RapidLion seals a three-way partnership to bring the renowned Shortcutz Amsterdam to The Bioscope in Johannesburg



An exciting partnership forged in the run up to the 2019 edition of RapidLion – The South African International Film Festival will see the Dutch-based international short film initiative Shortcutz Amsterdam hold its first screenings at The Bioscope in Johannesburg this December.

The three-way deal brokered by RapidLion will see The Bioscope play host to this globetrotting showcase with screenings from 7 to 13 December 2018 in Maboneng before further screenings on 7 March 2019 during RapidLion’s run at The Market Theatre.

Shortcutz Amsterdam showcases Dutch films from rising filmmakers via its weekly sessions based at the Arts Society De Kring in Amsterdam.

A jury made up of respected names in the Dutch and European film industries judges all films screened at Shortcutz Amsterdam in order to select the best monthly films. These are shown around the world through Shortcutz’s network of 30 partners, which includes global film festivals such as RapidLion, and special events.

“When I met the Shortcutz Amsterdam team in Utrecht,” says RapidLion festival director Eric Miyeni, “I just knew that this project would be great for Johannesburg.”

After watching these films during the December screenings at The Bioscope, Johannesburg audiences will join 19 other cities across four continents by casting their vote for the best of the seven best Shortcutz Amsterdam films of 2018. The winning film will be awarded at the Shortcutz Amsterdam Annual Awards on 20 January 2019.

The films to be screened include Bullet Time, Sjaak’s Wife Died, So He Needs To Say Something, Girl On A Mission, Otherland, Hitchcock, Hitchcock and others.

“As the Bioscope, it is great to work with a festival like RapidLion and engage with other film initiatives out there,” says Bioscope co-founder and director Russell Grant. “The Shortcutz package is great for us because our audiences can get to see what people are doing around the world and maybe a similar thing could be done in Johannesburg in the future.”

João Carlos Rodrigues, the creative director of Shortcutz, says the three entities, namely RapidLion, The Bioscope and Shortcutz Amsterdam represent good prospects for not only growing audiences, but developing overall filmic knowledge. “In RapidLion, you have a festival that has demonstrated its potential for mass appeal, while in The Bioscope, you have a venue that has grown a cult audience,” he said. “Bringing these two together to present our programme can only lead to a deeper understanding of various film cultures.”

Miyeni agrees, saying, “In order for us to grow, we have to think of programmes that benefit filmmakers and film audiences alike.  We have to find ways to shape filmmakers and moviegoers of the future. With this considered, this three-way partnership is a perfect fit for RapidLion.”

This year’s edition of RapidLion – The South African International Film Festival, which runs at the market Theatre from March 1 to 10 March 2019, sees the return of the coveted RapidLion Awards Ceremony.

Several standouts have emerged, with films such as Five Fingers for Marseilles (SA), Sew The Winter to My Skin (SA), Silent Winter China), Catching Feelings (SA), Legalize It – Friendship Never Dies (Brazil), and Shocking KungFu of Huo’s (China) boasting nominations in several categories. Leading the charge with eight nominations each are Chinese production, Silent Winter, written and directed by Da Fei, and South African film, Five Fingers for Marseilles, directed by Michael Matthews and written by Sean Drummond. Not to be counted out, though, is the epic Sew the Winter to My Skin, written and directed by South African filmmaker Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, which has been nominated in seven categories.

Interesting to note is that the above three films are all set in the hinterland, making them obvious contenders for the Cinematography category, which should draw attention to the manner in which the landscape has been used to drive the respective stories.  popular categories see a combination of the above films running neck and neck, setting the stage for fierce contestation in categories such as the abovementioned Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Film Editing, Directing and Best Actor in a leading Role.

Although currently enjoying the creative and popular success of coming-of-age adventure Matwetwe, this edition of RapidLion sees filmmaker and comedian Kagiso Lediga nominated for Best Screenplay for Catching Feelings, his seminal romantic comedy that has been popularly received on Netflix, launching his international career as director and producer. The film, which he also directed, has been nominated in three categories, including Best of South Africa and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Andrew Buckland.

