Director Simon Wood’s latest film ‘Scenes from a Dry City’ was produced by Academy Award Winner Laura Poitras and Charlotte Cooke at Field of Vision. ‘Scenes from a Dry City’ premiered in competition at IDFA 2018 and at its US premiere in 2019 won Best Mini Doc at the Academy qualifying Big Sky Festival in Montana. In June the film was awarded an honourable mention at the American Film Institutes premiere documentary festival AFIDOCS.
Wood's next film ‘Untamed’ currently in post production was recently selected for the Final Cut at the Venice International Film Festival. The film was also selected for IFP’s Spotlight on Documentaries for Independent Film Week in New York City.
His previous film ‘The Silent Form’ won four awards at the 2017 SAFTAS (South African Film and Television Awards). This capped a successful year for the film which had its world premiere in Toronto at Hot Docs. ‘The Silent Form’ is a collaboration between Wood and one of South Africa’s most successful artists, the sculptor Dylan Lewis.
This was the second year running that Wood has had a film selected for Hot Docs following his 2015 film ‘Orbis’ which still features on the international festival circuit, most recently being selected for Visions du Réel. In 2018 ‘Orbis’ was awarded ‘The Golden Ribbon’ for best international documentary by CICTV in Beijing . 'Orbis’ is a hypnotic journey through one of South Africa’s largest townships, Umlazi, its inhabitants’ existence shaped by their proximity to Africa’s largest port Durban.
His previous documentary ‘Forerunners’ was selected for IDFA in 2011, The film is an ancestral examination of 4 members of South Africa’s new black middle class. The film garnered awards in North America and Europe and was screened on Al Jazeera’s Witness strand 30 times.
Wood is currently in production with ‘Container’, a virtual reality collaboration with Indian artist Meghna Singh. A National Geographic awarded project, it highlights the issue of modern day slavery..
‘Container’ 2019 ( Production) Recently awarded a National Geographic Explorers grant. Featured at Venice Gap-Financing Market 2018 and IDFA Forum Central Pitch 2017 .
‘Untamed’ 2019 (Post Production) Selected for the Final Cut in Venice (75th Venice International Film Festival) . Also supported by the IFP (Spotlight on documentaries 2017) Received NFVF Post Production Grant in 2017
‘Scenes from a Dry City’ World Premiere in competition at IDFA 2018 co directed with Francois Verster, Produced by Laura Poitras and Charlotte Cooke at Field of Vision. Winner Best Mini Doc at The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. 'Honourable Mention' at AFI DOCS 2019. Featured at Full Frame 2019, Hot Docs 2019, San Francisco International Film Festival 2019, Dallas International Film Festival 2019, Aspen Shorts 2019 and a 'Vimeo Staff Pick' after its online premiere.
‘The Silent Form’ World Premiere Hot Docs 2016, Winner of 4 South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAS) including Best Documentary Short, Best Cinematography (Simon Wood), Best Editor and Best Sound Design
‘Orbis’ International Premiere Hot Docs 2015, Winner ‘Golden Ribbon’ for Best International Short Documentary Beijing 2018, Winner 2 SAFTAS, Winner Golden Tree International Documentary Festival Best Documentary Short Frankfurt 2017, Screened at Vision du Reel 2017
'Forerunners' - IDFA 2011 (Best of the Fests), UNAFF San Francisco 2011, Winner Best Cinematography, Festival International Du Film Panafricain Cannes 2011 Jury Prize.