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 | [email protected]

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 | [email protected]

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 | [email protected]

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 | [email protected]

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

The Auto & General Theatre on the Square delivers world-class productions, catering to a wide variety of audiences. From stand-up comedy, to drama, kiddies theatre and musicals, the Theatre on the Square has it all. If you have never visited this classy Sandton performance centre, then now is the time. Adorned in red velvet textures, the venue screams upmarket cabaret with a South African twist. Check out their 'Wall of Fame', which features all the talents who have graced the stage over the years. The bar is always the centre of attraction just before the start of a show. Serving up sweet wines, whisky and non-alcoholic drinks, this is the perfect place to prepare yourself for the wonder of stage magic.

Theatre on the Square

The 200-seater main theatre is comfortable and spacious. Again, the red seats give the auditorium a feeling of worldliness. Of course, being right in the heart of Sandton at Nelson Mandela Square, you would expect nothing less. But, if you have ever imagined what it might be like to visit an independent theatre space in London or New York, this may be as close as you can get while still on Jozi homeland.

Between October to December 2019, the Theatre on the Square will be hosting a fantastic line-up of shows. Here are our top picks for the season:

Fawlty Flowers

There is only one Fawtly Towers - the BBC's most popular sitcom ever made. Starring John Cleese as the slightly out-of-his-head English hotel manager, Basil Fawty, Fawlty Towers still has fans to this day. Comedians and theatre professionals, Annie Robinson and Mark Mulder, proudly claim themselves as the South African Fawtly fan faction.

Bringing you Fawlty Flowers! at the Theatre on the Square in October, Annie and Mark will treat you like a dinner guest at the infamous Torquay Hotel! Come and enjoy a little British wit and nonsense with them.

When Is It?

Tuesday, 15 October 2019 – Saturday, 26 October 2019.

How Much Is It?

Tickets cost R75 per person and may be purchased online via the Computicket website.

Gertrude Stein and a Companion

October is South African Pride Month. Come and celebrate your diverse identity at the Theatre on the Square with Gertrude Stein and a Companion, directed by Chris Weare.

20th-Century poet and novelist, Gertrude Stein and her lifelong partner, Alice B. Toklas, defied the rules of gender and sexuality in a time when it carried far greater consequence. Roaming in literary circles with the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemmingway and Picasso, Stein and Tolkas became icons of their time.

Gertrude Stein and a Companion is set in Bohemian Paris. Exploring Stein and Tolkas' complex relationship, the play is sensitive and charming. Whether you are celebrating Joburg Pride, or are simply in search of a cleverly written play, this is a must-see. Get your tickets now!

Theatre on the Square

When Is It?

Wednesday, 30 October 2019 – Saturday, 16 November 2019.

Show times:

Tuesday – Friday at 20:15

Saturday at 18:00 and 20:15

How Much Is It?

Tickets cost R100 per person. Get yours here.

Joburg Film Festival

The Joburg Film Festival returns this November for its third year of awe-inspiring local and international film content. The Auto & General Theatre on the Square is one of the Joburg venue hosts for the 2019 festival. Screening a curated selection of films over six days, the Theatre on the Square promise to bring a renewed artistic film culture to the Sandton CBD.

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Being South Africa’s cultural capital, the Joburg Film Festival attracts the industry’s best to the city of gold and continues to grow cultural tourism @Multichoice_group @jfffilmclub

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When Is It?

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 – Sunday, 24 November 2019.

To see the full programme, participating venues and ticket prices, check out the Joburg Film Festival website.

All You Ask of Me 

This show has all the classic musical hit numbers, all in one show. At this show, you can expect to experience the likes of Don’t Rain On My Parade, The Winner Takes It All, I Dreamed A Dream, Memory and Never Enough. Carly Graeme performs these songs and more of your favourites in All You Ask of Me. Accompanied by Rowan Bakker on piano, Carly will take you on a journey through musical theatre history.

Perfect for your end of year office get-together or family outing, All You Ask of Me is pure theatrical fun. You won't have to think too hard at this one, so sit back and enjoy the music!

Theatre on the Square

When Is It?

Tuesday, 26 November 2019 - Saturday, 30 November 2019.

How Much Is It?

Tickets cost R100 per person. Book yours online via Computicket.

My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish and I'm In Therapy!

Closing off 2019 at the Theatre on the Square is Steve Solomon's hilarious family dramedy, My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish and I'm In Therapy! Starring lead actor Michael Richard, this play is "one part lasagna, one part kreplach and two-parts Prozac". You need not be Jewish or Italian (or in therapy) to resonate with the stories based on Solomon's family. All you need is to know what it's like to leave a family dinner with a headache and heartburn.

