Film Festival


Tickets available from Labia and at the door
Tel 021 424 5927
68 Orange Street, Cape Town
Tickets R 35.00

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Parking in surrounding streets. Public parking at 15 on Orange & Lifestyles Centre on Kloof Street.

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LETTERS FROM THE SKY curated by Kai Lossgott
Duration: 31 minutes

Artists' Films on Climate Change

The experimental film programme, LETTERS FROM THE SKY, is curated by South African based Kai Lossgott. It showcases a series of film messages from artists and filmmakers from all over the world. The artists were briefed to present personal responses to the effects of climate change on their communities, families and lives.

"The collective statement of these artists persuades us to cherish the world we live in, not only for ourselves - the seven billion - but also for generations yet to be born. In an art world often ruled by and motivated by money, every video artist whose effort is featured here stands up to be counted as a global citizen." - Competition judge Jan Kather (curator, artist and educator, Elmira College & Cornell University, NY, USA).

  • Treebute to Yogya. 2009. Sara Nuytemans / Arya Pandjalu. 01:00. (The Hague / Yogyakarta, Indonesia).
  • Air. 2011. Dunet Chan. 4:00. (Hong Kong).
  • Dead Air. 2011. Louise Coetzer / Oscar O'Ryan. 04:15. (Cape Town).
  • A Darker Shade of Grey. 2011. Margreet Gouws / Graham Wickham / Salphy Ramohale. 03:26. (Johannesburg).
  • Cooling Reactors. 2011. Sojin Chun / Alexandra Gelis. 02:24. (Toronto).
  • My Beach. 2011. Leila Anderson / Clara Tilve. 03:34. (Cape Town).
  • Take off your Veil. 2011. Irina Gabiani. 04:00. (Luxembourg).
  • Man Belongs to Earth. 2008. Anna Barańska / Michal Barański. 03:00. (Lublin, Poland).
  • Custom. 2011. Terry Westby-Nunn. 03:04. (Cape Town).
  • The Art-Qaeda Project. 2010. Wei-Ming Ho. 04:00. (Taipei, Taiwan).
  • Consomania. 2008. Samba Fall. 04:00. (Dakar / Oslo).
  • A little wind. 2011. Xolani Ndhlovu / Jacqui-lee Katz / Melanie Hoenselaar / Tinashe Kamwendo. 02:24. (Johannesburg).
  • Nor any drop to drink. 2011. Kyle O'Donoghue. 02:31. (Cape Town).
  • Rain. 2008. Simone Stoll. 01:30. (Frankfurt).
  • The Highest Pinnacle of Knowledge. 2010. Joas Sebastian Nebe. 04:00. (Hamburg & Berlin).
  • Future North. 2008. Jane D Marsching / Mitchell Joachim / Terreform. 03:15. (Boston).
  • The Bear. 2011. Anja Hitzenberger. 04:00. (New York).
  • Love The Waters. 2011. Claire Beynon. 04:20. (Dunedin, New Zealand).
  • Struggle for Existence. 2010. Laurie Sumiye. 04:00. (London / Hawaii).

Projekt Ubuntu

Duration: 26 minutes

At 3pm on 28/04/2012, a photographer stepped into a small aircraft and took off from a desolate airstrip on the outskirts of the Karoo Desert. When the plane landed, it carried with it an image of an event that was set into motion almost 20 years before-

"We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world."

These were just a few of the inspiring words Nelson Mandela said during his historic inauguration speech in 1994. Little did anyone know that those words would inspire a project that would eventually unite more than 1500 strangers from across the planet, and bring them to the Karoo Desert. It came to be known as Projekt UBUNTU.

This is a story about that project. But more importantly, this is a story about the philosophy that inspired it...

Thousands of South Africans and people from all over the world gathered together to create a unique symbol of Ubuntu through music, carnival and the collective embrace of Nelson Mandela’s legacy. The image is being released as part of the 18th anniversary celebration of his inauguration to encourage people to commit to their 67 minutes of service as part of Mandela Day. The ultimate purpose of the ‘Projekt Ubuntu’ campaign is to remind people that it's up to each of us to create the South Africa we want.

Jeremy Behrmann produced the event and facilitated the collaboration between South African artist Sidney Ryan and American aerial artist John Quigley. The event was co-produced by the eMzantsi Carnival, musical facilitators Mark Dodsworth from Red Zebra and Magalie Bonneau-Marcil from Dancing without Borders and Spectral Q. The image was taken on the 28th of April 2012 as part of the Afrika Burn festival that happens in the Tankwa Karoo Desert and was captured by Simon Hazell, a representative of new media company, AVA-ONLINE.

Executive Producer: Jeremy Behrmann
Producers: Michael Hazell & Tyron Kuypers
DOP:Simon Hazell
Directors Credits: Simon Hazell / Ewald Hoon


2011 & 2012 selection
Experimental films on Climate Change
Duration: 39 minutes

films4peace celebrates World Peace Day—an international United Nations day of ceasefire, and a day for individuals, organizations and countries to demonstrate acts of peace.

films4peace, an annual short film commission by PUMA.Peace, curated by Mark Coetzee, features some of today’s most innovative contemporary artists visually interpreting the subject of peace. These art films are released each year at cultural and educational venues globally and online on World Peace Day on 21 September. The films are then shown year-round.

“Artists confront us with the challenges of our time. films4peace are both disturbing and inspiring, responsive to the reality of our time but they also ask us to be responsible for our actions. PUMA.Peace wishes to contribute to making the world a better place. A world that is safer, more peaceful and more creative. We are honoured that so many high profile cultural and educational institutions and online partners have joined us in this important initiative.”
– Mark Coetzee, Curator, films4peace

This initiative encourages the films to be screened and shared across the world, through social networking websites, blogs and media channels.
In keeping with the spirit of the commission, these films are gifted to the world, within public domain and free from screening fees, as tools for peace. By releasing these short films as broadly as possible, on multiple live and virtual platforms, the aim is to effect positive social change and broaden the discussions around peace globally.

The films include 35 mm live action, experimental animation and fine art approaches. The artists are selected for the quality and scope of their work and their sensitivity in interpreting the theme.


  • Janet Biggs (USA)
  • Ergin Cavuşoğlu (Bulgaria)
  • Magali Charrier (France)
  • Gregory Crewdson and Costanza Theodoli-Braschi (USA and UK)
  • Yang Fudong (China)
  • Tom Gran and Kayleigh Gibbons (UK)
  • Max Hattler (Germany)
  • Isaac Julien (UK)
  • Peterson Kamwathi (Kenya)
  • Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy (Ireland)
  • Nandipha Mntambo (Swaziland)
  • Michael Nyman (UK)
  • Noriko Okaku (Japan)
  • Jacco Olivier (Netherlands)
  • Bill Porter (UK)
  • Levi van Veluw (Netherlands)
  • Hank Willis Thomas and Terence Nance (USA)

Mining For Change.

A Story of South African Mining
Duration: 72 min

From the optimism of the 1955 Kliptown Freedom Charter to Mandela’s astonishing statement in 1992 that he had been unable to ‘persuade’ the G7 at Davos to ‘allow’ South Africa to nationalise its mines, Mining For Change tracks the intriguing history of the country’s most important industry. The failures of the Mining Charter and new calls for nationalisation are debated by scores of heavyweights, from Oppenheimer and Malema to Ramaphosa and Mandela, who reveal back room discussions on the global pressure that forced the nationalisation u-turn. New voices in the mining industry, as well as labour and rights groups uncover the wealth, systems and interests that have kept the industry as untouchable as it is. The film steers a considered path between social and business aspects, measuring debate about the need to transform against the need to stay globally competitive. Compelling cinema and essential viewing for anyone interested in the real future of South Africa.
Directors: Eric Miyeni, Navan Chetty

SECOND NATURE The Biomimicry Evolution
Duration: 24 min

Biomimicry is an emerging discipline based on learning from and then emulating natural forms, processes, and ecosystems to create more sustainable and healthier human technologies and designs.

Directed by Guy Lieberman, a 24-minute documentary film was produced featuring Janine Benyus, Author of ‘Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature’

Director: Guy Lieberman


Produced by Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP)
Duration: 22 min

This documentary demonstrates that it is possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems, to restore ecosystem functions in areas where they have been lost, to fundamentally improve the lives of people who have been trapped in poverty for generations, and to sequester carbon naturally. This approach has been dramatically proven on the Loess Plateau in China, the highland area spanning some 640 000 square km in north central China. It is the birthplace of the Han Chinese headwaters of The Yellow River and home to a new environmental and economic paradigm; a degraded ecosystem of more than 35 000 square km of land now teems with life and supports the sustainable economic, social and agricultural activities of its people.

