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25 August 2011

Tri Continental Film Festival is Back!

The much anticipated TRI CONTINENTAL FILM FESTIVAL is coming exclusivley to select Ster-Kinekor and Cinema Nouveau theatres this September!

The Tri Continental Film Festival (TCFF) is South Africa’s only dedicated human rights film event and consists of films that promote democratisation, deepens understanding, and affords those marginalised a substantive voice, proving to be more vital than ever in our rapidly changing world.

TCFF has played a significant role in creating a sustainable and continually growing audience for social justice cinema over the past nine years, through film selection that is nuanced, relevant, informative and well-balanced, and promise to continue this tradition in 2011, with a program that reflects global currents of change and action.

The selection of films presented this year is the result of rigorous curation of over 500 entries. These works speak directly to the pressing concerns of our world and the power of documentary and fiction to relay these concerns in a compelling and powerful manner. TCFF is also pleased to present two retrospectives; the outstanding works of Peter Wintonick and a finely crafted selection from documentary icon Werner Herzog is presented in conjunction with The Goethe-Institute Johannesburg.

“We are proud to present a crop of excellent films which speak directly to this issue and will continue to do so in the coming years so we can play our own small part in building a movement to halt the forward march towards the end of humanity as we know it,” says Rehad Desai, the
Festival Director.

Some of the TCFF 2011 titles to look out for include:
Opening Night Film:
TAC- Taking HAART, directed by Jack Lewis: (Who will be in attendance at the Rosebank Cinema Nouveau). Between 1999 and 2010, over two million people in South Africa died of AIDS. This was despite the existence of Highly Active Antiretroviral Treatment, known as HAART. During these years, government sponsored AIDS denialism combined with the high price of these life saving drugs, ensured that poor people could not get the treatment they needed. TAC – Taking HAART provides a fly on the wall view of how outrage ignited a movement that united people across ethnicity and class.
Climate Films:
There was once an Island directed by Briar March: Takuu atoll, also known as ‘The Mortlocks’, is a circular group of coral islands 250 kilometres north-east of Bougainville in Papua, New Guinea. A Polynesian community of 400 lives on Nukutoa, the atoll’s only inhabited island, and have lived more than 1000 years. For the first time the sea levels are rising and they are experiencing some of the first effects of climate change. Since 2006, director, Briar March and her crew have followed Satty, Endar and Teloo - three inhabitants of the island whose way of life and unique culture are threatened by the encroaching ocean.

The Pipe directed by Risteard Ó Domhnaill: In a remote corner of the west coast of Ireland sits the picturesque Broadhaven Bay. However, this tranquil image belies the turmoil beneath, and the unique nature of this coastline, which has sustained generations of farmers and fishermen, has made it a target for Shell Oil as the point of landfall for its new Corrib Gas Pipeline.

H2Oil directed by Shannon Walsh: (Who will be in attendance in Johannesburg). Ever wonder where America gets most of its oil? If you thought it was Saudi Arabia or Iraq you are wrong. America’s biggest oil supplier has quickly become Canada’s oil sands. Located in the Western Canadian region of Alberta, under pristine boreal forests, the process of oil sands extraction uses up to 4 barrels of fresh water to produce only one barrel of crude oil. The used water, laden with carcinogens, is dumped into leaky tailing ponds. Downstream, the people are already paying the price for what will be one of the largest industrial projects in history. When a local doctor raises the alarm about clusters of rare cancers, evidence mounts for industry and government cover-ups.

Into Eternity directed by Michael Madsen: On the far west coast of Finland, adjacent to the country’s Olkiluoto nuclear power plant, lies a 4 km-deep burial chamber of almost surreal dimensions and purpose: carved out of the Finnish bedrock, “Onkalo Waste Repository” – the name means “hiding place” – is being constructed as a tomb for all of that country’s nuclear waste for the next 100,000 years. This disturbingly stylish and quietly haunting documentary, explores a range of questions that nuclear energy raises about responsibility, time and memory.

Age of Stupid directed by Franny Armstrong: The Age of Stupid stars Pete Postlethwaite as a man living in the devastated future world of 2055, looking at old footage and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance? The production is notable for its innovative crowd-funding financing model, as well as the Indie Screenings distribution system, which allows anyone anywhere to screen the film. After the film’s release in 2009 The Age of Stupid became one of the most talked-about films of the year. It also spawned the hugely successful 10:10 campaign.

Green directed by Patrick: In an immensely moving documentary by a filmmaker known only as Patrick, Green follows the final days of a female orangutan of that name. The film is a visual ride that takes us into the beauty and bio-diversity of Green’s natural environment while also showing us the devastating destruction taking place as her forest is raided to provide products we use routinely in our homes. As these and other tropical forests are plundered for palm oil, tropical hardwoods and paper, this movie calls on viewers to think about and change their consumption habits and not to support environmentally unsustainable goods and industries.

Other Hot Films:
Go Bama-Between Hope and Dreams directed by A. Rahman Satti: This fly-on-the-wall documentary by German filmmaker Rahman Satti captures his personal journey from his German hometown, across America on the trail of Obama’s 2007/8 presidential campaign. Meeting and interacting with the ordinary people driving the campaign from the grass-roots, the film reveals how a local movement toward political change, community involvement, and empowerment culminated in the historical, international event of Obama’s election as the first black president of the USA.

