South African film-maker Raheem Razak wins big at the 2024 Sony Future Filmmaker Awards

Winners and their teams at the 2024 Sony Future Filmmaker Awards. Picture: Supplied

Winners and their teams at the 2024 Sony Future Filmmaker Awards. Picture: Supplied

Published May 31, 2024


Mzansi film-maker Raheem Razak has won an international award for “Anguish” at the prestigious 2024 Sony Future Filmmaker Awards.

“Anguish”, produced by Razak and directed by Mandisa Mary-Jane Mtembu, won the Student Format category and was among five other winners from the USA, Nigeria, Canada, Czech Republic and Uruguay.

It tells the story of a zombie-infested world where a devoted son, Sam, must tend to his zombie mother while surviving the apocalypse himself.

Watch the trailer below:

“I’m deeply grateful to our talented cast, dedicated crew, supportive sponsors and the invaluable guidance from AFDA.

“This recognition is a testament to their hard work and commitment to bringing our vision to life. ‘Anguish’ not only represents our creative journey but also showcases the promising future of the South African film industry.

Producer Raheem Razak. Picture: Supplied

“It demonstrates the power of cinema in creating a narrative that is both conceptually and emotionally engaging, resonating with audiences on a profound level,” said Razak.

Mtembu said that she had learned a lot from the experience.

“I’m am grateful for the amazing team I had, I mean, having to direct people who are really good at what they do has allowed me to learn so much as a director.

“I am so proud to be the director of this amazing film and I am excited that the world gets to see it too.”

The second annual awards for short films provides a gateway for the development of exceptional cinematic talent, and champions filmmakers with an original perspective on storytelling.

This year’s winners were selected from over 8400 films by more than 5000 film-makers across 148 countries and territories, submitted across six categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Environment, Animation, Student, and Future Format.

The six winners of the 2024 Sony Future Filmmaker Awards. Picture: Supplied.

Winners were announced at a black-tie ceremony held on Thursday, May 30, at the Cary Grant Theatre in Los Angeles and hosted by “Entertainment Tonight” correspondent, Denny Directo.

Award-winning director Justin Chadwick, well known for his work on “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”, chaired the judging process.

According to a statement, in addition to the cash and equipment prizes, winners took part in a week-long industry immersion programme, which provided filmmakers with an invaluable opportunity to connect with their peers and leaders in the field, and to gain exclusive behind-the-scenes access.

“The program comprises workshops led by Sony Pictures executives, covering a range of topics from keynotes by major cinematographers, screenings and Q&A sessions, to insights into working with talent agencies and using cutting-edge technologies and animation, film scoring and music rights.”

Chadwick said: “This year’s winners traverse borders and cultures, a global gathering of creative talent set to make their mark in our industry.

“The winners each approach their stories with originality; from a portent of an eroding society, to a surreal take on family pressures, to an animated love story suspended in time: we were struck by the ingenuity of these filmmakers and their fresh perspective on the world.

“It is with great pleasure we celebrate the winners, as well as the wider cohort of 30 filmmakers who comprised this year’s shortlist, and we look forward to watching as they take their next steps in cinema.”

Take a look at the full list of winners.


“Ángulos de la Hora” (Hour Angle) directed by Kyle Novak (Czech Republic).


“Wildmen of the Greater Toronto Area” directed by Solmund MacPherson (Canada).


“Anguish” directed by Raheem Razak (South Africa)


“Imogene” directed by Katie Blair (USA)


“Parasomnia” directed by Cristian Daniel (Uruguay).


“Ìrún Dídì” directed by Olawunmi Hassan and Adaobi Samson (Nigeria).