South Africa at Cannes Film Festival 2018

Still from Rafiki

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture will once again lead the delegation representing South Africa at Cannes Film Festival, taking place from 8 to 19 May 2018. The NFVF will officially co-host the South African Pavilion with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). “The IDC has an interest in the development of the South African media and motion pictures industry, and welcome this partnership as an opportunity to support the creative work done by our South African producers,” said IDC executive for high impact and regions, William Smith.

The following five South African films will be included in the official programme:


Co-produced by South African producer Steven Markovitz and Afrobubblegum (Kenya). Rafiki, is based on the 2007 winner for the Caine short story prize, Jambula Tree. Written by Monica Arac de Nyeko, Jambula Tree tells the story of two teenage girls who fall in love in Uganda, where same-sex relationships are illegal. In the short story, they are spied on by a neighbour perched in a Jambula tree, whose fruit is used as a popular image for breasts in Uganda. Rafiki director, Wanuri Kahiu, sets the tender adolescent love story in Kenya, challenging her country’s own stance on LGBTQI rights.

Screening dates and times:

Wednesday, 9 May 2018 at 16h00 – Palais G (Market Screening)

Wednesday, 9 May 2018 at 13h45 – Debussy (Festival & Press Screening)

Wednesday, 9 May at 22h15 – Debussy (Official Screening)

Thursday, 10 May 2018 at 13h30 – Palais J (Market Screening)

Monday, 14 May at 11h30 – Palais J (Market Screening)

The Harvesters/Die Stropers

Directed by Etienne Kallos and produced by Cinema Defacto (France) in co-production with Heretic (Greece), Lava Films (Poland) and Spier Films (South Africa). An isolated and conservative farming region in rural South Africa is the stronghold for Afrikaans white, minority culture, obsessed with strength and masculinity. In this world Janno exists – different, secretive and emotionally frail. One day his mother, who is fiercely religious, brings home Pieter, a hardened street orphan she wants to save. Janno is asked to make this stranger, his brother. The two boys begin a fight for power, heritage and parental love.


Screening dates and times:

Monday, 14 May 2018 at 11h15

Monday, 14 May 2018 at 16h30

Miles from Nowhere

Directed by Samantha Nell and produced by Bongiwe Selane. The film has been selected for the La Fabrique Cinéma de l’Institut français, a programme tailored to assist young talented directors from emerging countries increase their international exposure. In an old-age home, a conflict over skin colour reveals the cracks in the new South Africa. Ben lives comfortably amongst his own people in a Jewish old-age home in Johannesburg. The arrival of residents of colour shatters his reality. He is confronted by the headstrong Lebo as they vie for position within the home. Their mundane conflict pits the entire home and their own liberal children and grandchildren against each other. They all must realise how difficult it is to change.

The Colour of the Skull

Directed by Sibs Shingwe-La Mer, and co-produced by Chuanne Bloefield, Fares Ladjimi (French) and Gijs Kerbosch (Dutch). The film has been selected to the Atelier Cinéfondation, an international co-production forum aimed at enabling selected projects access to international financing to speed up the production process.

Inxeba/The Wound

Directed by John Trengove and produced by Elias Ribeiro and Cait Pansegrouw. South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs12) multi-award winner, Inxeba/The Wound has been incorporated in the Cannes Film Market as a framework of the Producers Network programme case study.

The NFVF has provided support to seven South African filmmakers to attend the festival through the markets and festival travel grant. The purpose of this grant is to provide financial support for South African filmmakers to attend local and international film festivals to promote their projects.

“International film festivals are platforms that help promote South African content to the world and to see proudly South African films being selected to form part of the 71st Cannes official programme goes to show that the film industry in South Africa is doing something right. We are also pleased to extend our partnership with IDC to Cannes as partnerships have become crucial in the advancement of the film industry,” said NFVF CEO, Ms. Zama Mkosi.


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