An exciting Mexico/SA collaboration aimed at igniting the passion of young filmmakers stars this month, with the launch of the FYTA Film Festival (Filmmaking Youth Taking Action) at the University of Johannesburg. Running from 13 � 16 June, the international film festival offers free workshops, showcases opportunities and provides a South Africa-Mexico exploratory and expressive film platform.

Hosted by the University, in conjunction with the Gauteng Film Commission, the Embassy of Mexico and Nedbank, the festival will demonstrate how film can be a transformer of society. Culminating on Youth Day, the festival brings about 7 of Mexico�s most inspiring filmmakers to our country, and teams them up with SA filmmakers to explore the common ground between our countries, in film, in history and in daily life.

Entrance to all screenings and workshops, which take place at the University of Johannesburg�s FADA Building on Bunting Rd Auckland Park, is free.

The Festival consists of three main categories:

  1. Mexican-South African Film Showcase:
    FYTA Films will screen several African premi�res. In addition, filmmakers from both countries will be in attendance at screenings for discussions and workshops.

  2. Guests:
    Some of the well-known Mexican guests include Elena Fortes Acosta, director of the Ambulante Documentary Festival run by Gael Garc�a Bernal and Diego Luna, Flavio Florencio, creator of the Africala Festival which highlights the ancient connection between Africa and Latin America and the African roots present in South America.

    Other guests include Alejandro Ripstein; son of veteran filmmaker Arturo Ripstein, Francisco Vargas whose magnificent film El Violin has won over 30 awards at film festivals around the world, Elisa Miller, winner of a Palme d�Or at the Cannes Film Festival last year and animator Ricardo Arnaiz winner of a Mexican Academy award for The Legend of Nahuala.

    Workshops and colloquia
    With so many interesting visitors to FYTA, it is the ideal opportunity to provide young filmmakers with guidance and support in the form of exciting workshops.
    These include:
    • Animation workshop hosted by Parlotones video director Claudio Pavan
    • Plenary discussion surrounding the concept of �3rd Cinema�
    • �Taking Film to the People� - workshop on grassroots filmmaking and storytelling
    • A Documentary Roundtable
    • Music Video competition allowing the winning director to choose from 5 bands and direct their next music video.
      Other events
      In addition to structured events, young filmmakers will be encouraged to mingle and view each others� work in the Benign Bunker, an ideal opportunity for networking.

  3. Young Filmmakers Showcase
    Emerging filmmakers, film students and anyone else with a story on film are invited to submit their work for exhibition at FYTA Films 2008. On June 16, FYTA Films will dedicate a screening venue to the work of young directors from both SA and Mexico.

    The inaugural FYTA Film Festival takes place at the University of Johannesburg�s FADA Building on Bunting Road, Auckland Park, 13 � 16 June. Entrance to all screenings and workshops is free. For more information, contact Nalisha Lalloo on 084 514 1806 or email or visit