17 films to watch at the 2019 RapidLion Film Festival

The RapidLion South African International Film Festival is where all filmmakers from Africa, the African diaspora and BRICS countries showcase their best work and find ways to lead each other towards the creation of even more magical cinema. The 2019 RapidLion Film Festival will be held at The Market Theatre from 1-10 March 2019 and we’ve picked some must-see films, check them out below.

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Sew the winter to my skin

Director: Jahmil X.T. Qubeka
Duration: 2hrs
Country: South Africa
Screening Date & Time with Q&A with Director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka: 6 March 2019 (19:30)

Synopsis: The true story of John Kepe explores the inherent desire and need in humanity to, not only seek out heroes, but also to fabricate and create them. The film depicts the cinematic ballad of the outlaw, John Kepe. This self-proclaimed “Samson of the Boschberg Mountains” stole primarily livestock from colonial farmers in the vast arid expanse that is South Africa’s rural Great Karoo region and shared his spoils with the impoverished. He did this for over a decade before events culminated in his capture at the pre-dawn of apartheid. He was subsequently prosecuted for a murder he did not commit and condemned to death by hanging. Led by General Botha, a decorated World War II veteran, a manhunt ensued for the capture of Kepe in the very mountain where he was rumoured to occupy a Noah’s Ark-like cave. It is this spectacle that ingratiated Kepe into the hearts and minds of the marginalised and poor indigenous population who turned Kepe’s miscreant deeds into the stuff of legend, instantly making him a threat to the very fabric of the developing colonial society. Sew the winter to my skin dissects the psychosis and existential romantic interpretation of legend and heroism. It is an aggressive exploration of the effects of the colonial displacement that sewed the seeds for one of the most viciously racist, political regimes in history.

Director Biography: Award-winning Filmmaker and screenwriter Jahmil X.T. Qubeka’s career has spanned over 15 years covering an entire spectrum of filmmaking disciplines. Most notably, his documentary and feature film work has enjoyed screenings at various prestigious international film festivals around the world. In 2005, an AIDS documentary he directed for Sesame Street won the prestigious Peabody Award in America for best actuality programming. In 2014 Jahmil received the South African Standard Bank Young Artist Award in the Film category. His second feature film, Of Good Report (2013), has the inauspicious reputation of being the first feature film to be effectively banned in post-apartheid South Africa. The film had its world premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival in 2013. It is also the first African film to be selected in official competition at the London International Film Festival. The film went on to win the BAFTA LA Best Feature Prize at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles in 2014, and won best feature along with a plethora of other awards at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in Nigeria after winning an unprecedented seven statues at the South African Film and Television Awards in 2014. Sew the winter to my skin, Jahmil’s latest film, was South Africa’s official selection to compete for the 2019 Best Foreign Language Oscar.