South African Student wins big at the prestigious Sony Future Filmmaker Awards 2024

PRESS RELEASE MAY 31, 2024 — Promising South African filmmaker Raheem Razak, was one of six winners of the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards which were hosted in Los Angeles yesterday evening. In a glittering event that celebrated some of the best and brightest talent in the world, Razak’s Anguish; a piece about a son taking care of his zombie mother during a zombie apocalypse was chosen as one the most outstanding submissions.

“I cannot begin to express how honoured I am to win this award. This film was a labour of love, and it is truly special to be recognised by Sony and Creo for my work. It feels amazing to represent my country South Africa, and I hope my career will go from strength to strength from here,” says Razak, who is currently a student at South Africa’s premier film school, AFDA.

Established by Creo, an organisation that helps amplify the voices of young creatives across the globe, the awards provide a gateway for the development of exceptional cinematic talent and champions filmmakers with an original perspective on storytelling. The awards are sponsored by Sony.

Chosen by a panel of expert judges led by chair Justin Chadwick, the full list of winners for the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards 2024 include: Raheem Razak (South Africa, Student), Katie Blair (USA, Fiction), Olawunmi Hassan & Adaobi Samson (Nigeria, Non-Fiction), Solmund MacPherson (Canada, Environment), Kyle Novak (Czech Republic, Animation), and Cristian Daniel (Uruguay, Future Format).

As part of their prize, this year’s winners and the wider shortlist took part in a week-long industry immersion program, culminating in last night’s Awards ceremony. This one-of-a-kind prize provides filmmakers with an invaluable opportunity to connect with their peers and leaders in the field, and to gain exclusive behind-the-scenes access. The program comprises workshops led by Sony Pictures executives, covering a range of topics including keynotes by major cinematographers, screenings and Q&A sessions, insights into working with talent agencies and using cutting-edge technologies, animation and film scoring and music rights. In addition to this, the six winners each receive a range of cash prizes and Sony camera equipment.

This year’s winners were selected from over 8,400 films by more than 5,000 filmmakers across 148 countries and territories submitted across six categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Environment, Animation, Student, and Future Format. The winners were chosen by Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, Co-Founders and Co-Presidents of Sony Pictures Classics (Call Me By Your Name, The Father, Whiplash); Rob Hardy ASC, BSC, BAFTA award-winning cinematographer (Civil War, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Ex-Machina); and Kate Reid BSC, acclaimed British cinematographer (Game of Thrones, Great Expectations, Silo), awarding creative excellence and original approaches to narrative. The winners were drawn from 30 shortlisted filmmakers selected from a longlist by celebrated Australian filmmaker Unjoo Moon and Emmy-award winning cinematographer Robert Primes ASC. Both stages of the judging process were chaired by award-winning director Justin Chadwick (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, The Other Boleyn Girl, Tulip Fever, Shardlake).

The Sony Future Filmmaker Awards jury as a whole spoke on this year’s winning and shortlisted filmmakers: “This year’s winners traverse borders and cultures, a global gathering of creative talent set to make their mark in our industry. The winners each approach their stories with originality; from a portent of an eroding society, to a surreal take on family pressures, to an animated love story suspended in time. We were struck by the ingenuity of these filmmakers and their fresh perspective on the world. It is with great pleasure we celebrate the winners, as well as the wider cohort of 30 filmmakers who comprised this year’s shortlist, and we look forward to watching as they take their next steps in cinema.”

Following its successful second edition, the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards will return for a third edition in autumn 2025 with submissions opening later this year.

 

2024 WINNERS

 

FICTION

The Fiction competition rewards narrative-led submissions that convey an original fictional story or event. The category winner receives a Sony camera and lens kit and a cash prize of more than R90, 000 ($5000 USD).

 

  • Katie Blair (USA), Imogene – Imogene is a single, free-spirited New Yorker in her 40s, whose traditional family is plotting to get her pregnant by inviting a donor for dinner.

 

NON-FICTION

The Non-Fiction category awards short films that are predominantly factual in content, with content that can include archive footage, documentary footage, reenactments and animation. The category winner receives a Sony camera and lens kit and a cash prize of more than R90, 000 ($5000 USD).

 

 

  • Olawunmi Hassan & Adaobi Samson (Nigeria), Ìrún Dídì – From traditional Yoruba techniques to modern interpretations, the film traces the evolution of the timeless art of hair plaiting, as it becomes a sacred ritual of self-care and empowerment.

 

ENVIRONMENT

As part of Creators for the Planet, a global year-round engagement program set up by Creo and developed in collaboration with the United Nations Foundation and Sony Pictures, the Environment category champions films that communicate a positive future for the planet. The category winner receives a Sony camera and lens kit and a cash prize of more than R90, 000 ($5000 USD).

 

  • Solmund MacPherson (Canada), Wildmen of the Greater Toronto Area – A group of Toronto citizens fed up with the rising cost of living renounce their personhood en masse to legally become animals.

 

ANIMATION

New to this year’s competition, the Animation category embraces filmmakers using stop-motion, motion graphics, computer animation, drawn-on-film, rotoscoping, and experimental animation, as well as additional available techniques. The category winner receives a Sony camera and lens kit and a cash prize of more than R90, 000 ($5000 USD).

 

 

  • Kyle Novak (Czech Republic), Ángulos de la Hora (Hour Angle) – After their flight is grounded, two strangers agree to an anonymous tryst as their new travel plans are arranged.

