The yearly Out In Africa (OIA) gay and lesbian film festival, starting today at Nu Metro in Johannesburg, boasts a number of important changes.
Firstly, the festival is divided into two seasons. The first season of the country's most popular film festival offers 24 feature films as well as seven short films on the programme.
Another festival will be held in November with 10 or 12 feature films, and from next year the entire festival will be held in November.
The shift of the yearly festival from March to November was necessitated by the Sithengi World Cinema Festival, which will in future be held in March. The OIA organisers believe this will help smooth the transition and establish the festival in the November calendar position.
This is not the only change that the festival, now in its 13th year, sees this year. It also moves from its traditional theatre partner, Ster Kinekor's Cinema Nouveau, to Nu Metro.
One of the advantages of the change is an increase in seating capacity.
The 24 gay and lesbian movies on show this season are of a particularly high standard. For details on all the films being screened visit the relative theatre website or the OIA website at www.oia.co.za.
As has become tradition, the OIA festival will also feature a number of international guests. South African Fanney Tsimong, director of one of the offerings, Black Beaulahs, is one of the people on the guest list. Panel discussions with the guests will be held after selected screenings.
Tickets cost R40 each. Another innovation this year is a festival card, available at Nu Metro Hyde Park, Johannesburg, and the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, only, offering patrons discounts of up to 30 percent.
The Johannesburg festival ends on March 18. The March festival in Cape Town takes place at Nu Metro at the V&A Waterfront from March 15 to April 1.