Avatar photo

By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Doccie on photojournalist Sam Nzima’s life to be screened at Joburg Film Festival

The Joburg Film Festival returns for a sixth edition, where 60 films and documentaries from more than 30 countries are expected to be screened.

A documentary telling the story of iconic South African photographer Sam Nzima will be part of a number of documentaries and movies that will be screened at the upcoming Joburg Film Festival.

Titled Life Through His Lens, the 90 minute doccie pays homage to Nzima reflecting on his gripping photography.

 It was through Nzima’s lens, that the iconic 16 June 1976 photo of a dying 13-year-old Hector Pieterson was captured.

“I rushed there with my camera. And I saw another young man pick him up and as soon as he had picked him up, I started shooting the pictures,” said Nzima in an interview with the BBC in 2010.

“It was a very high risk because this picture was taken under a shower of bullets.”

Nzima’s legacy

The photojournalist passed away in 2018 and two years later, the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) gave him an honorary doctoral degree.

His family had announced that they would build the Sam Nzima Legacy Centre in his honour.

TUT campus and the Sam Nzima Foundation are in the process of forging a long-term meaningful relationship to develop the Dr Sam Nzima memorial lectures.

Last year on the fifth anniversary of Nzima’s passing, TUT vice-chancellor and principal, Professor Tinyiko Maluleke said together with the Sam Nzima Foundation, are in the process of forging a long-term meaningful relationship to develop the Dr Sam Nzima memorial lectures to be bigger and far reaching.

The Joburg Film Festival

Life Through His Lens is only just one of 60 films and documentaries from all over the world.

Another doccie to be screened is Bye Bye Tiberias, a documentary an which follows a young Palestinian lady as she leaves her village to pursue her dream of becoming an actress, leaving behind her mother, grandmother and sisters.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Joburg Film Festival (@joburg_film_festival)

The Joburg Film Festival, which is presented by MulitChoice, is in its sixth year and it showcases a range of compelling films from both local and international filmmakers, set against the vibrant backdrop of Johannesburg, this year’s festival includes films from over 30 countries.

Umkhonto Wesizwe-Mandela’s Secret Army is another doccie set to be screened at the festival. The film chronicles the lives of former uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) members.

It’s an intergenerational reflection of a group of young people who gave up their lives and any future to risk death for the dream of a free South Africa.

Absa was recently announced as a partner of the festival.

“True to our ethos of making a positive impact in society, there was natural alignment between Absa’s commitment and what the Joburg Film Festival has built over the past six years,” said the bank’s Managing Executive for Brand and Marketing Candice Thurston.

The festival takes place from 27 February to 3 March 2024.

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits