[Press release] South African twist at upcoming edition of Cannes Film Festival & Market, France

From May, 8th to 18th, 2018, South African cinema industry will be well represented at the Cannes Film Festival & Market (France), with the selection of RAFIKI and DIE STROPERS in « Un Certain Regard » selection ; THE STATE AGAINST MANDELA AND THE OTHERS  in the Official Selection (special screening) and MILES FROM NOWHERE in La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde.

As part of the Film Market, South African flag will be floating on the International Village with a South African Pavilion where NFVF, DTI and CFI will be represented.

In addition, Producers Network programme will highligh the South African film THE WOUND (INXEBA) as part of a case study presented by the film producer Elias Ribeiro. Elias Ribeiro will also revealed in Cannes the projects selected for REALNESS – a panafrican screenwriters residency.

Last but not least DIGITAL LAB AFRICA will reveal the 10 winners of its second edition at NEXT, the innovation Hub of Cannes Film Market, on May, 10th at 4pm (SA time).



Wanuri Kahiu’s ‘RAFIKI’ is the first Kenyan Feature film to premiere at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard Selection). The long feature is coproduced by South African producer Steven Markovitz (Big World Cinema) and Afrobubblegum (Kenya), MPM Film (France), Shortcut Films (Lebanon), Ape & Bjorn (Norway), Rinkel Film (Netherlands) and Razor Film (Germany).

RAFIKI (Friend), directed by Kenyan storyteller Wanuri Kahiu, tells a tale of a community affected by a relationship that grows between two young women, Kena (Samantha Mugatsia) and Ziki (Sheila Munyiva). Inspired by the 2007 Caine Prize Winning short story “Jambula Tree” by Ugandan writer Monica Arac de Nyeko, the film celebrates love and asks whether it’s safer being invisible or if it’s better to defy conservative rules, while discovering one’s identity and destiny through love.

RAFIKI (FRIEND)| Director : Wanuri Kahiu | Production : Big World Cinema (South Afica), Afrobubblegum (Kenya), MPM Film (France), Shortcut Films (Lebanon), Ape & Bjorn (Norway), Rinkel Film (Netherlands) Razor Film (Germany).

9 May | 1.45pm | 10.15pm
10 May |4pm

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THE HARVESTERS is the first long feature of South African director Etienne Kallos, produced by Cinema Defacto (France) in coproduction with Heretic (Greece), Lava Films (Poland) & Spier Films (South Africa).

An isolated and conservative farming region in rural South Africa is the stronghold for Afrikaans white, minority culture, obsessed with strength and masculinity. In this world Janno exists – different, secretive and emotionally frail. One day his mother, who is fiercely religious, brings home Pieter, a hardened street orphan she wants to save. Janno is asked to make this stranger, his brother. The two boys begin a fight for power, heritage and parental love.

DIE STROPERS (THE HARVESTERS)|Director: Etienne Kallos |Producer : Cinema Defacto (France)
In coproduction with 
Heretic (Greece), Lava Films (Poland), Spier Films (South Africa)

14 May | 11.15am | 4.30pm
16 May | 10pm

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THE STATE AGAINST MANDELA AND THE OTHERS, the documentary by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Portes is part of the Cannes Official Selection – Special screenings! The film plunges us into the historical trial that pitted the state against Nelson Mandela but also the seven other co-accused forgotten by the history of the struggle against Apartheid.  At the risk of their lives, they chose to turn their trials into a political platform against the segregationist regime. Today, 256 hours of audio archives of the hearings – recently exhumed and restored by INA – allow us to relive their fight.

THE STATE AGAINST MANDELA AND THE OTHERS | Directors: Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Portes | Production : UFO Production, Rouge International, Korokoro

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14 May | 8pm



La Fabrique Cinéma de l’Institut français is a tailored program helping talented young directors from emerging countries increase their international exposure. Each year, this program, developed by the Institut français, in partnership with France Médias Monde – RFI, France 24, Monte Carlo Doualiya – and of the International Organisation of La Fancophonie, invites ten directors working on their first or second feature films to attend the Festival de Cannes along with their producers.

