RapidLion- The South African International Film Festival 2020

RapidLion- The South African International Film Festival will launch its fifth edition with the Premiere screening of the award-winning film, Letters of Hope by Director, Vusi Africa.

The star-studded opening night will see Joburg’s film industry players gather to mark this milestone and celebrate cinema talent from Africa, its Diaspora and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries.

About opening the festival, Vusi Africa says “RapidLion is one of Africa’s most coveted film festivals, the opportunity for Letters of Hope to Open such a festival is what every director dreams of. As an emerging independent artist, such a platform encourages you to continue telling your story.”

Set in 1976 South Africa, Letters of Hope tells the story of 16-year-old Jeremiah, who really wants to be a policeman and can’t understand why his father, the local postman, won’t let him be one and, instead, expects him to follow in his footsteps.
“We are very happy to have this subtle, but profound indie film open RapidLion 2020. It is one of those films by emerging talent that only uses apartheid as a backdrop, not as a main focus, in order to explore deeper psychological battles that humans face”, says festival director, Eric Miyeni.

Other premiere events at RapidLion 2020 include the screening of André Odendaal’s Gat In Die Muur (09 March), the deeply moving story of a terminally ill man negotiating life as he faces death, and Fried Barry by Ryan Kruger (13 March), which spins the tale of a heroin addict who spends his days in an abandoned building tripping from his latest hit and reliving his old memories. Jahmil X.T. Qubeka’s Knuckle City will have a special screening at RapidLion 2020 (07 March) followed by a Q&A with the director and producer Layla Swart.

Along with these proudly South African films, festival-goers will also have the rare opportunity to see films from BRICS countries that include The story of my grandfather from China, Karup from India and Dream Team from Russia.

In addition to this feast of films that also include award-winning short films, RapidLion 2020 will host a clutch of workshops and masterclasses. Brazilian Hariolo Araujo and South African Aryan Kaganof will present master-classes on film appreciation and how to shoot cinema on a mobile device respectively while the National Film and Video Foundation NFVF) will host a workshop on how to access its funding allocation. All Africa Access Entertainment’s Pascal Schmidt will host two masterclasses on film distribution and its future.

A definite highlight of the festival is the RapidLion Awards Ceremony (March 14) which recognises the cinematic achievements of filmmakers from Africa, the BRICS countries and the African diaspora.

This year’s festival takes place from 06-15 March 2020 at the Market Theatre which has been home to the festival since its inception.
Tickets for the fifth annual event range from R45 for a single screening, R155 for a day pass to R1750 for an all-access pass for the entire festival. Weekend passes as well as tickets for master-classes and workshops are also available at webtickets.co.za and at the door.

“We are proud to announce that students and pensioners do not have to pay at RapidLion 2020. They have free entry”, adds Eric Miyeni.

Every year, RapidLion presents masterclasses by international and local experts in the film industry. At this year’s festival, five such classes will be on offer to filmmakers and the festival-goers.

First up is that of Brazilian academic, Haríolo dos Santos Aráujo, who will focus on the beauty, relevance and mechanisms of film critiquing and why it remains important. Haríolo studied History of Cinema at the “Academia Internacional de Cinema”, in São Paulo. He has written articles about Italian films, discussed Spaghetti Westerns and spoken about Brazilian films on platforms such as the Latin America Film Festival of the University of Canberra and at the Brazilian Film Festival in Johannesburg.

His master class places emphasis on cinema appreciation. A small part will be dedicated to the history of cinema, from the beginning, the 19th century to the European and South American avant-gardes. Some excerpts of films from different countries and genres will be analysed from different perspectives. These include camera movement, dialogue, music choice, intended emotions and more.

Pascal Schmitz is the co-founder of AAA Entertainment, a film and television sales and financing company based out of Johannesburg, Lagos and Hangzou China. AAA Entertainment is one of the few African companies representing African films and supplying major platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon and other international networks. Pascal will hone in on film distribution and everything all film producers need to know about it.nOther areas he will look at include how the Fourth Industrial Revolution will change the distribution.

South African filmmaker Aryan Kaganof will share his knowledge on shooting feature films on mobile phones. Aryan will explain why he loves working with mobile phone technology which he says, allows for artistic control of every facet of the process.

