Rustenburg Film Festival

Mission 99 still

Local Film Festival garners international interests

A local film festival in Rustenburg, North West, has attracted international filmmakers as far as Brazil, United Kingdom, USA, Colombia with Spain showing the most interest in film submissions followed by local South African filmmakers.

Rustenburg’s signature annual film event is re-positioning itself for it’s biggest year ever! Formerly known as Bojanala Film Week, Rustenburg Film Festival has workshopped over 1,000 participants, some who have gone on to produce amazing productions like Kopano Molokoane who conceptualised Mzansi Magic’s I blew it.

After it’s inaugural year 2020 as the re-branded “Rustenburg Film Festival”, the festival opened submissions for films to be screened in it’s second instalment to be held in Rustenburg on 23 – 26 September, 2021. To the much amaze of the Festival Director, Kea Malao, entries poured in from not only neighboring African countries like Botswana, Lesotho & Zimbabwe but from the Americas and predominantly Europe. The festival expected a total of 135 film submissions but received a whooping 450 from filmmakers who all want a space in the screening schedule of the festival. “It is truly humbling and encouraging to learn that our small, local festival in a small town has garnered some international traction” claims Mr. Malao. He further attributes this international attention to the festival’s approach last year. “Last year we went hybrid. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we were capped at 50 onsite participants but noticing the huge numbers of filmmakers who registered to attend, we decided to live stream some of our sessions, that opened us to markets we never imagined. Top filmmakers in America streamed us, some of the world streamed us and we became a worthy festival in the international filmmakers’ calendar – it’s a good thing”, says Bonginhlanhla Ncube, affectionately known as “Mr. B” in the film industry circles. Mr. B is the Festival Executive Consultant and the master architect of the festival’s live streams and content curation.

Rustenburg Film Festival closed it’s submissions on 09 July, 2021 and selected only 55 films from the 450 submitted. “That’s a lot of filmmakers who weren’t selected disappointed right there but it’s to be expected; usually with film festivals. I’m happy though to announce 18 of the selected films are from South Africa, 19 from Spain and the rest evenly distributed among Botswana, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Lesotho, Brazil, Argentina, USA, and France” Mr. Luthuli Dlamini, top SA actor and the 2021 Jury Chairperson further enlightens. The much-loved actor adds, “… from the 55 films selected, we must still nominate just under half of that for awards. It’s a tough race but fun.”

Some of the highlights of selected films for this year’s screening includes the new hot TV movies from Durban, One Time Pin, by Siyabonga Godfrey Dlamini. The film is about the fight for inheritance. Heavy subject matter Documentaries will also be screening. Murder In Paris, by Enver Samuel, a political crime thriller doccie that traces the motives for the assassination of anti-Apartheid activist, Dulcie September. The story travels from the heart of Paris in March 1988 to the pursuit of justice in 2021.

Another masterpiece being screened this year is Dying for Gold by Catherine Meyburgh, and Richard Pakleppa. A doccie about how South Africa’s wealth and white privilege has been funded by large scale maiming and killing of people by the gold mining industry. The documentary artistically uses a wealth of archival footage to tell a compelling story.

The Rustenburg Film Festival will take place on 23 – 26 September, 2021 in Rustenburg. More information on how to register on or the festival’s social media sites on Facebook; “Rustenburg Film Festival”, @rustenburgfilmfest on Instagram and @FilmRustenburg on Twitter.

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