MILES FROM NOWHERE directed by Samantha Nell produced by Bongiwe Selane (Blingola Media) SOUTH AFRICA has been selected for this year’s edition. Samantha Nell is a South African writer and director. She graduated from NYU’s Tisch Asia in Singapore and has directed short films on four continents. Her short The Beast (2016), premiered at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes. She currently produces and directs commercials while developing her feature film, selected for the Realness Screenwriter’s Residency in 2017.

In an old-age home, a conflict over skin colour reveals the cracks in the new South Africa.
Ben lives comfortably amongst his own people in a Jewish old-age home in Johannesburg. The arrival of residents of colour shatters his reality. He is confronted by the headstrong Lebo as they vie for position within the home. Their mundane conflict pits the entire home and their own liberal children and grandchildren against each other. They all must realize how difficult it is to change.

MILES FROM NOWHERE | Director: Samantha Nell | Production: Bongiwe Selane, Blingola Media (South Africa)

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South African producer Elias Ribeiro (Urucu media) will introduce THE WOUND (INXEBA) by John Trengove as a case study in the framework of Producers Network programme of Cannes Film Market.

Xolani, a lonely factory worker, joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best kept secret, Xolani’s entire existence begins to unravel.

INXEBA( THE WOUND) | Director: John Trengove | Production: Riva Filmproduktion, Oak Motion Pictures, Pyramide Productions, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), Sampek Productions, Salzgeber & Co. Medien GmbH, Urucu Media [ZA], Figjam Entertainment [ZA], Cool Take Pictures [ZA]

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The selected projects for the 2018 REALNESS residency programme in South Africa will be revealed at Cannes on Saturday 12 May at 6.30pm (La Fabrique Les cinéma du monde Pavilion).

Realness Residency is a pan-African programme dedicated to developing and supporting the next generation of African screenwriting talent. Realness ensures that projects are given the space to mature sufficiently in the development phase such that, once they enter production, they result in films that have the potential to travel and appeal to worldwide independent cinema audiences. Its purpose is to offer talent a nurturing environment that allows them to stretch their creativity and drive their craft under mentorship from industry experts.  Its aim is to not only nurture and empower filmmakers every year but to foster a New Wave of Authentic African Cinema. It is a year round support system to the alumni, helping them to bring their scripts from the page to the screen ensuring that the programme maintains a long-standing impact.
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Chosen by the DLA Selection Committees, the 10 winners of the Digital Lab Africa Pitch Competition #3 will be revealed at NEXT, the innovation hub of the Cannes Film Festival Market, on Thursday, May 10, at 4 pm, during a live session in the presence of some of the DLA partners.

Digital Lab Africa: the reference platform for next-gen content

Digital Lab Africa (DLA) is the 1st platform  dedicated to creative content (web creation, virtual reality, video game, animation,digital music) linked with innovation in Africa (francophone & anglophone). The very idea of DLA is to incubate emerging creative talent by offering them a springboard to jump-start and accelerate their projects with the support and expertise of DLA partners & ecosystem (studios, event, producers, broadcasters, distributors, experts…)

Digital Lab Africa Call for Projects

The Digital Lab Africa call for projects targets artists, producers, designers, startups, students in the media and creative industries. The call is open to any individual from Sub-Saharan Africa having an innovative project in 5 categories of multimedia production: web creation/transmedia, virtual reality, video game, animation  and digital music.

Digital Lab Africa Pitch Competition

From April 26th, the « video pitch » of the 30 competitors will be displayed online on a dedicated platform (vote.digilabafrica.com) developed by Qwant, in partnership with Dailymotion Africa.

This platform will allow Internet users to anonymously vote for their favorite pitch (from April, 26th to May, 9th), without having to communicate their personal data.

The project which will gather the most votes on the platform will be awarded with a special prize (DLA Audience Award) including invitation (for 1 person) to one of the DLA Industry Events in France or in Sub-Saharan African region (fligh ticket, accommodation & accreditation covered by DLA).

The 10 winners will get a 3 000 euros cash prize and a tailored-made incubation programme to accelerate their project development with 2 mentors, from French & Sub-Saharan creative industries ecosystem (producers, distributors, broadcasters, experts, artists…), a residence period in France within a digital cluster/hub, and participation in industry events in France and/or in Sub-Saharan African region.