/ 17 September 2022

Joburg Film festival returns after a two-year hiatus

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Joburg Film Festival and Multichoice partnered up for the launch of this year’s Joburg Film Festival, which will be taking place next year from January 31 to February 5. Photo: Supplied

Seated on stage are actress Nomzamo Mbatha, scriptwriter and producer Phatu Makwarela and legendary actor John Kani, among other film luminaries, engaging in a panel discussion at the launch of the 5th Joburg Film Festival.

Mbatha, known for her role as Thandeka in the series Isibaya and, most recently, Coming to America Two, while Makwarela, who co-owns Tshedza Pictures, produces the soapie The River. His other work includes Muvhango, Soul City and Rockville. Kani is a screen legend who has appeared in Hollywood blockbusters such as Black Panther and is known for writing and directing plays and films such as Sizwe Banzi is Dead, Nothing But the Truth and The Lion King

The road to the 2023 Joburg Film Festival is open, after a two year closure due to the pandemic, with what promises to be an action-packed programme. The festival, in collaboration with MultiChoice, was founded out of a need for an “exciting and independent platform” with a focus on not only African stories, but global excellence in film.

 “MultiChoice is a truly African brand and, as such, telling stories is part of who we are as an organisation. We are therefore extremely excited to bring back the Joburg Film Festival. This partnership will serve as a platform where storytellers from all over the world will come together and give renewed light to African storytelling,” says Collen Dlamini, executive for corporate affairs. 

The festival will screen more than 60 films, from a range of African countries, with a focus on youth development and empowerment. 

Dr John Kani at the launch of the Joburg Film Festival. Photo: Supplied

The Youth and Audience Programme is as follows: 


·   Acting Workshop

·   Story and Conceptualisation Workshop

·   Pitching and Proposals Workshop

·   Production Accounting Workshop


·   Director’s Master Class

·   Content Creators Master Class

.   Cinematographer

.   Art Director

.   Music Scoring

.   Animation

.   Producers

Leading up to the festival, which is set to take place from 31 January to 5 February, there will be a series of two-day workshops in Gauteng, starting in October and running until January:  

·   Sedibeng: 8 to 9 October 

·   Westrand: 22 to 23 October 

·   Ekurhuleni: 5 to 6 November 

·   Tshwane: 26 to 27 November 

·   Johannesburg: 14 to 15 January. 

The workshops will educate participants on filmmaking processes and the different roles involved in the creation of films, while providing young people from disadvantaged areas with an opportunity to network with major industry players.  

Award-winning producer Bongiwe Selane, who has worked on films such as Happiness Ever After, The Groom’s Price and Happiness is a Four-Letter Word, is the festival’s director, with Keith Shiri as the head curator. Shiri, a London-based film curator, who is originally from Zimbabwe, was a member of Berlinale World Cinema Fund from 2004 to 2007. 

Collen Dlamini with Origins Storytellers. Photo: Supplied

Tim Mangwedi, the festival’s executive director, says it will attract tourism to Gauteng, while putting a spotlight on the African film industry.  

“The Joburg Film Festival is excited to be back with an in-person event with an expanded programme.  

“The 2023 edition of the festival will once again attract thousands of visitors to Gauteng, with a focal point of activities at Nelson Mandela Square that will include screenings and industry events. 

“The Joburg Film Festival and JBX Market will once again position Joburg as the film capital of South Africa, with the festival celebrating African stories and the talent of our home-grown filmmakers, as we showcase their films alongside those of filmmakers from around the world,” Mangwedi says. 

Tickets sales will start in November. For more information about the festival visit: www. joburgfilmfestival.co.za or email: [email protected]