Junaid Ahmed, the award-winning SA filmmaker and the producer behind Happiness is a Four-Letter Word, Hard to Get and Lucky, had passed away on November 1 2016.
Best known for his hugely successful 2016 film Happiness is a Four-Letter Word, Junaid is renowned both locally and internationally for his work which includes Gandhi My Father, Lucky, Hard to Get, The Vow, and More Than Just A Game. He was working on his latest project Keeping up with the Kandasamys at the time of his death.
Of the special awards handed out, the one that stood out he most was the Safta Lifetime Achiever Special Recognition Award that which was accorded to the late Junaid Ahmed producer of local hit movie ‘Keeping up with the Kandasamys’, which is raking in the cash at the box office.
Jayan Moodley, director of the Kandasamysmovie had this to share after being informed of the acknowledgement at the SAFTAs.
“Junaid Ahmed was certainly a pioneer. He was passionate about developing talent and had such a beautiful attachment to the craft of acting.
It was such an honour to be afforded the opportunity to work with him on a project that he really couldn’t contain his excitement about ‘Keeping up with the Kandasamys ‘. He was thrilled right from the beginning and we had such insightful discussions as we moved along in the development phase.
He will be remembered though, not just for his amazing skill as a filmmaker but more for the special human being he was. He had a knack of making people comfortable; he had a way of speaking to each and every person and made them feel special, and most of all he gave of himself in abundance. He loved and was loved back.
His quirky sense of humour, his often-playful ways on set and his smile endeared him to everyone. We take this opportunity to acknowledge him and to thank him for paving the way in the industry. Hamba kahle dear Junaid.”
“It’s a tricky one having received a posthumous award – it always makes me wonder if the recipient would have received it had they been alive.”, stated Rory Booth, scriptwriter of the Kandasamy’s movie
“That said, Junaid achieved what many SA filmmakers could only dream of – producing two extremely successful box office hits that competed with the international film market.
His determination, drive and love of film changed the way South Africans view South African films and produced quality film on par with international standards.
This is a wake up call for the industry to consider giving out awards to stars like Ahmed for their outstanding achievements way before their deaths.”