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South African Film Festival Opens This Week!



The South African Film Festival (Australia and New Zealand) opens this week with 21 vibrant, diverse films on show for Australian and New Zealand audiences.

Tickets are now on sale for The South African Film Festival (SAFF) which opens on Saturday 7 May with in-cinema screenings in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Brisbane. The Festival launches with the documentary Nobody’s Died Laughing, a revealing and intimate look at the legendary South African performer, author, satirist, and activist, Pieter-Dirk Uys whose alter ego, Evita Bezuidenhout, has been entertaining audiences around the world for over 40 years. The festival closes with the film Beyond Moving, which looks at the remarkable journey of young ballet star Siphe November from his home in a South African township to soaring on stage as part of Canada's National Ballet School.

This year’s festival features a diverse program of 21 films, from hard-hitting documentaries to heart-warming short films, and from blockbuster features to personal stories. This rich offering gives diverse audiences unique insights into South Africa, its creative force, the strength of its people, its challenges, and the richness of its vibrant cultures and languages. Plus, the festival offers an incredible selection of bonus content, releasing this week, including an interview with South African-born Hollywood icon Charlize Theron!

More than just a celebration of cinematic art, SAFF is a festival with a conscience! All profits from the festival go to supporting the vital work of Education without Borders (EwB), a not-for-profit that is changing the lives of disadvantaged and at-risk youth in South Africa’s Western Cape.

Festival Director Claire Jankelson said, “We are thrilled to be bringing the 4th South African Film Festival to audiences here in Australia and New Zealand. With captivating features and documentaries that educate and engage, the Festival offers glimpses into the land, the people, the culture, and the complexities of South Africa.”

This year’s festival includes nine documentaries:
Pluck which takes a rollicking, warts-and-all look at the infamous Nando’s ads that have held up a mirror to South African society.
Dare to Dream is a fun, feel good film about the whirling, twirling lives of the young performers at Zip Zap Circus in Cape Town, and a look at how marginalized youth are getting the chance to turn their lives around by joining this social venture.
We are Zama Zama offers a gripping tale of determination and resilience deep in South Africa’s depleted mines.
Dying for Gold humanises the history of gold mining that has been so pivotal to the growth of South Africa’s economy. 
The Art of Fallism delves into the student protests that swept South Africa in 2016, starting with the #RhodesMustFall movement.
Township Yogi explores the place of yoga in salvation, renewal, and personal growth deep in the townships of KwaZulu-Natal.
Dance Me to The End of Time is a powerful and sensitive portrayal of American theatre director Nancy Diuguid's life and battle with cancer, made by her South African partner and filmmaker Melanie Chait. 
The Untamed Voice takes a no-holds-barred look at Afrikaans music, as made by all South Africans.

There are five exceptional feature films:
Atlantis, a gripping tale of drugs, love, betrayal and murder in the Western Cape.
Gaia is an award-winning ecological horror which features a spine-tingling score and magnificent footage of the Tsitsikamma Forest.
Sons of the Sea is a suspenseful thriller which dives into the world of abalone poaching.
Mrs Right Guy tells the story of a sceptical young woman who allows herself to fall in love again. Hotel Lerallaneng is an engaging, authentic, and moody drama about two South African artists who find themselves adrift during lockdown.

There are five poignant short films:
What Did You Dream is an enchanting film tells of three children using their nightly dreams to help them win the Chinese lottery.
uMama is an intimate drama inspired by real events in the filmmaker’s own life that follows a domestic worker torn between caring for her employer’s child and finding her missing son.
#We are Dying Here offers a sombre look at the unending violence perpetrated against females in South Africa.
Sifa recounts the journey of a spirited young African refugee and her family, who flee war and attempt to make a new life in South Africa, where they encounter prejudice and xenophobia. Phefumla (which means “breathe” in isiZulu) is beautifully filmed in the waters of Kwazulu-Natal’s Sodwana Bay and tells the story of how a marine scientist who grew up in Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats, overcomes his fear of drowning.  

Now in its fourth year, the SAFF (Australia and New Zealand) is part of a global network of South African film festivals, all of which are supported by teams of passionate volunteers, sponsors, and audience members.

The SAFF (Australia and New Zealand) runs from 07 to 24 May, in-cinema and online. Tickets are now on sale. For the full Festival program and tickets visit


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