What is the Joburg Film Festival?

The Joburg Film Festival is expertly curated to elevate and celebrate stars, filmmakers and storytellers from across Africa and the world. The Joburg Film Festival premiers on 19 November, running for six days, at ten venues across the City of Gold.

How many films will be showcased?

The Joburg Film Festival will showcase 60 of the best films from more than 16 countries. The Festival will include African and international feature films, short films and documentaries screened over 10 venues across Johannesburg and Gauteng.

How long has the JFF been running?

The festival is now in its third year and was born out of the desire to create an independent platform that not only tells Africa’s stories, but showcases and rewards the continent’s and international excellence in film. The festival was inspired by DISCOP AFRICA, a market that brings together content buyers, independent producers and distributors and provides an opportunity for like-minded entertainment and media players to connect and share experiences about current best practice trends in film.

Why has JFF partnered with MCG?

JFF and MCG are both passionate about African storytelling, and we believe our stories are our gold.

As the leading entertainment business on the continent, MCG was a natural partner to encourage growth of our film festival. We’re proud to be partnering with MCG this year and we are confident that through this collaboration, we can build a world-class annual film festival that becomes entrenched on the international film circuit and positions Joburg as a prime destination for local and international filmmakers.

Why has MCG partnered with JFF?

As Africa’s leading storyteller, MCG is excited about our partnership with the Joburg Film Festival as it is aligned with our objective of telling great stories to a continent hungry for great content. Our collaborative effort to bring African stories to the world and to provide a platform for local talent to shine, will be an extremely positive boost for the local film industry.

Why is the festival taking place in Joburg?

The Joburg Film Festival firmly positions Joburg as South Africa’s home of film and television, attracting the best talent and industry leaders to the City of Gold.

The film industry is key to the growth of the creative economy, through the development of the cultural industries in Joburg and South Africa.

Is the festival just for movie buffs, or people in the industry?

We see the film festival as a critical catalyst for social cohesion, showcasing a special collection of unique and exciting films that celebrate Africa’s beauty, people, creativity and reflect the continent’s bold spirit and talent.

The Festival programme embraces all parts of the filmmaking craft. The 60 unique and enthralling productions from over 16 countries will be screened at 10 venues across Johannesburg and other parts of the Gauteng province, and to ensure access for as many filmgoers as possible, the Festival’s film programme will include ticketed cinema venues as well as outdoor screening.

The Youth and Audience Development aspect of the Festival programme aims to build a film culture in Gauteng townships by providing young self-taught filmmakers and those interested in and new to the world of filmmaking an opportunity to interact with leading industry players.

Further, producers, actors, directors and writers will descend on the city to interact with seasoned professionals in the filmmaking industry in a series of workshops on a wide range of interesting subjects pertaining to the film industry.

When and where is the film festival?

The Joburg Film Festival takes place from 19 to 24 November 2019. The festival will host screenings and activations across the City of Joburg and the greater Gauteng Province with its hub located across the Nelson Mandela Square and Sandton City, Auto & General Theatre on the Square and Ster Kinekor Sandton.

Other screenings will be at Bioscope in Maboneng, Cinema Nouveau in Rosebank, Kings Cinema in Alexandra.

Do we need to have tickets?

The festival’s film programme will be spread across ticketed cinema venues along with outdoor venues. You need to visit the Festival’s websites and follow us on social media to learn about special screening activations.

How are the movies curated / selected?

The festival’s film programme content is curated by a team led by Pedro Pimenta, a respected filmmaker and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Traveling across the continent and the world visiting other leading festivals and filmmakers to find the best available films to curate.

What are some of the flagship movies / big names that will feature in this year’s festival?

There is a brochure which details 10 of the 60 films that are part of this year’s much-anticipated Joburg Film Festival. This can be found on the Joburg Film Festival website.

Is there an awards component to the festival?

A panel of industry leading experts is constituted to judge the films presented at the Festival. The films will be judged on elements such as storyline, direction, cinematography, relevance, creativity, execution and technical application. The jury includes the likes of world-renowned storyteller and South African novelist, Zakes Mda, award-winning actress, famous for her role in NCIS New Orleans, CC Pounder and Femi (please insert surname and details)

The Festival awards films in various categories including Best Film, Best African Film,  Best Documentary and Audience Award. The winning film receive a cash prize and the Festival’s coveted Nguni horn trophy. These are announced at the Festival’s Awards Gala. This year the announcement will take place at an Awards Gala Dinner on Saturday 23 November 2019.

