Joburg Film Festival

The inaugural Joburg Film Festival comes to multiple venues across Johannesburg from 28 October to 5 November with a powerful lineup that includes 6 world and 26 Africa premieres.

A full schedule of top South African, African and international feature films, documentaries and shorts will be screened at selected mainstream cinemas, with free community screenings at venues as far afield as Alexandra and Dobsonville, Diepsloot and Orange Farm.

Factor in some exclusive premiere events and parties, and a full programme of outreach workshops, and you've got an event that offers Jozi film fans, aspiring filmmakers and especially the youth the chance to get out and celebrate the best of local and international film.

Mandela's Gun to open the festival

Heading the lineup is the world premiere of John Irvin's highly anticipated biographical drama Mandela's Gun, in which an all-South African cast and crew tell the little-known story of Mandela's training as a guerrilla freedom fighter across Africa.

Other South African features include Akin Omotoso's Vaya, Thandi Brewer's Chemo Club, Zola Maseko's The Whale Caller, Stephina Zwane's Love and Kwaito, and Judy Naidoo's Hatchet Hour.

There's a very strong and diverse international lineup of films from 14 countries, including Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake (winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes 2016), Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman (winner best screenplay and best actor, Cannes 2016), and Brillante Mendoza's Ma' Rosa (winner best actress, Cannes 2016).

And local film fans will finally get to decide for themselves about Nate Parker's acclaimed, controversial historical drama Birth of a Nation, which has been chosen as the festival's closing night film.

Africa is also well represented with a lineup that includes 4 continental premieres: Christopher Kirkley's Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It, Licinio de Azevedo's The Train of Salt and Sugar, Daouda Coulibaly's Wùlu, and Rahmatou Keïta's The Wedding Ring.

World Premiere of Rehad Desai's new film

And with the exception of Lutz Gregor's Mali Blues, there's an all-African documentary lineup, headed up by the world premiere of The Giant is Falling, the new film from Rehad Desai, who won an Emmy for his documentary Miners Shot Down.

Finally, there's an outstanding selection of 26 short films showcasing the best new filmmaking talent from South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world.

The Joburg Film Festival is supported by official sponsors the City of Joburg, the Department of Arts and Culture and the Gauteng Tourism Authority, and industry partners the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), Gauteng Film Commission (GFC), Joburg Film Office, National Broadcast Institute, Kasi Movie Nights and DISCOP Africa.

Tickets for the festival screenings will be sold at the 6 cinema venues:

  • The Zone in Rosebank
  • Cinema Nouveau, Rosebank Mall
  • Maponya Mall, Soweto
  • Newtown Junction, Joburg CBD
  • Cine Centre, Killarney Mall
  • The Bioscope, Maboneng Precinct

Open screenings will be free to the public at the following venues:

  • Kings Cinema, Alexandra
  • Majestic Theatre, Fordsburg
  • Alexandra Theatre, Braamfontein
  • Constitution Hill
  • Community Centres in Dobsonvile, Diepsloot, Orange Farm and Riverlea.

For more information, visit

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission