The creative industry was just as struck down by the pandemic as other industries, so the absence of major festivals, award shows and other music events left us with a gap year.
Having to adapt to the new norm, however, organisers of the annual Joburg Festival, in association with their partners NFVF and GFC have announced that the 2020 edition of the festival will be staged as a two-day event later in November.
The Joburg Film Festival, which is typically held in the last week of November as a six-day festival, will now take place on 28 and 29 November with a limited film selection with a huge focus on development workshops.
The festival is anchored by three main pillars which drive and direct all activities and engagements related to the delivery of the festival. These three pillars are the Film Programme, the Industry Programme and the Youth & Audience Development Programme.
Limited Film Programme
This year three specially curated films will be featured and celebrated at a local cinema over the two days of the 2020 installment, with an opportunity for the general public to attend the screenings of these films.
The focus of the 2020 targeted films places the spotlight on “displacement”, an apt theme during the global pandemic.
With the huge impact of COVID19 globally, the pandemic has amplified bullying, harassment and murder across the African continent. Whilst the films may not address these issues directly, they do explore the lives of people who are marginalized, some by choice and others by circumstances they find themselves in, which motivates their decision to find a new place to call home.
The Joburg Film Fest opening film ‘This is Not A Burial It’s a Resurrection’ features the late legendary Joburg born actress Mary Twala just prior to it’s Oscar run post the festival.
Making it’s global screening debut at the Joburg Film Fest this year, LGBTI film ’There’s Power In the Collar’ will also be shown over the festival. The last addition to this year’s schedule includes Canadian / South Africa film ‘Beyond Moving’.
Film 1: This is Not A Burial It’s A Resurrection (OPENING FILM)
Director: Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
Country: South Africa
Duration: 120 minutes
Amongst the pythonic mountains of landlocked Lesotho, an 80 year old widow winds up her earthly affairs, makes arrangements for her burial and prepares to die.
But when her village is threatened with forced resettlement due to the construction of a reservoir, she finds a new will to live and ignites a collective spirit of defiance within her community.
In the final dramatic moments of her life, Mantoa’s legend is forged and made eternal.
Film 2: There’s Power In the Collar
Director: Lodi Matsetela and Vincent Moloi
Duration: 175 minutes
As Botswana awaits a possible landmark judgement from its high court, seeking to decriminalize same sex relations, Chantel, a 27 year old lesbian who’s both a theologian and a queer rights activist, attempts to start her journey to get ordained as a reverend in Botswana’s religiously conservative and homophobic society.
Film 3: Beyond Moving
Director: Vikram Dasgupta
Country: Canada/South Africa
Duration: 84 minutes
“Beyond Moving is a heartbreaking tale of the things we sacrifice for art”.
When young Siphe November leaves his small township in South Africa to follow his dreams at Canada’s National Ballet School, he begins a remarkable journey that reveals deeply personal pulses of family, prejudice, expectation, loss, and resilience that beat beneath the surface of a beautiful and demanding art form.
Screenings will be held at Cinema Nouveau in the Rosebank Mall and the Bioscope at 22 Stanley in Milpark. Limited tickets will be sold at the door of each of the respective venues.
Youth & Audience Development Programme
The Youth and Audience Development programme is a skill sharing platform that affords young aspiring filmmakers the opportunity to learn from and engage with industry professionals, hosted in partnership with the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) and the National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF).
Due to the pandemic, the programme will be delivered as well structured one-day workshop that incorporates the province’s youth from different regions at a central location and is also recorded for virtual streaming and broadcast.
Black youth who are students or aspirant filmmakers between the ages of 18 and 30 years with a matric or an alternative equivalent as a minimum participating criterion will be selected for the workshop.
Twenty youth from each of the 5 of Gauteng’s regions will be selected to attend the physical one-day workshop on Saturday 28 November that will be held at the Lesedi Theatre @ Joburg Theatre, bringing the total attendees and participants to 100/150 pax.
The 5 regions have been identified as:
- Mogale City
- City of Joburg
Interested participants can send their details (full name and age) to either of the contact details below:
Whatsapp line: 067 770 1574
The workshop will be screened and made available via the JFF website post the event to reach and impact an even broader audience than the one that attended physically.
Sadly the Industry Programme will not take place this year due to COVID19 travel restrictions.
“The focus of the 2020 festival will be on the third pillar of the festival which emphasizes JFF’s commitment to developing, empowering and skilling the youth whilst contributing to the development of the cinema culture and growing audience appreciation for local films”, stated Joburg Film Festival Executive Director Tim Mangwedi. We are also extremely honoured to be opening the festival this year with film This is Not A Burial It’s A Resurrection’ finally giving the Joburg audience a chance to catch this brilliant cinematic work on the big screen”.
