Film and Arts Festival FREE in city

2015-09-24 06:00
PHOTO: supplied

Cartoonist Qaps Mngadi will be at the Pacsa Film festival.

PHOTO: supplied Cartoonist Qaps Mngadi will be at the Pacsa Film festival.

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THE sixth annual Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action Film and Arts Festival will take place from 24 to 27 September at the Msunduzi Museum.

The festival will showcase a range of art forms which celebrate the imaginings of ordinary South Africans, and remind us of the power of art. Deputy director of the Msunduzi and Ncome museums, Rob Luyt, said the museum was excited to be the host venue for the 2015 Pacsa Film and Arts Festival.

Under the theme “Imagine we all belong here”, this year’s festival will explore a richer understanding of the concept of belonging.

Hosted in collaboration with the Msunduzi Museum, the festival will open with a cartoon exhibition, profiling the work of South African cartoonists Q’aps Mngadi and Brandan Reynold.

The festival also offers a jazz festival where artists such as Zazi Mncube and others will show their prowess from 6pm to 12pm in the auditorium hall. and spoken-word session, the latter being supplemented this year with a stage drama, as well as comedy in the form of comedic duo Amawele Ase-Chesterville.

As usual there will be a film-making workshop and a children’s art workshop. New to this year’s programme are food, cultural artefact and traditional dancing exhibitions as well as two book readings.

Among the highlights of the festival will be the world premiere of KZN-based photographer Cedric Nunn’s new documentary titled In the Shadow of Isandhlwana: The Rorke’s Drift Arts and Craft Centre Story, which takes the viewer on a journey through the history and challenges facing one of the first art school for black artists in South Africa.

After its first screening in PMB, the film will move to the Berlin and the Durban film festivals. Although Nunn will be in New York at the time to promote a new book of photography, he will be on Skype at the screening to talk about his work.

Mngadi and Reynolds will put together a collection of some of their best work for the display and will be at the launch to speak about their work and the role of satire in society.

Reynolds has worked for Business Day, Rapport and Weekend Argus.

“Cartooning is a powerful weapon to render complex issues and their consequences accessible to everyone, with the ideal of ultimately holding government and politicians to account for decisions and policies they make, or purport to make, on behalf of us ordinary citizens,” said Reynolds.

Mngadi is well-known to readers of Isolezwe and Echo newspapers. He said the festival is an important opportunity to promote his belief in cartoons as edutainment.

The festival will feature a stage production in the form of Umkhonto Wabantu, which captures real-life events in the uMgungundlovu District, starting with the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe and moving forward to the political violence that invaded the area in the nineties.

The festival includes a documentary made by Pacsa titled Racism in ‘Maritzburg Voices from the Street, and gives people an opportunity to talk about their personal experiences of racism in the city.

A film about the late Nelson Mandela called Nelson Mandela: the Myth and Me, by South African film-maker Khalo Matabane, offers a sobering take on the legacy of the former president and reflects on the often unfulfilled promises of democracy. Moving North, The Square provides an account of the revolution in Egypt while the Beats of the Antonov documents the Sudan-SRF conflict in the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain regions.

Man on Ground by Nigerian director Akin Omotoso, known for internationally successful films such as Blood Diamond and Lord of War, is a film about a refugee in search of his half-brother and is inspired by the xenophobic attacks in South Africa of May 2008.

Wading incisively into the global arena are two films - Poverty Inc., which interrogates the true beneficiaries of international poverty-relief programmes and It’s Not Over, takes a fresh look at HIV/Aids through the eyes of four young people living in different parts of the world.

“The festival gives expression to our imagination of what it means for us to really belong so that we can all really live. It is a celebration of our differences in the context of our joint humanity,” said Pacsa director, Mervyn Abrahams.

- Supplied

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