Subscribe to industry newsletters

Search jobs

Silwerskerm Festival launches in hybrid format

The highly anticipated 10th-anniversary Silwerskerm Film Festival will play out in a brand-new hybrid format from 23 March 2022 when it showcases South African filmmaking at its best.
Image supplied: Vlugtig, Gaia and Stiekyt will all feature in the Silwerskerm Film Festival
Image supplied: Vlugtig, Gaia and Stiekyt will all feature in the Silwerskerm Film Festival

The 10th Silwerskerm Film Festival includes nine local feature films in competition for the festival’s prestigious awards and 17 short films produced with the financial support of kykNET and the festival.

All the events on the hybrid festival’s main programme will take place simultaneously at the Bay Hotel in Camps Bay and the Silwerskerm Film Festival website from 23 March to 26 March 2022, movie lovers from across the country can now sign up to enjoy the festival from the comfort of their homes. The registration fee for the virtual festival and four days of premium local movie entertainment is R190 and will be donated to the Tribuo Fund, which was created to assist entertainers suffering a loss of income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. To register for the virtual festival, go to the Silwerskerm Film Festival website.

Image supplied: Beurtkrag, Indemnity and Down So Long will all feature in the Silwerskerm Film Festival
Image supplied: Beurtkrag, Indemnity and Down So Long will all feature in the Silwerskerm Film Festival

Please note: All Afrikaans movies at the festival will be screened with English subtitles.

Besides these exciting films, guests at the Bay Hotel and those attending the festival virtually will also have access to Q&A sessions with the filmmakers, industry discussions and some existing local films that have received limited releases in the past two years.

Feature films in the competition

In pre-Covid times, the feature films in competition were movies funded by kykNET and M-Net, making their world or South African premieres at the festival. But because the festival, initially planned for August 2020, was put on ice due to Covid restrictions, this year’s line-up will include movies that should have debuted at the 10th-anniversary festival but whose release dates couldn’t be tied to the festival anymore.

Hence, three of the films in competition that have already been released theatrically or on DStv BoxOffice will only be screened on the Silwerskerm Film Festival website – as part of a special build-up to the festival.

These three films are Kaalgat Karel, Klein Karoo 2 and South Africa’s official Best Foreign Feature entry for the 2022 Oscars, Barakat. They will make their way to the website on March 3, 10 and 17, respectively.

The following feature films will form part of the programme between 23 and 26 March:

Beurtkrag – 23 March at 5.30pm

For Beurtkrag, which has its world and South African premiere at the festival, local celeb couple Ivan Botha and DonnaLee Roberts joined forces with director Jozua Malherbe (Griekwastad) to rework the script of a 2015 Silwerskerm Film Festival short film.

Indemnity – 23 March at 8pm

Travis Taute’s nailbiting action film Indemnity features a top-notch ensemble cast, including Nicole Fortuin, Gail Mabalane and Hlomla Dandala, while Jarrid Geduld delivers a tour de force performance as a fireman fleeing for his life after being framed for the murder of his wife. Following this political thriller’s release on international streaming services, critics raved about its impressive cinematography and special effects.

Down So Long – 24 March at 5.30pm

Down So Long is an experimental satirical comedy-drama about a man who lives in the informal settlement of Hangberg with his wife and extended family. Director Angie Mills and producer Damir Rodonic aimed to tell an authentic story by using only two professional actors. The remainder of the cast hails from the Hangberg community depicted in the movie.

Stiekyt – 24 March at 8pm

Previous Silwerskerm Film Festival winner Etienne Fourie (Die Windpomp), who also charmed audiences with festival premieres such as Dis Koue Kos, Skat and Liewe Kerfeesvader, changes gears from comedy-drama to thriller with Stiekyt set in the world of drag artists.

Vlugtig – 25 March at 5.30pm

Vlugtig is an adaptation of a previous Silwerskerm short film and tells the riveting story of a young actor who is driven to the extreme to perform in the play of an eccentric playwright. Producer and director Marinus Gubnitz used many of the actors who starred in his short, but Jane de Wet joined the cast for the feature-film version. Known for her roles in the Showmax series The Girl from St. Agnes and kykNET’s Spoorloos: Steynhof de Wet received the Sillwerskerm Award for Most Promising Young Star in 2019 for her performance in Griekwastad.

Gaia – 25 March at 8pm

Gaia is the first ecological horror movie in Afrikaans and has not been seen by South African audiences yet. Since its world premiere at the South by Southwest Festival in the US in March last year, this groundbreaking film has garnered several awards at prestigious festivals. Furthermore, Variety named it one of the Top 15 Horror Movies of 2021.

Short films in the competition

The short films in competition span a variety of genres, and this time around, there are more films in the Western Cape Afrikaans dialect, Afrikaaps or Kaaps.

One of these films in Afrikaaps, My Beskermer, is the festival’s first post-apocalyptic science fiction film. Another film in Afrikaaps is Nagvoël, about a guy who fights tik dealers in the hope of being invited to join the South African Superhero League. And, in Net Ons, we meet two bloodthirsty vampires who meet up on Cape Town’s promenade.

Two mind-bending psychological thrillers in the slate of short films include Verstikking and Aan/Af, while delightful films such as Die Horries and Twintig Tone in ’n Hangkas, put a new spin on romantic comedies. There is also a unique take on pregnancy in Skyn and Katvis and a film called Vrywater, set in a unique fantasy world where sea worshippers are awaiting the fulfilment of a prophecy.

The challenges of modern families are at the cores of Bennie Bingo, Bittersoet and Sporadies Nomadies, while social issues such as isolation and the plight of the homeless are tackled in Bergie, Die Groensone and Leemtes en Leegheid.

For more info about these films, go here.

About Daniel Dercksen

Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit www.writingstudio.co.za

Let's do Biz