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46 min. English.

Film Festival Film is a movie shot over a weekend at the Durban International Film Festival, South Africa, in July 2018 by the underground South African collective Medu African Film Ensemble (aka Medu AF).
With a sense of mischief and minimal resources pooled together by its contributors, the film tells the story of Fanon – a Black female filmmaker – beset by her demons ten floors up in an oceanside hotel, gazing out over African shores during the hermetically-sealed weirdness that is the world of a film festival. Using elements of fiction and documentary, the film follows Fanon as she wrestles with what the film industry expects her to be, and not to be, as she readies herself to pitch her first film.
Fanon navigates this uncharted territory, while a supporting cast of real-world, “leading, industry professionals”, seated in her hotel room but never seeming to address her directly, dish out advice straight to camera – are they apparitions or voices in her head? Behind-the-scenes shifts to front-of-scene and back again, theory blends with praxis, as it becomes less and less clear who has the reins, unsettling the foundations of the so-called proper way of doing things.

Mpumelelo Mcata, born in Port Elizabeth/Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, is an artists, musician, and cultural activist based in South Africa. He is a member of the internationally acclaimed band BLK JKS.

Perivi Katjavivi, born in Oxford, Great Britain to an English mother and a Namibian father, grew up in Windhoek. He studied film at Columbia College in Los Angeles where he attained his BA. Katjavivi holds an MA in African Cinema from the University of Cape Town and is a PhD candidate in Visual History at the University of the Western Cape.

Director’s Statement

In response to the “Wakandafication” of the African cultural revolution, FILM FESTIVAL FILM is a movie shot over a weekend at a film festival, namely the Durban International Film Festival in South Africa, with resources scrounged together by all its contributors. A grand achievement within and of itself. What we have achieved philosophically, by finishing the film, is to show others that it can be done, great and impactful art can be made without necessarily waiting for those vultures – who only see art as a vehicle for their propaganda or its commercial viability and nothing else – to swoop in.

This belief that the mark of good work lies primarily in its commercial viability is a deeply dangerous way of thinking, a ruthless model of understanding what success is. We as team FILM FESTIVAL FILM would like to contribute to the conversation that questions Hyper Capitalism, interrogates the idea of what a good film is and who gets to decide that, who gets to decide who gets to make a film in the first place and why? We are very much interested in this discussion.

Especially as young African/Afrocentric filmmakers who have travelled to screen work internationally and continue to try to better understand the complex relationships and responsibilities we have in cinema, not just with our local scenes but what it means both having to square those interests with the global film industry, and in our ongoing conversation, through our work, with our home, international and global audiences inside and outside the African continent.

Production Anna Teeman, Mpumelelo Mcata, Perivi Katjavivi. Production companies End Street Africa (Johannesburg, South Africa), Old Location Films (Windhoek, Namibia). Directed by Mpumelelo Mcata, Perivi Katjavivi. Cinematography Zen Marie. Editing Khalid Shamis. Music Joāo Orecchia. Sound design Joāo Orecchia. Sound Dylan Valley. Assistant directors Letlhogonolo Ramokgopa, Sarah Dawson. With Lindiwe Matshikiza (Fanon), Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Sara Blecher, Sarah Dawson, Rehad Desai, Katarina Hedrén, Steven Markovitz, Zamo Mhkwanazi, Vincent Moloi.


Mpumelelo Mcata: 2012: Just Like a King (4 min.). 2013: Twin Lakes (2 min.). 2015: Black President (79 min., Forum Expanded 2015). 2019: Film Festival Film.

Perivi Katjavivi: 2012: My Beautiful Nightmare (12 min.). 2016: The Unseen (70 min.). 2018: Emoyeni: Nsanguluko (60 min.). 2019: Film Festival Film.

Photo: © Old Location Films & End Street Africa 2019

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur