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GBV and femicide film opens African festival

We Are Dying Here is pick of the ARIFF

A film funded by the foundation Rachel and Siya Kolisi is set to tackle the issues relating to GBV and femicide.
A film funded by the foundation Rachel and Siya Kolisi is set to tackle the issues relating to GBV and femicide.
Image: Supplied.

Award-winning film We Are Dying Here is set to officially open the Africa Rising International Film Festival (ARIFF) which started last night.

ARIFF, which features 30 films from African countries, will run until November 28 at Ster Kinekor at The Zone in Rosebank and Bioscope in Milpark, Johannesburg.

The festival will close with LGBTQI+ film from Kenya titled I am Samuel. The film was banned by the Film Classification Board in Kenya.

We Are Dying Here is funded by the Siya and Rachel Kolisi Foundation and deals with the violent culture of harassment, abuse, rape and femicide.

Recently, the film won two international awards at the Female Filmmakers Festival in Berlin, Germany.

According to ARIFF organiser Sihle Hlophe, this year’s film selection went through a careful screening process.

“We are proud to present a wide array of films that celebrate African cinema and are aligned with our theme, 'Africa in Me #MyStory'. We have films from Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya as well as films from the African diaspora that feature strong African voices, pleasing aesthetics and social relevance.

Festival director Ayanda Sithebe said: “Our mandate as ARIFF is to raise social issues. That’s why we are opening the festival with a film like We Are Dying Here, a short South African film based on a stage production. Executive produced by Rachel and Siya Kolisi, the film is a poetic indictment of the prevalence of gender-based violence in SA.”

Festival chair Lala Tuku said: “We seek to package African films for export to the global stage while being at the centre of driving change and being a motivating anchor that unearths authentic African stories. The films selected for this year’s edition celebrate our collective Africanness but in so doing are not tone-deaf to issues faced by everyday people on the continent.”

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