Rapid Lion Film Festival

Photo via Adobe Stock.

Rapid Lion Film Festival: What you need to know

Rapid Lion Film Festival will celebrate its fifth edition this year. The event kicks off with the premiere screening of the award-winning film, ‘Letters of Hope’.

Rapid Lion Film Festival

Photo via Adobe Stock.

Rapid Lion Film Festival, Africa’s most coveted film festival, is almost upon us.

Other than award-winning film screenings, the event will also pay homage to an industry player, by means of the Lionel Ngakane Lifetime Achievement Award.

Here’s what you need to know.

Rapid Lion Film Festival 2020

Date and venue

The 2020 Rapid Lion Film Festival – an event created back in 2015 to celebrate cinema talent from Africa – will take place from Friday 6 to Sunday 15 March, at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg.

Ticket prices

Ticket prices for the Rapid Lion Film Festival range from R45 for a single screening, to R155 for a day pass and R1 750 for an all-access pass.

In addition, weekend passes and tickets for master-classes and workshop will also be available on the website or at the door. Students and pensioners may enter for free.

Highlight of the event: Letters of Hope

The event will open with the premiere of the Letters of Hope, a story set in 1976 South Africa about a 16-year-old boy who wants to be a policeman.

His father, a local postman, expects the teenager to follow in his footstep instead. Festival director Eric Miyeni explains:

“We are very happy to have this subtle but profound indie film open RapidLion 2020. It is one of those films by emerging talent that only uses apartheid as a backdrop, and not a main focus, to explore deeper psychological battles that humans face.”

Rapid Lion Film Festival screenings

Other films to premiere at Rapid Lion 2020 include the screening of André Odendaal’s Gat In Die Muur, as well as Fried Barry by Ryan Kruger and Jahmil X.T. Qubeka’s Knuckle City.

International films screened at the event will include The story of my grandfather from China, as well as Karup from India, and Dream Team from Russia.

Rapid Lion Film Festival judging criteria

According to the organisers, a great film “must have a brilliant story that is both intriguing and unusual”. In addition, it “must be unique or told in a way that is out of the ordinary”.

Films are judged on:

  • Film editing: There must be rhythm and the film has to flow smoothly
  • Soundtrack: Music should compliment the images and help convey emotion
  • Sound design: The way the film sounds must enhance storytelling
  • Directing: The quality of direction must be seamless
  • Acting: The actors must be convincing and take on the personalities of the characters they portray
  • Cinematography: The cinematographer must light the film in a manner that best illustrates the story