Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
25 Nov 2021
8:45 am

Rachel and Siya Kolisi’s GBV movie to open film festival

Citizen Reporter

Rachel Kolisi said she couldn't be more proud to be part of this film.

Rachel and Siya Kolisi's film, 'We Are At War Here'. Picture: Instagram

The Africa Rising International Film Festival has released the full lineup of screenings and programmes and it includes a movie assisted by Rachel and Siya Kolisi.

In a statement on Wednesday, the film festival said this is their fourth edition themed Africa In Me #MyStory.

We Are Dying Here – a short South African film based on a stage production will be the opening film of the festival. It is produced by Rachel and Siya.

The film has been described by festival director Ayanda Sithebeas as a poetic indictment of the prevalence of gender-based violence in South Africa.

The film has already been selected by multiple film festivals across the world since it was released earlier this year. It stars actresses, Siphokazi Jonas, Zimbini Makwetu and Hope Nesthivhambe.

We Are Dying Here is also an intimate reflection on the impact of violence, harassment, abuse, rape and femicide on everyday life for women, a war against their bodies in the country.

This is the first film for Rachel and Siya. At the time of the release, Rachel said she couldn’t be more proud to be part of this film and it is needed now more than ever.

Festival chair Lala Tuku says they have “packaged African films” to export globally while being at the centre of driving change and “being a motivating anchor that unearths authentic African stories.”

“The films selected for this year’s edition celebrate our collective Africanness without being tone-deaf to issues faced by everyday people on the continent,” she added.

This theme continues with over 30 Pan-African films from Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya to be screened at ARIFF 2021.

ARIFF has introduced a series celebrating legends in the African film industry. The Pan-African Cinema Legends is aimed at honouring creatives who have contributed immensely to the African film industry.

Celebrating a diversity of people, the closing film will be I Am Samuel, an LGBTQI+ centred story.

The film was made over five years ago in Kenya. It is an intimate portrayal of a Kenyan man balancing pressures of family loyalty, love and safety and questioning the concept of conflicting identities. I Am Samuel was banned in Kenya by the Film Classification Board in Kenya. 

The festival is taking place from 25 November to 28 November 2021. There are online and on-site venues across Johannesburg where audiences can be part of the festivities.