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12 Dec 2016  |   Tribute to Junaid Ahmed - award-winning Durban filmmaker

Tribute to Junaid Ahmed - award-winning Durban filmmaker 

The eThekwini Municipality, the Durban Film Office and the Durban FilmMart are deeply saddened by the passing of a colleague and friend, Junaid Ahmed, who died early in November this year.

Junaid has been a shining light in our film community in so many ways. Those that worked with him at the Durban Film Office, and other film and theatre industry folk,  knew that he always there to help when needed and gave freely of his time, knowledge and expertise. His peers, both old and young, benefitted enormously from his generosity. His giving nature manifested significantly for young film-makers, when in recent years, he successfully secured funding from the NFVF to produce a slate of nine films which focused on giving professional opportunities to young filmmakers. The model that he created together with co-producer and business partner Helena Spring, gave birth to three highly successful films over three years. The first Hard To Get which opened the 2014 Durban International Film Festival, and was later released in cinemas. Then in this February their film Happiness is a Four Letter Word  did exceptionally well on circuit, and at the time of his death he was in post-production with their next film Keeping up with the Kandasamys directed by Durban’s Jayan Moodley which is set in Chatsworth using a large contingent of local talent both on and off set.

Junaid had a number of projects featured in the Durban FilmMart over the years, and presented workshops and seminars at the various forums for the mart. This year, he shared his success story of Happiness is Four letter Word to a captive audience at the DFM.

He worked hard for his successes and always acknowledged those that helped him along his way. He was a humble, kind and honest man, offering a smile and a laugh with ease. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him, and very sorely missed by the South African film industry.

Our deepest sympathies go out to his wife Liza and family during this difficult time.