Africa Rising International Film Festival Developing 16 Short Films and Documentaries

We are looking forward to presenting Africa Rising International Film Festival’s 3rd instalment which will have its virtual edition, this year scheduled to run from 27th to the 29th. True to the time, the 2020 edition will be both a virtual experience with one or two live experiences.   Using film to create awareness and contribute to urgent conversations needed, and hopefully drive change , this year the festival puts a spot light on Gender Based Violence, Black Lives Matter and Unjust systems that still govern today. ARIFF will  develop and screen 16 short films and documentaries under the 2020 theme its gender-based violence and equality project dubbed the ARIFF Film for Change: GBV and Equality. The main objective of the project is to drive conversation, raise awareness of gender-based violence and equality through the power of cinema and storytelling to push for real change and accountability.

The short films and documentaries will form part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Women and Children Abuse. The program will also be integrated to the Africa Rising International Film Festival’s training program ARIFF Film Institute where ARIFF mentors over 200 young creatives through Directing, Producing, Scriptwriting, Acting, and technical and creative aspect of filmmaking.

Women, youth, queer community, and people living with disabilities will continue to take centre stage at this year’s Festival.  As we celebrate their work, we also bring attention to the importance of continuing to support these groups in the film industry, to ensure these moments of celebration keep happening. Thematically as ARIFF we want to ensure that all voices left in the shadows are given a spotlight. We are excited about this instalment of the festival as we tackle difficult conversations that continue to erode our society. We will honour those who have lost their lives to both GBV and COVID19 – Lala Tuku

The commissioning process is opening this coming Thursday, 05th November 2020, for emerging Filmmakers, with Scriptwriters and Directors from previously disadvantaged backgrounds within the ages of 18 to 35 with a filmmaking qualification or a year’s worth of directing experience also invited to participate in the development process. Experienced mentors will oversee the commissioned work while also mentoring and upskilling the participants.

The year 2020 will never be forgotten, we have had to all adjust and introspect on what is crucial. As a festival we have had to assess and evaluate how we engage with audiences leading from supporting purpose led content and initiatives. During this time we have explored the lengths of the digital space which has brought the world closer, with Film for Change we will share meaningful content to be seen beyond our borders using digital platforms – Ayanda Sithebe.

The three-day Africa Rising International Film Festival’s 2020 virtual edition programme also includes African and international film screenings/premiers, Round Tables, Masterclasses, SWIFT Hour, ARIFF Film Child, and more. The full African and International film screenings programme will be released closer to the time.


Premium film festival, Africa Rising International Festival produced by the youth and leading-women in the industry, It is co-chaired by Lala Tuku and Kweku Mandela with Actor Spaces founder Ayanda Sithebe who serves as the Festival director along with Pallance Dladla and Sdumo Msthali who serve as our Creative Producers for the festival.  At the heart of the festival is the exhibition of African Cinema and programs curated for transformation to thrive. Through our core film program we address LACK OF ACCESSIBILITY, WOMEN EMPOWERMENT & YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, by providing an opportunity for previously DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES, THE QUEER community and people living with disabilities, an opportunity to participate in the festival.

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