RapidLion 2020 Nominations:

RapidLion Lifetime Achievement Award:
Lionel Ngakane

Best student short (South Africa):
Umama – Talia Smith (Director)
Nocturnal – Siyabonga Mbele (Director)
Our Albertinia – Chantel Clarke (Director)

Best Student Short (BRICS):
Winner Best Student short South Africa
The bribe (Russia) – Alexey Kharitonov (Director)
The bleeding news (China) – Zhang Hao (Director)

Best International Short:
The letter reader (SA) – Sibusiso Khuzwayo (Director)
The Stolpersteine – Stumbling stones (Germany) – Reza Mosadegh (Director)
Foggy town (China) – Qin Ling (Director)
The teary sword (India) – Ravi Rachi (Director)

Best Documentary Feature:
The mountains agonized (India) – Subrat Kumar Sahu (Director)
Your turn (Brazil) – Eliza Capai (Director)
A punk daydream (Belgium) – Jimmy Hendrickx (Director)
In another life (Belgium) – Philippe De Pierpont (Director)
Vanishing kings (USA) – Lydia G. Reynolds (Director)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
Alae El Bachiri – Monsters (Morocco)
Jet Novuka – Letters of hope (South Africa)
Hou Yibin – The Story of My Grandfather(China)
Zolisa Xaluva – Knuckle city (South Africa)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
Cao Yang – My grandfather’s story (China)
Kate Henshaw-Nuttal – The ghost and the house of truth (Nigeria)
Katerina Miroshkina – Dream Team (Russia)
Tinarie Van Wyk-Loots – (South Africa)
Jalila Talemsi – Monsters (Morocco)

Best Actor in a Leading Role:
Abdelouahid Zaouki – Monsters (Morocco)
Yan Tsapnik – Dream Team (Russia)
Gary Green – Fried Barry (South Africa)
Chen Youwan – My Grandfather’s Story (China)
Andre Odendaal – Gat in die muur (South Africa)

Gareth Place – Fried Barry (South Africa)
Willie Nel – Knuckle City (South Africa)
Ma Liang – My Grandfather’s Story (China)
Kabelo Thathe – The Ghost and the house of truth (Nigeria)
Guy De Lancey – Gat in die muur (South Africa)
Elliot C. Rosen – Monsters (Morocco)

Best Screenplay:
Jahmil X.T. Qubeka – Knuckle City (South Africa)
Liu Junfeng – My Grandfather’s story (China)
Naledi Bogacwi & Vusi’Africa Sindane – Letters of hope (South Africa)
Aksel Rifman – Monsters (Morocco)
Ippolita Kupreyanova & Irina Chechina – Dream Team (Russia)

Film Editing:
Stephen Du Plessis – Fried Barry (South Africa)
Aksel Rifman – Monsters (Morocco)
Layla Swart – Knuckle city (South Africa)
Wang Wei – My grandfather’s story (China)
Vuyani Sondlo – The ghost and the house of truth (Nigeria)

Liu Junfeng – My grandfather’s story (China)
Aksel Rifman – Monsters (Morocco)
Maxim Zykov & Philipp Abryutin – Dream team (Russia)
Akin Omotoso – The Ghost and the house of truth (Nigeria)
Jahmil X.T. Qubeka – Knuckle city (South Africa)
Ryan Kruger – Fried Barry (South Africa)

Best of South Africa:
Fried Barry – James C. Williamson (Producer)
Letters of hope – Ndiyathemba Modibed & Naledi Bogacwi (Producer)
Gat in die muur – Johan Vorster & Brendon Hargroves (Producers)
Knuckle city – Layla Swart (Producer)

Best of BRICS:
My grandfather’s story (China) – Jiang Zhonghua & Liu Haiqing (Producers)
Dream team (Russia) – Oksana Lakhno & Philipp Abryutin (Producers)
Karup (India) – Shinith Pattiam (Producer)
Winner Best of South Africa

Best of Africa and the African Diaspora:
Monsters (Morocco) – Abderahim Harbal (Producer)
The ghost and the house of truth (Nigeria) – Ego Boyo (Producer)
Winner Best of South Africa

Visit www.rapidlion.co.za.

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