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The inaugural Jozi Film Festival will screen films and documentaries by local film-makers and film students, who will participate in Q&A sessions.
FILM-MAKERS from all walks of life will gather at the first Jozi Film Festival, a platform for locals to show off their work and to network.

The Bioscope on Main StreetThe Bioscope on Fox StreetThe latest films made by Gauteng film-makers will be shown, in the spirit of independent film and community projects. It is anticipated the festival will be an annual event.

Its mission is to create a platform for the growing Joburg film community to screen its films and documentaries, while simultaneously making the films accessible to all by keeping admission tickets reasonably priced. A few film screenings will even be free.

The festival will take place over three days, from 10 to 12 February, from 9am to 11pm, at The Bioscope on Fox Street and at the Kensington Club on Ivanhoe Street. Ticket prices range from R15 to R20 and can be bought at the door.

According to Brendon Burmester, an organiser of the event along with Lisa Henry and Shareen Anderson, the idea for the festival came about in June 2011. It is a grassroots festival, he explains, and aims to bring people together since ticket prices will ensure that almost anyone can afford to attend.

“One of the other aims of the festival is to tell the stories that come from our great city in all their forms,” says Burmester. “The University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Arts has come on board and is encouraging its students to participate, along with the National Film and Video Foundation.”

Of the expected audience, he says it will be “a unique combination of film industry professionals, a growing arts community, local and regional attendees, and a large student population”.

In addition to showing a diverse spectrum of films, tributes and galas, the Jozi Film Festival will also host provocative Q&A sessions with the film-makers in attendance. Films screened will participate in a competition, with the categories including Best Feature Film, Best Documentary Film, Best Animated Film, Best Fiction Short, Best Non-Fiction Short, Best Mobile Phone Film, Best Student Film, and Audience Choice Award.

The Bioscope Independent Cinema on Main Street Life in Maboneng Precinct will host the opening night event and premiere screenings on 10 February and the professional filmmakers’ and students’ networking event will take place the following day. The closing night gala is scheduled to take place at the Kensington Club.

Screenings will be held during this three-day event at the Bioscope and several venues in Kensington.

Wits School of Arts’ film and television department is partnering with the festival to provide technical support, as well as a series of seminars between screenings. It will also host a student mini-festival, providing a platform for students from various institutions in Gauteng to meet and showcase their work.

For more information, visit the Jozi Film Festival’s website.

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