Documentary film Dear Mandela, directed by Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza, has taken home two of the biggest prizes at the Brooklyn Film Festival.
Kell told The Times: "It's been amazing. Certain things in South Africa get really big laughs. People get the jokes, and there is quite a lot of humour in the film because our characters are warm and funny. I was really impressed with the international response."
The film was shot in 2007 after Kell heard about the social movement Abahlali basemjondolo, which had been established two years earlier as a result of a land dispute.
Shack dwellers of the Kennedy Road settlement had been promised the land by the municipality, but it was sold to an industrialist instead, resulting in forced evictions and court orders.
Kell said she and Nizza met community leaders who "embodied Nelson Mandela's pragmatic idealism".
The film's wins at New York's Brooklyn Film Festival continues its run of critical success. The film won Best South African Documentary at the 2011 Durban International Film Festival and the Golden Butterfly Award at The Hague's Movies That Matter film festival.