Each year Afda (The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance) hosts an annual festival which showcases more than 50 new third-year graduate and fourth-year honours (post-graduate) students’ films.

The festival is an opportunity for graduate students to attract and experience an audience in a public cinema environment.

It will be held at Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveaus in Joburg (Rosebank) and Cape Town (Cavendish) on Friday and Saturday and for the first time in Durban at the Gateway’s Cinema Nouveau on Sunday.

“Although it’s a fun and exciting event for everyone concerned, the festival is unique as it uses an audience response rubric directly aligned to the learning inputs and modelling process that Afda uses.” says Afda chairman Garth Holmes.

“This gives students the experience of the visceral emotional response of the audience – a key learning moment in terms of learning to identify and develop audiences for the future”.

This year will also see the festival go online for the first time – a pilot process driven by the Afda digital innovation labora- tory and two of its key participants, Wicus Labuschagne and Jeffrey Rusch.

“We’re constantly sharing and tweeting about experiences, pinning videos for our friends and some might argue that our digital foot- print is becoming as much of an identity as the brands we wear on our clothes” says Labuschagne.

The Afda Online Festival website, www.afdafestival.com, allows people to interact with the films they want to see at the fest.

The website will also showcase films you can’t watch at the festival. Second-year films, fourth-year documentaries and even a few first -year films will be included online.

The Online Festival will run for a week after the Ster-Kinekor Festival and there will be activities prior to and during the festival from Sunday to November 30.

The film festival in Joburg will begin at 11.45am and end at 11pm on Friday and run from 12.15pm to 10pm on Saturday;

In Cape Town it will run from 11.30am to 11pm on Friday and from 10.30am to 10pm on Saturday;

Durban can check out the fest from 10am to 10pm on Sunday.

There will be a total of 24 hours of fascinating short films for audiences take in.

Tickets for Joburg’s screenings cost R20, Cape Town’s screenings cost R15 and Durban’s screenings are free.

(Donations, however, are welcome and will go to Vision Mission, Ster-Kinekor’s corporate social investment initiative to assist youngsters in underprivileged communities by identifying and helping those with visual problems nationwide.)

• For the full festival programme, to view the trailers and for behind-the-scenes information visit www.afdafestival.com