ARIFF2020 1At this year's virtual edition, more than nine films and documentaries will be screened. Africa Rising International Film Festival is known for screening both African and international films and documentaries under a resonating theme. This year's theme Film for Change: GBV and Equality, see the festival highlighting Gender-Based Violence, Black Lives Matter, and Unjust systems that still govern today. The main objective is to drive conversation, raise awareness of Gender-Based violence and equality through the power of cinema and storytelling to push for real change and accountability. 

Africa Rising International Film Festival in partnership with the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, Gauteng Film Commission, House of Mandela, Bron Studios, Arena Africa and Sterkinekor is produced by the youth and leading women in the industry. It is co-chaired by Lala Tuku and Kweku Mandela with Actor Spaces founder Ayanda Sithebe who serves as the Festival director along with Pallance Dladla and Sdumo Msthali who serve as our Creative Producers for the festival. 

Development of 16 short films and documentaries #FilmForChange

To allow for wider theme public participation, Africa Rising International Film Festival has put out a call to filmmakers to submit their work in line with the theme, and also lobbied festival partners like SWIFT - Sisters Working In Film and Television to assist in this regard. SWIFT - Sisters Working In Film and Television headed to the call subsequently inviting their esteemed members to add their voices. Finalised films and documentaries will also get to be screened.

Opening and closing films

 A prominent Kenyan film, based on the life of political activist and photojournalist Boniface Mwangi and his family will open the festival on the 27th of November, and Antebellum starring Empire star Gabourey Sidibe and musician Janelle Monáe will close the festival on the 29th of November.  Antebellum is a beautifully short movie powerfully highlighting the Black Lives Matter movement. The filmmakers Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz known for social-justice videos like the one about police brutality, “Against the Wall,” featuring Michael B. Jordan, said that it’s really important that any of the art they put out into the world advances the urgent conversations that need to be had around a whole host of issues, not the least of which is race in America.

Here are other films and documentaries 

  1. Oscars 2021 best international feature film nominee, This Is Not a Burial, Its a Resurrection.
  2. Newly announced Greek Freak director, Akin Omotoso's film, The Ghost and The House of Truth.
  3. Thomas Gumede’s coming-of-age film, starring Isono actress Natasha Thahane, Kedibone.
  4. Farewell Armor by Ekwa Msangi. 100% on Rottentomatoes film.
  5. LGBTQ films: Lesbians Free Everybody by former Co-Chair of GLOW (Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the Witwatersrand) Doctor Bev Palesa Ditsie, Tasha Smith (Empire)'s The One You Never Forget, and 12th Feathers Awards winner Thishiwe Ziqubu's Sina Nomakotshana.
  6. Mother to Mother starring legendary television, film, and theatre actress Thembi Mtshali.
  7. Award-winning independent filmmaker Kurt Orderson's Not In My Neighbourhood.
  8.  14 awards winning documentary, Where were You?
  9. The Letter Reader, inspired by Thabo Mbeki's biography, The Dream Deferred by Mark Gevisser.

Films and documentaries screenings effectively completes the full Africa Rising International Festival program which includes star-studded Live Round Table discussions which bring together key industry stakeholders who drive insightful conversations about the current state of film, TV and media landscape, Panel Discussions with industry stakeholders who share their experience and expertise about their specific role, obstacles and challenges in the industry, and Masterclasses.

Notable topics/discussions

  1. Representation: Inclusion of Queer Narratives In Black Storytelling
  2. Brand Positioning: Crafting A Personal Story In The Entertainment Industry
  3. Uniting Africa Through Storytelling
  4. The digital age for storytelling
  5. The Perfect Score: Music & Storytelling In Harmony

Full details pertaining to the entire programme will be made available through ARIFF’s social media platforms.


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