It is with a heavy heart that as we end a weekend of festivities of  film and television on the African continent with the celebration of the 50th FESPACO Pan African Film Festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the beginning of the Rapid Lion International Film Festival in Johannesburg, and the 13th Annual SAFTAs, that the film and creative industry woke up on Saturday to tragic news of the passing of a rising legend Sibusiso Khwinana of the recent cinema success Matwetwe and this morning to the news of the passing of a great African legend in Filmmaking Abid Mohamed Medoun “Med” Hondo, with films such as “Soleil O” (1967) and “West Indies: Les Negres Marrons De La Liberte” (1979) (“West Indies: The Black Freedom Fighters”).

The IBFC wishes to extend its deepest condolences to the families and close friends of these two members of African cinema.

When thinking about Sibusiso’s untimely death, we grieve alongside Diprente Films producers of Matwetwe and condemning his killing and the violent nature of those who feel that taking a life is okay. It is not okay. Sibusiso left us at a time when his star was rising. A founding member of the Independent Theatres Makers Movement, he was set to become a thespian to be reckoned with and a committed industry player of the South African film industry.  While we trust that our police and legal system will do their best to find the perpetrators who did this to him, we call to the very same system to ensure justice is found that will see the perpetrators given the maximum sentence.

Med Hondo lived a full life in film, a true son of Pan African Cinema who told stories of the strength of the African people, stories that opened our eyes to the atrocities of the colonial system, stories that shone a light on African storytelling doing his best to curtail the influence of Hollywood’s depiction of the greatness of our continent. His career spanned six decades, a thespian in the initial stages of his career and later a director and producer. We salute the powerhouse Hondo was and trust that his legacy will be preserved through all his works.

Rest in Power brothers of African Cinema. Rest in Power!