“Hope in a Changing Climate” is the latest documentary produced by the Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP), an organisation dedicated to placing ecosystem restoration at the center of global discussions on climate change, poverty and sustainable agriculture . Shot in stunning HD on location in China, Ethiopia and Rwanda, the film features a diverse collection of interviews, from world leaders such as president of Rwanda HE Paul Kagam, to local people telling their own stories. “Hope in a Changing Climate” is directed by Jeremy Bristow, producer of the award-winning BBC documentaries featuring Sir David Attenborough, “Are We Changing Planet Earth?” and “Can We Save Planet Earth?” The film is presented by John D. Liu, an environmental filmmnaker and ecological field researcher who has produced and directed documentaries for CBS, National Geographic and the BBC.
Financial support for the film is provided by IUCN Netherlands, Open University, The Rockerfeller Foundation, the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculute and The World Bank.

Producer and Director: John D. Liu


Duration: 54 min 35 sec

Hooked on Growth
How do we become a sustainable civilization?
Dave Gardner - Producer of the Documentary

A documentary film that asks the most critical question of our time: How do we become a sustainable civilization?
It takes a unique approach among modern environmental documentaries: Rather than dispensing facts about climate change; peak energy, food and water; and bio-diversity loss, it examines the cultural barriers that prevent us from acting rationally. It asks why population conversations are so difficult to have, and why a roaring economy is more important to us than a survivable planet. It explores our obsession with community growth and economic growth. GrowthBusters holds up a mirror, encouraging us to examine the beliefs and behaviors we must leave behind, and the values we need to embrace, in order that our children can survive and thrive.


Produced by Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP)
Duration: 47 min 31 sec

“Lessons from the Loess Plateau”
EEMP’s ground-breaking film which illustrates perfectly how human’s destructive behaviours are putting our world under huge amounts of stress. Using China’s Loess Plateau as an example, John Liu guides the viewer through the entire restorative process. The film includes interviews with local people and experts, telling the whole story and including all its players. The lessons from the Loess Plateau, the most erode place on Earth at one stage, should be learnt in all countries facing famine, drought and large-scale degradation
Producer and Director: John D. Liu

The Weather Gods 
Produced by Greenpeace Africa and UHURU Productions
Duration: 33 minutes 53 seconds

Global temperatures are rising. And the African Continent is where they are felt most intensively. Unless a legally binding international agreement to reduce carbon emissions is out in place very soon, temperatures will soar.

Africa will be set to burn. Already we see the effects of global warming as drought. Floods stalk our land with an increased intensity.

African farmers and pastoralists are battling adversities unseen in living memory. This film explores how three rural communities in South Africa, Kenya and Mali are expecting these shifts in their daily lives.
“Climate change is destroying Africa. In the harshest of ironies, the cradle of mankind could well become its grave,” says Dianne McAlpine Special Projects Coordinator for Greenpeace Africa.

Dependent upon rain fed farming, the continent is facing a future of rampant food insecurity in an ever hotter and drier continent.
The documentary is a joint venture between Greenpeace Africa and UHURU Productions, directed by one of South Africa's leading film makers, Rehad Desai.
Each case study is exemplified by individuals who explain in their own words the changes they are facing.

Creating A Climate for Change

Duration: 31 minutes

Open Society Media Fellow Jeffery Barbee presenting a Five country series of positive African Climate Change Projects that are examples for the world to follow.

Open Society Media Fellow Jeffery Barbee journeyed through Southern Africa to discover locally driven projects that are helping people adapt to climate change. This 30 minute documentary delivers a highly visual and exciting report on these adaptations utilising scientific data, interviews with project leaders, local farmers and researchers from around the region.

Creating A Climate For Change is a multimedia project created through a grant from the Open Society Initiative For Southern Africa and the Open Society Foundation For South Africa.

The project showcases, in film, photos, and news stories how people in Southern Africa are positively addressing climate change. It offers a perspective of hope and ingenuity, providing local solutions that empower people to improve their lives through the protection of the natural resources the world depends on. It educates people about climate change while inspiring and encouraging them to make a difference in their own communities.
The film has won best environmental film at the Film Festival Of Colorado in June 2012.

