DISCOVERY Channel has announced the top 10 finalists out of more than 200 films which were entered for a brand new category, ‘Don’t Stop Wondering’ Award, at the sixth annual Jozi Film Festival in South Africa.

From today and throughout August, each of the 10 films will be broadcast on Discovery Channel and it will be up to viewers to decide which film should be chosen as the overall winner. Voting closes on Monday 28 August and each filmmaker stands the chance of winning a cash prize of $5,000 from Discovery Channel. 

While this was Discovery’s first category in the Jozi Film Festival, we were thrilled with the quality and diversity of entries that we received,” says Dilek Doyran, VP of Commercial Development and Country Manager of Africa and the Mediterranean. “Our hope was to find films which captured the ethos of curiosity and celebrated the uniqueness that the African continent has to offer, and with films from Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa and Uganda, we are confident the shortlist represents this. We look forward to broadcasting the Top 10 films on Discovery Channel, and showcasing the many different ways of celebrating Africanism.” 

 Below are the top 10 films:

DISCOVERY”, by Manqoba ShongweSwaziland 

We explore every day but neglect to learn. In this film, Manqoba took the time to pay attention to some of the things he saw in his everyday explorations and shares what he gathered. Manqoba said, “It’s a great honour to be selected as a finalist in the Discovery Channel ‘Don’t Stop Wondering’ category of the Jozi Film Festival. Not only is it validating for my work to be recognised in this manner, but it is also really cool for my voice to be heard on such a platform.”  From Monday 31 July, 13:35

PUPPETSULA”, by Michael Rodrigues and Shaun James South AfricaPuppetsula follows Jabu, a puppeteer who conjures performances of traditional dances. Summarising Jabu’s work, Michael and Shaun said: “Coming from hardship and still having a passion to give joy to others is truly remarkable. We applaud Jabulani Simango and can’t wait to share his amazing talent with our country. Thank you to Discovery for providing a platform for his story to be seen.”  From Monday 31 July, 20:00

 SITHAIDI: THE TRADITIONAL XHOSA BEAD ARTIST”, by Caley Kolk – South Africa This film follows Sithaidi’s journey to work every day: a scenic 6-hour trek in rural Transkei. The story showcases how creativity overcomes seemingly impossible odds, old age and a lifelong polio condition, and how creativity ultimately inspires us to live. Caley said: “As a first time film maker, I am simply delighted our film has progressed to the Top 10. I am thrilled that Thaidi’s story is finally being seen by the world – she is a woman of great strength and her simple philosophy, cocky nature and tenacity is a continual source of inspiration to me. In her own words, she is number 1. I hope to report back to her that her film is number 1 too!”  From Tuesday 1 August, 13:35

 THE ASCENSION”, by Dieter Du PlessisSouth Africa This short documentary follows the journal of a trail runner, with a voice-over that relates life to mountain climbing. Dieter said, “It feels like a door being opened after years of knocking!” From Tuesday 1 August, 20:00 

THE TRAGEDY OF AFRICA”, by Dusty Van Niekerk South Africa The Tragedy of Africa looks at Africa’s beauty inside and out, following the sad reality behind the harsh rhino poaching crisis which South Africa faces. Dusty said: “I am so grateful and excited to be a part of this amazing opportunity to share my film with everyone” From Wednesday 2 August, 13:35 

MR ABILITY”, by Okuyo Joel Atiku Prynce – Uganda This is a story of Simon Peter Lubega, a physically impaired artist who wakes up early every morning and works against all odds on his art pieces to raise money to support himself and his family. Okuyo said: “I am highly honoured to be set apart for this prestigious moment, amongst creative minds, by a world class channel. For my first work as a director to be selected and aired on discovery channel is indescribable.”  From Wednesday 2 August, 20:00

 EGG SLAP”, by Pressilla Nanyange – Uganda Egg Slap explores a childhood game, football, but with a twist. Pressilla said,:“I am beyond excited to be selected among the top ten; I’m feeling blessed.” From Thursday 3 August, 13:35

SJANGALALA: THE NEW ERA”, by Siphiwe PhiriSouth Africa. This is a documentary about a pastor who is breaking the stereotype surrounding the art of spinning cars. Siphiwe said: “I have been in the TV industry for over 8 years now and this is by far the biggest acknowledgement I have ever received for my work. Thank You to Discovery Channel Africa, Jozi Film Festival and all its sponsors for creating such a platform for young creatives like us! Siyabonga!”  From Thursday 3 August, 20:00

 NON-PEOPLE”, by Wesley RhodeSouth Africa. This documentary celebrates the trials and tribulations of South Africa’s informal recyclers – people that are over looked and ignored. Wesley said: “Myself and my team who put this film together are extremely excited and feel blessed to be chosen as part of the top 10 films. We are happy that our hard work has paid off and that our vision and our story has been recognized.” From Friday 4 August, 13:35

 ANOTHER SUNNY DAY”, by Tim HuebschleNamibia. This film tells the story of how life must be for someone whose skin has no protection from the sun, living in a country that averages over 80% sunshine during any given year. Welcome to Paulus’s life in Namibia. Tim said: “To have Another Sunny Day selected as one of the Top 10 finalists is one of those magical moments that rarely happen. I’m humbled by the opportunity and look forward to viewing the other nine magical works from across our continent.” From Friday 4 August, 20:00

Each film will be broadcast on Discovery Channel four times throughout the voting period. Voting opens at 10am on Monday, 31 July on the Discovery website and closes at 10am on Monday, 28 August. The winning filmmaker will be flown to Johannesburg to receive their prize at the Jozi Film Festival awards ceremony on 24 September 2017.  

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to vote for the film you feel epitomises the African story!