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5 flicks not to miss at this year’s Design Indaba FilmFest

Film has been said to be one of the most powerful artistic mediums, often having the power to educate, provoke, make you laugh, cry, or simply entertain you. With the annual Design Indaba FilmFest on its way, this year’s lineup features a bit of everything.

Kicking off in Cape Town on the 11 February at the Labia Theatre, the screenings will take place over 10 nights, showcasing some of the most original and diverse films from filmmakers around the globe who dedicate their work to documenting and filming everything from architecture and human stories, to food and music. While most films are being screened in Cape Town, you can also catch a selection in Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Potchefstroom for just R55 a ticket.

Ahead of the screenings, we’ve taken a look at 5 of the films that we’re really excited about. Watch the trailers below and book your tickets now.  

A Ballerina’s Tale

Directed by Nelson George, A Ballerina’s Tale tells the story of Misty Copeland, a ballerina who became the first black woman to be promoted to the position of principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre. By beginning with archival, VHS footage, the film tracks the dancer’s career from childhood up to her performance in the American Ballet Theatre’s Swan Lake, a journey that saw her battle through career threatening injuries, and constantly navigating her skills in a predominantly white centred industry.

A Ballerina’s Tale will be screened at The Labia in Cape Town on 12 Feb at 8:30pm. Book your ticket here

Live From New York! 

The show that for more than 40 years now, has documented, satirised, and explored American politics and pop culture through their iconic sketch comedy, Saturday Night Live certainly has a wealth of history. Directed by Bao Nguyen, Live From New York! documents the rise of the iconic late night comedy show, detailing its inception, breakthrough moments, and some of its more problematic areas such as racial diversity and sexism, all told through archival footage and interviews with SNL cast members, creators, and writers.  

Live From New York! will be screened in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Potchefstroom. Find the venues and screening times here

B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin 1979-1989 

Compiled from 10 years of unreleased footage as well as some newly filmed content, B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin 1979-1989 tells the story of the birth of an artistic era, the end of a regime, and one musician’s journey through it all. Stranded in West Berlin in the late 70s, director, musician, and protagonist Mark Reeder documents a unique time when the city’s art and culture was fuelled by politics, revolution, and hedonistic intent. “Before the iron curtain fell,” he narrates, “Berlin was a walled in island, full of artists, hedonists and squatters, all living on the edge of life.”

B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin 1979-1989 will be screened at The Labia in Cape Town on 15 Feb at 8:30pm. Book your tickets here

The Wolfpack

The Wolfpack tells the shockingly bizarre story of a group of seven siblings who were raised almost entirely inside the confines of a small apartment in Manhattan. Kept locked away from society by their father, the six brothers and their sister detail their lives inside the family’s home, being home schooled and rarely let out into the world. “In the summer, there was more chance of us getting out,” says one sibling. “Sometimes we’d get out once a year, and one particular year, we didn’t get out at all.” Films, and a combination of homemade movies and their own imaginations became an escape for them, and it is this footage that forms most of the captivating documentary by first time director, Crystal Moselle.

The Wolfpack will be screened at The Labia in Cape Town on 16 Feb at 8:30pm. Book your ticket here


For a movie that’s been named ‘the most human movie of the year’, Anomalisa features not one human. Filmed entirely through stop motion animated puppets, the film follows a motivational speaker named Michael who tends to see everyone as being the same, bland, and easily manipulated person until one night in Cincinnati when he meets someone who isn’t, and subsequently changes his outlook on life. The film is directed and produced by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, with the award winning script being written by Kaufman too. A soft filter, enhanced by strategic lighting throughout, allows for the unfolding of an incredibly detailed and personal story that looks set to steal many a heart.   

Anomalisa will be screened at The Labia in Cape Town on 20 Feb at 8:30pm. Book your ticket here

See the full programme of top creative films here.

Screenings in Cape Town take place at the Labia on Orange from 11 – 20 February at 8:30pm daily, in Durban at the Beerhall Contemporary Gallery from 11 – 13 February at 7:30pm daily. Joburg screenings will take place at The Bioscope from 17 – 19 February at 6pm & 8pm daily. Port Elizabeth screenings will be at the Athenaeum’s Ford Little Theatre from 17 – 19 February at 7:30pm daily, and Potchefstroom films will show at Northwest University from 17 – 19 February at 7:30pm daily. 

In related Design Indaba news, meet the 2016 Emerging Creatives class here.  

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