 

STUDENT

The Student category rewards filmmakers studying a film course at a registered institution at a diploma or degree level worldwide. The winner and their institution each receive Sony camera equipment.

 

  • Raheem Razak (South Africa), AFDA, South Africa, Anguish – In what seems to be a zombie-infested world, devoted son Sam must tend to his zombie mother while surviving the apocalypse himself.

 

FUTURE FORMAT

The Future Format category champions a new generation of aspiring filmmakers, welcoming 2 to 5-minute-long films shot exclusively on a smartphone. The category winner receives a range of Sony camera equipment and a cash prize of more than R45, 000 ($2500 USD).

 

 

  • Cristian Daniel (Uruguay), PARASOMNIA – A young man attempts to discover the unsettling presence in a dark corridor, with no knowledge of what may lie ahead.

 

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WINNERS AND SHORTLISTED  FILMMAKERS, PLEASE VISIT SONYFUTUREFILMMAKERAWARDS.COM

 

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS IMAGES FROM THE AWARDS CEREMONY

 

 

2024 WINNERS & SHORTLIST

FICTION NON-FICTION ENVIRONMENT
WINNER

Katie Blair, USA

Imogene

WINNER

Olawunmi Hassan & Adaobi Samson, Nigeria

Ìrún Dídì

WINNER

Solmund MacPherson, Canada

Wildmen of the Greater Toronto Area

SHORTLIST

Tan Ce Ding, Malaysia

Please Hold the Line

SHORTLIST

Jean Chapiro, Mexico

Hasta Encontrarlos (Till We Find Them)

SHORTLIST

Curtis Essel, Ghana

The Permaculturist

Elliott Gonzo & Elliot Warren, UK

Hard Times

Jordan Matthew Horowitz, USA

Jack and Sam

Palmer Morse, USA

Usugilix Awakun

Jason Hogan, UK

Twenty

Florian Nick, Germany

Beyond Hope

Annie Roth, USA

Hellbent

Margareth Villers, Estonia

What’s Up With Numbats?

Kayla Robinson, USA

Quilted Education

Myles Storey, Malaysia

Finding Solo

 

ANIMATION STUDENT FUTURE FORMAT
WINNER

Kyle Novak, Czech Republic

Ángulos de la Hora (Hour Angle)

WINNER

Raheem Razak, South Africa

AFDA, South Africa

Anguish

 

WINNER

Cristian Daniel, Uruguay

PARASOMNIA

SHORTLIST

Eva Louise Hall, USA

Mira

SHORTLIST

Natalia Bermúdez, Mexico

Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC), Mexico

Apnea

SHORTLIST

Muzamil Bhat, India

Polite Waters

Radheya Jegatheva, Australia

Bird Drone

Katniss Tung Cheng, Hong Kong & Salvador Alejandro Gutiérrez, Mexico

IADT – Dun Laoghaire Institute Of Art Design + Technology, Ireland

Below the Window

Rana Ramy, Egypt

ABOVE/ZERO

Lisa Kenney, UK

Mum’s Spaghetti

Farah Jabir, USA

New York University, USA

Kasbi

Bruno Sena, Brazil

Collapse

Paul Robinson, USA

Resource:Full

Muangthai Sarupkarn, Thailand

King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Thailand

Stigma

Montgomery Taylor, UK

In The Bag

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

 

Tribeca Public Relations
Vergas Mabunda – Account Executive

Office: +27 11 208 5500

Email: [email protected]

 

 

Sony Future Filmmaker Awards

Established by Creo and sponsored by Sony, the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards is a major annual awards program for short films devoted to supporting and elevating independent filmmakers and creators from across the globe. Set apart by its exceptional prize, the Awards provide successful filmmakers with invaluable opportunities in the form of a trip to Los Angeles and to the historic Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California, where they gain exclusive access to experts and unparalleled insight into the inner workings of the industry. Winners additionally receive cash prizes and a range of Sony Digital Imaging equipment. Free to enter, the Awards comprise six categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Environment, Student, Animation and Future Format, and are judged by a panel of leading figures. By supporting talents in film, video and storytelling, the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards provides a gateway for the development of creative excellence. www.sonyfuturefilmmakerawards.com

 

Creo initiates and organises events and programming across three key strands: photography, film and contemporary art. Established in 2007 as World Photography Organisation, Creo has since grown in scope, furthering its mission of developing meaningful opportunities for creatives and expanding the reach of its cultural activities. Today, its flagship projects include the Sony World Photography Awards, Sony Future Filmmaker Awards, PHOTOFAIRS New York, PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai, Photo London. Working in partnership with Angus Montgomery Arts, Creo helps deliver the group’s ventures, comprising some of the world’s leading art fairs. Taking its name from the Latin for ‘I create’, it is in this spirit that Creo sets out to empower and give agency to creative voices. www.creoarts.com

 

Sony Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Group Corporation and is responsible for the Entertainment, Technology & Services (ET&S) business in the Sony Group. With the vision to “continue to deliver Kando and Anshin* to people and society across the world through the pursuit of technology and new challenges,” Sony Corporation supports the Sony Group with technology to create the entertainment of the future together with creators. For more information, visit: www.sony.net

*Both Japanese words, Kando means emotion and Anshin has various meanings such as peace of mind, reassurance, reliability and trust.

 

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. Sony Pictures Television operates dozens of wholly-owned or joint-venture production companies around the world. SPE’s Motion Picture Group production organisations include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, 3000 Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, Sony Pictures International Productions, and Sony Pictures Classics. For more information, visit www.sonypictures.com/corp/divisions