Film festival season—my favourite time of the year—is finally here, and at FilmEra it is here in a very big way with so many festivals being reported on this month. With all that is screening, it is so great to read and compare the different festivals this season. This week I will be going to my very first film festival, and I could not be more excited and appreciative. So happy to be covering one of the biggest film festivals in Africa—the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival in Cape Town, South Africa—and sharing all of my thoughts for FilmEra!
The festival, which takes place from the 9th to the 19th of October at the V & A Waterfront, describes itself as “guided by the festival’s core vision of transforming the African film industry, through the three pillars of creation, collaboration and celebration. The CTIFMF will incorporate a host of key initiatives and projects aimed at the local and Pan-African film industries as well as emerging and new audiences from Africa and beyond.” This presents great collaborations between the South African Film Industry and international industries. Hopefully this will result in more emerging South African talent being featured on an international stage as well as more production from international industries occurring in South Africa.
This year there are more than eighty features from all around the world screening. In addition to South African features, this list includes countries such as the UK, Germany, Russia, China as well as here in Africa from Kenya, Ghana, and Tanzania to name a few. Opening night on Tuesday was the national premiere of Jahmil X.T Qubeka’s Sew the Winter to My Skin, an apartheid-era epic in the style of a Western. It previously had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival and is South Africa’s official submission for the 2019 Academy Awards.
My first day at the festival has already been incredibly exciting but definitely overwhelming, especially as more of an introverted person. There is so much to watch, so much to experience with a limited schedule as a full-time student. There are many films I am looking forward to seeing and reviewing over the next week, particularly Wanuri Kahiu’s Rafiki (which premiered at Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals this year), Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not A Witch, Desiree Akhavan’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Alice Rohrwacher’s Happy As Lazzaro to name a few. Expect reviews and dispatches with these films and more films this week!