africa and the African Diaspora award, as well as the Best Actor award for David Oyelowo.
RapidLion is the first South African film festival to concentrate almost exclusively on African cinema and is designed to be the premier marketing tool for films outside of Europe and North America. It is designed to provide a platform where filmmakers from Africa, the African diaspora and BRICS countries will showcase their best work, representing the pinnacle achievement of any filmmaker from these regions.
‘Angels’, especially written for SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS, was composed by Barry Gibb (co-founder of the Bee Gees) with ‘The Voice of South Africa’, Vusi Mahlasela performing the song. ‘Angels’ is written by Barry Gibb, Stephen Gibb and Ashley Gibb. Directed by award-winning director, Oliver Schmitz and produced by Anant Singh and Brian Cox. The film also sees an ensemble of well-known South African talent including Garion Dowds, Deon Lotz, Robert Hobbs, Eduan van Jaarsveldt, Marcel van Heerden and Sylvia Mdunyelwa.
Widely acknowledged as the greatest love story never told, A UNITED KINGDOM is set in London in 1947, when Seretse Khama, the 26-year-old King of Bechuanaland (Botswana), fell in love with Ruth Williams, a 24-year-old London office worker. Directed by BAFTA winner Amma Asante (‘Belle’), A UNITED KINGODM stars David Oyelowo (‘Selma’) playing King Seretse Khama, and Rosamund Pike (‘Gone Girl’) playing Ruth Williams, as well as four South Africans in key roles: Terry Pheto as Seretse’s sister, Naledi; Vusi Kunene as his uncle Tshekedi; Abena Ayivor as Tshekedi’s wife, Ella and Theo Landey who plays an American journalist.
Commenting on the awards, Anant Singh said, “We are proud to have received the Best Original Song for ‘Angels’. Barry Gibbs was inspired by the film and wrote the song which Vusi Mahlasela enhanced with his wonderful voice which has a deep resonance in South Africa. Vusi’s rendition is very powerful and captures the mood of SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS. We congratulate A UNITED KKINGDOM for winning the Best of Africa and the African Diaspora award, and David Oyelowo for the Best Actor award. For us A UNITED KKINGDOM is a perfect fit to our commitment to telling inspiring African stories that underscore the triumph of the human spirit, and we are delighted to have released the film to coincide with the 50thAnniversary of Botswana’s Independence from Britain.”
SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS is currently available on DVD and A UNITED KINGDOM will be released on DVD on 10 April in South Africa.