Film News South Africa

What to expect at the 2021 hybrid Jozi Film Festival

Johannesburg's longest-running multi-genre film festival, the Jozi Film Festival (JFF) is back for its 10th year from 1 to 10 October 2021. This year's hybrid film festival will see selected films and documentaries being screened on site at The Bioscope Independent Cinema. It will also offer a full menu of films to stream for free via a specially created online platform, as well as an on-demand channel that can be accessed anytime from 1 to 10 October 2021.

Anyone in South Africa will be able to tuck into JFF’s selection of thought-provoking and acclaimed feature films, feature-length documentaries, short fiction films and documentary shorts by established and emerging filmmakers from South Africa and around the globe.

What to expect at the 2021 hybrid Jozi Film Festival

Explains film festival co-founder and organiser Lisa Henry,

Because of the outbreak of the global pandemic in 2020, last year’s festival went virtual for the first time and this year it will continue to offer a virtual experience where anyone in South Africa can access all the films on offer from 1 to 10 October 2021.
“As Gauteng now cautiously moves out of the third wave of Covid-19, JFF will also hold safe screenings (at 50% capacity) at The Bioscope, now located at 44 Stanley Avenue, Milpark, from 1 to 3 October 2021. The Bioscope remains the JFF’s spiritual home; both Joburg institutions are 100% independent and committed to providing a platform for filmmakers that the traditional cinemas can’t.”

Opening night

The opening-night film at The Bioscope on Friday 1 October 2021 is the documentary Displaced (also live-streamed on Tuesday 4 October 2021). It’s a moving and haunting retrospective of the work of local artist Emma Willemse, directed by Victor van Aswegen. Rooted in her personal experience of displacement, Willemse’s work resonates in South Africa, with its history of forced removals, and around the world. The film has garnered a number of awards and accolades in the United States and Europe, and JFF is proud to be hosting the world cinema premiere (previous screenings have been virtual).

Official trailer: Displaced from CineSouth Studios on Vimeo.

Complementing the physical screenings is JFF’s two-pronged virtual offering. For just R49,99, audiences can purchase an all-access pass to access 60 excellent films on demand, at any time, between 1 and 10 October 2021.

“10 Days, 10 Films”

The second part of the virtual offering is “10 Days, 10 Films”, a new, free, live and interactive addition to this year’s festival to commemorate its 10th anniversary. From 1 to 10 October 2021, at 8pm each night, the JFF will host a screening of a film or short film, followed by a question-and-answer session. These screenings and Q&As are free to watch online.

One of the highlights of this free offering is Murder in Paris, about the assassination of anti-apartheid activist Dulcie September, to be streamed live at 8pm on Wednesday 6 October 2021. JFF will partner with the Nelson Mandela Foundation to bring audiences the South African premiere of the new international cut of Enver Samuel’s award-winning documentary film, which is not to be missed.

There are three ways to access the Jozi Film Festival this year:

  • Book The Bioscope screenings here
  • Secure your virtual seat here for an all-access virtual pass to the JFF here
  • Register here for the free live-streamed “10 Days, 10 Films” screenings (Zoom login required) here.

Visit, or follow Jozi Film Festival on Facebook and Instagram, for updates and news.

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