Festival of truth and freedom

A scene from Bastardy, part of this year's festival lineup.

A scene from Bastardy, part of this year's festival lineup.

The festival, the largest festival of human rights cinema in Africa, will take place from September 7 to 23 in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria and Soweto.

Festival-goers will be treated to an exciting programming lineup of diverse human rights focused titles and genres from around the globe, including works from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Finland, Greenland, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Syria, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela,  and Zimbabwe.

South African audiences can expect to view remarkable pieces of documentary cinema by directors such as Amiel Courtin-Wilson, Paul Taylor, Pirjo Honkasalo, Jihan El-Tahri, Francois Verster, Micha X Peled, Jon Shenk, Santiago Zannou, Petr Lom, Delphine de Blic, Alison Klayman, Fredrik Gertten and Laura Gamse.

The festival will screen 42 films, 37 narratives and five shorts that demonstrate the breadth of global documentary films. Ten films make up a special “best of” section, hailing from past TCFF catalougues. A total of 32 titles have received awards on the international festival circuit, and five films in the African selection will have their South African premiere.

"The best of selection are the films that resonated with our audiences, films that shook the festival, not just because they are some of the best examples of the craft of documentary filmmaking, but because they show that when a filmmaker knows how to tell their story, the effect can stay with viewers long after the credits have rolled,” festival director Rehad Desai said.

"With our main film section freedom of expression has emerged as a strong theme in the hundreds of films we chose from, highlighting the crucial role of the artist in social change at a time when our freedoms are increasingly being threatened.”

The freedom of expression selection includes the world premiere of Suffering Grasses, a brave new film that seeks to draw attention to the peaceful wishes of Syrian people.

“It was important that we close TCFF’s first decade highlighting projects that were attuned to the pulse of South African social issues such as economic and environmental justice, anti-globalisation, access to health-care and homophobia,” said TCFF director of programming Anita Khanna.

“We are eager to introduce our audiences to a group of films that provide a window into the world, as well asreworking genres and testing traditional modes of storytelling.”

The 10th annual TCFF, founded to broaden the audience for human rights documentary film and encourage a social justice society, will include two retrospectives – an anti-globalisation slate to mark the completion of Micha X Peled’s anti-globalisation trilogy and a focus on Palestine that includes Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi’s stunning film, 5 Broken Cameras as well as Roadmap to Apartheid by South African and Israeli director’s Ana Nogueira and Eron Davidson.

The full film guide and schedule is available on www.tcff.org.za

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