The Interrupters directed by Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz: The Interrupters tells the moving and surprising stories of former gang members who as community mediators try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. It’s an unusually intimate journey into the stubborn, persistence of violence amongst urban American youth. The Interrupters captures a period in Chicago when it became a national symbol for violence, besieged by high-profile incidents, most notably the brutal beating of Derrion Albert, a Chicago High School student whose death was caught on videotape.

The Prosecutor directed by Barry Stevens: The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established in 2002 to try individuals who commit the world's most serious crimes: genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Argentinean Moreno-Ocampo was unanimously elected as the first prosecutor of the ICC in 2003 for a term of nine years. Four situations have been publicly referred to the ICC: Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and Darfur, Sudan. However, the fact that the ICC has thus far only investigated African countries and only indicted African has made some critical of the Court’s neutrality. Award winning Canadian filmmaker Barry Stevens gains unique and compelling access to Moreno-Ocampo during the first trials of the ICC in 2009, asking tough questions about whether the recently formed Court is a groundbreaking new weapon for global justice or just an idealistic dream?

The Green Wave directed by Ali Samadi Ahadi: The Green Wave is an exceptional account of the mass protests that took place in Iran in early 2009. The documentary chronicles the mobilisation of Iranians, young and old, demanding change in June 2009, the massive protests that took place when President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was declared victor, and then the retaliation of Ahmedinijad’s government against the people of Iran with unprecedented violence, oppression and human rights violations that continue to this day.

Hunger directed by Karin Steinberger, Marcus Vetter: Five communities around the world are given a chance to speak for themselves on the daily struggles they face just to survive on a day-to-day basis. Their interpretations of the causes of their poverty are accompanied by local experts and activists who share their analysis on this widespread injustice. In Haiti, we follow the plight of destitute farmers in the aftermath of the earthquake. In Mauritania, we follow the harsh realities many fishermen face as their livelihood has increasingly dwindled due to foreign fishing fleets and how thousands of Africans attempt the perilous and often fatal journey across the sea to Europe in search of a better life. We also see the other side of the coin as the sheer scale of food production is brought to the fore in Brazil, where the Amazon rainforest in being destroyed to supply tropical timber, beef, soybeans and biofuel to developed countries.

Werner Herzog Retrospective, Land of Silence and Darkness:
A moving and unique portrait of Fini Straubinger, who lost her sight and hearing in her youth. Now in her fifties and able to communicate only through an elaborate alphabet “written” on the palm of the hand, Fini travels across the country to help those dismissed as hopeless cases escaping darkness and isolation.

This year, TCFF has the privilege to present to you more than 25 directors from our country and the wider continent, available for media interviews:
(To organise an interview with film makers or event organisers contact Nhlanhla Ndaba on 083 374 5666, or Dion Hurford on 011 334 6148,
1. Jack Lewis – Taking HAART
2. Shannon Walsh – H2Oil
3. Eddie Edwards – Once Upon A Day: Brenda Fassie
4. Peter Goldsmid & Zanele Muholi – Difficult Love
5. Femi Odugbemi – Bariga Boy (JHB only)
6. David Valivedoo – Voices From The Cape
7. Ramadan Suleman – Zwelidumile (JHB only)
8. Angela Ramirez, Callum Macnaughton, Sara Gouveia – Mama Goema
9. Peter Wintonick (JHB only)
10. Rumbi Katedza – The Axe & The Tree
11. Ingrid Martens - Africa Shafted-Under One Roof (JHB only)
12. Simon Bright – Robert Mugabe, What Happened?
13. Jezza Neumann (Xoliswa Sithole) – Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children (JHB only)
14. Simon Wood – Forerunners (JHB and CPT)
15. Khalid Shamis – Imam & I (JHB and CPT)
16. Karen Waltorp, Christian Vium – Manenberg (CPT only)
17. Tim Wege – King Naki
18. Marius van Niekerk – My Heart Of Darkness (JHB and CPT)
19. Jane Murago Munene – Monica Wangu Wamwere, Unbroken Spirit
20. Sieh Mchawala – Barefoot In Ethipoa
21. Divita Wa Lusala, Dieudo Hamai, Kiripi Katembo Siku – Congo In Four Acts
22. Moussa Sene Absa – The Sacrifice (Yoole) (JHB only)
23. Joao Ribeiro – The Last Flight Of The Flamingo
24. Lee Daniels – Precious
25. Philip Rizk, Jasmina Metwaly – Egyptian Shorts
26. Teddy Matera – Stay With Me
27. Kitso Lelliot – The Tailored Suit
28. Rolie Nikiwe – Umshato/ The Wedding
29. Sayeeda Clarke – White
30. Djo Munga – Congo In Four Acts
31. Lisa Cortes – Precious (JHB and CPT)
32. Philip Rizk – Egyptian Shorts

The TRI CONTINENTAL FILM FESTIVAL will be screened at the following Ster-Kinekor venues:

Cinema Nouveau Rosebank 8 to 18 September 2011
Ster–Kinekor Maponya Mall 9 to 14 September 2011
Cinema Nouveau V&A Waterfront 8 to 18 September 2011
Cinema Nouveau Brooklyn Mall 8 to 18 September 2011

For more information on these exciting Ster-Kinekor and Cinema Nouveau screenings, or to book your seats online visit:

Call Ticketline 082 16789 (value added service rates apply) or book in cinema at the self-service terminals (SSTs) or Box Offices. Special rates apply for Discovery Vitality, Edgars and Jet Club Members.

Follow Ster-Kinekor on Facebook, Twitter @SK Theatres or visit the Ster-Kinekor Mobi-site

Visit their web site here.

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