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Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

European Film Festival opens with more interaction: Audience Award and Q&A among new features

The European Film Festival, which opened nationwide on the 5th of May 2017 at Cinema Nouveau and is running concurrently in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban until 14th of May, invites the audience to rate each film according to their liking. The winning film will be announced after the festival.

This feature ties into an increased level of audience interaction at the festival, including a ticket-competition where the public was invited to pick their potential favourites and the ongoing offer of personalized movie recommendations by the Festival Director online.

Furthermore the 2017 edition of the festival, just like last year’s, has seen local personalities, including authors Mandla Langa and Zukiswa Wanner, comedian Kagiso Lediga and actress Quanita Adams, engage with the selection by watching and sharing their personal reflections on selected films.
As a grand festival finale, after the Johannesburg-screening of the film on Sunday 14 May, the audience will get a chance to meet Rory O’Neill, the main character of the acclaimed documentary The Queen Of Ireland by Conor Horgan. The film traces the life and activism of the charismatic and relentless O’Neill – a.k.a. Pandora Panti Bliss – who played a crucial role in the lead-up to the successful campaign ahead of the world’s first popular vote on whether to legalise same-sex marriage.

“There are few better ways to put a message across without preaching, than through film – a medium with visceral super-powers. I hope that the selection of amazing, award-winning comedies, biopics, slice-of-life stories, animal-right thrillers, road-movies and documentaries will stimulate imagination and inspire new ways of being, seeing, thinking and creating,” said Festival Director Katarina Hedrén at the Festival Opening Night on 4 May, which presented the thoughtful and hilarious drama King Of The Belgians to a select audience at Rosebank’s Cinema Nouveau.

Three days into the festival, there’s still time to catch most of the festival picks – such as the thrilling family adventure Zip & Zap and the Captain’s Island, which offers a great opportunity to open children’s hearts and minds to film and the magic of storytelling from other parts of the world. Of Stefan Zweig: Farewell To Europe, Austria’s entry to the Oscars for Best Foreign Film, Mandla Langa says, “I thoroughly enjoyed this film and would recommend it to anyone interested in the journeys people take to seek freedom, personal and communal”.

The French drama Things To Come features brilliant acting by the acclaimed French actress Isabelle Huppert and has already mesmerised local audiences. This coming week holds another chance to see this subtle film about philosophy teacher Nathalie Chazeaux, who searches for a new direction in life amidst student demonstrations. The scenic and original animal rights thriller Spoor by Oscar nominated Director Agnieszka Holland, can still be seen on Thursday (JHB, CPT, PTA) and Sunday (DBN).

The European Film Festival continues to screen at Cinema Nouveau in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria until Sunday 14 May. Tickets are priced at R64. Normal benefits and ticket discounts apply to members of SK Club, Discovery Vitality and Edgars Club. For more information, visit or join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook: #EuroFilmFestSA.

The European Film Festival is coordinated by the Goethe-Institut South Africa, hosted by Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau, and organised in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to South Africa and 12 other European cultural agencies or embassies in South Africa: the General Representation of the Government of Flanders, the French Institute, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Camões Institute, the British Council, and the Embassies of Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. The European Film Festival is part of the EuropeFest, presenting in South Africa in May 2017 a diverse range of EU Member States cultural events.

Photo above: © Shirin Motala. Pictured are Festival Director Katarina Hedrén & Motheo Matsau, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer at Ster-Kinekor Theatres, during the Opening of the EUFF 2017 on 4 May at Cinema Nouveau Rosebank.

Film stills and posters, photos of the Festival Opening are available for download here.


Johannesburg: Cinema Nouveau – Rosebank Mall
Rosebank Mall (Level 1), cnr Bath & Baker Streets, Rosebank

Pretoria: Cinema Nouveau – Brooklyn
Brooklyn Mall (Lower Level Shop 12), Bronkhorst Street, New Muckleneuk

Cape Town: Cinema Nouveau – V&A
King Warehouse, Red Shed, Victoria and Alfred Waterfront

Durban: Cinema Nouveau – Gateway
Gateway Theatre of Shopping (Expo/Explore Floor), 1 Palm Blvd, Umhlanga Rocks

Media contacts:

Bridget van Oerle / BUZ Publicity
083 263 6991
011 673 0264 / 011 477 0923

Benjamin Keuffel
Public Relations Officer / Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

Goethe-Institut South Africa
119 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood 2193, Johannesburg

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The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum in talks to take on The Shining Girls movie

Lauren Beukes
MaverickMoxylandZoo City (SA edition)The Shining GirlsBroken Monsters


Alert! The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum is reported to have set his sights on the film adaptation of Lauren Beukes’s The Shining Girls.

