Rustenburg Film Festival

Film Submissions

Rustenburg Film Festival opens call for submissions

Rustenburg’s signature annual film event is positioning itself for it’s biggest year ever! Formerly known as Bojanala Film Week, Rustenburg Film Festival’s inaugural re-birth occurred last year at Kings Gate Hotel in Rustenburg, 3 – 6 September, 2020, to much success despite the event occurring while the world was still under the Corona Virus attack. With public gatherings (at that time) severely regulated, the Festival Management team had to make full use of the internet to reach more participants. Little did they know then that this will actually open up opportunities for probably one of the first ever models of running a festival and it’s not what you are thinking, stay with the story.

Rustenburg Film Festival (RFF) is currently accepting Feature Films, Short Films, Documentaries, and TV Movies (also known in SA as ‘Movies Made for TV, Lokshin Bioscope, eKasi stories, Bubblegum movies’, all depending on which era you are from or which TV channel tinkles your fancy). The festival does not specify any genre and is accepting entries via FilmFreeway (see link below).

“We are going big and bold this year. First we have a huge leap from 10 workshops and talks last year to 22 this year including an in-depth Masterclass program that only accepts maximum 20 participants who will not only walk away with new information but will after a 2 day intense training produce 4 films after the festival closes. It’s ambitious but doable”, says a rather reluctant Kea Malao, founder and Festival Director of RFF.

The festival is going bigger on it’s hybrid attendance model which it tried last year but due to budgetary constraints, it could only live stream inwards. “This year we will be able to live stream up and down for select workshops, meaning everything happening in one of the principal venue halls will be streamed live to our online participants and likewise our strictly online seminars and workshops will be streamed down to our onsite venue” says Mr. B, the Festival Executive Consultant. Mr. B has been a long loyal attendee and workshop facilitator for Rustenburg Film Festival for nearly 7 years and has since empowered hundreds via the festival.

The festival has developed an innovative model dubbed “Virtual Satellite Venues” (VSVs). These will be centres in remote village locations within the North West where each venue will stream select workshops and films to local community members via their connection with the principal venue. “We are finalising the logistics around this very useful innovation given the times we are living in. Our VSVs will boost participation and ultimately help us make a bigger impact but we are putting this on trial this year with only 5 target venues for VSV”, adds Kea Malao.

The festival is often funded by the National Film and Video Foundation, North West Tourism Board and the Provincial Department of Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation but due to it’s operational upscaling this year and beyond, Kea Malao hopes to onboard more likeminded organisations. “Funding challenges are the most restrictive of what we really want to do for the people of North West. Public entities are forever grappling with budgets and understandably so they eventually fund us with tiny amounts that limit our true reach and impact so this year we are knocking on more doors in order to get substantial funding to really do want we want to do”, adds the passionate Festival Director.

With the festival having opened the call for submissions mid May, submissions are pouring in from all over the world and African countries like Ghana, Malawi, Uganda, Cameroon, and Botswana are leading the pack. The festival is planned for 23 – 26 September, 2021 in Rustenburg. Filmmakers wishing to submit their projects can follow this link;

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