Joburg Film Festival kicks off with a stellar performance from Thandiswa Mazwai

Multi-award winning actress Connie Chiume attended the Joburg Film Festival opening. Picture: Twitter

Multi-award winning actress Connie Chiume attended the Joburg Film Festival opening. Picture: Twitter

Published Feb 2, 2023


The festival is set to showcase some of the finest films from over 35 countries across the globe, including 20 African premières and 27 South African premières, until February 5.

The opening night at Nelson Mandela Square was a glamorous and stylish event with live performances and the screening of the Senegalese film “Xale” with filmmaker Moussa Sene Absa in attendance.

“Xale” took us on a journey of explaining social ills that are common in some African countries and explores themes around family values, betrayal, love and life.

The night also showcased storytelling through food and music, which included an amazing performance by Thandiswa Mazwai.

The event was packed with attendees such as Haitian born actor/producer Jimmy Jean-Louis, Connie Chiume, Tarina Patel, Samke Makhoba, Rosemary Zimu, Cedric Fourie, Kay Sibiya, Candice Modiselle, Anton Jeftha and Gaisang Noge to name a few.

Makhoba speaking to IOL Entertainment shared that the festival was a good space for individuals to connect and meet with stakeholders in the industry.

She also expressed her hopes for more young people to attend the event, especially since there are opportunities for emerging filmmakers at the festival.

Author Percy Mabandu was the program director for the evening and, after observing all protocols, festival founder and executive director Tim Mangwedi took to the podium to reflect on the festival return after two years.

“After 2 years of extremely challenging times for the film industry, the festival is excited to be back with an in-person event,” he remarked.

Nomsa Philiso, CEO: General Entertainment, MultiChoice, also took the podium and made an exciting announcement that Showmax is calling for pitches for a slate of 10 films across Africa.

“Making your first film is a key turning point in any director’s career. So this brief is another way we are trying to empower local filmmakers to tell their own stories for their own communities in their own languages.

“We’re looking for authentic stories that will resonate with our local audiences. Popular genres like romcoms, family dramas and thrillers are always welcome,” said Philiso.