Although Russia, as a BRICS partner, does not feature prominently in the feature film categories, its filmmakers make a strong showing in the Best Documentary Feature category, with Russian-born filmmaker Xenia Sigalova’s My Russian Spring and Vadim Vitovsev’s Missing Girls both competing in the Best Documentary Feature category.

The Awards Ceremony will take place on the 9th of March 2019. Tickets to the festival  are available through www.webtickets.co.za


Here’s a complete list of nominees in each category:

Best International Short:

  1. Faical Ben – Ales (Morocco)
  2. Lodi Matsetela  – Vrede (SA)
  3. Wang Fengtao – Alone (China)
  4. Mohammad Bakhshi – Are You Volleyball? (Iran)
  5. Thora Hilmarsdottir – Salvation (Frelsun) (Iceland)

Best Documentary Feature:

  1. Xenia Sigalova – My Russian Spring (Germany)
  2. Georg Lembergh – Sunken Village
  3. Roberto Manhaes Reis and Viola Scheuerer – Gilda Brazileiro – Against Oblivion (Brazil)
  4. Catherine Meyburgh and Richard Pakleppa – Dying for Gold – (SA)
  5. Vadim Vitovtsev – Missing Girls (Russia)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

  1. Danton Mello – Before I forget (Brazil)
  2. Andrew Buckland – Catching Feelings (South Africa)
  3. Xingzhong Wang – Silent Winter (China)
  4. Hamilton Dhlamini – Five Fingers for Marseilles (South Africa)
  5. Silvio – Life is a bitch (Brazil)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

  1. Xiwen Xu – Silent Winter (China)
  2. Cintaine Schutte – Die Seemeeu (South Africa)
  3. Deborah Lamm – Life is a bitch (Brazil)
  4. Zethu Dlomo – Five Fingers for Marseilles (South Africa)
  5. Kandyse McClure – Sew the Winter to My Skin (South Africa)

Best Actor in a Leading Role:

  1. Jose de Abreu – Before I Forget (Brazil)
  2. Shang Bai – Silent Winter (China)
  3. Vuyo Dabula – Five Fingers for Marseilles (South Africa)
  4. Peter Kurth – Sew the Winter to My Skin (South Africa)
  5. Sean Cameron Michael – The Last Victims (South Africa)

Best Cinematography:

  1. Zhilei Zhang – Silent Winter
  2. Shaun Lee – Five Fingers for Marseilles (South Africa)
  3. Zhao Chunfeng – Shocking KungFu of Huo’s (China)
  4. Jonathan Kovel – Sew the Winter to My skin (South Africa)
  5. Pedro Cardillo – Legalize It – Frienship Never Dies (Brazil)
  6. Meekaaeel Adam – The Last Victims (South Africa)

Best Screenplay:

  1. Sean Drummond – Five Fingers for Marseilles (South Africa)
  2. Jahmil X.T. Qubeka – Sew the Winter to My Skin (South Africa)
  3. Da fei – Silent Winter (China)
  4. Kagiso Lediga – Catching Feelings (South Africa)
  5. Felipe Braga – Legalize It – Friendship Never Dies (Brazil)

Best Film Editing:

  1. David Tao – Shocking KungFu of Huo’s (China)
  2. Layla Swart – Sew the Winter to My Skin (South Africa)
  3. Daniel Mitchell – Five Fingers for Marseilles (South Africa)
  4. Yuye Wang – Silent Winter (China)
  5. Marcelo Junqueira – Legalize it – Friendship Never Dies (Brazil)

Best Director:

  1. Michael Matthews – Five Fingers for Marseilles (South Africa)
  2. Johnny Araujo & Gustavo Bonafe – Legalize it – Friendship Never Dies (Brazil)
  3. Da Fei – Silent Winter (China)
  4. Jahmil X.T. Qubeka – Sew the Winter to My Skin (South Africa)
  5. David – Shocking KungFu of Huo’s (China)

Best of South Africa:

  1. Five Fingers for Marseilles
  2. Catching Feelings
  3. Sew the Winter to My Skin
  4. The Last Victims
  5. Dying for Gold

Best of BRICS/Best Film Overall

  1. Winner – Best of South Africa
  2. Silent Winter (China)
  3. Legalize it – Friendship Never Dies (Brazil)



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