Our Lady of the Nile (France) received a Special Recognition Award from the festival's juror panel. Additionally, producer Richard Green was recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rocks — 
which is directed by Sarah Gavron and stars actors Bukky Bakray as well as Kosar Ali — depicts a teenager who fears that she and her little brother will be forced apart if anyone finds out that they are living alone. With the help of her friends, she evades the authorities and navigates the most defining days of her life. The film orients resilience, joy and the spirit of girlhood.

Flatland is a contemporary Western and a journey of self-discovery for three different but equally trapped women. The film depicts a portrait of femininity against a hostile frontier land and questions what it means to be a woman in contemporary South Africa — and the world at large. Flatland is directed by Jenna Bass and stars Faith Baloyi, Nicole Fortuin and Izel Bezuidenhout.

Set in 1973, Our Lady of the Nile follows a group of young Rwandan girls at a Belgian-run Catholic boarding school. The film takes inspiration from true events that would come to foreshadow the 1994 genocide during the Rwandan Civil War. Many of the girls belong to elite families, while others hold less privilege; further division is sown by ballooning anti-Tutsi rhetoric under the existing Hutu rule.

Richard Green is one of this country's most experienced producers and has over 40 years of experience in the film industry. Green's most recent film, TokolosheThe Calling, was picked up by American distributors Together Magic Film Group and is scheduled for a 2020 release. His producing credits include the following South African films:
  • Nothing but the Truth
  • The Wooden Camera
  • The Sexy Girls
  • Chikin Biznis - The Whole Story and Spud
The winner of the Joburg Film Festival's Youth and Audience Development Programme were also recognised at the event. The programme was designed to encourage and empower young emerging filmmakers across Gauteng.

The Joburg Film Festival, in partnership with the MultiChoice Group and Gauteng Film Commission, embarked on a province-wide skills transfer initiative that reached more than 100 young people in a series of workshops in Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Mogale City and Sedibeng.

Aspiring filmmakers between the ages of 18 and 25 were encouraged to submit a video with the theme 'Your Kasi, Your Story', which served as the entry to participate in the two-day workshop in each region.

The workshops specifically targeted youth living in townships and involved industry professionals sharing their extensive experience and knowledge on the craft of cinematic storytelling with audiences. The overall winner was Sedibeng's Malefetsane Masitha.

The jury panel of the film festival comprised of:
  • multi-award-winning author Zakes Mda
  • NCIS: New Orleans and Avatar actress CCH Pounder
  • South African screen star Florence Masebe
  • Nigerian documentary filmmaker, screenwriter and cinematographer Femi Odugbemi
  • Canadian academic and writer, Nataleah Hunter-Young
Bongiwe Selane, festival director of the Joburg Film Festival, says that the jurors had a tough task in making a selection from the 10 films in competition at this year's event. "The quality of both the continental and international films at this year's festival was incredibly high. Each was recognised for their powerful message and their ability to provoke important debate on an array of issues."

Joburg Film Festival headline sponsors MultiChoice Group also recognised some of Africa's finest storytellers with MultiChoice Africa's Most-Loved Storytellers Awards.

Activist, actress, storyteller, poet, playwright, director and author Gcina Mhlophe received the Legend Award for her longstanding contribution to continental storytelling. Internationally-acclaimed author Deon Meyer was honoured with the Global Storyteller Award for his work in spreading stories from Africa around the globe.

Creative duo Jahmil XT Qubheka and Layla Swart were honoured with the inaugural Emerging Storyteller Award for their status as exciting new voices in African storytelling. Investigative journalist Karyn Maughan claimed the Fearless Storyteller Award.

"MultiChoice continues to invest in the local production industries wherever our channels are available, and we have an ongoing commitment to developing the next generation of African storytellers," says Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice CEO of General Entertainment.

"We have screened a number of films produced by graduates of the M-Net Magic in Motion programme and the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academies in East, West and Southern Africa this week. We look forward to seeing their work taking its rightful place among the local and international films and documentaries at the Joburg Film Festival in the future," adds Phahle.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again. We have the opportunity to do great things for our economy through film making. And if Hollywood, Nollywood and Bollywood can do it, so can we," Phahle concludes.

Rocks will be screened at the Joburg Film Festival Dome, Nelson Mandela Square on Sunday, 24 November at 16:00. The airing of the film will wrap up the third edition of the Joburg Film Festival.

Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. Local and international films and documentaries are still being screened at the following locations:
  • Ster-Kinekor Sandton
  • Cinema Nouveau Rosebank
  • The Bioscope in Maboneng
  • Kings Theatre in Alexandra
For more information, visit www.joburgfilmfestival.co.za. You can also follow the Joburg Film Festival on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.