South African documentary film What’s The Frack? has won two awards in one week in the United States of America. The environmental documentary was accorded the Award of Excellence by the Headline International Film Festival and an Honourable Mention – John Muir Crystal Award at the Yosemite International Film Festival.
The English and Afrikaans film, made over three years has been translated to Spanish to play at the upcoming International Environmental Film Festival (FICMA) and the Human Rights Film Festival, both in Barcelona, Spain.
Produced by Mvura Ya Afrika (MYA) Productions, the 89 minute film has also screened at the Swedish Film Festival, Ekotop Environmental Film Festival in Czech Republic as well as at the Kuala Lumpur Eko Film Festival in Malaysia.
“We are glad with this recognition. What’s more important is that the film has become a catalyst of the hydraulic fracturing discourse,” says Davison Mudzingwa, director of the What’s The Frack?
The film, featuring prominent South African anti-fracking activist Jonathan Deal, Nigerian environmental activist Barry Wugunaale and Khoi San leader, Chief Janjitie had its world premier at the prestigious Cayman Islands International Film Festival earlier in July where it was nominated for best documentary.
The film follows the journey of Jonathan for nearly four years in his bid to stop fracking in South Africa. It is a narrative that takes audiences to Nigeria and the United States in a bid to explore the impact of the mining industry on the lives of local people.
An award-winning team comprising producer Francis Yannicq Hweshe, director Davison Mudzingwa and director of photography Themba Vilakazi whose other film, Lost Tongue, won the Women Film Critics Circle Award in New York earlier in the year, produced the film.
“We feel honoured with the way this picture is being received around the world. Our goal is equally showcase the film South Africa and around Africa where the issue of fracking remains in the shadows of public consciousness,” says Hweshe.
The film was supported by the National Film and Video Foundation South Africa.