Gay SA film, The Wound, wins major Outfest award


South African gay-themed drama Inxeba (The Wound) continues to receive global critical acclaim, winning Outfest’s International Grand Jury Prize in Los Angeles on the weekend.

Outfest, one of the world’s most prestigious LGBT film festivals, said the film received its top international prize because it “breaks new ground through skilful storytelling and stunning cinematography and an unflinching focus on masculinities – toxic or otherwise.”

The Wound premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Earlier this month it was honoured at Cinema Jove, the Valencia International Film Festival. It won the event’s awards for Best Film and Best Actor (for star Nakhane Touré).

Directed by John Trengove, The Wound tells the story of Xolani, a lonely closeted Xhosa factory worker who joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood.

When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his secret, Xolani’s existence begins to unravel. The film looks at culture, masculinity and homophobia in contemporary South Africa.

Although not yet released in the country, The Wound’s depiction of male initiation ceremonies, which are traditionally not exposed to the outside world, has come under fire by some on social media.

Earlier this year, Touré – who is also an author and a SAMA-winning musician – told Mambaonline that he had “received a lot of threatening and violent messages” because of his role in the controversial film.

The Wound is currently screening at the Durban International Film Festival until 22 July and is being shown in a number of countries. Disappointingly, it is only set be officially released in cinemas in South Africa in February 2018.

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