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Kibwe Tavares’ ‘Jonah’ wins Best Short Film at Young Directors Award

Bagging both the Special Jury Award and the Audience Award, Nexus director Kibwe Tavares’ ‘Jonah’ received the Best Short Film award for Jonah at the CFP-E and SHOTS Young Directors Award. Tavares is only the sixth recipient in the award’s 15-year history.
Tavares was also named as one of the world’s top young directing talents at the Saatchi & Saatchi and Young Directors Award showcase at the 2014 Cannes Lions Festival.

Kibwe Tavares, Director, Nexus Productions said, “I am completely overwhelmed and privileged to be part of both the showcase and win the YDA and Special Jury prize at this years Cannes Lions festival. To have been selected by YDA and Saatchi & Saatchi out of so many young talented directors from across the globe for the event is a complete honor.”
Already named as one of Fast Company’s ‘100 Most Creative People in Business 2012’ and recently awarded a prestigious TED fellowship, Tavares has been a signed to Nexus as a commercial director since 2013.
Jonah, a Factory Fifteen produced short film is a stunning combination of live-action shot on location in Zanzibar with beautiful visual effects. The film, which today was awarded for Best Short Film, tells the story of Mbwana and his best friend Juma; two young men with big dreams. These dreams become reality when they photograph a gigantic fish leaping out of the sea and their small town blossoms into a tourist hot-spot as a result. The reality isn’t what they dreamed – and when Mbwana meets the fish again, both of them forgotten, ruined and old, he decides only one of them can survive. Jonah is a compelling visual feast, shot with humour and warmth. It tells an old story in a completely new way.
 “Jonah was my first official directing role, so it is really special to win the best short award at the CFP-E and SHOTS YDA awards, and it pays testament to the hard work everyone put in to make the film what it is. It goes without saying that being awarded the Special Jury prize is the highlight of my career so far and an accolade that I am beyond proud to receive,” Tavares said. 
Chris O’Reilly, Co-Founder, Nexus, said, “Kibwe is undoubtedly one of the most exiting young directing talents in British film. As co-founder of Oscar-nominated studio Nexus, over the last 15 years I have collaborated with many directors and I can vouch that Kibwe is a rare talent.
He can visualise complex universes and work alongside teams of VFX artist and designers, yet is first and foremost a performance and story focused director of some subtly who can build relationships with actors and writers.
I’m very excited for his future and feel sure he would both merit and benefit from being part of the Breakthrough Brits.”


JONAH from Factory Fifteen on Vimeo.

Full Credits:

Presented by – FILM4, BFI & SHINE 

Town VFX by Factory Fifteen 

Big fish and underwater VFX by Jellyfish Pictures
Directed by Kibwe Tavares
Written by Jack Thorne
Produced by Ivana MacKinnon
Daniel Kaluuya
Malachi Kirby
and Louis Mahoney
Executive Producers – Katherine Butler, Ollie Madden, Chris Collins, Phil Dobree, Eva Yates
Co-Producer Fiz Oliver
Line Producer – Sarah Jane Wheale
Editor – Adam Biskupsi
Cinematographer – Chloe Thomson
Production Designer: Paul Nicholls & Jonathan Gales
Visual Effects Supervisor: Paul Nicholls
Fish Concept Art – Warren Holder
Composer – Mark Sayfritz
Sound Recordist – Will Whale
Costume Designer– Celia Lusted
Casting Directors – Aisha Waters Saheem Baig

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