Trainspotting director Danny Boyle was previously attached to the project but, according to Variety, the Norwegian is the current favourite, and is “in talks to direct”.

Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum in talks to take on The Shining Girls movieAmerican independent film and television studio Media Rights Capital will develop and finance the project, with Leonardo DiCaprio’s company Appian Way producing. DiCaprio will be joined by his partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran as producer.

Tyldum’s English language debut Imitation Game was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Director. His latest movie, a sci-fi titled Passengers starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, is in post production.

Rights for The Shining Girls were originally optioned for television in 2013. Beukes is no stranger to movie deals; her novel Zoo City was optioned for film in 2011, while a Broken Monsters drama series was mooted last year.

The Shining Girls, which is set in Chicago, features a time travelling serial killer and was the recipient of an extraordinary number of accolades, including Exclusive Books Book of the Year: Reader’s Choice Award, RT Book Awards Best Suspense Thriller, 2013/2014 University of Johannesburg Prizes for South African Writing in English and the Strand Magazine Critics Award for Best Novel.

Related stories:

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Morten Tyldum image courtesy of Indiewire

Lauren Beukes image courtesy of Lauren Beukes on Facebook

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New $50,000 literary prize rewards ‘real female characters’



A new literary award celebrating original work with a central woman protagonist has been announced.

The Half the World Global Literati Award, which is worth $50,000 (about R740,000), will be awarded to a short story, novel or screenplay written in English, judged to “have portrayed one or more well-rounded female protagonists as the central character”.

A distinguished panel of academics, writers and media professionals who are “each committed to advancing women’s voices within their field” – including our very own Margie Orford – will judge the award.

The panel of judges includes Orford, internationally acclaimed writer, award-winning journalist, and President of PEN South Africa; Anne Harrison, producer for the Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated film The Danish Girl; Dr Lisa Tomlinson, scholar, cultural critic and lecturer of English literature at the University of West Indies; Gina Otto, bestselling author of Cassandra’s Angel and founder of children’s social activation platform Change My World Now; Kenneth Goh, editor-in-chief of Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore; KF Breene, international bestseller of the Darkness and Warrior Chronicles series; Michael Marckx, lecturer, writer, environmental activist and former CEO of Spy; and Debra Langley, executive director of Half the World Holdings.

Caroline Bowler, representative for Half the World Holdings, says: “According to 2015 research from author Nicola Griffith, the majority of the significant literary prizes are awarded to works written from a male perspective. The Half the World Global Literati Award is specifically designed to put the spotlight on real female characters and positively impact how women are represented in contemporary writing.

“This award is a natural fit for us, to support the voices and stories of women as well as play a leading role in developing an ecosystem created by, and for, half the world.”

Half the World Holdings is an investment platform that supports businesses for whom women are the end-consumer.

Half the World Global Literati Award guidelines

  • The work may be a short story, novel or screenplay, from any genre, written in the English language
  • All submissions meeting this criteria are welcome
  • The closing date for entries is 8 June, 2016
  • Please submit works for consideration via
  • The shortlist will be announced on 22 June, 2016

The winner of the Half the World Global Literati Award will be announced on 15 July, 2016.

More information from Half the World Holdings:

We are looking for short stories, novels and screenplays, written in English, that give a voice to the inner lives of women. Your work can be romantic; a tale of science fiction; a sensual or erotic exploration; a comic caper; a thrilling mystery or a biographical memoir. We ask only that gives fresh insight into the lives of women.

  • Generous cash prize and global exposure
  • Collaboration opportunities in multiple areas of entertainment
  • Open to works across a range of genres

If you are an author with a script slumbering in a drawer, we want to hear from you.

Take the next step and submit your creativity here.

The Award is an initiative of Half the World Holdings, a women-focused investment platform.

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Steven Spielberg’s Amblin buys film rights for latest novel by South African author duo SL Grey

The MallThe WardThe New GirlUnder Ground

Alert! Steven Spielberg’s production company Amblin Partners has acquired movie rights to SL Grey’s upcoming novel The Apartment.

The news was reported by Variety.

Spielberg founded Amblin in December as a successor company to DreamWorks, reportedly putting up $50 million of his own money. Distribution of the films involved has shifted from Disney to Universal.

The Apartment is the fifth novel by SL Grey, a collaboration between Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg. It will be published by Macmillan in July.

