Over 200 entries were received from across the continent for the Discovery Real Stories partnership with the Jozi Film Festival, and 4,818 votes cast by the public, to find the winning film of the first Real Stories told by Real People award.
Winner, filmmaker Tapiwa Gambura.
The winner is Zimbabwean filmmaker, Tapiwa Gambura, who lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, for her film, Redefining the Road
- a thought-provoking documentary about the power of perspective and the experiences an open heart and mind have to offer. Although she currently lives in Johannesburg, Gambura was born in Zimbabwe and that's where she shot her film about a woman bus conductor.
In 2017, Discovery partnered with the Jozi Film Festival (JFF) to launch the Discovery Channel 'Don't Stop Wondering Award' - a special category in the festival which aimed to recognise African filmmakers creating unique African stories. Following the success of the previous two years with the JFF, Discovery renewed its partnership once again, this time in support of the recently launched channel, Real Time (DSTV 155) - the brand's first free-to-view channel in Africa - to find Real Stories told by Real People.
Gambura was announced as the overall winner at the Jozi Film Festival closing ceremony in Johannesburg on Sunday 6 October, where she received $2,500 from Discovery to use towards her next filming project.
"There's something so humanising about film and that's the reason I do this - to humanise the people who we don't get to see as much," said Gambura.
"As the global leader in real life entertainment, we at Discovery are passionate about immersing viewers in the stories of real people," says Henry Windridge, head of brand, Discovery Middle East & Africa. "Changing the theme of the award this year gave us a chance to explore different stories that spoke to the people of Africa, and the depth of storytelling absolutely blew us away."
The top 20 films, selected from over 200 entries, will be showcased on Real Time in the coming month to bring these new, exciting and uniquely African stories to viewers as a compliment to the best globally-loved content aired on the channel, for world-class lifestyle viewing with a local touch.
"It has been an honour to partner with Discovery once again on this special award, to celebrate African filmmakers and the real people that inspire them," said Lisa Henry, founder and organiser of the Jozi Film Festival. "This platform creates invaluable exposure for the talent found across the continent, and we are so pleased this competition is in its third consecutive year - well done to all finalists and our winners - we look forward to see the stories you bring us in future.
Watch the top 20 Real Stories told by Real People on Real Time (DSTV 155) from Monday, 21 October, with a new finalist film scheduled to play every day at 20h50.