The Water Dancers, a documentary created as part of an honours project in the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Centre for Film and Media Studies (CFMS), has been named Best Student Film at the 2019 South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA).
The documentary, conceptualised by cinematographer Tessa Barlin, highlights the importance of conservation while exploring sustainable solutions to the continuing water security crisis. It also focuses on dragonflies as a key species pointing to the health of an environment.
The team behind The Water Dancers comprises Barlin, director Robyn Palmer, co-editors Erin Macpherson and Michael Dawson, and producer Daniel Ndevu.
“We have literally gone from sleeping on tripod bags in the editing studio to winning a SAFTA,” a delighted Palmer said after accepting the award earlier this month.
Two of the three final nominations in this category were CFMS films – the other was Scarlet’s Tale – both being completed at the end of 2017.
The Water Dancers was screened at the Durban Film Festival, the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival and the Jozi Film Festival last year. It premiered internationally at the 2018 International Green Film Festival in Poland, before going on to be screened in Rwanda, Kenya, Burkina Faso and Namibia as part of the Goethe Institute’s 2018 Science Film Festival.
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