South African short film wins Best Comedy at LA Shorts International Film Festival

IT’S COMPLICATED, a South African short film directed by Grant De Sousa and produced by BIRDFILM in association with PICTURESCOPE has won the Best Comedy award at the Los Angeles Shorts International Film Festival.

The festival, now in its 21st year, took place from August 2nd to 10th and showcased 280 films in competition from 25 countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, Uruguay, UK and USA.

Among the competition the South African effort faced were works from industry names the likes of Robin Wright (House of Cards), Matthew Modine (Stranger Things), John Stamos (Full House) and Michael Flatley (Lord of the Dance).

Previous years alumnus include such visionary raconteurs as Tim Burton, Bryan Singer, Paul Haggis, Shane Black, Jason Reitman, John Woo, Tony Scott, David Lynch, Terry Gilliam, Jon Favreau, Scarlett Johansson, Vin Diesel, Hilary Swank, Demi Moore, Courteney Cox, Jessica Biel, Kirsten Dunst, Ralph Macchio and Ricky Gervais.

The festival is accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and award winners are eligible for Academy nomination. LA Shorts is also an official qualifying event for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) short film awards and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television (ACCT) presenters of the Canadian Screen Awards – eligible international film festivals.

LA Shorts Fest is the only film festival with seven award categories recognised by the Academy Awards. It reported this year that a total of 44 LA Shorts Fest winners have progressed through to become Academy Award nominees, with 14 filmmakers taking home an Oscar.

IT’S COMPLICATED is a cross-genre film, billed as a romantic comedy horror. It tells the story of lonely Andy who invites a girl he met online to his apartment. He then falls head-over-heels for her despite his stoner flatmate Nigel’s repeated attempts to point out her seemingly obvious flaw.

Grant De Sousa said ” I set out to create a film on an international standard that happens to be set in S.A. using only South African cast. We wanted the film to compete on the international stage. The original idea was to explore amusing human truths explored in the medium of a genre film.” Grant went onto explain the challenges of the Genre. “I felt that dark comedies are such a rare pursuit in the foreign film marketplace and probably with good reason. Tonally it was a huge challenge for me and one I could not have achieved without such strong dynamic performances from a stellar cast!” 

The film was independently financed by the producers and shot entirely in Cape Town over a 3 day period. It stars Paul Snodgrass, Johann Vermaak, Lise Slabber and Sean Cameron Michael.

Upcoming international festivals have already selected the film for further competition abroad, so watch this frame closely.

 IT’S COMPLICATED will have its South African premiere at the 15th edition of the shnit Worldwide Short Film Festival in Cape Town from October 18th to 29th 2017. 


Cast: Paul Snodgrass, Johann Vermaak, Lise Slabber, Lara Lipschitz, Sean Cameron Michael, Raph Kossew.

Crew: Alard de Smidt, Monica Rosie, Bronwyn Cruz, Neil Uys, Thando Ntombela, Skip Margetts, Jonathan Searle, Lennox Mbolekwa, Gerhardus Kotze, Charl van Zyl, Jimmy Periera, Grant Forbes, Zingi Nhini, Maarten de Groot, Heindrich du Preez, Damien Britz, Michael Rosie, Denita Goosen, Jade Mitchell,

Post Production: Evi Katz, Charmaine Greyling, Clare Vandeleur, Greg Alberts, Nic Apostoli, Dillon Harlalnd, Kelly Harding, Petra Ross, Tim Beckerling, Matthew James, Matt Deuse, Bevil Schwartz, Angela van der Merwe, Darian Simons

Production: Pia Caverni, Clifford Delcie, Viktoria von Hof, Nathaniel Gallant

Music: The Hellcats and Woodstock Mafia

Suppliers: Shesha Caterers, Moi Content, Panavision, Panalux, Helimedia, Ludus Upstairs, Left Post Production and Rhapsody Recording 

For More information
Producer Alan Lawson –
Producer Justin Cohen –
Producer Tyrone Rubin – 

Relevant links –

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