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Joburg Film Festival


Joburg Film Festival celebrates global cinema with 60 films

The Joburg Film Festival, brought to you by MultiChoice, will kick off its six-day celebration of global film on 19 November 2019 with the South African premiere of locally-produced horror film, 8, at the festival hub on Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton.

Between 19 and 24 November, audiences will be able to watch a total of 60 films and documentaries from around the world at six venues (within Auto & General Theatre on the Square and at a free outdoor screening area at Nelson Mandela Square); Ster-Kinekor Sandton City; Cinema Nouveau Rosebank; Maboneng’s Bioscope and Kings Theatre in Alexandra) across Johannesburg. The Festival will play host to a number of stars, producers and directors, who will participate in Q&A sessions after select screenings across the programme, with daily red carpet premieres giving fans the opportunity to meet the stars themselves.

“The Joburg Film Festival offers a multicultural cinema experience in the heart of Johannesburg,” says Joburg Film Festival executive director Timothy Mangwedi. It’s a cinematic feast that showcases thought-provoking, debate-stoking films from around the world, which we can’t wait to share with the people of Johannesburg”.

MultiChoice Group executive corporate affairs, Joe Heshu, says that the company’s support of the Joburg Film Festival is aligned to its role as Africa’s most-loved storyteller. “Our platforms have always supported the best in local and international films, with themed pop-up channels dedicated to film festivals. The Joburg Film Festival the physical manifestation of that support of cinema – offering film fans the chance to enjoy interesting, challenging films in the company of key cast and crew and explore their love for movies”.

The Joburg Film Festival line-up includes films from South Africa; Nigeria; Mozambique; Brazil; USA; UK; Morocco and more, with a mix of feature films and documentaries showcasing stories that cross cultural boundaries. Local horror film 8 stars Tshamano Sebe, Inge Beckmann, Garth Breytenbach & Chris April – it tells the tale of an old man, fated to collect souls for eternity, who then seeks atonement after trading his daughter’s soul. Idris Elba’s directorial debut, Yardie, tells the story of a Jamaican immigrant in London who becomes consumed with avenging the murder of his older brother. Frances-Ann Solomon’s Hero is inspired by the life and times of Ulric Cross whose life spanned key moments of the 20th Century like WW2, African independence, Black Power, the rise of a new brand of Black leadership around the world – all events that have shaped the world today. Luce, starring Octavia Spencer; Kelvin Harrison Jr; Naomi Watts & Tim Roth sees liberal-minded couple, Amy and Peter Edgar, who are forced to reconsider their image of their adopted son after they discover he has written an extremely disturbing essay for his class at school.

Grace Jones: Bloodlight & Bami delves into the story of larger than life performer and model Grace Jones to discover her as a lover, daughter, mother, sister and even grandmother. The stage is where her most extreme embodiments are realised and her theatrical imagination lets loose: this is where the musical of her life is played out. Where are you, João Gilberto? sets out in the footsteps of German writer Marc Fischer who obsessively searched for the legendary founding father of Bossa Nova, Brazilian musician João Gilberto, who has not been seen in public for decades. Fanney Tsimong’s soulful documentary, My Culture, My Music, illustrates how music has always been a powerful tool within South African culture. A host of South African artists narrate what music and culture mean to them: connecting to the body and soul, healing and providing a sense of being.

For a full listing of the 60 films showing at the Joburg Film Festival – and for information on how to book tickets when bookings open on 10 November – visit the festival website.

Youth and Audience Development Programme showcases young talent at the Joburg Film Festival

The Joburg Film Festival is embarking on a province-wide skills transfer drive to open the film industry up for young and aspiring filmmakers. 

The initiative is part of the festival’s Youth and Audience Development Programme in partnership with Gauteng Film Commission and sponsored by The MultiChoice Group.

To be a part of the programme – young filmmakers between the ages of 18 and 24 must create a short film celebrating their neighbourhood with the theme ‘Your Kasi, Your Story’ and enter it here. Entries close on 4 October 2019.

A panel of judges will review the best among the submitted short films, rewarding these with a spot at the coveted workshops. They will also choose the winning short film to be recognised at the Joburg Film Festival’s Award Gala Evening on 24 November 2019.

