Teboho Edkins’ surreal documentary Days of Cannibalism took top honours in the documentary competition section of Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival last week. Set in Lesotho, the documentary feature tracks the integration of Chinese business owners into a culture and region known for cattle farming.

The film was awarded the El Gouna Golden Star for Documentary Film which comes with a cash prize of $30 000.

Days of Cannibalism premiered at the Berlinale International Film Festival earlier this year where it was nominated for best documentary. It had its South Africa premiere at Encounters in August 2020 where it was awarded second place in the documentary competition. It has since gone on to screen at the Durban International Film Festival, CPH:DOX, Visions du Réel, amongst others, and will be screened at Porto/Post/Doc and the New Directors / New Films in New York in December.

The Western-styled documentary is set in the bleak rugged terrain of a remote rural Lesotho, Southern Africa. It is here that economic pioneers are met with unease by local communities, and these self-made Chinese merchants negotiate their place alongside traditional Basotho cattle breeders.

South African director, Teboho Edkins, who works between Cape Town and Berlin, Germany was elated about the award: “After years of focusing on this film project, which explores the impact of globalisation in Lesotho where I grew up and more broadly on the African continent., it is so humbling to watch it being appreciated in the market place at festivals,” he said.

“This was the first physical screening of my film in Africa. It is a great honour to see the film on an African stage and to be recognized with this prize. I would like to express my appreciation to the organizers for making the festival happen in these challenging times.”