Film Festivals

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Thiru NJuly 9, 20186min200

The Durban based organisation, NEWF (Nature, Environment & Wildlife Filmmakers)  N.E.W Pitch short documentary pitching competition aimed at discovering the next generation or nature, environment, wildlife conservation filmmakers, has announced it’s 2018 finalists.

The N.E.W Pitch is one of the key sessions at the Nature Environment and Wildlife Filmmakers Congress (NEWF) taking place from 16 – 18 July at Durban Botanic Gardens and surrounds – as part of Durban’s city-wide mid-year extensive focus on film.

The N.E.W Pitch is targeted particularly towards emerging and student filmmakers in order to provide them with pitching experience and the opportunity to win a production grant to produce a short documentary film in this genre.

An unprecedented nine finalists were chosen by a carefully selected panel of experts “We were intending to award eight finalists the opportunity to make a N.E.W documentary short film, but the panel were so impressed with the level of commitment, professionalism and great ideas of the final nine candidates, that they made the unanimous choice to award all nine finalists the opportunity to pitch, not eight as planned,” explains Noel Kok, NEWF Programmes Director.

Register Now NEWF 2018

“Of the entries we received, we had over 30 really good entries all of whom were possible contenders for our eight finalists. Even veteran film makers applied. The judges were enormously excited about the level, passion and professionalism of entries received and observed that the overall quality has grown substantially. This year we received entries from out of KZN and even out of South Africa – including Tanzania and Botswana,” said Noel Kok, NEWF Programmes Director.

“Geographically we have a finalist from Botswana; one from Limpopo province; two from Cape Town and five from greater Durban.”

Finalists are:

  1. Londiwe Shange from KZN with “Toxic Relations” about life in the South Durban basin;
  2. Myles Arendse from Western Cape with “The Eco Brick” which will help us re-evaluate our relationship with trash;
  3. Jessica Singh from KZN with “Epic Encounters” looking at saving Africa’s deadliest snakes;
  4. Liana Hassim from KZN with “Vida” a homeless woman representing Mother Earth and the challenges she faces;
  5. Surprise Matlaila from Limpopo with “Silent Victims” looking at the poaching of African vultures; Tessa Barlin from Western Cape with “Becoming One” a story about Lucky Mahlatsi Rapitsi who empowers rural children through nature and wildlife photography;
  6. Emily Cross from KZN with “Part of the Pack” about the African Wild Dog; Tumo Maokisa from Botswana with “When We Worked Away” about sustainable organic farming; and Brian Khawula from KZN with“Umelusi” about lessons learned from a rural cattle herder.

During the 2018 NEWF Congress, the winners of last year’s Pitch will screen their film for the first time.
The winners of last year’s competition were:

  1. Fidel Tshivhasa for his story on the humpback whale migration that takes place in KZN;
  2. Shivan Parusnath for an undercover look at the illegal reptile trade;
  3. Mikhale Singh whose project is about the endangered Pickersgills’ Reed frog and the Ashdown and Imbali EnviroChamps (Liberty NPO and DUCT) who are a group of individuals working to protect the wetlands and rivers in their area.These films are all now complete and will be premiered at a public screening on Durban’s New Beach on July 17th.

“The Congress promotes outstanding environmental, conservation and wildlife films from professional, aspiring and student filmmakers. It will contribute towards transformation through our developmental programmes aimed at enriching the industry with an increased pool of diverse content creators,” he said.

For more info email or contact Pragna on 064 294 0669.

 NEWF Panelists 2018


Thiru NJune 22, 20169min190

Triggerfish Animation Studios based in Cape Town, South Africa – is a film and entertainment company that is capturing the world’s attention.

Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest says, “…it’s exciting times for African animation.” 

Stick Man Triggerfish’s’ collaboration with Magic Light Pictures, has won Le Cristal at Annecy, the top prize for a TV production at the world’s premier animation festival.

The Annecy animation festival ladies and gentlemen is basically the Oscars of animation. This is the biggest accolade yet for the acclaimed short film, which recently won Best Animation at both the BANFF World Media Festival and the Shanghai International Film and TV Festival, as well as two British Animation Awards.

Stick Man
                                 Stick Man

Stick Man was produced by the UK based Oscar-nominated, BAFTA and International Emmy-winning production company, Magic Light Pictures – and if you haven’t already guessed it, animated in Cape Town by Triggerfish. The 26-minute short film was directed by London-based Jeroen Jaspaert and co-directed by South African Daniel Snaddon and was screened to nearly 10m people on BBC1 on Christmas day 2015. Voice cast include the likes of Martin Freeman (The Hobbit), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), and Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous),


Triggerfish seems to be doing something right, as this is one of many fantastic projects to come out of the Cape Town based animation studio. The team  will also be working on another adaptation for BBC’s Christmas special, the ultimately popular Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes.