Barbee is a journalism fellow with the Open Society Foundation and works as a multimedia producer and writer for Global Post, and the UK Guardian. His freelance work also appears in the New York Times, the BBC, NOS Tv Holland, Smithsonian Magazine, RTL News, PBS, CBS, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Vanity Fair and others. He has taught photography at the Johannesburg-based Market Photo Workshop, and continues to mentor young photographers in South Africa. He has received numerous grants from foundations like Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to work on such diverse topics as the melting glaciers of Alaska and the environment in conflict in Rwanda, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Find out more about this project on his blog:

Producer and Director: Jeffrey Barbee (Alliance Earth)

Why Open Education Matters
Produced by Blink Towers
Duration: 02 min

This short was the First Prize winner in the Why Open Education Matters video competition, which was jointly run by Creative Commons and the U.S. Department of Education earlier this year. The goal of the competition was to create a simple, entertaining video that clearly explains why Open Educational Resources (or OER) matter. Blink Tower was chosen as the winner from over 60 international entries by a panel of experts that included Davis Guggenheim, Nina Paley, Liz Dwyer, Anya Kamenetz, Angela Lin, Mark Surman and James Franco.


Trees for Zambia 

Day of 1000 Trees
Reforest Fest at Platbos – 1000 trees in 1 day
Greenpop Reverse graffiti forest
Produced by Makhulu Productions

Planting trees, changing minds
Greenpop is a social business that believes greening and sustainable living can be fun, POPular and accessible for all. Greenpop believes in inspiring a greener, more conscious, inclusive movement and do this through tree planting projects, green events, education, social media, voluntourism and activating people to start DOING!

Wangari Mathaai – I will be a hummingbird
Produced by The Green Belt Movement

The Green Belt Movement is a major tree planting organisation in Kenya started by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Professor Wangari Maathai in 1977. They are Greenpop's mentors.

Wangari's daughter Wanjira, sent a personal message to volunteers at Greenpop's recent Trees for Zambia project with a note of encouragement and an endorsement for the tree planting work that was done.

The Hummingbird is Wangari's beautiful message. She sadly passed away last year.


Mining Will Destroy Life's Balance
Water is our Lifeblood
I Will Die for Water
David Kramer - Fracking is not an Option
Save Our Rhinos
Vultures Chose Me
Produced & Directed by Michael Raimondo

Green Rennaissance is a film production and media agency, specialising in helping environmentally conscious businesses and non-profit organisations to develop creative content that promotes green and conservation initiatives.
Green Rennaissance strives to produce emotive content that can affect change, bring about awareness and inspire action. They endeavor to help companies communicate a transparent agenda for environmental change, helping to share their vision with the world.
Green Renaissance ensures sustainability and accountability in their productions – the way they film, the locations they film in and general business practices. Each film is handled with devout attention to detail, showcasing inspiring individuals in an evocative manner, without ever compromising on authenticity - true meaningful dialog begins when a message is authentic.


Senegal’s Catch of a Lifetime

Senegal's artisanal fishermen are experiencing a great increase in catches after the country's government has cancelled the licenses of 29 foreign fishing trawlers in its waters.

Greenpeace exists because this fragile earth deserves a voice. It needs solutions. It needs change. It needs action.
Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace by:

Catalysing an energy revolution to address the number one threat facing our planet: climate change.
Defending our oceans by challenging wasteful and destructive fishing, and creating a global network of marine reserves.
Protecting the world's ancient forests and the animals, plants and people that depend on them.
Working for disarmament and peace by tackling the causes of conflict and calling for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.
Creating a toxic free future with safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals in today's products and manufacturing.
Campaigning for sustainable agriculture by rejecting genetically engineered organisms, protecting biodiversity and encouraging socially responsible farming.
Greenpeace is present in 40 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and the Pacific.
To maintain its independence, Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments or corporations but relies on contributions from individual supporters and foundation grants.

Greenpeace has been campaigning against environmental degradation since 1971 when a small boat of volunteers and journalists sailed into Amchitka, an area north of Alaska where the US Government was conducting underground nuclear tests. This tradition of 'bearing witness' in a non-violent manner continues today, and our ships are an important part of all our campaign work.