Like many industries, the entertainment sector has been hit hard by the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The past few months saw creatives across the world find new and innovative ways to ensure the arts and entertainment space remains alive, relevant and competitive.
With this in mind, Cape Town is getting ready to welcome filmmakers from across the world to showcase their talent at the new One People International Film Festival (OPIFF).
Founded in 2020, the OPIFF will be launched in April in Cape Town.
Organisers are planning hybrid in-person and online events according to Covid-19 health and safety recommendations from local and regional government.
The festival aims to create an intimate and collaborative space for filmmakers and will include master classes by renowned cinema professionals, an array of international film and cutting-edge documentary programmes, co-production networking opportunities and elegant red-carpet film premieres.
The festival champions content creators from around the world, regardless of their language, origin, orientation, race or religion.
Showcasing films that celebrate diversity and inclusion, the programme of narrative, documentary, and animated films intends to contribute to uniting communities from across the globe. The festival will create a platform to hear many different voices, championing films involving first nations, indigenous people and minority groups.
British-Nigerian actor Hakeem Kae-Kazim said: “This amazing new film festival will give a voice to many of the voiceless creators from around the world”.
“This initial OPIFF will take place in Cape Town, South Africa, that has 11 official languages, and a city I would easily describe as one of the most beautiful in the world. The country goes under the banner one nation many people and is on a continent that is probably the most culturally and linguistically diverse on the planet.
“Seems a just and fitting beginning to telling the many stories humanity in all its guises has to tell. I am so looking forward to the celebration of the narrative of humanity that this festival will be.”
Echoing his sentiments, South African actress, Jolene Martin, commented: “Southern Africa is the cradle of humankind and so arguably could be considered as the birthplace of storytelling. The evocative illustrations of my first nation ancestors adorn our mountains, still today, as evidence of their ancient folklore and spiritual beliefs.
“I like to think these stories are waiting...waiting to be re-imagined through the medium we as filmmakers and practitioners love so much. As an actress and as host of the One People International Film Festival, it fills me with great pride to participate in a project which allows us to bring story-telling back to its birthplace. “
The festival recognises native and indigenous peoples of the world and is committed to supporting and championing filmmakers from these marginalised communities.
The chairperson of Cinema Libre Studios in Los Angeles (LA), Philippe Diaz, said: “When most film festivals go more and more the commercial way and celebrate only recognised filmmakers, it is great to see that a new festival will not only give a voice to new talents, but also voiceless talents by supporting indigenous filmmakers. I am proud that Cinema Libre Studio is part of a festival that will contribute in making a more unified world, affirming that we are one people.”
As the hosts, South African filmmakers are encouraged to submit their entries, as they are eligible for free entry.
South African actor, Maurice Paige, said: “Imprisoned by hills, in a small town on the Garden Route on the outskirts of Cape Town, a dream was born in the form of visuals, acting, filmmaking and stunts. In a small little town called Heidelberg. Remarkable talents rise from these small towns to become South Africa’s most phenomenal talents.
“Opportunities at the One People International Film Festival will give so much more to these hungry souls to live their dreams and showcase their talents to Africa and the world. As a small-town boy myself, I know through my own life experience, that we need to ensure we support and nurture these talents, “
The submission categories are as follows:
● Narrative Feature Film
● Documentary Feature Film
● South African Feature Film (Narrative/Documentary)
● Features by Indigenous Filmmakers (Narrative/Documentary)
● South African Short Film (Narrative/Documentary)
● Short Film (Narrative/Documentary)
● COVID-19 Short Films
For more information, click here.