Who are the other sponsors of the festival?

The 2019 Joburg Film Festival is brought to you by the MultiChoice Group.

Other Partners include Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, Gauteng Film Commission, Gauteng Tourism Authority and DISCOP Joburg as the Television and Film market partner.

Who are the Organisers?

The festival is organized by Native Yard.

Where can we find more information?

You can learn more about the Joburg Film Festival at:
Facebook: JoburgFilmFestival
Twitter: @JoburgFilmFest
Instagram: @joburg_film_festival

These are our hashtags:


How does the festival contribute to the overall local film industry?

The Joburg Film Festival is curated to elevate and celebrate the best examples of local and international film and television talent and products. Through the Industry programme, which happens in the context of DISCOP Joburg, the film festival brings together industry leaders to network, share insights and trade.

The Youth & Audience Development Programme is designed as a skills transfer platform for young people in previously underserved communities. It takes the form of workshops and special screenings. The festival aims to create a healthy film culture that will unlock a meaningful and sustainable film and television industry.

Why should local filmmakers and local talent get involved?

We encourage involvement with the Joburg Film Festival as it is a platform for local filmmakers to network with other established film professionals and key decision-makers from across the globe –contributing to the development and growth of the local film industry and filmmakers.

Why is the festival so important to Africa?

We see the Joburg Film Festival as a critical catalytic investment in the African film industry. The festival has a commitment to the continent’s film industry as reflected in showcasing a special collection of films that celebrate the continent’s beauty, people, creativity and reflect its bold spirit and talent.

What is the Joburg Film Festival’s track record?

Now in its third year, the Joburg Film Festival has achieved a number of significant milestones.

  • Expertly curated over 100 African and international releases
  • Held over 116 screenings with over 3500 attendees across eight days
  • Achieved PR coverage of just under R20 Million.
  • Over 40% of the films showcased in 2016 and 2018 respectively, were from women directors and producers
  • A record 37 international guests attended the 2018 Joburg Film Festival, of which over 50% were from the African continent.
  • Successfully hosted a Youth & Audience Development Programme with over 707 youth from across six regions of Joburg, in collaboration with the National Broadcast Institute (NABI).

What is DISCOP?

DISCOP is the continent’s leading market for content, production, acquisition and distribution which is expected to attract in excess of 2 500 exhibitors and delegates. The Joburg Film Festival/ DISCOP Johannesburg partnership ensures that a broad collection of global and local industry stakeholders converge on African soil ahead of the festival with a singular focus on African film. DISCOP will be staged at the Sandton Convention Centre from 20 to 22 November and will include several master classes and panel discussions for seasoned professionals focusing on a number of aspects of the filmmaking craft.


What is the Youth and Audience Development Programme?

The Youth and Audience development programme is a film skills transfer initiative aimed at creating a film culture in Gauteng townships by providing young film enthusiasts and those interested in the filmmaking process with the opportunity to interact with leading industry players.

The 2019 Youth and Audience Development Programme, which will be hosted in partnership with the MultiChoice Magic In Motion initiative

What is the programme intending to achieve?

It is a skills transfer programme that invests in underprivileged youths in communities across Gauteng townships.  The programme exposes young people to opportunities in Film, TV and new digital media content industries. Further, it aims to help creating a sustainable film culture by building new committed audiences.


What are the Master Classes?

This year, the Industry Programme will be supported by a series of Master Classes and panel discussions that will cover a vast range of topics related to the filmmaking industry – from writing and casting to animation and the intersection of film and technology. The presenters at these events include an array of seasoned and well-known industry professionals from the continent and abroad.


What is the Film Club?

Joburg Film Festival – film club is a lifestyle centred club of people gathered for the enjoyment and appreciation of the cinematic arts. The film club will bring film lovers together online and in specially designed experiences and screenings of classic and contemporary films.

How does it work?

The film club will have a presence across various social media platforms where fans can interact in discussions, reviews and fun trivia about their favourite films. They will also be invited for specially curated screenings throughout the year. Each invite for the film club screening of the month will be based on the film being watched.

Where are the locations for the Film Club events?

Each location of the film club events will be based on the film being screened and will be confirmed closer to the time of each event.

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