The red carpet is ready at the Eyethu Lifestyle Centre in Soweto
The red carpet is ready to welcome JFF2016 guests to the Eyethu Lifestyle Centre in Soweto. Flanking JFF organiser Lisa Henry are JFF's Nkantu Dosi (left), who will be running the Q&As, and host Mandla Tshabalala (right). (Photo: Jozi Film Festival on Facebook)

The countdown is on to what promises, judging from a scorching lineup of features, documentaries, short films and student offerings, to be the hottest Jozi Film Fest yet.

It's all happening at The Bioscope in Maboneng and Cinema Nouveau in Rosebank from 15 to 18 September, and at the Eyethu Lifestyle Centre in Soweto on 16 and 17 September.

Feature films at JFF2016

Three very different South African feature films are on offer at JFF2016, starting with the opening night movie Shepherds and Butchers, the latest offering from leading South African filmmakers Oliver Schmitz and Anant Singh.

Singh said it was an honour to be invited to open the Jozi Film Festival. "The festival is an excellent platform for South African films, and has developed a profile to become one of the leading festivals in the country since its first edition five years ago," he said.

Members of the team that made Shepherds and Butchers, along with some of the cast members, will be in attendance at Cinema Nouveau to introduce the film on 15 September. It screens again on 18 September at 2pm.

Then, if you had the misfortune of missing Kagiso Lediga in John Barker's hilarious political satire Wonder Boy for President while it was on circuit, you can catch it at Eyethu Lifestyle Centre on 16 September at 8pm, or at Cinema Nouveau on 17 September at 8pm.

A Billion Lives
JFF2016 presents the African premiere of award-winning documentary feature A Billion Lives. (Photo: Jozi Film Festival on Facebook)

And if it's a crime drama with heart that you're after, don't miss the brilliant performance from Khabonina Qubeka in Dora's Peace, about a Hillbrow prostitute on the wrong side of 40 who takes up the cause of a gifted 12-year-old boy in danger of being sucked into the world of crime.

Documentaries at JFF2016

Top of the docs list at JFF2016 is the African premiere of the award-winning documentary feature A Billion Lives, which has been capturing headlines at international film festivals.

Aaron Biebert's hard-hitting film explores how pharmaceutical companies, anti-smoking advocacy groups, tobacco companies and governments have been attacking the vaping industry.

Biebert will be in attendance at a Q&A session following the 16 September screening at Cinema Nouveau, where a second screen has been made available after tickets sold out for the first. It screens again at the same venue on 18 September at 5pm.

Artist and rapper Kuli Chana, who was shot by the police while travelling to a gig in 2013, will be on hand for Q&As following two screenings of Picking up the Pieces: the Kuli Chana Story, at Cinema Nouveau and Eyethu Lifestyle Centre. A third screening takes place at The Bioscope.

And if you haven't seen it yet, here's your chance to catch award-winning documentary The Boers at the End of the World, which tells the story of the Dickasons, members of a 114-year-old Afrikaans Boer community in Patagonia, 7 000 kilometres removed from their roots - and from an apartheid system they were never part of.

Short film, student film 'wraps' at The Bioscope

JFF2016 provides a great opportunity for film lovers to experience an excellent selection of local and international short films in three short fiction sittings or "wraps", all taking place at The Bioscope on 16 and 17 September, followed by two South African documentary shorts on 18 September.

Vuyani Bila's haunting and moving film To Ike
Vuyani Bila's haunting and moving film To Ike is part of the exciting line-up of local and international shorts at JFF2016. (Photo: Jozi Film Festival on Facebook)

The Jozi Film Festival is also committed to supporting young filmmakers, and this year's selection of student films raises the bar incredibly high.

It includes the exceptional Tabula Rasa by Hungarian filmmaker Sandor Csoma, and the intriguingly titled The Chunk and The Whore, a 15 minuter from France about a petrol station cashier who informs the prostitute working on the station's parking lot that she can no longer use the shop's toilets.

Ticket bookings, film industry talks

To book for screenings at Cinema Nouveau, visit Ster Kinekor's Cinema Nouveau page, click on "Coming Soon", and scroll through the films to find the one you want to see. Or you can book at the door or via Ticketline on 0861 668 437.

Tickets for The Bioscope can be bought at the door or booked via the Bioscope website, and tickets for the Eyethu Lifestyle Centre can be bought at the door (cash only, R20 for adults and R10 for children).

There's also a weekend of Film Industry Talks at the Goethe Institut on Jan Smuts Avenue, close to Zoo Lake, on 17 and 18 September - click here for more information.

Speakers include Paul Raleigh (Hollard), Dan Jawitz (Fireworx Media), Ernest Nkosi (director, Thina Sobabili), Robbie Thorpe (producer), Danie Bester (producer, The Film Factory) and Lee Hobbs (vice-president of channels and emerging business at Discovery Networks).

"The Afda and Jozi Film Festival talks is an ideal platform for young filmmakers to get together to discuss the challenges and opportunities of future content production and distribution," Afda chairman Garth Holmes said in a statement.

JFF2016 organiser Lisa Henry said: "We are a community in this industry, and supporting a growing network of local filmmakers is part of what we do. Our thanks to the Goethe Institut for hosting us again this year."

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission