Exactly a year ago the Joburg Film festival opened with 8, my favourite South African horror by Harold Holscher. It is where he bit my ear to tell me that “a giant streaming service” would get licencing rights to the film. Cut to 2020, I’m on the editorial and publishing team for Netflix SA and got an opportunity to create social media assets for the movie. Between you and I, this is my dream job.
“The focus of the 2020 films places the spotlight on “displacement”, an apparent theme during the global pandemic.” – JFF
This year’s opening film stars the late, legendary Joburg born actress Mary Twala just prior to it’s Oscar run after the festival. Which is an exciting period for filmmakers to campaign for their academy award nomination.
This is Not A Burial It’s a Resurrection
An 80-year-old widow winds up her earthly affairs make arrangements for her burial and prepares to die amongst the pythonic mountains of landlocked Lesotho,
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.
The movie is directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese from Lesotho. Variety recognised him for his talents, saying “it’s the kind of myth-rooted, avant-garde Southern African storytelling that rarely cracks the international festival circuit.”
“This Is Not a Burial” premiered last year in Venice’s Biennale College strand before winning a special jury prize for “visionary filmmaking” in Sundance’s international competition. This is just *chefs kiss*.
There’s Power In the Collar
As Botswana awaits a possible landmark judgement from its high court, seeking to decriminalize same-sex relations, this one is making its global screening debut at the Joburg Film Fest, The LGBTI film in question is ’There’s Power In the Collar’
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.
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. A heartbreaking tale of the things we sacrifice for art.
It would be the best thing to come out of this year considering that I haven’t been to the cinema. 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.