About the book:

Mark and Steph are struggling to move on with their lives after armed robbers break into their home and brutalise them. Shaken, they decide to get away and leave their troubles behind them. A house swap in Paris with a couple they meet online, the Petits, seems to provide the perfect escape. But upon arriving for a week’s luxurious break at the Petits’ flat, they find themselves in a festering, run-down apartment. And when Steph attempts to contact the Petits, she gets no answer.

Mark and Steph try to make the most of the trip, but they are unable to relax. After a series of increasingly unsettling events, they decide to come back home. Yet when they arrive home, neither of them can shake the feeling that there’s now something sinister about their own home. As time passes, Mark’s terrorized by a series of unsettling visions. But is it all in his imagination or is there a far more worrying explanation . . .

SL Grey’s previous books are the Downside trilogy of The Mall, The Ward and The New Girl, and most recently Under Ground.


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Spielberg image courtesy of Huffington Post
SL Grey image courtesy of Aerodrome

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Nnedi Okorafor’s The Camel Racer One of Eight African Stories Green-lit for Feature Film/TV Development by Triggerfish Story Lab

BintiLagoonWho Fears DeathThe Book of Phoenix

Eight African Film/TV projects have been set into development by Triggerfish Story Lab.

Nnedi Okorafor, author of Binti and a number of other science fiction and fantasy novels located in Africa, is one talented storytellers whose work has been selected for development. Other projects given the green light include Bru and Boegie by South African YouTube phenomenon Mike Scott, whose music videos for Goldfish have over 12 million views, and Wormholes by Supa Strikas writer Lucy Heavens.

The shortlist for the inaugural Story Lab featured 45 feature films and TV series, selected from 1 378 entries. Of the shortlistees, four feature films and four TV series have been selected for development.

Originally the plan was to include three of each type of project in the Story Lab, but so great was the volume of talented entrants that the plan had to be altered. Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest says, “Narrowing it down to eight projects was difficult enough; narrowing it down to six would have been almost impossible.”

The winning storytellers are visiting California early in the new year, where they will receive key studio and television executives at Disney’s headquarters. Once returned, they will continue to receive support from the Story Lab and guidance from local and international consultants for the duration of the development process, which can take a number of years.

Press release

Triggerfish Animation Studios has selected four features and four TV series for development from the inaugural Triggerfish Story Lab, established with the support of The Department of Trade and Industry and The Walt Disney Company.

“From misfit Zambian girls who become low-budget superhero-super-spies to a stubborn 12-year-old Kenyan girl who defies tradition by racing camels, from a young South African scientist who accidentally turns her annoying little sister into a new source of electricity to a timid lemming who must defy his nature, these are characters we fell in love with,” says Anthony Silverston, head of development at Triggerfish. “We’re excited by the range of stories, that explore everything from contemporary urban to Afro-futuristic worlds. We’re looking forward to bringing something fresh to the screen.”

The feature films selected into the Story Lab are:

The Camel Racer (Wanuri Kahiu and Nnedi Okorafor – Kenya/Nigeria)

Dropped (Ian Tucker – SA)

Lights (Kay Carmichael – SA)

The Wild Waste (Naseem Hoosen – SA)

The TV series selected into the Story Lab are:

Bru and Boegie (Mike Scott – SA)

KC’s Super 4 (Malenga Mulendema – Zambia)

Ninja Princess (Marc Dey and Kelly Dillon – SA)

Wormholes (Lucy Heavens – SA)

The selected storytellers include Nnedi Okorafor, a Nigerian-American World Fantasy Award winning novelist; multi-award-winning Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu; South African YouTube phenomenon Mike Scott, whose music videos for Goldfish have over 12m views; and Lucy Heavens, one of the writers on the breakout South African animation hit Supa Strikas, which is broadcast in 120 countries around the world.

The Story Lab received a whopping 1 378 entries from 30 countries across Africa. 23 features and 14 TV series were shortlisted and developed over a two-week intensive workshop in Cape Town in November 2015 with Orion Ross, Vice President of Content – Animation, Digital and Acquisitions Disney Channels EMEA, and leading Hollywood script consultant Pilar Alessandra, author of The Coffee Break Screenwriter.

“It was impressive to see how much all the projects had improved after the workshop,” says Orion. “Clearly the Story Lab was doing something right, and it must have been incredibly difficult to pick just a few projects to move forward.”

