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OUT IN AFRICA (article first published : 2004-02-28)

With over 30 films in the main festival from 13 countries spanning four continents, the 10th Out In Africa South African Gay & Lesbian Film Festival at Cinema Nouveau screened by Nedbank, is celebrating the country’s first decade of democracy in style – hosting a number of celebrated filmmakers, rerunning some of festival hits from the past ten years and acknowledging South African gay filmmaking.

Currently the longest-running, best-attended and best-dressed film festival in South Africa, this year Out In Africa is extending its reach. As well as covering the established centres of Johannesburg (12th – 21st March), Cape Town (March19– 28) and Durban (April 2–4), a condensed satellite Festival will visit Pietermaritzburg as well as George, Bloemfontein and Potchefstroom for the first time with a shorter programme.

As a special celebration of South Africa’s ten years of democracy, this year the Festival offers Pick of The Mix, four films focusing on gay issues. Pick of the Mix will also include eight one-minute shorts showcasing the Festival’s Just a Minute Filmmaking Workshop, organised in conjunction with a number of Gauteng-based gay and lesbian organisations and facilitated by UK-based writer/director Rikki Beadle-Blair.

A second Festival strand, the six Power Up Shorts have one thing in common – they’re well produced, funny and fabulously slick. Included in the line-up are Angela Robinson’s D.E.B.S. (USA 2002) a fun, sexy Charlie’s Angels spoof, and Colette Burson’s Little Black Boot (USA 2003), an insightful reworking of the Cinderella legend.

Opening the 2004 Festival is Liz Gill’s fast-paced, sexy comedy Goldfish Memory (Ireland/UK 2003). Gill will introduce the movie prior to the opening night in Cape Town, followed by a post-screening Q&A session. Other local and international directors introducing their films and participating in audience Question & Answer sessions are; John Greyson (Proteus & Lilies), Aurelio Grimaldi (A World of Love & Nerolio), Jack Lewis (Proteus & Goniwe’s Sacrifices), Mark Saxenmeyer and Darlene Hill (Experiment: Gay & Straight) and Dirk Shafer (Man of the Year and Circuit).

To date, the OIA Festival has screened over 440 titles - from one-minute shorts to full-length features and three-hour television series, and has sold over 125 000 tickets. For those who missed out on some of the previous hit films, this year organisers have programmed a selection of the most popular titles from the Festival’s first ten years, including Hettie Macdonald’s Beautiful Thing, Léa Pool’s Lost & Delirious and John Greyson’s Lilies (Canada 1996) which won the 1998 OIA Audience Award.

From its inception, Ster-Kinekor Theatres has been a key participant in the OIA Festival. Due to their partnership, OIA was the first South African festival to use commercial cinemas and Ster-Kinekor remains a central partner a decade later.

Tickets R33 at all Cinema Nouveau screened by Nedbank theatre. Opening night tickets will be on sale from March 26 at R40.

KZN festival dates are from April 2 to 4 in Durban at Cinema Nouveau, Gateway, and in Pietermaritzburg from May 13 to 16 at Ster Kinekor, 50 Durban Road, Scottsville. A festival party will be held in Durban on April 3 from 22h00 at Bean Bag Bohemia on April 3. Entrance free.




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