It had been a while since I had gone to a film festival. Attending the 2nd RedBull Amaphiko Film Festival just brought back all those warm fuzzy feelings. I love film, it is a known fact, the love I have for African film however, continues to reach new heights especially having been Immersed in a full day’s worth of film screening’s. I started my film marathon with Sifiso Khanyile’s ‘Uprize!’ A look at the June 16 uprising and the year of 1976, the impact and significance that time period still hold’s today, the pain and legacy of youth in apartheid South Africa.
‘Nomalanga & The Witch’ followed, what I can take away from the film is that as human beings we are Inherently connected. Mmabatho Montsho has such a childlike beauty, young and eternal. ‘Mixed Spaces’, ‘Black Dots’, ‘Wits Shorts: CrossWorlds’ played. Cinema 2 hosted ‘Back To Natural’ documentary. As the title suggests the film tackles ethnic hair and ethnicity. I have always wondered if the conversation on hair particularly black hair will ever come to an end. I’ve come to realize that conversations cannot end but must continue even if it means producing 100 more films on hair. Hair is political, black identity and black ownership is political. The core make-up of being black was stolen and colonized, now that blackness is making it’s way back to it’s intended creation the crooked road is being made straight.
RedBull Amaphiko Film Festival is one festival I appreciate and respect. The festival is free, it screens African films, conducts amazing, informative workshops with highly respected filmmakers. This is in itself is an act of kindness and public service, exactly what Amaphiko stands for. Using film as a tool for social change in Inspiring filmmakers to do good for their communities. As the festival explains, “The Festival aims to celebrate the power of film to make a difference in the world and inspire a broad audience to do good especially in their surrounding communities.”
I am sad I missed ‘Sembene’ and ‘Mama Colonel’. The two films I anticipated the most. That was quickly made up by the incredible, educating Workshops held throughout the screening. I caught the Cinematography workshop held by Motheo Moeng who is probably one of the sought after few Black Cinematographers in South Africa. He is too a member of the South African Society of Cinematographers. A proud moment. He spoke of the Importance of the lens and composition among the cinematography elements. Films he has worked on include, ‘Thina Sobabili’, ‘Matwetwe’, ‘Catching Feelings’ and ‘Tjovitjo’ the hottest show on SA television right now.
For those who attended hopefully will have walked away inspired to do good with their talents, gifts or skills be it through film or otherwise. I hope to see Amaphiko fly to higher heights in the coming years.