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Film News South Africa

June's cinematic delights: New releases and Encounters Film Festival

This month's lineup promises something for everyone. Get ready to mark your calendars and prepare for an unforgettable cinematic journey.
June's cinematic delights: New releases and Encounters Film Festival

7 June

The Watchers follows Mina, a 28-year-old artist, stranded in an expansive, untouched forest in western Ireland. When Mina finds shelter, she unknowingly takes her place alongside three strangers who are watched and stalked by mysterious creatures each night. You can’t see them, but they see everything.

Written and directed by Ishana Night Shyamalan. Read more here

The buddy cop action-comedy Bad Boys Ride Or Die is the fourth movie in the series and sees Will Smith as Detective Mike Lowrey and Martin Lawrence as Detective Marcus Burnett team up to try to unconventionally solve a flashy and explosive case on the big screen.

Unlike the previous times though, in the new movie, the duo faces their toughest obstacles as their reputations and lives are on the line. They investigate corruption within the Miami PD when their late Captain Conrad Howard is posthumously accused of being involved with the Romanian Mafia, but a setup turns them into fugitives, forcing them to work outside the law to solve the case.

It is directed by Adil & Bilall and written by Chris Bremner and Will Beall.

The Met: Live in HD, the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live high-definition cinema simulcasts, is into its 17th season exclusively at select Ster-Kinekor and Cinema Nouveau cinemas.

Puccini’s bittersweet love story La Rondine returns to cinemas, with soprano Angel Blue starring as the French courtesan Magda, opposite tenor Jonathan Tetelman as Ruggero, an idealistic young man who offers her an alternative to her life of excess. Maestro Speranza Scappucci conducts Nicolas Joël’s Art Deco–inspired staging, which transports audiences from the heart of Parisian nightlife to a dreamy vision of the French Riviera. Soprano Emily Pogorelc and tenor Bekhzod Davronov complete the sterling cast as Lisette and Prunier.

Exclusively in cinemas on 7, 8, 9, and 11 June. Read more here

14 June

Inside Out 2 returns to the mind of newly minted teenager Riley just as headquarters is undergoing a sudden demolition to make room for something entirely unexpected: new Emotions!
Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, who’ve long been running a successful operation by all accounts, aren’t sure how to feel when Anxiety shows up. And it looks like she’s not alone. it is directed by Kelsey Mann (in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay written by Meg LeFauve and Dave Holstein.

21 June

Girl You Know It's True is a biographical film about the controversial late-1980s/early-1990s music duo Milli Vanilli that caused one of the most infamous scandals in international pop music.

Grammy Award-winning music act Milli Vanilli become the first act to have their prize stripped from them after they are exposed as a fake enterprise with the singers lip-syncing to pre-recorded tracks. The film follows the meteoric rise of European dancers Rob Pilatus (from Germany) and Fab Morvan (from France) as Milli Vanilli to become one of the most successful pop duos of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Written and directed by German-Austrian filmmaker Simon Verhoeven.

After learning that the death of his wife was not an accident, a former CIA officer and Station Chief is forced back into the espionage underworld, teaming up with an adversary to unravel a conspiracy that challenges everything he thought he knew.

Chief of Station is an action thriller film written by George Mahaffey, directed by Jesse V. Johnson and stars Aaron Eckhart, Olga Kurylenko, Alex Pettyfer, Daniel Bernhardt, Chris Petrovski, Nick Moran, Kris Johnson, and James Faulkner.

28 June

In Despicable Me 4, Gru (Carell), the world's favourite supervillain-turned-Anti-Villain League-agent, returns for an exciting, bold new era of Minions mayhem, alongside his wife and fellow Anti-Villain League-agent Lucy (Wiig), their three adopted girls — Margo (Cosgrove), Edith (Gaier) and Agnes (Polan) — and the sixth and newest member to the Gru family, Gru Jr., who is intent on tormenting his dad.

The family is forced to go on the run when they become targeted by escaped criminal Maxime Le Mal (Ferrell) and his femme fatale girlfriend Valentina (Vergara). The film is directed by Chris Renaud, co-directed by Patrick Delage, produced by Chris Meledandri and Brett Hoffman, and written by Mike White and Ken Daurio.

It stars the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Pierre Coffin, Joey King, Miranda Cosgrove, Stephen Colbert, Steve Coogan, Sofía Vergara, Renaud, Madison Polan, Dana Gaier, Chloe Fineman, and Will Ferrell.

The apocalyptic horror A Quiet Place: Day One takes place before the first film, a woman named Sam must survive an invasion in New York City by bloodthirsty alien creatures with ultrasonic sound hearing. Written and directed by Michael Sarnoski, it is based on a story he conceived with John Krasinski.

It serves as a spin-off prequel and the third instalment in the A Quiet Place film series. The film stars Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, and Alex Wolff, with Djimon Hounsou reprising his role from A Quiet Place Part II.

Treasure is a tragicomedy film directed by Julia von Heinz. Set in 1990, it tells the story of an American journalist Ruth who travels to Poland with her father Edek to visit his childhood places. But Edek, a Holocaust survivor, resists reliving his trauma and sabotages the trip creating unintentionally funny situations.

Based on the 1999 novel Too Many Men by Lily Brett, the film stars Lena Dunham, Stephen Fry and Zbigniew Zamachowski.

In the local film He’s Not Ready, Thabo’s long-time girlfriend Zonke, gives him an ultimatum of marrying her or letting her go. This sets Thabo on a journey of discovering whether or not he is ready to take the next step. To do this he decides he must undergo a personal journey of soul searching, preparation and testing to see if he can become husband/marriage material or call it quits. Along the way he encounters the advice and leanings of his friends and family but realizes that ultimately, he must make up his mind.

It stars Motsoaledi Setumo, Botho Molahloe, Patrick Bokaba, Sello Sebotsane, Mpho "Popps" Modikoane, and is directed by Tebogo Mogale

Read more about the latest and upcoming films here.

Encounters South African International Documentary Festival

The 26th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival, which takes place in Cape Town and Johannesburg from 20-30 June, features a compelling lineup of films from around the globe that promise to spark debate, stimulate conversations, and shed new light on controversial subject matter.

From the Congo to Kenya, USA and Europe, Lebanon to Japan with gripping tales of resilience to thought-provoking explorations of contemporary issues, these films reveal a rich tapestry of global storytelling and celebrate the power of documentary cinema to inspire, inform, and ignite change.

Close to 50 films will be screened, including: The multiple award-winning soundtrack to a Coup d'État, is a riveting documentary that delves into the complex relationship between music and political upheaval.

The Kenyan film Our Land, Our Freedom directed by Zippy Kimundu, is a highly charged conversation about stolen land that follows a woman’s attempt to reclaim ancestral land.

Of particular interest are two fascinating films from Japan: In a raw, riveting, and singular work, playing like a procedural thriller for social media, Black Box Diaries (Japan/USA/UK) directed by journalist Shiori Itō bravely investigates a case of sexual violence perpetrated against her—to bring her powerful, politically connected assailant to justice.

Then the beautifully photographed film - Johatsu – Into Thin Air directed by Andreas Hartmann and Arata Mori explores the phenomenon of people who disappear known as Johatsu or “the evaporated” in Japan where around 80,000 people vanish every year.

Cinemas that will screen the 2024 Encounters’ lineup:
In Cape Town - Ster-Kinekor V&A Waterfront, The Labia Theatre
In Johannesburg - The Zone @ Rosebank, The Bioscope Independent Cinema

For more information and the full programme go to:

About Daniel Dercksen

Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit
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