The shortlist was then evaluated by an expert panel that included Peter Lord, the British director of international blockbusters like Chicken Run and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists; Hollywood writers Kiel Murray (Cars) and Jonathan Roberts (The Lion King); and a panel of development executives from both the London and Los Angeles offices of The Walt Disney Company, as well as South African comedian David Kau, screenwriter Paul Ian Johnson, and Triggerfish’s development team of Anthony Silverston, Wayne Thornley and Raffaella Delle Donne.

“I loved the opportunity to review this material,” says Gary French, Senior Vice-president/Co-head, Production: ABC Studios. “There’s a lot of great talent here.”

Triggerfish had planned to select three projects for film and TV respectively, but increased this to four for each due to the quality of the projects.

“Story Lab exceeded our expectations at every turn, from the number of entries to the quality of the projects to the way they improved dramatically during the two-week intensive with Pilar and Orion,” says Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest. “Narrowing it down to eight projects was difficult enough; narrowing it down to six would have been almost impossible.”

The selected storytellers will start the new year with a two-week immersion trip to Disney’s headquarters in Burbank, California, where they will receive mentoring from key studio and television executives.

Triggerfish will be investing up to R44m ($2.8m) over the next three years in The Story Lab. The development process can take a number of years. For each phase of development, Triggerfish will provide financial support, workspace, and expert guidance by internal and international consultants and mentors, as well as a route to market through top-tier relationships with leading Hollywood agency William Morris Endeavor.

Animation has proven to be a successful medium for South African films to travel internationally, with Triggerfish’s films Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba being distributed in over 150 countries and dubbed into over 27 languages.

For more information, keep an eye on


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Image courtesy of

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Miners Shot Down Wins 2015 International Emmy Award for Best Documentary (Plus: Watch it Online)

Rehad Desai’s documentary Miners Shot Down has won a 2015 International Emmy Award for Best Documentary.

In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days into the strike, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more. The police insisted that they shot in self-defense. Miners Shot Down tells a different story, one that unfolds in real time over seven days, like a ticking time bomb.

The film weaves together the central point-of-view of three strike leaders, Mambush, Tholakele and Mzoxolo, with compelling police footage, TV archive and interviews with lawyers representing the miners in the ensuing commission of inquiry into the massacre. What emerges is a tragedy that arises out of the deep fault lines in South Africa’s nascent democracy, of enduring poverty and a 20-year-old, unfulfilled promise of a better life for all. A campaigning film, beautifully shot, sensitively told, with a haunting soundtrack, Miners Shot Down reveals how far the African National Congress has strayed from its progressive liberationist roots and leaves audiences with an uncomfortable view of those that profit from minerals in the global South.

Reporting from the FrontlineBetween the Rainbows and the RainWe Are Going To Kill Each Other TodayMarikana

So far, Miners Shot Down has won 19 major awards, including the 2014 Amnesty International Human Rights Jury Award, the 2015 Justice Award for Cinema for Peace and the 2015 Best Documentary Feature at the South African Film and Television Awards. This Emmy Award is the 20th prize to be given to Desai’s documentary since it was first released.

“We are incredibly happy to announce that Miners Shot Down has won the International Emmy Award for Best Documentary. We are humbled by the honour and the recognition. Thank you so much for you continued support in the struggle for justice,” the Miners Shot Down team writes on their Facebook page.


However, this incredible international spotlight shines an uncomfortable light on a disturbing fact that has led the producers to making the documentary available for free online:

It has been screened 100s of times internationally and locally and won over 20 awards, yet the SABC and refuse to screen it.

South African’s deserve to know the truth and now the film is available for all to watch online – we can no longer wait for our local broadcasters.

Please watch and share, and help us to continue the struggle for Justice.

YouTube Preview Image

A facilitators guide has been made available for download to help viewers digest and spread the message of Miners Shot Down. The film is part of a much broader campaign which works on behalf of the families of those killed and injured at Marikana Massacre and the 270 miners arrested by the state. The movement is spearheaded by the Marikana Support Campaign and is supported by a range of legal NGOs and other groups.



Book details

  • Between the Rainbows and the Rain: Marikana, Migration, Mining and the Crisis of Modern South Africa by Philip Frankel
    EAN: 9780620578141
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!
  • We Are Going To Kill Each Other Today: The Marikana Story by Thanduxolo Jika, Sebabatso Mosamo, Leon Sadiki, Athandiwe Saba, Felix Dlangamandla, Lucas Ledwaba
    EAN: 9780624063452
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!
  • Marikana: A view from the mountain and a case to answer by Peter Alexander, Thapelo Lekgowa, Botsang Mmope, Luke Sinwell, Bongani Xezwi
    EAN: 9781431407330
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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