The European Film Festival will showcase free online screenings as part of its virtual exhibition from 12-22 November 2020. In addition to these screenings, a programme of free special events will enable audiences to connect beyond the film with a series of pre-recorded Q&A sessions and live online discussions. Festival co-director, Magdalene Reddy says “we live in a new world of COVID protocols”, which has resulted in the decision to shift the 7th European Film Festival to digital and online.
These special events serve to engage festival-goers within the context of new European films: I Am Greta, Sweat, Becoming Mona, Narcissus and Goldmund, Curveball, The 8th and Home Front. You can reserve your movie pass via their online booking platform. Joining these online seminars and sessions are a host of activists, authors, directors, journalists and environmental experts.
Here are some of the special events you can look forward to:
Climate Action South Africa (6pm, 13 November)
I Am Greta, the documentary about young eco-activist Greta Thunberg, sets the scene for the Climate Action South Africa presentation and discussion. The online event is geared towards drawing attention to the climate crisis in our country and will feature presentations on energy democracy, environment protection, youth activism, climate action and justice. Joining the online conference are Earthlife Africa’s Ulrich Steenkamp, Groundwork’s Avena Jacklin, African Climate Alliance’s Ayakha Melithafa and University of Western Cape’s Patrick Bond.
Social Media and Me – Who Is Winning? (6pm, 16 November)
Sweat director Magnus von Horn and clinical psychologist Dr Khosi Jiyane will lead a discussion on the impact of social media on individuals and society as a whole. Using the intimate psychological character study of a social media celebrity fitness motivator as a launchpad, they will discuss Sweat’s timely themes from the perspective of how we manage our real and digital lives.
Transforming Books to Film (6pm, 17 November)
Directors Sabine Lubbe Bakker, Niels van Koevoerden and Stefan Ruzowitzky will join Flemish author Griet Op De Beeck to discuss the process of novel-to-film adaptation. Taken from the perspective of Griet Op De Beeck’s award-winning ‘Kom Hier Dat Ek Jou Kus’ and Hermann Hesse’s legendary ‘Narcissus and Goldmund’, the books will be contrasted with the films, Becoming Mona and Narcissus and Goldmund. On 18 November at 6pm, Op De Beeck will discuss her book as part of its Afrikaans translation launch under the title, ‘Kom Hier Dat Ek Jou Soen’.
Films and Fake News (6pm, 18 November)
Curveball director Johannes Naber, German journalist Holger Stark and Influence documentary directors Diana Neille and Richard Poplak will engage in a discussion around the use of film in spreading and exposing fake news.
Making the Right to Choice a Reality (2pm, 19 November)
The 8th grapples with abortion exploring the landmark campaign to repeal the 8th amendment in Ireland. A webinar featuring leaders of the Irish campaign and local specialists will expand on reproductive rights within a South African context.
Filming Unspoken Histories (6pm, 20 November)
Sylvia Vollenhoven and Lucas Belvaux will lead a discussion on the making of Home Front with a special focus on the impact of excavating toxic or repressed histories.
Climate Action School and Community Centre Programme
A regulated programme of mediated events around climate change and social media will be held at various Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Youth Activism programme schools and community centres across the nation.
– Windybrow Arts Centre (Doornfontein, Johannesburg)
– Wushwini Arts Centre (Ngcolosi, Durban)
– Wilderness Leadership School (Yellow Wood Park, Durban)
– Isivivana Centre (Khayelitsha, Cape Town)
The Climate Action programme at Isivivana in will also feature three short films and discussion with local ocean activists, Loyiso Dunga, Faine Loubser and Mogamet Shamier.