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Thursday, October 12, 2023


The 10th edition of the European Film Festival kicks off on Thursday October 12 and runs until Sunday October 22 at The Labia (Cape Town), Ster Kinekor, The Zone (Johannesburg) and Ster Kinekor Gateway, Durban, as well as online. A number of free activities have been designed to both broaden and deepen the reach of the festival this year.

Providing access in a variety of areas inside and outside the city precincts, 13 screenings and post-screening discussions will take place at Community Centres in the Cape Town (Bertha Movie House Khayalitsha and Mowbray, various Ikamva Youth Programme venues in T3-T4, Mandela Park and Gugulethu) Johannesburg (Market Theatre – Windybrow and the Sibikwa Arts Centre), Durban (Ekhaya MultiArts Centre – KwaMashu) and Oudtshoorn – Oudtshoorn Community Centre. For full details go to :

Further screenings and post-screening discussions are arranged for various secondary schools in the Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban areas.

(“Close” Poster)

A special screening and discussion also takes place at the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender. 

Directed by Lukas Dhont, Close is an Oscar-nominated drama about two 13-year-old boys whose friendship is shattered by the pressures of masculinity. There is much to unpick and unpack about this moving portrait of identity and independence, heartbreak and healing, and love - this event is open to students, it starts at 16h00 on October 20.  

Email for more information.


(“Goodbye Julia” Poster)

 Cinematography Workshop

A cinematography workshop conducted by Pierre de Villiers offers an invaluable skill-sharpening opportunity for budding cinematographers, in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. Pierre’s film Goodbye Julia, which opens the festival, had its World Premiere in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival 2023 and went on to win the Prix de La Liberte prize (Freedom Award).  

Pierre was also cinematographer for the now-legendary Lesotho film It’s Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection. The workshop will be an interactive exchange with Pierre sharing experiences, tips and techniques aimed at broadening technical and aesthetic approaches to cinematography.


Workshop dates:

Johannesburg: Friday, October 13, 2023, from 09h30 to 11h30

Venue: Wits Film School Theatre


Cape Town: Monday, October 23, 2023, from 10h00 to 12h00

Venue: Baxter Theatre


Many of the films online also have Q & A’s following the viewing of the film – to further enhance the film festival experience.

Visit for film synopses, trailers, screening schedules and festival updates.

The European Film Festival 2023 is a partnership project of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), the Delegation of the European Union to South Africa and the participating European embassies of Belgium, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine; as well as the cultural agencies of British Council, Camoes Institute of Portugal, Diplomatic Representation of Flanders, French Institute in South Africa, Goethe-Institut and Italian Cultural Institute.

The festival is organised in cooperation with Cineuropa, supported by Ster Kinekor, The Labia and coordinated by Creative WorkZone.

The special programmes in Eswatini and Lesotho are organised in partnership with the Delegations of the European Union to the Kingdoms of Eswatini and Lesotho respectively, and the Alliance française in Maseru and Mbabane.


For more information and to link to the festival’s website, click on the advert to the right of this article.