Filmmakers flock to Joburg Film Festival


The inaugural Joburg Film Festival kicks off on Friday, October 28 with the world premiere of Mandela’s Gun. This glitzy event will see filmmakers from across South Africa and the globe are getting ready to descend on the city to promote their films.
The screening of Mandela’s Gun will be attended by director John Irvin as well as Tumisho Masha, the lead actor who plays Nelson Mandela, who will introduce the film and welcome questions after the screening.

Throughout the festival a host of directors will also attending, including award-winning director Rehad Desai who will be attending the festival for the world premiere of the documentary, The Giant is Falling on Saturday, October 29 at the Alexandra Theatre.

The Joburg Film Festival will also see the world premiere of The Whale Caller by Zola Maseko, the film adaptation of Zakes Mda’s beautiful and mystical novel of the same name. Both Zola Maseko and author Zakes Mda will be on hand for the premiere event taking place on October 30 at Ster-Kinekor at The Zone at 8pm.

The African premiere of Vaya, also at Ster Kinekor at the Zone on October 29 at 8pm, will be attended by director Akin Omotoso and follows hot on the heels of its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Filmmakers attending the festival will include:

Guetty Felin-Cohen, an award-winning independent filmmaker, teacher, and film curator from Haiti whose film Haiti My Love is a touching film about the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake five year’s ago.Watch the trailer at

Born and raised in Nairobi, filmmaker, writer and artist Kati Kati director Mbithi Masya began his career in advertising but has seamlessly made the transition to film and will also be in town this week for the festival.

Joseph Adesunyole, a British-Nigerian filmmaker and the director of White Color Black, will be attending the screening of his first feature film.Watch the trailer at

Ousmane William Mbaye, has this to say of his film, Kemtiyu Cheik Anta: “I noticed that quite a number of young Africans were quoting Cheikh Anta Diop, but did not really know him. So I thought it was worthwhile to revisit the legacy of this man, who has developed so many forms of knowldge during his life, and this at a moment in time in which he seemed to fade from our memories.”

Malian-French director Daouda Coulibaly’s auspicious debut film, the pulse-pounding political thriller, Wùlu, tells the unsettling tale of a man’s rise from the bottom rung of the social ladder to the heights of criminal power.

Licínio de Azevedo, the author of the original book and the director of the film, The Train of Salt and Sugar, is Brazilian by birth and worked in Brazil as a journalist critical of the military dictatorship, and then moved to Mozambique in 1977. The film is probably the first great African western and tells the story of a train and its passengers who embark on a dangerous journey during the Mozambican civil war.

Born in Niamey (Niger), Rahmatou Keita is a daughter of the Sahel, and her film, The Wedding Ring is a story of love, pain, sensuality, and marriage. Rahmatou Keïta’s second feature offers an empowering female-character-driven take on romantic fiction.

Mangesh Joshi entered filmmaking after completing his engineering studies, starting with documentaries and short films many of which were recognised at Indian film festivals. His film, Lathe Joshi is about the devastating effects of globalization on one man’s life. Watch the trailer at

From free community events and public screening venues across Joburg metropolis to traditional cinema screenings at cinemas in Rosebank, Maponya Mall, NewTown Junction and Killarney Centre, The Joburg Film Festival will offer film fans, aspiring filmmakers and particularly the youth the opportunity to celebrate film and filmmakers.

The full festival screening schedule and a list of premiere events can be found at




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