2017 has been a great year for telling authentically African stories. Several local films have been applauded internationally, scooping awards and raising the SA flag high on a global stage.
Mzansi's film industry may not be where many directors, producers and actors would see it, but 2017 proved beyond that the world is watching.
Here are just 5 films that represented this year.
1. The Wound (Inxeba)
The film is centered around a homosexual love story told in isiXhosa, mainly set in an initiation school, which has attracted both acclaim and criticism from viewers.
In addition to being chosen to represent SA at the 2018 Oscars, the film has enjoyed international recognition scooping the Outfest International Grand Jury Prize in Los Angeles,the Best Film and Best Actor at the Valencia International Film Festival and was chosen to be screened at various film festivals.
The film, based on the life of liberation struggle martyr Solomon Mahlangu, stars the likes of Thabo Rametsi and Pearl Thusi. It tells the story of Mahlangu's life from 1976 when, as a 19-year-old street hawker, he was beaten by the police during uprisings. Later, after living in exile, he joined the liberation movement and became an international icon of South Africa's liberation.
It was a hit internationally and won the award for best film at the Luxor African Film Festival in Egypt. Lead actor Thabo Rametsi won the Best Actor award at the Khouribga Film Festival in Morocco.
The film is inspired by the true story of a girl who is taken from her close-knit Khoi tribe to serve Jan van Riebeeck at the early Dutch Cape settlements in 1652. Caught between two cultures about to collide, Krotoa (or Eva) has to navigate the difficulties of being true to her roots while staying loyal to her masters.
It impressed viewers scoring the Diamond Award at the Filmmakers World Festival, Best of Show at the IndieFEST Film Awards and Best Film at the Harlem International Film Festival in New York.
Mncedisi Shabangu, Warren Masemola and Zimkhitha Nyoka star is this hit about three strangers who travel by train to Johannesburg, each for unrelated, personal reasons. Vaya weaves three separate plots and tells the story of coming to the city and the struggles to survive in the metropolis.
Vaya won the Best Screenplay and Best Director at the Africa Movie Academy awards in addition to Best South African Feature Film at this year’s Durban International Film Festival.
5. Dora's Peace
The film, which tells the story of a Hillbrow prostitute who sets out to save a gifted young boy from the violent clutches of organised crime, has won several international and local film awards over the last year.
The Boston International Film Festival in the US saw actress Khabonina Qubeka walk away with the Best Actress Award for her role as Dora, while director Kosta Kalarytis bagged the Indie Spirit Special Recognition Award at the festival.
The film was also screened at the international Orlando Film Festival in America.