Joburg Film Festival: Picture: OUT OF MOTION FILMS

The second annual Joburg Film 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, November 9 to Saturday, November 17.

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.

“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 realize 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,” said Pimenta.

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 furore in its home country due to a ban and huge on social media, including supporting tweets for allowing it to 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 premiers at the Cannes Film Festival.

Also confirmed for the programme is the highly publicized documentary “Everything Must Fall” by 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 eros 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 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 filmgoers of different ages, genders and cultures.

The full festival schedule will be announced on the www.joburgfilmfestival.co.za website soon.

IOL/Supplied