“I’m so proud of the team who went beyond the call of duty to bring Stick Man to life,” says Snaddon. “Thank you to Michael Rose and Martin Pope of Magic Light, and the partners at Triggerfish, for this opportunity, and to Jeroen for bringing out the best in us.”

Stick Man and Dog
                      Stick Man and Dog

“This was Africa’s strongest showing at Annecy yet,” says Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest. “In addition to Stick Man winning the TV category, our collaborator Clea Mallinson won the Animation du Monde pitching forum for her short Fairy Wheels; South African Naomi van Niekerk’s powder animation, n Gewone Blou Maandagoggend, won the Jean-Luc Xiberras Award for a First Film in the short film category; and Adama, a film set in West Africa, won the André-Martin Award for a French feature film. We also had a great response to the four TV series we’re developing from last year’s pan-African Triggerfish Story Lab, so it’s exciting times for African animation.”

Nathi Mthethwa, South Africa’s minister of Arts and Culture, congratulated Triggerfish on Twitter. “This is an achievement we can all be proud of as South Africans, because Annecy’s Cristal Awards are considered the Oscars of animation.”

Stick Man - An award winning short film by Triggerfish Animation Studios

For more information, visit:

Follow the animation studio on:

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Have a look at previous Le Cristal winners at Annecy:

Room on the Broom

The Amazing World of Gumball

Shaun the Sheep

Peppa Pig.


Julian CleophasMarch 16, 20163min50

BIFF, Beirut International Film Festival, Middle East Film Festivals, Africa's 1st Film Blog, Zoom-in, African Film, Lebanese film festivals, Film Festivals, Beirut,

Lebanon’s oldest and most prestigious film festival, the Beirut International Film Festival takes place on the 5 – 13 October 2016. The annual festival celebrating its 16th edition has become known as a “Directors festival”, providing local and international filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their work to the world. With a vision to promote young Lebanese filmmakers, the festival has grown into a platform for the promotion of human rights and freedom of expression. The festival concludes with a glamorous awards ceremony presenting festival winners with Gold, Silver and Bronze “Aleph” awards in the respective categories of Feature film, Short film, Documentary and Special Jury Prize.

BIFF, Beirut International Film Festival, Middle East Film Festivals, Africa's 1st Film Blog, Zoom-in, African Film, Lebanese film festivals, Film Festivals, Beirut,

The Beirut International Film Festival calls on local and international filmmakers to submit their feature, short and documentary films for the 2016 festival. International filmmakers with feature and documentary films are the only films eligible for submission. As for the Middle East, Iran and Turkey are included in the Middle Eastern short and documentary film categories. Check out the official Beirut International Film Festival 2015 promo video below…

For more info on the film festival check out the links below:

Submissions Deadline: June 2016

Film Submissions





Julian CleophasFebruary 24, 20164min40

Pearl International Film Festival, PIFF, Uganda Film Festival, Africa's first film blog, African film

The Pearl International Film Festival (PIFF) founded by local film distributors Moses Magezi and Usama Mukwaya in 2011, is an annual film festival held in Kampala, Uganda, touted as one of the biggest events on the Ugandan film calendar. The Pearl International Film Festival runs over 1 week taking place at the National Theatre, concluding with a glamorous awards evening at the end of the festival.

“The main reason that inspired the founding of PIFF was to get a platform that would finally grant   local filmmakers (usually low end, third grade films) the opportunity to have their work seen by the public” says J.B Busuulwa, filmmaker and close associate of PIFF organisers.

The Pearl International Film Festival attended by various film stakeholders concludes with an awards evening offering filmmakers 14 award categories that include:

Lifetime Achievement Award

Best Producer

Best Young Actor

Best Young Actress

Best Editor

Best Actor/supporting role

Best Actress/ supporting role

Best Short Film

Best Screenwriter

Best Director of Photography

Best Actor

Best Actress

Best Feature Film

Pearl International Film Festival, PIFF, Uganda Film Festival, Africa's first film blog, African film

PIFF aims to raise the profile of films by local filmmakers, contribute towards local cinema development and celebrate Ugandan cinema on a national level. In addition to the film festival, scheduled programs taking place include:

  • Film Awards
  • Film Workshops
  • Opening and Closing Night
  • Student Programs
  • Exhibitions

Submission deadline for the 2016 Pearl International Film Festival is 18 March 2016 and must be submitted at the locations listed below:

For more information on dates and submitting at PIFF click here


Thiru NFebruary 18, 20163min40

MZANSI WOMEN FILM FESTIVAL has opened its call for film submissions of its 3rd edition, closing date 31 May 2016. Festival will be hosted in Johannesburg in August as part of Women’s Month celebration. Festival’s focus is to screen films by and about Women.

