African family film wins third festival award

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Felix, the feel-good South African family film, has won the €5 000 Michel Award for Best Film at The Filmfest Hamburg Michel Children and Youth Film Festival in Germany.

“We chose Felix because it is a film that addresses a variety of topics such as racism and family conflicts,” said the citation from the seven-person jury, made up of boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 14. “It also shows how important it is to pursue your dreams. We especially liked the wonderful South African jazz music that is interwoven throughout the film. Felix also deals with serious subjects in a humorous and understandable way.”

This is the third film festival award for Felix, which won Best Film at Lucas International Children’s Film Festival in Germany and the Audience Award at Durban International Film Festival in South Africa earlier this year.

Felix has also sold out both its screenings at BFI London Film Festival and has just had an extra screening added at The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), where Ian Bailey wrote in Canada’s The Globe and Mail that, “You need to check if your heart is made of granite if you’re not moved by the exultant final scene.”
VIFF program manager PoChu AuYeung says, “The audience response has been very positive and Felix has been favourably reviewed by our papers. With Felix being one of the popular films of the festival, we are adding a screening next Monday as part of our annual VIFF repeats of audience favourites.”

In Felix, 14-year-old Felix Xaba (Hlayani Junior Mabasa) dreams of becoming a saxophonist like his late father, but his mother Lindiwe (Linda Sokhulu) thinks jazz is the devil’s music.

When Felix leaves his township friends to take up a scholarship for grade eight at an elitist private school, he defies his mother and turns to two aging members of his father’s old band (Royston Stoffels and Thapelo Mofokeng) to help him prepare for the school jazz concert.

Directed by South African Film and Television Award Lifetime Achievement winner Roberta Durrant, Felix is a Penguin Films production for Sabido Productions, distributed by Crystal Brook Distribution.

The DVD will be available in South African rental stores from 6 January 2014 and retail stores from 20 January 2014.

Watch trailer below:

For more information, visit www.felixthemovie.com

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