The Youth and Audience Development Programme will comprise a series of two-day workshops and special screenings across Gauteng during October and November. The workshops will see industry professionals give lessons on the amazing craft of cinematic storytelling and local talent development.

Designed specifically for youth residing in townships across four regions in the province, the programme aims to provide a platform where they can engage with industry professionals and their peers.

“The programme is more than filmmaking and entertainment. It is a deliberate and valuable intervention by the Joburg Film Festival and Multichoice Group, in partnership with the Gauteng Film Commission to provide film talent and enthusiasts residing in townships with an opportunity to learn how to craft authentic stories that resonate with youth across the African continent, with assistance from leading industry professionals,” says Joburg Film Festival Executive Director Timothy Mangwedi.

“One of our key ambitions as Africa’s most loved storyteller, is to ensure a sustainable talent pipeline is created for the video and entertainment industry across the continent. We are quite excited to see what undiscovered talent will be yielded by this programme,” says Joe Heshu, MultiChoice Group Executive Corporate Affairs. 

“Our role is to make catalytic investments that will unlock the growth of the film industry as a driver of social transformation and economic development in the province and by extension, the country too,”adds Busi Mhaga Chairperson, Gauteng Film Commission.

How to Apply 

Budding filmmakers between the ages of 18 and 25 are required to create a 2 to 5-minute documentary or film under the theme Your Kasi, Your Story” highlighting what’s special about their Kasi.

Applicants can get more information about requirements and submission of entries via the Joburg Film Festival’s digital platforms, including the website: Joburgfilmfestival.co.za

Participants will be selected, per region, and invited to the two-day workshops that will be in the following regions:

  • Ekurhuleni (Benoni)                                   12 – 13 October 2019
  • Tshwane (Atteridgeville)                          19 – 20 October 2019
  • The West Rand (Mogale City)                 26 – 27 October 2019
  • Sedibeng (Mfuleng Municipality)          02 – 03 November 2019

The Joburg Film Festival is a great platform that allows audiences to experience world-class production in a vibrant, celebratory environment. The festival main film programme takes place between 19 to 24 November 2019.

The Joburg Film Festival concludes its second edition

With over 40 curated releases showcasing the best in African and international cinema from over 16 countries, the second edition of the Joburg Film Festival recently wrapped after a successful 9-day run in Rosebank, Johannesburg.

Following an amazing week of film screenings in Alexandra, Braamfontein, Soweto, Sandton, Maboneng and Rosebank, the festival offered an opportunity for over 2000 local and international creatives to network through its Film Industry programme produced in partnership with Discop Africa. The festival concluded with an awards ceremony to celebrate the films in competition.

The 2018 Joburg Film Festival films in competition was overseen by a team of industry giants including Nadia El Fani, Pervaiz Khan and Sara Blecher who deliberated over some of Africa’s top films, finally settled on splitting the Nguni Horn between two films this year.

Both features, one a documentary and the other a feature film, share a commonality of immersing the viewer into the unknown to creating awareness. The two top features selected were Freedom Fields by Nazhia Arebi and The Day I Lost My Shadow by Soudade Kaadan.

“We have a watched a wide range of great movies that have made us almost jump out our seats but ultimately we decided that we had to split the prize,” stated one of the jurors post the announcement who added, “These two prize winning films demonstrate that although filmmaking is not becoming any easier, filmmakers continue to make cinema that can be powerful, informative and inspiring.”

Freedom Fields, recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, is a film about hope and sacrifice in a land where dreams seem a luxury. The documentary follows a courageous and determined group of women in Libya who, against all odds, pursue their passion for playing football. While struggling to gain cultural acceptance, the film is a mix of everyday life in a very uncertain political climate. Through their difficult journey we see a country in turmoil and transition. The film gives a deeply personal insight into the lives of these extraordinary women. This is Nazhia Arebi’s second film.

Having picked up the Lion of the Future Luigi De Laurentiis Award for a Debut Film earlier this year at the Venice Film Festival, this epic feature The Day I Lost My Shadow – Soudade Kaadan’s first feature film – is set in 2012 Damascus. A desperate mother goes in search of a gas bottle so that she can feed her 8-year-old son. Her journey takes her through a world of uncertainties, conflict, hopes, hunger, death and callous betrayal. What keeps her going is her determination to return to her son. The use of the hand-held camera transports us into the centre of a brutal zone. The film gives an insight into how war slowly and imperceptibly steals the humanity of those who live through it.


