Doc-U-Mentally – a film which aptly captures the pressures junior doctors face in South Africa – won the award for ‘Best Cinematography’ at the weekend’s prestigious South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA), which was held at Sun City.

Director, Francois Wahl says that he is extremely honoured and grateful to receive such a prestigious award and hopes that the film’s continued recognition will help to further effect change in SA’s healthcare sector.

“The documentary was a team effort and couldn’t have been made without the support of an amazing cast, the staff and patients at Ngwelezane Hospital, the talented crew from Meyer Productions and the generosity of our sponsors: Pharma Dynamics, the SA Medical Association, KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission and fellow doctors who raised significant funds to produce the film via a successful crowdfunding campaign,” says Wahl.

The documentary shows five different doctors from vastly diverse backgrounds, during five different calls. The main focus was to show the race against time for these doctors and how working 30 hour shifts impacts their mood, performance, stress and anxiety levels and personal safety.

Mariska van Aswegen, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics – the main sponsor of the film – says Doc-U-Mentally, which was nominated in the Best Feature Documentary, Best Cinematography for a Documentary and Best Editing for a Documentary categories was poised for success.

“Doc-U-Mentally is a gripping 82-minute film from start to finish and to have received a SAFTA award – the highest acclaim a film can receive in SA – affirms this. I believe the film will continue to hit home the plight which junior doctors face in our country. It’s important that more awareness is created and I believe that the movie will continue to serve as a strong catalyst for change,” says van Aswegen.

Doc-U-Mentally also won the award for the Best South African Documentary at last year’s Jozi Film Festival and has been entered into several other international film festivals.

Wahl is currently in consultation with various broadcasters to make the film available to the general public.

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