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2023 Joburg Film Festival selection announced

A celebration of local and international cinema with over 60 films screened.
2023 Joburg Film Festival selection announced

The Joburg Film Festival, brought to you in partnership with MultiChoice, will kick off its six-day celebration of filmmaking and storytelling excellence on Tuesday, 31 January 2023, today announced the selection of the over 60 films that will be screened at the coveted festival.

Following a two-year hiatus, festival organisers earlier this year confirmed the return of this leading film festival to take place in 2023. The Joburg Film Festival once again boasts a well-known and globally respected team including Zimbabwean born internationally renowned festival curator Keith Shiri and film festival programmer, the equally established and known industry expert Jack Chiang.

Set to showcase some of the finest films from over 35 countries across the globe, including 20 African premieres and 27 South African premieres, the Joburg Film festival will run from Tuesday, 31st January 2023 to Sunday, 5th February 2023 at various locations across the city.

The Joburg Film Festival line-up includes films from South Africa, Tunisia, Brazil, Seoul, Brazil, USA, Japan, Morocco and more, with a mix of feature films and documentaries showcasing stories that cross cultural boundaries.

The festival will also play host to a number of stars, producers and directors, who will participate in Q&A sessions after select screenings across the programme, with daily red carpet premieres giving fans the opportunity to meet the stars themselves.

The Joburg Film Fest will also include a selection of films from the the Africa Film Heritage Project,a partnership between the Federation of of Pan African Filmmakers (FEPACI), Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project along with its affiliate archive, the Cineteca di Bologna, and UNESCO. The aim of the project has been to restore and preserve 50 African films with historical, cultural and artistic significance.

Joburg Film Festival executive director Timothy Mangwedi has this to say on the announcement of the confirmed festival line-up, “The Joburg Film Festival offers a multicultural international standard cinema experience for film lovers young and old, right in the heart of Joburg. Not only does the festival showcase thought-provoking and debate-stoking films from around the world, but also brings back the nostalgic storytelling from yesteryear via this selection of films being screen. Everyone is welcome to join the celebration.”

Affirming MultiChoice’s on-going support of the Joburg Film Festival, Collen Dlamini group executive corporate affairs stated, “We pride ourselves in propelling the art of storytelling to our audiences. Not only do we showcase the best of local and international films on our platforms, but we also get behind programmes and initiatives like the Joburg Film Festival to further support the dissemination of quality content, further feeding our audience’s love for film and television”.

Festival screenings will take place in cinema’s in Soweto, Maboneng, Sandton and Rosebank. Tickets will be on sale from 9 January 2023 via Quicket.

The long list of exceptional titles includes the multi-award winning 2022 feature film Utama, set in the Bolivian highlands and tenderly portraying an elderly Quechua couple going through the difficulties of everyday life. Also screening is the 2021 feature Miss Osaka, shot in Denmark, Norway and Japan and with a touching storyline that follows a young lady as she searches for the answers to life and finds herself along the way. A true coming of age story, A Far Shore, is a 2022 Japanese film about a poverty stricken, underage mother dealing with an abusive husband.

South African doccie Music Is My Life offers an engaging account of the life of Joseph Shabalala and his rise to international fame with his band Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Another notable local feature is Surviving Gaza which follows the life and struggles of Phuzi and his friends living in the lawless Gaza, who dream of Kwaito stardom.

Another highlight will be the Premiere of the locally produced feature film Time Spent With Cats Is Never Wasted. This 172 min long feature is a stark piece of slow cinema that captures one man’s battle with the world around him. Joe, a small-town abattoir worker, leads us on an allegorical journey as his dream to fly compelled him to construct his own helicopter. It’s a ramshackle assembly of scrap and found objects and when an art buyer offers to purchase the flamboyant creation, it is a mixed blessing that has caused chaos in his small community that unjustifiably demands a stake in the potential spoils. Watch the trailer here:

Under The Fig Trees, shot in five countries including Tunisia, France, Switzerland, Germany and Qatar, follows the lives of young women working the summer harvest. Watch the trailer here:

Role, a South American documentary tells the story of on-going Brazilian protests that have taken place in malls across the country as young people protest against the violence of security guards and shopping mall employees. Watch the trailer here:


Rolê — Histórias dos Rolezinhos [trailer] from Couro de Rato on Vimeo.

Oink, is an animated Dutch feature film about 9-year-old Babs who receives a pig named Oink as a present from her grandfather. She manages to convince her parents to allow her to keep it, however her grandfather has an ulterior motive and is secretly taking part in the sausage competition. Watch the trailer here:

Also included for the first time this year, the Exploring VR Experience will include South features Azibuye and Container, The Soloist and The Man Who Couldn't Leave (Taiwan).

For a full listing of the films to be screened at the upcoming Joburg Film Festival, visit www.joburgfilmfestival.co.za.

Alternatively for more regular updates, check out the JFF social media handles.

Facebook: JoburgFilmFestival
Twitter: JoburgFilmFest
Instagram: joburg_film_festival
These are our hashtags: #JoburgFilmFestival #JFF2023


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