Over 300 women gather to talk gender disparity at the Joburg Film Festival

Over 300 women will gather at Constitutional Hill to discuss gender disparity in the film sector at the 2nd edition of the Joburg Film Festival.

Taking place on Sunday, 11 November at the Constitution Hill in Braamfontein, the Joburg Film Festival will host over 300 women at a free film screening and panel discussion. The occasion is for women to engage around issues of gender inequality in the film, television and cultural landscape of South Africa.

Festival director Angie Mills, “The Joburg Film festival firmly stands alongside women in a worldwide call to action on issues of gender inequity, specifically in the film landscape.  It is with this in mind that we have curated for the festival over 15 films by women directors or which have a woman-centred narrative.  The Constitution Hill event is a critical opportunity to further our own South African articulation of gender disparity through a conversation that is very much needed.”

The documentary film This Changes Everything, highlights gender disparity and inequality in Hollywood and will be screened at the event. The content of the film will be used as a launching pad to kick off discussions around South African women and their daily experiences in which women encounter and deal with gender disparity and how they are addressing this in their places of creative production.

“The conversation around diversity is not a new one but because of the joint effort women across Africa and around the world have put in, it has become ‘the conversation’. Because we work in such a visible industry it’s important that they lead the conversation and keep it in the spot light. Every movement has its time and our time is now,” confirms SWIFT spokesperson Zoe Ramushu.

The festival will bring together influential women like poet Lebo Mashile, journalist Gail Smith, Rafiki lead actress Sheila Munyiva and SWIFT (Sisters Working in Film and Television), to lead the discussion and interact with the audience.

“We live in a moment of reckoning where patriarchy is being exposed and attacked with the real possibility of creating a more equitable world for women. In this light, media, arts and entertainment play important roles as sites of visible resistance to misogyny and also as creative spaces where new realities for women can be envisioned” states panelist Lebo Mashile.

The Department of Arts and Culture and The National Film and Video Foundation are key supporters of the event.


Joburg Film Festival to create platforms for engagement with industry leaders

Having announced the 2nd Annual Joburg Film Festival last week, the festival will be screening a large variety of top South African, African and international films, in addition to various dialogues with key industry leaders and stakeholders, taking place over a period of eight days. The festival runs from Friday,  9 November to Saturday, 17 November 2018 and the full schedule will be available on the Joburg Film Festival website.

With some of the continent’s best filmmakers, local and international movie actors, directors, producers and other entertainment industry leaders descending upon the metropolis next month, the various groups of industry players will engage with one another and South African audiences in a dialogue around South Africa’s burgeoning cinema.

The Joburg Film Festival curator, Mozambican filmmaker Pedro Pimenta, who is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of the United States, responsible for the Oscar awards, together with his team have selected 40 African and internationally curated releases from various countries. He states that, “We are very excited to bring an exceptionally curated selection of 40 films from Africa and the diaspora as well as the world to the Joburg Film Festival this year.  Each film reflects a part of the kaleidoscope that is African and diasporic cinema in conversation with films from Europe, America, Latin America and the Middle East . The documentary, fiction and animation films  to be showcased through the festival share in their curational vision the need to connect with audiences. It is very concerning to realise that a vibrant industry like the one in South Africa is suffering from a disconnection with its vast audience . The Joburg Film Festival at its small scale aims to address this imbalance as we believe the ultimate “raison d’être” of films is to reach and impact audiences.”

The films being screened will include the premieres of the documentary Dying for Gold by Catherine Meyburgh and Richard Pakleppa, Matwetwe by Kagiso Lediga as well as animation features like Funan and Frutitoons, a 90 minute animation package.  The film festival will also be showing the controversial Kenyan love-story Rafiki which has recently caused a major furor in its home country due to a ban and was huge on social media, including supporting tweets for allowing it to be screened from Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o. Having made headline on both CNN and BBC, the movie made history this past May as the first Kenyan movie to premier at the Cannes Film Festival.

