Although the 2018 Jozi Film Festival is done and dusted, the compliments just keep coming! We chose two of our favourites to share on our blog. The first one is from Ruth Stewart, an English teacher at St David’s Inanda. Ruth attended the Jozi Film Festival opening night at the Olive Tree Theatre (OTT) with her husband Alistair, who is head of advancement at St Stithians.

The second is a review of the festival posted by Bruce Donnelly on FilmFreeway, a digital communication platform for film festivals and creative contests. Bruce, who hails from the USA, directed The Black Mambas, a film about SA’s all female anti-poaching unit that was named best international short documentary at the festival. (The pic above shows Bruce with the Black Mambas.)

First, here’s Ruth:

Dear Carel

Thursday night at the OTT in Alex was such a treat: Alistair and I love to get out and stretch our minds. We found ‘Whispering Truth to Power’ compelling viewing, and the range of comments and questions afterwards gave rise to interesting ideas and perspectives. As always, an eclectic mix of guests provoked stimulating conversation, and old friends gave us joy.

The evening prompted me to take a friend (an English teacher at St Stithians Girls’ College) to Maboneng the following Saturday for another taste of the Film Fest. We made it to the short fiction and the short documentaries, all of which were visceral and provocative. While we were enjoying lunch and some glorious jazz at a pavement restaurant afterwards, a man came toiling up the road, pushing a stolen supermarket trolley bulging and groaning on its wheels, laden to groaning and grinding point with the gory heads of decapitated cows, hacked and dripping. It was surreal, as if an image from one of the films had somehow detached itself from the screen and come to life.

As an English teacher I was given rich food for thought – I love teaching film and now have many fresh conversations to offer my pupils. As ordinary me, I love having new pictures on the gallery walls of my mind – I can visit them and reflect in quiet, to adjust my thinking and find myself strengthened and challenged.

I am indebted to you for the experience.

With love and grateful thanks


And here’s Bruce’s post:

A great festival is made by the people behind it, and the community of filmmakers and film lovers that develops from it. The entire Jozi team was warm, welcoming, and so passionate about the fils and stories showcased at the festival. But beyond that, they engaged and involved the local communities to be a part of and benefit from the festival events, by hosting screenings in townships and supporting local business. The Jozi Film Festival has its heart and soul intact and in the right place. Thank you Lisa and Sabi for all your hard work, and to everyone at the Olive Tree Theatre in Alexandra for your love and hospitality. Can’t wait for Jozi 2019.