National Arts Festival 2020: Day 1 Programme and Highlights

National treasure Madosini is the National Arts Festival's featured artist for 2020. (Photo: Simphiwe Nkwali/ Gallo Images)
National treasure Madosini is the National Arts Festival's featured artist for 2020. (Photo: Simphiwe Nkwali/ Gallo Images)

Having gone virtual for the first time in its 46 year lifespan, the (virtual) National Arts Festival presents its first day of 11, boasting over 270 shows in newly digitised offering. Viewers are able to access the festival by buying a R600 festival pass for the entire duration of the festival, or buying tickets for select events.

Running completely virtual for the first time in the festival's 46 year history, the festival will be presenting work that speaks to these unique times, and will feature the results of many new collaborations, experimental forms and new ways to engage with the arts and audiences. 

Day 1 Highlights


A series of 11 episodes (one released on each day of the Festival) offers glimpses of Madosini performing in varied settings – from grand stages to intimate rooms, solo and in conversation with other musicians. Made under Covid-19 lockdown, the series relies on existing and archival footage to create this tribute.


Since 2008, the Tierney Fellowship in South Africa has been a leader in the identification of emerging talent in contemporary African photography. RECLAMATIONS presents works by Tracey Edser, Simangele Kalisa, the late Thabiso Sekgala, Mack Magagane, Tshepiso Mazibuko, Lebohang Kganye, Sipho Gongxeka, Matthew Kay, Tsepo Gumbi, Celimpilo Mazibuko, Tshepiso Mabula ka Ndongeni, and Tierney Bamako Award Recipient Moussa John Kalapo.


One year after the death of his father, author and director Boris Nikitin begins to write the story of his Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease. 


Azibuye – The Occupation is a stereo 360° documentary about Masello and Evan, two black artist/activists who OCCUPY a crumbling mansion, vacant for 20 years, in an affluent part of Johannesburg.


Based on actual historical accounts of the final 24 hours of his reign, Nixon in Agony sees the President (played by theatre and cinema legend Steven Berkoff) deploring his fate as it creeps closeR.

View the full Day 1 Programme here:

Day 1 National Arts Festival Programme

*For more information, head to the National Arts Festival Website.

*Arts24 has partnered with the NAF to bring you exciting content for the 11 day duration of the festival.

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