The South African Film Festival will be touring online to audiences across Australia from 12 to 24 May, showcasing their engaging program of nine documentaries, five features and two short films.

The films selected have been chosen as they best reflect South Africa’s diverse population, rich tradition of struggle for democracy and equality, and complex political and economic reality.

Festival Director, Claire Jankelson says “South Africa produces some of the richest stories for cinema the world over. Much like the country itself, the films that come from South Africa are all at once challenging, bold, beautiful and heartwarming.”

“This year’s line-up of films presents an exciting mix of daring narratives, striking cinematography and deep explorations into South African culture and community.”

The feature films in the festival line-up include South Africa’s moving Oscar submission Toorbos. Based on a novel by celebrated Afrikaans author Dalene Matthee, the film documents a woman blossoming against destruction of her environment. Another to look forward to is Riding with Sugar, an action-packed film about a young refugee’s quest for BMX glory and the pursuit of identity, safety, happiness and love.

Riding with Sugar

Four of the documentaries featured examine South Africa’s apartheid, its history and impacts on the future of the country. Blindside covers the 1974 boycott-breaking tour of South Africa by the British rugby team, the Lions and how the sports boycott ultimately provided to be a powerful tool in helping to dismantle apartheid. Winner of the Florence Film Award for Best Original Story, District Six, explores the filmmaker’s personal account of her return to ancestral community in Cape Town from which her family and thousands of others were forcibly removed during the apartheid.

District Six

The festival’s two short films showcase incredibly powerful themes, Sides of a Horn uses a hybrid of dramatic and documentary styles to look at a rhino poaching through two fictional antagonists, a ranger and a poacher, juxtaposing their points of view of a poaching incident that puts them both at risk. And Letter Reader follows a twelve-year-old boy who becomes his village’s letter reader.

Letter Reader


For the full line-up of films and festival program visit SAAF’s website.

All ticket proceeds will also be going to support Education without Boarders and their programs that assist young South Africans in some of the country’s most disadvantaged communities.