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The Lionel Ngakane Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement  Award is named after The Father of South African Cinema, Dr. Lionel Ngakane, a recipient of the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver from the government of South Africa for “…outstanding achievement in the field of movie-making and contribution to the development of the industry in South Africa and on the continent”.

Born in 1928, Dr. Ngakane entered the film industry in 1950 and went on to act opposite Sydney Poitier in Zoltan Korda’s Cry The Beloved Country. He was the first indigenous South African to direct a film. His short film, Jemima and Johnny won first prizes at the Venice and Rimini film festivals.

Always passionate about African cinema, Dr. Ngakane was instrumental in the organisation of the first African Film Festival at the National Film Theatre in London. He also conceived of an organisation that would foster cooperation amongst African filmmakers and, in 1967, the Pan-African Federation of Film Makers, of which he was the regional secretary for southern Africa, was formed. Dr. Ngakane passed away in 2003, aged 75.

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