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Africa Rising International Film Festival puts spotlight on GBV, BLM and unjust systems

The third instalment of the Africa Rising International Film Festival (ARIFF) is scheduled to take place virtually from 27-29 November 2020. True to the time, the 2020 edition will be both a virtual experience with one or two live experiences.
Using film to create awareness and contribute to urgent conversations needed, and hopefully drive change, this year the festival puts a spotlight on Gender Based Violence, Black Lives Matter and Unjust systems that still govern today. ARIFF will develop and screen 16 short films and documentaries under the 2020 theme its gender-based violence and equality project dubbed the ARIFF Film for Change: GBV and Equality.

Ayanda Sithebe, director and co-founder of Africa Rising Film Festival (ARIFF)

The main objective of the project is to drive conversation, raise awareness of gender-based violence and equality through the power of cinema and storytelling to push for real change and accountability.

The short films and documentaries will form part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Women and Children Abuse. The program will also be integrated to the Africa Rising International Film Festival’s training program ARIFF Film Institute where ARIFF mentors over 200 young creatives through directing, producing, scriptwriting, acting, and technical and creative aspect of filmmaking.

Women, youth, queer community, and people living with disabilities will continue to take centre stage at this year’s festival. As a celebration of their work, attention also needs to be brought to the importance of continuing to support these groups in the film industry, to ensure these moments of celebration keep happening.

Thematically, ARIFF wants to ensure that all voices left in the shadows are given a spotlight. This instalment of the festival will tackle difficult conversations that continue to erode society.



The commissioning process is currently open for emerging filmmakers, with scriptwriters and directors from previously disadvantaged backgrounds within the ages of 18 to 35 with a filmmaking qualification or a year’s worth of directing experience also invited to participate in the development process. Experienced mentors will oversee the commissioned work while also mentoring and upskilling the participants.
The year 2020 will never be forgotten, we have had to all adjust and introspect on what is crucial. As a festival we have had to assess and evaluate how we engage with audiences leading from supporting purpose led content and initiatives. During this time we have explored the lengths of the digital space which has brought the world closer, with Film for Change we will share meaningful content to be seen beyond our borders using digital platforms", says Ayanda Sithebe, director and co-founder of ARIFF.
The three-day Africa Rising International Film Festival’s 2020 virtual edition programme also includes African and international film screenings/premiers, round tables, masterclasses, SWIFT Hour, ARIFF Film Child, and more. The full African and International film screenings programme will be released closer to the time.
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