The third annual festival, which is set to showcase the finest films from Africa and the world in more than 16 countries, is positioned to curate, elevate and celebrate the best stars and films from across the globe.

It also intends to firmly position Johannesburg as the country's cultural capital, attracting the best in the industry to the city and growing cultural tourism in South Africa.

The extended Joburg Film Festival programme centers around three important elements, including the film programme, industry programme and youth and audience development programme.

Highlights of the 2019 Joburg Film Festival include:
  • The six-day film programme, with two red carpet premieres a day, screenings and awards.
  • A line-up of local and international films, which will be curated by an expert team of curators led by Pedro Pimenta, who is a respected filmmaker and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • A panel of five industry-leading experts that will judge the films presented at the festival. The films will be judged on elements such as storyline, direction, creativity, cinematography, relevance, execution and technical application. The jury includes the likes of world-renowned storyteller and South African novelist, Zakes Mda; award-winning actress CCH Pounder; and Femi Odugbemi, West Africa MultiChoice Talent Factory's academy director. 
  • As part of the industry programme, DISCOP will provide an opportunity for more than 15 000+ like-minded entertainment and media players to connect and share experiences about current best practice trends.
  • Well-known industry professionals from the continent and abroad will participate in a series of masterclasses and panel discussions that will cover various aspects of the filmmaking craft.
  • To create strong links between people and the growing film, TV and new digital media industries on the African continent, the youth and audience development programme will offer young self-taught filmmakers and those who are new to the world of filmmaking an opportunity to interact with leading industry players.
  • The 2019 Joburg Film Festival also marks the establishment and launch of the Joburg Film Festival film club — 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 through specially designed experiences and screenings of classic and contemporary films.
"We couldn't have asked for a better partner than the MultiChoice Group — an organisation that is passionate about African storytelling — as we believe our stories are our gold," says Joburg Film Festival executive director Tim Mangwedi.

"We see the film festival as a critical catalyst for social cohesion — showcasing a special collection of films that celebrate Africa's beauty, people, creativity and reflecting the continent's bold spirit and talent," adds Mangwedi.

"We are confident that, in collaboration with the MultiChoice Group, we can build a world-class annual film festival that becomes entrenched on the international film circuit and positions Johannesburg as a prime destination for local and international filmmakers," says Mangwedi.

"As Africa's leading storyteller, our partnership with the Joburg Film Festival makes perfect sense," says Joe Heshu, MultiChoice executive group corporate affairs. "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 film industry on the continent."

"We are investing in the film festival in part through our agency, the Gauteng Film Commission, which was established to stimulate and encourage the growth and development of a sustainable film and television industry [in order to] contribute to our country's economy and create much-needed jobs," concludes Mbali Hlophe, MEC of Gauteng sport, arts, culture and recreation. "The Joburg Film Festival is a timely and relevant catalytic investment to this end."  

The Nelson Mandela Square and Sandton City will be the hub of the festival, with screenings at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square and Ster-Kinekor Sandton. Other venues across Joburg include Bioscope in Maboneng, Constitution Hill, Cinema Nouveau Rosebank and Kings Cinema in Alexandra.

Limited tickets are available as of Sunday, 10 November at the various venues. Tickets are R60 each, while screenings at Kings Cinema will be free. This will work on a free-come-first-serve basis.

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