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Thuso Mbedu to Star Side-By-Side Viola Davis
Thuso Mbedu Scores Another Big Role Alongside Viola Davis
If it seems like we are have a big crush on Thuso Mbedu, which we do, it wouldn’t be the only ground to shine the spotlight on the actress. As luck
and sheer talent would have it, she’s just landed another big role alongside American actress and producer, Viola Davis.
Mbedu let the cat out of the bag in an Instagram Live Video session where she detailed the first time meeting the multi-award winning actress. Captioned as an hour-long catching up session, she revealed tidbits about life in Hollywood, kicking things off with an update on the Underground Railroad press run.
The conversation was very insightful, none more appetising than when the star shared details on how she got the chance to work with the Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom actress in the duo’s upcoming film The Woman King.
“I found out about the project in 2019, right.” she explained. “And I went to meet Viola Davis and her husband’s production company JuVee Productions. And they had just told me about this project,” said Thuso.
View this post on Instagram
Viola and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions gave a glowing endorsement of the Mzansi actress, saying they were “mesmerised by Thuso”. As it was reported on Deadline, they thought she was perfect for the project.
“The depth and complexity of emotional life, her authentic beauty, and regalness is potent. We were mesmerised by Thuso Mbedu. We wanted Woman King / Nawi to be the vehicle to introduce her on the big screen,” they said.
It seems that part of production for the movie will also be filmed in South Ah. Thuso shared that “it’s set in the 1800s in Africa and it’s based on real life events of women warriors”.
There is no doubt that the red carpet treatment awaits Thuso Mbedu when she returns home for all her exploits abroad.
Wendy Williams Biopic + Doccie Premiere in South Ah this Weekend
How you doin’?
Last month, popular American television talk show host Wendy Williams caused a frenzy in South Africa after claiming that April 10th was an official Wendy Williams holiday in the country. We understand it happened after a chat with local media personality Anele Mdoda.
But while such a holiday does not exist anywhere in our calendar, this Saturday does come with a special event on Lifetime, where Wendy’s biopic and documentary will be airing back to back at 19:20 and 20:50 respectively. We’re getting the popcorn all sorted for that one!
Both autobiographical projects distill the award winning broadcaster’s iconic career and her life journey, which includes intimate details of her life that ended up making her the hot topic. Wendy Williams: The Movie will be screening for the first time on Lifetime, DStv channel 131 tonight, with the documentary Wendy Williams: What A Mess’ coming on right after.
Williams co-executive produced the biopic, which covers her entire life. The movie reveals all the highs and lows through the years as she became the most talked about radio shock jock in the late 1990’s to mid 2000’s, when she became known as the undisputed Queen of radio in America. Wendy has cultivated the reputation of being the exclusive celebrity tea on her radio shows, before successfully leveraging that into her eponymous talk show, The Wendy Williams Show.
In recent years, however, Wendy found herself being the at the main topic on the blogs. Amongst other things, rumours of her now former husband cheating on her and settling with the mistress, who also got pregnant, were splashed all over the media.
The Lifetime feature provides a revealing look at Wendy’s journey, from her scrappy upstart days in urban radio to the success of her own syndicated talk show. In it, she explores the fast paced world behind mic and camera, which includes battle with drug addiction in the early years, dealing with infidelity with her husband, the heated climate that resulted from her shock jock career, and more. Ciera Payton takes on the lead role while Morocco Omari stars as Wendy’s ex-husband Kevin Hunter.
The doccie, on the other hand, is Wendy Williams talking about absolutely everything.
Wendy Williams: The Movie and Wendy Williams: What A Mess air on Lifetime, DStv channel 131 on Saturday, April 10th at 19:20 and 20:50 respectively.
Action Thriller ‘Mortal Kombat’ Lands in Cinemas Today
From New Line Cinema comes the explosive new cinematic adventure “Mortal Kombat,” inspired by the blockbuster video game franchise, which most recently enjoyed the most successful video game launch in its history, Mortal Kombat 11. The action adventure opens in South African cinemas on Friday, April 9th, 2021.
In “Mortal Kombat,” MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his heritage—or why Outworld’s Emperor Shang Tsung has sent his best warrior, Sub-Zero, an otherworldly Cryomancer, to hunt Cole down. Fearing for his family’s safety, Cole goes in search of Sonya Blade at the direction of Jax, a Special Forces Major who bears the same strange dragon marking Cole was born with.
Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and the protector of Earthrealm, who grants sanctuary to those who bear the mark. Here, Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu Kang, Kung Lao and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. But will Cole be pushed hard enough to unlock his arcana—the immense power from within his soul—in time to save not only his family, but to stop Outworld once and for all?
The diverse international cast reflects the global nature of the brand, with talent spanning the worlds of film, television and martial arts.