Film Festivals in Johannesburg


Johannesburg is the film industry capital of the country. Hosting a number of world-class film festivals throughout the year, the city brings Joburg audiences the very best documentaries, award-winning dramas and relatable family comedies from around the world. Here is our lineup of the best film festivals in Johannesburg. 

film festivals

Encounters Festival

The Bioscope Independent Cinema in Maboneng is the official host of the Encounters Documentary Festival. Bringing Joburg film lovers the very best South African and international documentaries, covering a range of topics from music legends to politics and global warming. The Encounters Festival usually takes place at the Bioscope around June each year, taking place over 10 days. Tickets cost an average of *R60 per show.

The Bioscope is also the host of the annual Brazilian and Argentine Film Festivals. As Joburg’s only independent cinema venue, The Bioscope is the place to go to see world-class niche films. If you have never visited them, add it to your bucket list as soon as possible.

Details: 286 Fox Street, Maboneng, Johannesburg | 087 094 4195 | info@thebioscope.co.za

WITS Hispanic Film Festival

This past August, the WITS Centre for Mexican Studies hosted their second Hispanic Film Festival. Hoping to spark an interest in Hispanic culture, the Spanish language and cinema from South America in general, the centre screened a number of Argentinian, Mexican and Chilean films. The festival was also open to the public and will hopefully be continued in coming years. Offering Joburg audiences a peek into the South American film canon, from dark political dramas to family comedies, this is definitely one film festival you won’t want to miss in future.

Details: WITS University East Campus, Seminar Room, Humanities Graduate Centre, Southwest Engineering Building | david.ruizguzman@wits.ac.za

film festivals

Jozi Film Festival 

The Jozi Film Festival is Johannesburg’s longest-running, multi-genre film festival. Hosting their latest event in October 2019, the Jozi Film Festival was screened in collaboration between Hyde Park NuMetro Cinemas, The Bioscope in Maboneng and Theatre in the Park. Featuring top South African documentaries and films, as well as international features, this three-day festival is an annual must, so keep an eye out for updates on next year’s lineup.

Follow them on Facebook for more information.

Joburg Film Festival 

Kicking off their third annual event this November, the Joburg Film Festival brings you over 60 global curated films. Partnering with Multichoice, the festival aims to highlight the work of African filmmakers hailing from 16 different countries on the continent. Hosted across six venues in Johannesburg, the festival takes on a Hollywood-type glamour this year. Featuring three programmes over six days, it will culminate in a glamorous awards ceremony in Sandton. The highly-anticipated Amazing Grace, a documentary about the life and music of Aretha Franklin, will also be screened at the festival. Don’t miss out!

The Joburg Film Festival takes place from Tuesday, 19 November 2019 – Sunday, 24 November 2019. Click here to see participating venues.

Details: +27 11 328 1600 | info@joburgfilmfestival.co.za

European Film Festival 

Rounding off a year of superb local and international film festivals is the sixth annual European Film Festival. Hosted by Cinema Nouveau Rosebank, the festival features films from 12 European countries. Most of these titles have been pegged to represent their countries at the 2020 Academy Awards, so they are well worth seeing. Featuring political thrillers, dream-like Expressionist romances and coming of age comedies, the European Film Festival is certain to delight film fundis. Tickets only cost *R67 per show, so make sure you come out to see at least a few.

The European Film Festival opens at Cinema Nouveau Rosebank on Friday, 29 November 2019 and runs until Sunday, 08 December 2019.

Click here to see the full programme.

Details: 078 500 4488 | info@creativeworkzone.co.za

Do you know of any other film festivals that take place in Johannesburg? Let us know about them!

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