Feature length documentary Cosmic Africa won the best film prize at South Africa's National Television and Video Association (NTVA) annual Stone Awards this week.

Aland Pictures' documentary - which is currently on theatrical release - also won seven other awards at the ceremony, including best direction, cinematography and art direction.

The film by brothers Craig and Damon Foster follows African astronomer Thebe Medupe on a quest through the continent to find out the secrets of African astronomical traditions and achievements.

The Foster brothers follow him as he explores the sky-beliefs of very different traditional societies such as the agriculturist Dogon people of Mali, the hunter-gather Ju/'Hoansi of Namibia and the nomadic cattle herders of the early Sub Saharan Africans in Egypt.

The NTVA awarded three awards to the Foster brothers - for direction, cinematography and art direction. In addition Damon Foster won for best editing, the brothers shared an award with writer Hugh Brody for best script, Barry Donnelly got honours for his sound design and shared another award with composer Grant McLachlan for best score.

The film has been widely praised in the local press, an opened to a gross of $3,900 (R26,026) on five screens last weekend. The producers are currently in negotiations with a US theatrical distributor

Big World Cinema's short film Inja, about the brutal act of a white farmer in apartheid South Africa which intentionally destroys the bond between a young black boy and a dog, won a Gold Award for Best Short as well as craft awards for Steven Pasvolsky for his script and direction, and to actors Anele Vellom and Lizo Makambi for their outstanding performances. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the short fiction category earlier this year.