The Centre for Creative Arts extends its sincerest condolences to the family of international award winning writer/director/ producer Junaid Ahmed.
Ahmed died earlier this week aged 57, after suffering a stroke two weeks ago. He was laid to rest on Tuesday (1 November 2016).
Ahmed was a great friend of the CCA and participated in several Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) panels and juries over the years.
The action- romance Hard to Get, produced by Ahmed opened the festival in 2014. It went on to win numerous awards at other major international film festivals and was released at cinemas in August that year.
CCA director David wa Maahlamela said; ‘As the Centre, our memories of Junaid Ahmed are not limited to DIFF. He also facilitated a panel on ‘When does the Arab Spring become Summer?’ during Time of the Writer in 2012. His departure leaves both the arts, culture, and creative industry in eternal winter. May his soul peacefully rest.’
Another of his productions, Happiness is a Four Letter Word, was released at cinemas last year to much acclaim. The romantic drama grossed more than R2 million in its first three days and raking in just over R12 million at the South African box office in just over a month.
Last year, the project Selma and Charlize (South Africa) co-produced by Ahmed and Helena Spring was selected for the 6th Durban FilmMart (DFM) at DIFF.
The Durban-born filmmaker was also an alumnus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal which houses the CCA, having obtained a BA Honours in Drama from the then University of Durban Westville in the early 1980s.
Between 1986 and 1990, Ahmed was served as the General Secretary of the Congress of South African Writers.
He founded Fineline Productions in 1994 directing his first The Vow in 1998. This was followed by More than Just a Game in 2007. The docu-drama set in 1690 apartheid South Africa was re-screened at DIFF this year as part of the schools programme. At the time of his death, he was working on Keeping up with the Kandasamys due to be released next year.
He was also and executive member and KZN convener of the Independent Producers Organisation.
Ahmed is survived by his wife, Liza, and his children, Tariq, Taegan and Jarred.