Sandra Kramer

EU Ambassador to South Africa Sandra Kramer

“I am delighted to launch the 10th edition of the European Film Festival. To mark this milestone, this year’s festival offers a number of firsts. We are delighted to have added Durban to our screening locations. We are also excited to feature an African-European co-production in this year’s line-up. And to top it off, the director of one of our European films, will be in South Africa for a series of engagements with practitioners, audiences and communities. As in previous years, the line-up features the most recent and award winning films from across Europe, and for the second time we are also offering a screening programme for and in Eswatini and Lesotho.

We live in challenging times in which rapid change affects us all … and it is with this in mind that the festival theme of “Transition” was carefully chosen.

Whether you join us virtually from the comfort of your favourite armchair or join us in a theatre, I encourage you to share the experience with friends and family, and trust that the selected films will provide a basis for discussion and exchange on the meaning of change, how to manage it and emerge stronger, in partnership.

I take this opportunity to thank all our partners in this endeavour – the participating European embassies and many of the European cultural institutes here in South Africa – for their enthusiasm and collaboration in having made this European Film Festival possible”

Peter Rorvik

Ten years!

2023 marks a milestone moment for the European Film Festival as it celebrates its 10th anniversary in South Africa.

The festival theme this year is Transition, a cinematic reflection of the kinds of transition people go through during these often turbulent and fast-moving times.

There can be numerous transitional moments in a lifetime, moments that come with an awakening, or re-awakening, a discovery or renewal of our sense of purpose, our self-understanding, of who we are, and our direction in life.  Transition is, in essence, a response to change, a process of managing change, or making a change.  

All these elements of transition feature prominently in the line-up of films on offer. The illuminating power of cinema transports us deeply into these experiences, milestones, growth points and turning points, which offer possible resonance with our own life journeys, and the shared life journeys of those around us.

An award-winning African-European co-production will open the festival, connecting the festival more closely to the contexts and the continent in which this festival is located.  It is in fact one of three films featuring African stories this year. Another new dimension is the inclusion of animation, such a rich and imaginative form of story-telling, both for adults and adolescents.  Operationally, in addition to cinema screenings in Johannesburg and Cape Town, the festival is pleased to open up the festival offerings to Durban, a strong teaser programme with an eye on future possibilities for Durban film lovers.  Cinema screenings will take place during weekends only, while the online free streaming component will run throughout the festival period.  Some films will only be available in cinemas, and as we know, films are best experienced on the big screen. 

For more insights into the films and the film-making processes watch the pre-recorded Q&A’s with directors.   Do explore the various side-events. If you are a budding filmmaker then attend the workshops. Make your way to one of the community centre screenings, and if you are in Eswatini or Lesotho there is another fine set of films to choose from. 

Fundamentally, at its core, the festival is about delivering a showcase of salient new films; issue-based stories that are informative, inspiring, and usually provocative in nature; they are designed to touch you, move you, and make you think.  They could even bear seeds of change and transition for you too!

Finally, we warmly extend our gratitude to the participating filmmakers and special guests for sharing their expertise, to the embassies and cultural agencies for their continued support, to the operational partners and organising teams for making it all happen, thank you to each one of you!  And, of course, thank you to all festival-goers – this is especially for you!  Welcome, and enjoy the celebratory 10th edition of the European Film Festival South Africa!

Festival Directors Magdalene Reddy and Peter Rorvik