Elamu JUBA (Xinhua) -- As the curtain closed on South
Sudan’s second annual film festival in Juba, various recipients
of awards echoed messages of hope and resilience, despite
economic despair caused by the ongoing conflict.
Emmanuel Tom, a student from Nile
Secondary School awarded the fourth best student award for the
short film category, told Xinhua late Saturday that he hopes
this award will inspire unity among South Sudanese.
“Let us take advantage of this as a
way of uniting our country. We have to bring our people
together,” he said.
He added the cash prize of 70 U.S.
dollars will help him pay off debts incurred during the shooting
of the film, and will reinvest the balance into shooting of the
“Our aim of participating in this film
festival is not only to win, but to pass a message to our
people that we students have the ability like other people,”
Tom also said they faced challenges
due to financial difficulty, amid delays in clearance for their
film by government.
Kindu Sarah, who won in the best
comedy film category with “Longoyo”, explained that their
success was built from teamwork and hopes to reinvest the cash
prize of 150 dollars into the next film.
“We want to dedicate this win to our
group. We will reinvest this money we have earned in the
next film,” she said.
Meanwhile, Selena Modong won the award
for best supporting actress and said this award will inspire the
young girls who have been victims of early child marriages to
“Most of the girls in South Sudan have
had to drop out of school due to early child marriages and
conflict, but this award will inspire them to learn and work
hard to be successful,” she said.
Simon Bingo, the founder and director
of the Juba film festival, said this year’s event was a success,
adding this would eventually open up more opportunities for new
upcoming talent and inspire film makers to be creative and
“This is our second edition for the
Juba film festival. Last year we had the first edition where
we received 40 films and this year we have received 75 films
and this is a very great improvement and I think next year
we shall be able to have more than 100 films,” he said.
He disclosed that the ongoing conflict
in the country limited most film makers from exploring a range
of subjects due to insecurity and government restrictions.
“Always in the war zone country things
are not easy to hold cameras, but with all these challenges
we were able to ensure that film makers have access to all
what they wanted here in Juba,” Bingo added.
He also revealed that some of the
films that have not been broadcast might have been containing
material that cannot be broadcast in public.
“We were advised by the media
authority, we still have some messages that we cannot share
publicly,” Bingo said.
President Salva Kiir’s legal advisor
Lawrence Korbandy hailed the winners and promised government
support to the nascent film industry, adding that they are
willing to invest in the arts and culture, but remain
South Sudan won independence from
Sudan in 2011, following decades of civil war, but again plunged
into conflict in December 2013, which has killed tens of
thousands, hence causing millions to seek refuge in neighboring
countries like Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia.