Image credit: By Andres de Wet – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17506558
The Cape Town International Film Market and Festival (CTIFMF) is an annual event that seeks to transform and uplift the African film industry. This 2018, it’s scheduled to start on the 9th October, and run through to the 19th October, at Cape Town’s famous V&A Waterfront. Through the festival’s three pillars of creation, collaboration, and celebration, it sets its sights on the South African and Pan-African film industries, as well as new audiences, attendees, and cultural workers from all over the world.
For film buffs and travellers alike, the festival is the perfect time to visit Cape Town, the capital of South Africa and the largest city in the Western Cape Province. This year, the Artscape Theatre Centre will have the honour of hosting the opening of the festival on Tuesday, 9th October. Meanwhile, the various cinemas located at the V&A Waterfront will be hosting public festival screenings from the 10th October to the 19th. For public screenings of films aimed at all ages, check out the Amphitheatre.
Formerly known as the Cape Winelands Film Festival, the CTIFMF changed its name as it expanded its vision of opening its doors to the international film industry. Last year, the festival showcased 641 films from all over the world, which included the coming-of-age Xhosa film Indoda and Marshall, the story of the first African American Supreme Court Justice. This year, the number of films has been narrowed down to 120 – a large collection of documentaries, feature films, and short films that were meticulously chosen to cater to the festival’s diverse range of viewers.
If you want to narrow down your choices of which films to catch, the CTIFMF divides its selection through particular focus areas. That’s So Gay is focused on new LGBQTI cinema. New Voices showcases first time feature film directors. And Eco Cinema & Cinema of Conscience explores films focused on conservation and other socio-political messages.
If you’ve had your fill of new movies from all over the world, there’s absolutely no shortage of activities that you can enjoy all around Cape Town. Hop on the Red City Buses for a leisurely tour to places like Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens at the eastern foot of Table Mountain, and Groot Constantine, which is the oldest wine estate in all of South Africa. There’s also The Beer House if you want to knock back a couple of pints. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even swim with great white sharks while protected by a steel cage at Gansbaai.
While Cape Town is not as famous as Hollywood, film buffs as well as those who work in the industry know that in Africa, the city is considered as a cultural centre for film and the arts. In fact, Cape Town Film Studios is becoming one of the world’s top filming destinations. Recently the studio was used to shoot an adaption of the popular Tomb Raider game series. The franchise, which has spawned multiple award winning games and two other Hollywood films, made use of the state-of-the-art facilities at the studio. It shows the confidence that filmmakers have in the South African film industry that expensive blockbuster films and dramas are being regularly made here. Other famous films that were shot at Cape Town Film Studios include the award-winning biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, the cult super-powered hit Chronicle, and the political drama Blood Diamond. All of these films have helped evolve Cape Town’s film scene and helped with the growth of the city’s film festivals.
If you want to see what else Cape Town has to offer, visit the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival this coming October. Tickets to the festival screenings will be available on 1st October.