End your year with this side-splitting look at what it means to be part of an eclectic family. When yours gets to be too much over the holiday season, the theatre will always be there to help you see the lighter side of life.

Theatre on the Square

When Is It?

Tuesday, 03 December 2019 - Saturday, 21 December 2019.

**Ticket prices will be announced soon!

For More Information

Visit the Auto & General Theatre on the Square website for more information about the theatre and these upcoming shows. You can also follow them on social media:

Facebook - facebook.com/Auto-General-Theatre-on-the-Square

Twitter - twitter.com/TheatreOnSquare

Details: 011 883 8606 | [email protected] | Nelson Mandela Square, Cnr Rivonia Rd & Sandton Drive, Sandton, Johannesburg.

The Third Annual Joburg Film Festival

The Joburg Film Festival returns in November 2019 for its third annual event, featuring 60 global curated films, six venues and one awesome city. The Joburg Film Festival, inspired by the establishment of DISCOP AFRICA, was born out of the desire to create an independent platform that not only tells Africa’s stories, but showcases and rewards the continent’s and international excellence in film. The only film festival in Africa of its kind, the JFF is the highlight of the city's film events calendar.

This year, the JFF has partnered with Multichoice to bring you an even wider range of international and local films. Their goal is simple: to create the continent's pre-eminent film festival. That's why there will be films shown from over 16 different countries at this year's film festival!

“We couldn’t have asked for a better partner than the MultiChoice Group, an organisation that is passionate about African storytelling, as we believe our stories are our gold,” says Joburg Film Festival Executive Director, Timothy Mangwedi.

Joburg Film Festival

Why Joburg?

JFF organisers hope to establish Johannesburg as the country's cultural capital, by inviting the very best filmmakers, producers and screen actors to the festival. Of course, Joburg is already the home of TV and filmmaking in SA. But, the JFF's mission is to further entrench our city's status as a world-class destination. The festival also gives South African filmmakers the opportunity to showcase our stories to the world.

Staged across six superb venues, the JFF resembles a Hollywood awards ceremony or festival. Complete with sprawling red carpets, celebrity guests and tons of networking opportunities. Nelson Mandela Square and Sandton City are the official hosts for this year's festival, so you know there will be glitz and glam galore!

sandton city


The Joburg Film Festival 2019 will feature three main programmes - the Film Programme, the Industry Programme and the Youth and Audience Development Programme. Taking place over six days, the festival promises to be jam packed with screenings, industry talks and workshops, as well as an awards ceremony. A panel of five industry experts will judge the films based on elements such as story line, direction, creativity, cinematography, relevance, execution and technical application. The panel includes award-winning author Zakes Mda, as well as actress CC Pounder and Femi Odugbemi, West Africa MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy Director.

Local & International

A list of international films has already been announced by the JFF. These include Idris Elba's directorial debut, Yardie and Amazing Grace, a documentary about the life and music of Aretha Franklin. South African feature film, Letters of Hope has also been announced as one of the main programme features.

Set in 1976 apartheid South Africa, Letters of Hope tells the story of 16-year-old Jeremiah, who really wants to be a policeman and can’t understand why his father won’t let him. His father is the local postman and expects Jeremiah to follow in his footsteps. When his father is killed, Jeremiah discovers that his father was operating a secret courier service that delivered letters from freedom fighters in exile and prison. Will Jeremiah step up to take over from where his father left off – delivering letters of hope to their families?

​The film won the award for ‘Artistic Bravery’ at the recent Durban International Film Festival.

Joburg Film Festival

Joburg Film Club

A brand new feature for this year's JFF is the Joburg Film Club. Launching at the JFF, this lifestyle centred club brings people together to celebrate and appreciate the cinematic arts. The film club will bring film lovers together online and in specially designed experiences and screenings of classic and contemporary films.

So, what are you waiting for? Mark your calendars, book your tickets and buy yourself that red carpet worthy dress. The Joburg Film Festival is a must-attend. We'll see you there!

When Is It?

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 - Sunday, 24 November 2019.

Where Is It?

Screenings will take place at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square and Ster-Kinekor Sandton. Other venues across Joburg include The Bioscope Independent Cinema in Maboneng, Constitution Hill, Cinema Nouveau Rosebank and Kings Cinema in Alexandra.

**By 19 November 2019 the JFF will have announced the full programme, all participating venues and ticket prices. Keep an eye on their website for updates.

For More Information

For more information, check out on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.