Submit your: Features, Short Films, Documentaries, and Animations to

Mzansi Women Film Festival

In partnership with…







Julian CleophasDecember 22, 20153min70

Zoom-In, Machakos Film Festival, Africa's 1st film blog, Dr Alfred Mutua

The Machakos Entertainment Centre for Film, Media, Music and Arts (MACHAWOOD), celebrated the success of Kenya’s first short film festival, the Machakos Film Festival that took place on the 12 December 2015. The entertainment centre started by Dr Alfred Mutua, Governor of Machakos County, was established to harness and create world class entertainment from Kenya.  After submissions, the top ten films were shortlisted for screening at the Machakos People’s Park, where the best four films were selected. All the films selected were published into DVD and circulated by Machawood, along with the top films being aired on local TV stations. The winner of the first Kenyan short film festival was “Indulge Me” by Ian Kithinji, taking home 1 million Kenyan shillings. Watch all the selected Machakos Film Festival films below.

Indulge Me by Ian Kithinji (Winner)


Mwikali by Mwangi Anthony (1st runner up)


My Ndia Nduku by Aleks Kamau (2nd runner up)


Get Some Money by Koi Ngunjirin (3rd runner up)


Beyond by Sahil Dhirajlal Gada


Poison Lily by Charles Kuria


Best Man by Michael M. Njeri


A Summer’s Tale by Brian K Whitney


Home by Mark Maina


Kanini The Oracle of Masaku by Ronald Mwarogo


Julian CleophasOctober 26, 20154min50

12138389_514455935388038_7980746237258208899_oThe Flats Festival of Film celebrated its debut film festival on the 22 October 2015, transforming public spaces into screening venues on the Cape Flats, which also included a screening at Cape Town City Central Library.

The festival running from the  22 – 25 October 2015, focused on films that highlighted serious social issues, screening “Luister”, “Tik time bomb” , “Stukkend”, “Southern Delivery”, “Indians can’t fly”, “As I am” and “Cinderella of the Cape Flats”.

Free film workshops accompanied by panel discussions after every screening, provided festival goers and emerging filmmakers the opportunity to interact with artists, filmmakers and industry professionals.

“I want to create a platform that showcases the work of emerging black filmmakers from the Cape Flats and beyond, allowing audiences to critically engage with the work of filmmakers. I want to develop and mentor new filmmaker’s of colour into the Cape Town Film Industry, which is still very white and exclusionary,” says “Flats Festival of Film” founder Denver Breda.

Zoom-in, Flats Festival Of Film, Africa's 1st Film Blog,

The films screened at the festival was a call to action for audiences, community leaders and community members to collectively handle and change the social issues that currently affect society. Festival founder Denver Breda, believes that film plays an important role in being a catalyst for change, by using video as a form of activism.

Flats Festival Of Film Workshop

If you are interested in contributing financially or providing sponsorship to the Film Fest you can assist by supporting their crowd funding campaign “Friends of the Flats Festival”.

For any further information connect with Flats Festival of Film on the details listed below:




Julian CleophasAugust 14, 20154min30
 Melbourne Documentary Film Fest, Film Festivals, Film, Documentary Film Festivals
The inaugural Melbourne Documentary Film Festival (MDFF), Melbourne’s only distinct documentary film festival, with a mission to discover and promote independent Australian documentaries, runs from the  9 – 11 July 2016. The MDFF will feature independent and innovative documentaries from around the world, from short to feature length, award winning films. To add to the excitement, the documentary film festival has 12 award categories called the “Ozstars”, listed below:
  • Supreme Jury Prize Winner
  • Best International Documentary
  • Best Australian Documentary
  • Best Australian Short Documentary
  • Best International Short Documentary
  • Best Music / Art Documentary
  • Wildcard Award
  • Best Comedy / Best Mockumentary
  • Best Health / Environmental Documentary
  • Best Avante Garde / Innovation Award
  • Best High School Feature / Short Documentary
  • Best Indigenous Feature / Short Documentary
  • Audience Choice Award
  • Best Director
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Editing
For film enthusiasts, the festival promises a screening of films that will intrigue, enlighten and inspire audiences, so much that it leaves you longing for next year. Film Screenings will take place  from the 9 – 11 July 2016 at the Howler Art Space, 7 Dawson Street, Brunswick, which is the official screening venue.  Filmmakers are urged to submit their documentary films for official selection at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival 2016. Film submissions are open until the 31st December 2015, with a final deadline on the 1st March 2016. Documentary films can be submitted via the portals listed below:
For more information on the festival click here


Thiru NJuly 2, 20156min80

Ayanda, the new film by award-winning director Sara Blecher and produced by Terry Pheto, Busi Sizani and Robbie Thorpe was awarded a “special mention” by the prestigious Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) Jury when the 2015 festival winners were announced, following its screening in the World Fiction Competition.

Ayanda had its world premiere in Los Angeles on 13 June, and debuted to rave reviews. The Examiner said, “The Los Angeles Film Festival’s 2015 mission to find ‘… diverse stories and storytellers … who exhibit true and singular voices’ is fully realized with Ayanda. Shot in South Africa, writer Trish Malone and director Sara Blecher create a vibrant, colorful film about a young woman looking to make her mark in today’s South Africa.”

The film tells the story of a resolute 21-year-old Afro-hipster Ayanda (Fulu Mugovhani), who has a talent for taking neglected pieces of furniture and “bringing them back to love”. Eight years after her father’s death, his prized auto repair garage is in deep debt and in danger of being sold, but Ayanda does everything in her power to hold onto his legacy.

Entertainment blog Indiewire called the film “an important and fascinating piece that is absolutely worth seeing for its representation of a modern African story, which is uniquely, distinctively African, but also urban, fresh, and contemporary in a way that is far too rare. Anchored by a standout performance by the magnetic Fulu Mugovahni, the vibe and milieu of Ayanda is as refreshing as a light summer breeze.”

Culver City Observer named Ayanda a “standout “Must See” in the World Fiction Competition”, and “A beautifully lensed film courtesy of cinematographer Jonathan Kovel…” The review described Trish Malone’s screenplay as a “a nuanced script with strongly detailed characters that come to life through some well oiled, fresh performances,” and said “Fulo Moguvhani is nothing short of luminous in the title role with strong supporting performances.”

The film also stars Nigerian actor OC Ukeje – winner of the 2015 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award for Best Actor, Jafta Mamabolo, Nthati Moshesh, Kenneth Nkosi, Sihle Xaba and Vanessa Cooke.  

Both Pheto and Blecher were at LAFF to promote the film, a line-up of 74 feature films from around the globe.

“We could not have wished for a better response from a discerning American audience,” says Blecher. “The film was praised for being distinctively African while exploring universal themes of love, friendship and growth. We cannot wait to share the film with South African moviegoers. As a female team, we are proud to have made such a strong and vibrant film about women in contemporary South Africa.”

Ayanda was produced by Real Eyes Films and Leading Lady Productions, with the support of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), Africa Magic and the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It will be distributed in South Africa by Helen Kuun of Indigenous Film Distribution.

“The film has an excellent cast and superb production values, as well as a story that is young, fresh and distinctly urban,” says Kuun. “We are excited to bring a creative product of this calibre to the local movie circuit.”

Ayanda will be the opening film at the 36th Durban International Film Festival, taking place from July 16 to 26 this year.

Ayanda releases at cinemas nationally on 02 October 2015.

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Indigenous Film Distribution official site


Thiru NJuly 1, 20155min20

The NFVF, an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, hereby invites South African filmmakers to apply for the South Africa-Brazil Co-production Forum to be held at the Durban Film Mart during the Durban International Film Festival which takes place from the 16th until the 26th July 2015.

This initiative is in recognition of the pending signing of the South Africa – Brazil Co-production Treaty. The meeting will take place side by side five (5) Brazilian and five (5) South African producers with specific projects that represent job opportunities between the two countries, enhance the real possibilities of co-productions between them. 

This is the second session hosted by the NFVF and Agencia Nacional do Cinema (ANCINE), having previously collaborated at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014. The first meeting was a general introduction of the Brazilian and South African markets and inform producers about film possibilities in the two countries.

The Producers must be experienced and satisfy the following criteria:

  • Have a registered production company.
  • Have a firm and informed understanding of finance structures and incentives
  • Understanding of legal processes (contracts/co-production agreements)
  • Knowledge of international markets (festivals, markets, sales)
  • Synopsis of the project(s) in mind for a co-production with Brazil.

The closing date for applications is 5th July 2015. Selections will be made according to the above criteria and successful applicants will be notified by 8th July 2015.

To apply for participation at the NFVF-ANCINE Forum email:


Contact Person:

 Naomi Mokhele
Manager: Communications
Tel: +27 11 483 0880
Twitter: @IamNaomiM


Sean Bracegirdle
Communications Coordinator
Tel: +27 11 483 0880