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#OnTheBigScreen: Self-discovery, short films, and scary thrills

Films opening on 19 October 2018 are: the astounding new South African film Kanarie, in which a young man discovers how through hardship, camaraderie, first love, and the liberating freedom of music, the true self can be discovered; Papillon is a thrilling adventure and a powerful portrait of the resilience of the human spirit, even in the face of utter inhumanity; the masked figure who has haunted moviegoers since his killing spree four decades ago is back in Halloween 2018; a hotshot Air Force pilot is chosen for a military experiment that will create a human being capable of surviving the harsh environments of Saturn's moon in Titan; and in The Hate U Give, a teenage girl must find her voice and stand up for what's right.
It's Shnit season in Cape Town! Shnit Cape Town is an exceptional annual event with a unique transnational concept - a short film festival that takes place simultaneously in multiple cities on five continents over 10 days. This year the Zeitz MOCAA joins the list of venues hosting Shnit. Other locations include The Labia Theatre in Gardens, the traditional home of Shnit, as well as the Alexander Bar & Theatre on Strand Street, the Raptor Room in Roeland Street, and Bertha House in Khayelitsha. This year, there are four South African films in the latter - Good Mourning by Ian Morgan, Noodlesby Greg Rom, First Kiss by Ali Ashman, and Vlees van my Vlees by Matthys Boshoff. The same four are also competing in the Made in South Africa contest alongside Ihlazo by Akuol de Mabior, Versnel by Dian Weys, Mma Moeketsi by Reabetswe Moeti, Junior by Bert Djikstra, and Measure of a Woman by Sara Blecher. Visit the website for the full programme:


Kanarie is a life-changing film and alters jaded perceptions. A heartbreaking journey into the life of a conscripted soldier in South Africa in the ‘80s, who finds self-love and affirmation of his true identity through the love of another young man. Kanarie is one of those rare films you cannot resist falling head-over-heels in love with. This astounding coming-of-age musical drama set in South Africa in 1985, about a young man who discovers how through hardship, camaraderie, first love, and the liberating freedom of music, the true self can be discovered.

Charl-Johan Lingenfelder gets personal in his new film Kanarie

Charl-Johan Lingenfelder has been an inspirational tour-de-force as a musician, composer, writer, performer, his heavenly collaboration with director Christiaan Olwagen, Kanarie, is a proudly South African film taking the world by storm...

By Daniel Dercksen 17 Oct 2018

The film is directed by Christiaan Olwagen (Johhny Is Nie Dood Nie), from an original screenplay crafted by Olwagen and musical director Charl-Johan Lingenfelder.  


Papillon is an exceptional human drama a powerful portrait of the resilience of the human spirit. Based on the international best-selling autobiography, it follows the epic story of Henri ‘Papillon’ Charrière (Charlie Hunnam), a safecracker from the Parisian underworld who is framed for murder and condemned to life in the notorious penal colony on Devil’s Island. Determined to regain his freedom, Papillon forms an unlikely alliance with quirky convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega (Rami Malek), who in exchange for protection, agrees to finance Papillon’s escape, ultimately resulting in a bond of lasting friendship.

Directed by Michael Noer. It is a remake of the 1973 film of the same name starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. The original film was written by Dalton Trumbo based on the best-selling autobiography by the French convict Henri Charrière.

Read more about Papillion here

Halloween 2018

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago. Master of horror John Carpenter will executive produce and serve as creative consultant on this film, joining forces with cinema’s current leading producer of horror, Jason Blum. Inspired by Carpenter’s classic, filmmakers David Gordon Green and Danny McBride crafted a story that carves a new path from the events in the landmark 1978 film, and Green also directs.

Directed by Green, screenplay by Green, McBride, and Jeff Fradley. With Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Will Patton, Nick Castle, Andi Matichak, Omar J. Dorsey.

Read more about Halloween 2018 here

The Titan

In the near future, Earth’s resources are exhausted and humanity’s only hope of salvation lies in travelling to a distant planet. A military family is relocated so they can participate in an experiment into man’s genetic evolution in space, which will be vital to ensure that the human race survives the journey. Hotshot Air Force pilot Rick Janssen (Sam Worthington) is chosen for a military experiment that will create a human being capable of surviving the harsh environments of Saturn’s moon, Titan. The experiment is successful, turning Rick into a super-human, but it also creates deadly side-effects which threaten the life of Rick, his wife and family, and possibly humanity itself.

Directed by Lennart Ruff. The screenplay was written by Max Hurwitz, with the story by Arash Amel.   

The Hate U Give

Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black neighbourhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer.

Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right. It is based on the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller by Angie Thomas and stars Amandla Stenberg as Starr with Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Issa Rae, KJ Apa, Algee Smith, Sabrina Carpenter, Common, and Anthony Mackie.

Directed by George Tillman Jr. and written by Tina Mabry and Audrey Wells. 

Read more about the latest film releases:
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About Daniel Dercksen

As a freelance film and theatre journalist for more than 30 years, published playwright and creator of the independent training initiative The Writing Studio, Daniel Dercksen received the number one spot for most popular lifestyle contributor for 2012, 2014 and 2015, and 2nd spot in 2016 on