30/05/2018 05:18 BST | Updated 30/05/2018 05:19 BST

Inaugural South African Indie Film Festival Sets The Bar

Films from all over the world helped make the first South African Independent Film Festival a rousing success that promises to get bigger and better.

The Rainbow Nation, South Africa, has given the world the iconic, inspirational spirit of Nelson Mandela and the voice of Miriam Makeba; the talent and gorgeous looks of Charlize Theron and the spirited and witty Trevor Noah.

Drenched by the southern sun and bathed by two oceans, the South African spirit is forever replenished — this time, to give the world a blend of breathtaking scenery and dynamic, independent filmmakers. The inaugural South African Independent Film Festival (SAIFF) is a fresh platform for both emerging and experienced filmmakers, local and international.

The 2018 South African Independent Film Festival on May 24 celebrated some of the very best independent film from the world stage. SA Indie Film Festival aims to give a platform to the vibrant and diverse artists working in independent film today. (SAIFF Press Release)

With screenings taking place at the historic Labia Theatre — home of independent cinema in Cape Town — South Africa's first Indie Film Festival showcased 22 short films, documentaries, music videos and even VR films from all around the world, from Belgium to South Africa.

The international panel of judges featured renowned South African and international industry professionals including actor Sean Cameron Michael ("Blood Drive", "Black Sails"), actor Brandon Auret ("District 9", "Chappie", "Elysium"), director Ryan Kruger ("Doomsday"; musician; conceptual shooting style), lead singer of Prime Circle Ross Learmonth, actor/singer Steve Wall ("Vikings", "Rebellion", "Silent Witness") as well as DOP Roy Zetisky and actor Joe Vaz ("Dredd", "10,000 B.C.").

Here are the South African winners:

South African short films "Passion Gap", "Tears in the Rain" and "Good Mourning"walked away with several awards including best actor, best actress, best cinematography and the audience award.

"Good Mourning" - Trailer (A Short Film) from TinToy Productions on Vimeo.

South African documentary "Nanlaban"and music video "Fortnite - Gasoline" won the best documentary and best music video respectively.

The First South African Independent Film Festival awarded:

Audience Award - "Good Mourning" - Ian Morgan and Warren Ferreira

Best Short Film - "State of Emergency Motherf**ker"- Sebastien Petretti (Belgium)

Best Documentary - "Nanlaban"- Shaun Swingler and Diana Neille

Best Experimental - "Cold Storage" - Thomas Freundlich (Finland)

"Cold Storage": Trailer from Thomas Freundlich on Vimeo.

Best Animation - "Call of Cuteness" - Brenda Lien (Germany)

"CALL OF CUTENESS" - TRAILER from Ouat Media on Vimeo.

Best Music Video - "Fortnite - Gasoline" - Sven D. and Phillip Primus

Best VR Experience - "Seance VR" - Harry Chadwick and Josh Chadwick

Best Director - Sebastien Petretti - "State of Emergency Motherf**ker!"

Best Cinematography - Fabian Vettiger - "Passion Gap"

Best Actor - Russel Savadier - "Tears in the Rain"

Best Actress - Marguerite van Eeden - "Passion Gap"

Best Editor - Patrice Gautot - "State of Emergency Motherf**ker!"

Best Screenwriting - Christopher Grant Harvey - "Tears in the Rain"

Best Original Score - Sidhaartha Baarnhoorn - "Tears in the Rain"

2018 was the inaugural year for the festival, and the South African Independent Film Festival aims to return next year bigger and better than ever.

Submissions for its 2019 season are now open. Please visit their page on FilmFreeway or social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) for more info.

The South African Indie Film Festival is not only a platform for showcasing independent and emerging talent,s but a way to celebrate the creative free spirit and the great talents that will, one day, go to make memorable mainstream films.

As Rellian says in "Captain Fantastic": "If you assume that there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope."