2023 Joburg Film Festival Announces Opening Film

The Joburg Film Festival powered by Multichoice, taking place in the heart of Egoli from 31 January to 5 February 2023, is excited to announce the opening film, the Moussa Sene Absa directed masterpiece “XALE”. 

Tickets for the 60+ films being screened across Gauteng are now on sale via the JFF website, www.joburgfilmfestival.co.za.

The festival will showcase some of the finest films from over 35 countries across the globe, including 20 African premieres and 27 South African premieres, and will run until Sunday, 5th February 2023 at various locations across the city.

The opening film XALE follows the life of Awa, a 15-year-old  African schoolgirl who is happily living her teenage years alongside her twin brother Adama, who dreams of Europe. This beautiful Senegalese feature immerses the viewer into a storyline of family values, love, life and betrayal.

The Joburg Film Festival line-up includes films from South Africa, Tunisia, Brazil, Seoul, USA, Japan, Morocco and more, with a mix of feature films and documentaries showcasing stories that cross cultural boundaries.

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Ndlovu Youth Choir “AGT All-Stars” Performance

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT: ALL-STARS – “VTR” Episode – (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

I’ve had the privilege of seeing the Ndlovu Youth Choir live on at least 3 separate occasions at corporate gigs, and each time they blew the audience away with their energy, audience interaction and sheer talent!

Image by Mishkah Roman-Cassiem

From humble beginnings, in the Moutse Valley, in rural Mpumalanga to performances at the 94th Academy Awards (Oscars) and across the globe, South Africa’s ever popular and most loved choir, Ndlovu Youth Choir were recently invited to perform at the America’s Got Talent All-Stars competition in Los Angeles earlier this month. The Choir’s exemplary performance was broadcast on NBC Eastern time in the USA on Monday, 23 January 2023.  Local fans can catch the Ndlovu Youth Choir’s performance tomorrow, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 after the NBC broadcast.  Tune in to YouTube, Twitter and Facebook on Tuesday morning after the broadcast.  Website: https://www.youtube.com/@AGT 

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Gregory Porter Performs in sold out concerts in South Africa

One of the greatest voices of our generation, two-time GRAMMY® Award winning singing sensation Gregory Porter returns to South Africa this month for his first solo concert tour ‘An Intimate Evening with Gregory Porter brought to you by Liberty’. He performed in Cape Town at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens today, Saturday, 21 January 2023.

Johannesburg concerts take place at Montecasino’s Teatro on 23, 24, 26, 27 and 28 January 2023 at 8pm.

Brought to you by Liberty and Showtime Management in association with Cape Talk and 702, the SA concert tour dates, including two additional Johannesburg shows, sold out within days of going on sale.

Cape Town based South African singer, actress, storyteller, playwright and inspirational speaker, The One Who Sings (Zolani Mahola) is the opening supporting act at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden and local musician, composer, producer and curator Msaki is the supporting act for the Johannesburg concerts.

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WE ARE EGG opens in Rosebank, Johannesburg

The award-winning next generation experiential department store, We Are EGG opened its 2nd store at The Zone in Rosebank last week. The first day of trading was a massive success with Jo’burg shoppers queuing an hour before the official store opening to shop and support local and international brands.

Originally launched in Cavendish Square in December 2020, in the thick of the COVID-19 lockdown, by retail pioneers Paul Simon and Arie Fabian in partnership with Old Mutual, the new Rosebank store has been specifically created with the Jo’burg customer in mind and has been built on a similar model to the iconic UK based Selfridges department store. The beautifully curated 3000 SQM space features the very best local and international in mens, womens and kids fashion, beauty, home and jewellery departments and a high-energy, quintessential restaurant & bar, all under one roof.

Much like Selfridges, We Are EGG Rosebank is a wonderland not only fashion enthusiasts, but all lovers of high-end retail experiences, appealing to the hyper connected Jo’burg customer. With the spirit of an independent, EGG has the scale of a department store. The 150 brands have poured their creative souls into this project, and when you enter, you will feel the passion in the air.

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National Geographic Photo Competition 2022

 © Nat Geo Explorer Tessa Barlin

As part of its Planet Possible initiative, which aims to inform, inspire and empower consumers to live more lightly on the planet, National Geographic invites photographers across South Africa to participate in 2022 edition of the National Geographic Photo Competition. Themed #ExploreNaturalAreas, this year’s competition, supported by Sunday Times and TimeLIVE, aims to celebrate South Africa’s natural spaces and highlight the need for their protection.

© Nat Geo Explorer Tessa Barlin

While the 2021 competition was only open to amateurs, a large number of entries were submitted by professional photographers. This year, both groups of enthusiasts may participate as the competition will feature both an amateur and professional category. Entrants stand in line to win a share of R 100 000 in cash, with each category offering prizes of R 25 000 for first place, R 15 000 for second place and R 5 000 for third place. Additionally, the top 10 images in each category will be published on TimesLIVE on 4 September. The winning shots be showcased in the Sunday Times, on TimesLIVE and on the National Geographic Africa social media platforms on 11 September.

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TikTok x SAMA28

I recently attended a launch event where TikTok announced that it has partnered with the 28th South African Music Awards (SAMA28), to introduce the inaugural public-voted “TikTok Viral Song of the Year” category. This award recognises and celebrates local songs and artists that have dominated the entertainment platform in South Africa in the past year.

A number of the most popular songs of the past year made their debut on the entertainment platform before shooting to the top of the music charts globally – earning the platform its well-deserved spot in the music industry.

The TikTok Viral Song of the Year nominations can be voted for exclusively on TikTok from Thursday, 11 August at midday until 24 August, and the winner will be announced at the live SAMA event taking place on 28 August 2022 in Sun City, North West.

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SA Fashion Week 2022

Ecological sustainability, women’s empowerment, inter brand collaboration and proudly local production investment are some of the dynamic developments that mark SA Fashion Week’s 25th Spring/Summer Collections.
 
The SAFW’22 Spring Summer Collections will be showcased from 28 – 30 April, Parkade G5, Entrance 24 at Mall of Africa in Johannesburg.

Twenty iconic names including Ephraim Molingoana for Ephymol,  Amanda Laird Cherry and Palesa Mokubung of Mantsho as well as cult Kasi brand, Loxion Kulca, now designed by Olé Ledimo, will launch their 2022 collections to the media, buyers, selected VIPs and a limited edition of public tickets through Quicket, alongside exciting new stars including 2021 New Talent winner Artho Eksteen as well as Fikile Zamagcino Sokhulu and Sipho Mbuto who both participated in the Fashion Bridges collaboration with Milan Fashion Week last year. 
 

Hosted by SA’s favourite social personality, Maps Maponyane, the 24th New Talent Search will again open the event with a line-up of six of the most promising young designers to watch. This year’s contenders are:


·       Thando Ntuli – MUNKUS
·       Nichole Smith – Ipikoko
·       Mikhile du Plessis – MeKay Designs
·       Calvin Lunga Cebekhulu – Czene.24
·       Sanelisiwe Gcabashe – Gjenelo Couture
·       Mimangaliso Ndiko – Sixx6

Other highlights of the first day is the CRUZ COLLECTIVE featuring Sokhulu and Mbuto as well as another new generation notable, Michael Ludwig Studio.

Day two opens with The OPPO COLLECTIONS which brings Artho EksteenEzokhetho, the gender-neutral signature, The BAM Collective, and the much revered, Amanda Laird Cherry, together in a celebration of technology and perfection that will speak to OPPO’s Reno 5 mobile phone as the quintessential tool with which to capture the ethos of contemporary living as “the new spectator sport” which happens where everyone, everywhere engages, interacts, captivates and comments.

“We are excited to go into our second year of partnership with SA Fashion Week. This is an important partnership for OPPO, as it gives us the space to connect with our customers and it shows our commitment to empowering local talent through our technology to curate a line of sustainably resourced fashion that represents both the heartbeat and heritage of our country. We are looking forward to our second collection and what our designers will come up with this year. For us, it is all about the creative collaboration that translates South African culture into design, which is the essence of what the OPPO brand represents both locally and globally.”  says Avashnee Moodley, Head of Marketing at Oppo South Africa.
 
This is followed by the high-profile trio of Cape Town-based Helon Melon who wowed audiences in 2021 with her all-white, sustainable collection, fashion forward Judith Atelier, an ardent supporter of South African mohair and perennial fashion week darling, Palesa Mokubung of Mantsho.

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Launch of Africarare – Africa’s First Metaverse Collaboration

Boity Thulo in the Africarare Metaverse

Africarare, Africa’s first metaverse is set to unlock African creativity and connect Africa to the global digital economy. At an event in Johannesburg on 28 February 2022, plans were announced for commercialisation of the 3D virtual reality experience, that is set in Ubuntuland, a virtual world that marries creativity, cryptocurrency and commerce. 

Firstly, virtual land will soon be available to purchase and develop with MTN, Africa’s largest multinational mobile telecommunications company, joining Africarare with an upcoming 12×12 village (144 plots of real estate) secured in Ubuntuland. Additionally, M&C Saatchi Abel have entered the metaverse as the first South African advertising agency to do so. There will only ever be 204 642 plots of land available, made up of different village sizes in various community hubs. The land is positioned and priced according to a tiered value system.

Landholders will be able to customize their 3-D land spaces, such as hosting shops, producing resources, renting virtual services and developing games or other applications. Designated spaces will serve the community for work, play and wellness purposes, including state of the art meeting rooms, online therapy rooms (with optional anonymity), concert stages, film festival spaces, meditation lounges and other dynamic interactive environments. And, there’s more to come, such as staking, DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) and blockchain play-to-earn gaming.

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“BARAKAT” is South Africa’s Official Selection for the 94th Annual Academy Awards

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is pleased to announce that the first South African Muslim film shot in Afrikaans, (actually AfriKaapsBarakat, has been selected as South Africa’s official submission for the 94th Annual Academy Awards.

Directed by Amy Jephta and produced by Ephraim Gordon, co-founders of production companies PaperJet Films and Nagvlug Films, Barakat was released in cinemas in early 2021. The screenplay is by writing-producing team Amy Jephta and Ephraim Gordon who made their debut at South Africa’s 2017 kykNET Silwerskerm Festival with their short film Soldaat (Soldier), for which they won Best Screenplay and Best Short. 

Barakat Official Trailer

Jephta, a celebrated theatre practitioner, director and writer, also scripted South Africa’s official 2018 Golden Globes submission for Foreign Film, Ellen: The Story of Ellen Pakkies. In 2019, she was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Award for theatre. Actor and director Gordon starred in Nosipho Dumisa’s critically acclaimed 2018 debut, Number 37, which premiered at South by Southwest (SXSW).

“I am so proud that this film has reached as many people as it has, and to be recognised by South Africa in this way is incredibly special,” said director Amy Jephta.  “Even after an extremely challenging year for our film industry, we’re honoured that a small story about a family has connected us.”

Producer Ephraim Gordon added: “This was totally unexpected, but it shows that everyone’s hard work on this project has paid off. This film was a blessing from the beginning and continues to be.  It is our barakat.”

‘Barakat’ is an Arabic word denoting blessings, abundance and prosperity. The film follows the trials and tribulations of Aisha Davids (played by veteran acress Vinette Ebrahim), a widow who has to preserve the peace between four sons struggling to come to terms with the death of their father two years after the fact. Her sons, Zunaid (Joey Rasdien), Zaid (Mortimer Williams), Yaseen (Keeno Lee Hector) and Nur (Danny Ross) return to their family home to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr (or Labarang, as it’s called in Cape Town), the celebration marking the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. They’ve never dealt with their father’s death or the void his passing has left. Each son’s unprocessed pain manifests in constant familial conflict, saddening their mother as she tries to move on with her own life.

The 94th Oscars® will be held on Sunday, the 27th March 2022.

Barakat was developed in partnership with MNET and funded in association with the NFVF, the DTIC, IDC as well as Indigenous Film Distribution, the South African distributor of the film.

Halls gives creativity a space to breathe

A true artist doesn’t just create art: they breathe their passion into their work and give it a life of its own. Now, Halls is creating a place where artists can breathe for their craft.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people turned to the things that they cared about most for comfort in the face of uncertainty – passions like food, music and art. Now, in a world that’s slowly returning to normal, people are looking to brands with the question, “What are you passionate about?” Halls – South Africa’s #1 boiled candy – exists to help people breathe better so that they can focus on the things that really matter. That’s why Halls is founding The Breathing Space: a dedicated hub in the centre of Johannesburg where up-and-coming artists and designers can breathe for their craft and bring their flavour to life in the freshest ways, under the guidance and mentorship of Mzansi’s creative queen, Karabo Poppy.

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