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SHNIT Worldwide Shortfilmfestival has announced that John Kani will head the Jury Panel for the 2019 festival that runs in Cape Town from 17 to 28 October at various venues in the city. The world renowned Dr Kani will be joined on the jury by cinematographer Gaopie Kabe, director and comedian Kagiso Lediga and writer Lauren Beukes.
John Kani’s celebrated acting career stretches five-plus decades, across multiple continents. Onstage, he gave Tony and Obie Award-winning performances in the plays Sizwe Banzi Is Dead and The Island — which he also co-wrote. Kani also received an Olivier Award nomination for My Children! My Africa! An icon of theatre and film, Kani has countless stage, television and film credits, having appeared on stages including The Fugard Theatre, The Baxter Theatre, Johannesburg’s Market Theatre, and London-area stints with none other than Stratford-upon-Avon’s Royal Shakespeare Company. Kani’s most recent film roles include The Lion King (voicing Rafiki) that is currently on circuit, The End Game, The Suit, Coriolanus, How to Steal Two Million, Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, and Murder Mystery. In support of SHNIT and the short film genre, Dr.Kani commented, “short films are like small business entities; investing more money and energy into them results in a thriving film industry in any country”.
SHNIT is South Africa’s foremost and most established shortfall festival, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Films will be screened at The Labia, the main hub each year, as well as the Alexander Bar and other venues in Cape Town. It is an exceptional non-profit transnational film festival hosted simultaneously on five continents in Bern, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Moscow and San Jose. Driven by a passion for locally produced cinema, excellence and embodying cultural exchange, diversity and originality, SHNIT Cape Town, like its global counterparts, screens high quality shortfilms that have between one to forty minutes to get the message across.
As always, the festival will showcase close to 200 films in a wide variety of themes and styles. All South African films screened will be eligible for the Made in South Africa Audience Award while International submissions will compete for a collective global International Competition Audience Award. Overall winners of the international competition will receive a Flaming Faun statuette and a share of the US$20,000 prize money at an awards ceremony held in New York City in October 2019. The full film schedule and timetable will be announced in August.