Also confirmed for the programme is the highly publicised documentary Everything Must Fallby Rehad Desai  and Anita Khanna which casts an unflinching eye on the “Fees Must Fall” movement in South Africa taking us into its very core. The acclaimed experimental film M, by Finnish filmmaker Anna Erickson engages with eras and death through the guise of Marilyn Monroe  to reflect upon shifting gender power relations. Both filmmakers will be in attendance at the festival and engage in a Q & A with the audience on select dates.

Festival director Angie Mills asserts, “The Joburg Film Festival is a rich opportunity for South African audiences to reclaim African cinema as well as the cinema of the world.  The Joburg Film Festival proudly offers to audiences films that they would not otherwise have the occasion to see. The films chosen for this year’s festival speak to the central and unforgettable role cinema plays in our lives, of telling compelling stories that connect us as people to one another.”

In its commitment to forwarding  a critical and current conversation, the festival has organised a powerful women-centred event with Sisters Working In Film and Television (SWIFT) at Constitution Hill on Sunday, 11 November to discuss gender equity in the film, television and cultural landscape of South Africa. Through a film screening the discussion will be navigated by a panel of guests (to be announced) in conversation with the audience around their daily lived experiences.

The Joburg Film Festival, supported by the Department of Arts and Culture and the National Film and Video Foundation, is  partner to the internationally renowned DISCOP Film and Television market, running concurrently to the Joburg Film Festival, offering an exciting opportunity for over 2000 plus global, local and continental creatives and business to network.

In addition to the screenings at The Zone, Rosebank Cinema Nouveau and Ster Kinekor Maponya Mall, there will be screenings at the Kings Theatre in Alexandra. The festival is open to the public with various films to cater for film goers of different ages, genders and cultures.

The full festival schedule will be announced on the Joburg Film Festival website soon.

Celebrating excellence in film at the Joburg Film Festival

Enable Media with support from DISCOP has announced the 2nd annual Joburg Film Festival taking place from 9 to 18 November 2018. With over 40 curated releases showcasing the best in African and international cinema from over 16 countries at various venues around the metropolis; local and international movie stars, directors, producers and other entertainment industry leaders will come together to celebrate film.

Taking place from Friday, 9 November to Sunday, 18 November 2018, venues across Johannesburg will be screening a variety of top South African, African and international movies. The festival is open to the public and will be showcasing various films to cater for film goers of different ages, genders and cultures.

The Joburg Film Festival partners with the internationally renowned DISCOP Film and Television market, running concurrently to the Joburg Film Festival, offering an exciting opportunity for over 2 000 plus global, local and continental creatives and business to network.

Screenings will take place at Rosebank Cinema Nouveau and Maponya Mall as well as other cinemas still to be announced. In addition, there will be screenings at various community venues including the iconic Kings in Alexandra. The full schedule will include local and international feature films, documentaries, and animation features, various outreach screenings, exclusive premiere events and private parties.

​“As part of the department’s commitment to deliver on its strategic objective to support market access platforms towards the growth of the local film industry, DISCOP Africa and the Joburg Film Festival are key in not only creating an environment for commercial growth but celebrating the South African film content and that of the entire African diaspora as a whole. With this continued support into local arts and culture, the Department of Arts and Culture is pleased to be a part of these platforms again this year,” says senior manager of Cultural Development, Lindiwe Ndebele-Koka, who added that “the festival will also offer aspiring young filmmakers the opportunity to come together for this showcase of African excellence and further cultivate their hunger to make great films.”

“As one of the continent’s leading film industry gatherings this year, the NFVF is fully behind the Joburg Film Festival. The festival will host a contingent of international actors, directors and other key stakeholders further adding to the growth of the industry in the city. We look forward to hosting yet another successful year celebrating African film,” says Shadrick Bokaba the acting CEO of the National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF).

The Joburg Film Festival is made possible with the support of key sponsors and partners the Department of Arts and Culture and the National Film & Video Foundation. Industry supporters include the Gauteng Tourism Authority, Gauteng Film Commission, the National Broadcast Institute, Gallery MOMO, and DISCOP Africa.

Keep up with all the action on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook on @JoburgFilmFest #JOBURGFILMFEST.

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