Rustenburg Film Festival

RFF21 Opening Night Film

Proem & Festival Finale films announced!

Rustenburg Film Festival announces it’s proem (opening) and finale night.


Traditionally, film festivals (except for Documentary focused festivals) usually open the festival with a fiction film. But there’s no rule that says an opening night film should be fiction. The 7th instalment of the Rustenburg Film Festival will open with a documentary film. Catherine Meyburgh, & Richard Pakleppa’s Dying For Gold feature documentary has been selected as the opening night film for the festival’s proem.



One might already tell from this bold statement that the festival seeks to evoke deep dialogue, serious talks about serious issues affecting the community. The documentary explores South Africa’s wealth and white privilege. How it has been funded by large scale maiming and killing of people by the gold mining industry. Today gold miner communities across Southern Africa have nothing to show for the wealth they produced except extreme rural underdevelopment and the world’s worst epidemic of TB and silicosis.

Through testimonies from communities in mining families throughout Southern Africa and extensive use of contrasting archive materials DYING FOR GOLD tells the story of how we have arrived at this extraordinary situation. DYING FOR GOLD brings to the surface the real cost of South African gold.

The opening scene of this amazing doccie features an epic drone shot of the Evander Gold Mine, East Rand, Gauteng, South Africa. A shot that is accompanied by an engaging off screen voice of one of the key characters in the film. Add that to the eerie clanking sounds of mining equipment just before you are transcended to the world under, a deep shaft into the dark, into the death where many lives are claimed just so those above can prosper and enjoy life. But let’s leave it here for now. We are all crossing our fingers that Catherine and/or Richard will be able to come and shed more light to this thorny issue.


The Festival Finale’s special slot goes to Kenya. Robin Odongo’s Bangarang, a greeping film inspired by True Events.  The story follows Otile, a poor ‘bodaboda’ rider who is jobless ten years down the line after graduating with second-class honors degree in automotive engineering. When election violence erupts after the disputed Kenyan presidential elections, Otile leads other rioters in the streets of Kisumu. To him this is the only opportunity he has to vent his anger against the government’s bad leadership, which he holds responsible for his joblessness.

On one fateful day as he runs for his dear life from the anti-riot police, he finds himself inside Dan’s house. The police trace him and beat everyone in the house including Dan’s six months old child, Baby Joy. Otile goes into exile from the fear of being falsely implicated by the police for Baby Joys death.


In his Director’s statement, Robbie says he wanted to make a film that visually takes an audience to an artistic tour of the lakeside city of Kisumu, Kenya. “My own experience of living in this town made it easy to me to experience its beauty taste. My intention was to bring to the audience the nostalgia of past painful events that almost brought down our town through the journey of the main character, Otile” Odongo is quoted in his statement.


“We are really impressed by this film and we see a very impactful finale, bringing to a close an intense festival in Rustenburg, our first ever and biggest heavy screening program” says the Festival Director, Kea Malao.


The 7th Rustenburg Film Festival was postponed to 11 – 14 November, 2021.

People willing to attend the festival and enjoy these films are welcome to apply for accreditation to attend online; *Closing Date: 15 October, 2021


Practicing filmmakers who want to improve their production expertise can also apply to be enrolled into this year’s very limited Filmmaking Masterclass online; *Closing Date: 22 October, 2021



For more information contact;

Millicent Makhado, Assistant PR Manager: Rustenburg Film Festival


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