In celebration of Women’s Month, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and Mzansi Women Film Festival (MWFF) screened more than 100 films made entirely by women locally and across the world. Together with the Constitutional Hill, UJ’s Auckland Park Bunting (APB) Road campus hosted the film festival screenings, with presentations and documentaries capturing the power, vulnerability, successes and challenges that women encounter. This 4th annual festival took place from Thursday, 3 to Sunday, 6 August.
The Opening Night launch was held on Thursday, 3 August at the Bunting Road campus, with the screening of THE COMMISSION by South African filmmaker, Beverly Palesa Ditsie. Filmed on location in Banjul (The Gambia), Sali (Senegal), Johannesburg and Durban (South Africa), THE COMMISSION showcases a 10-year journey of struggle, resistance and triumph for dedicated advocates and activists who believed in the possibility of achieving human rights for all.
MWFF 2017 offered an inspiring and thought-provoking line up of films by and about women from filmmakers across the globe, curated from 2,617 submissions. The films are a selection of narrative and documentary feature-length and short films, including animation. The selection includes the South African films Hatchet Hour (Judy Naidoo) and Keeping up with the Kandasamys (Jayan Moodley), as well as international titles such as: The Nurse and Wish to Wash with Rain (Turkey), Du Satin Blanc (France), Sin & Illy Still Alive (Germany), Before I met you (Slovakia), Bal Ej: The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia (Israel), Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex-Trafficking (US), and 35 and Single (Argentina), to name but a few.
Also showcased was a number of South African short films including the award-winning The Bicycle Man (Twiggy Matiwana), Dog Days (Samantha Wocke), To Wake – Buddhi (Yakima Waner), Nomfundo (Sihle Hlope), Dragan’s Lair (Lucy Witts), and Eve (Nobuhle Ngwane).
The festival was made possible by UJ’s School of Journalism, Film & Television; the School of Tourism and Hospitality, the Gauteng Film Commission, Constitution Hill, African Women Co-Ordinated Investments, POWA, Red Bull, Ford Foundation, the Wot-if? Trust, the Westbury Youth Centre, and Ibis Reproductive Health.