One People International Film Festival to ‘provide a platform for indigenous films and filmmakers’

26 February 2021

The latest addition to the Cape Town film festival circuit – the One People International Film Festival wants to provide a platform to unheard indigenous voices.

The inaugural festival is a partnership between Moja Media, Cinema Libre Studio and the Lungile Mtshotwana Foundation.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, festival organsiers are currently planning a hybrid festival with limited attendance and an online presence.

The hybrid festival will be held in accordance with national regulations aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19.

Hakeem Kae-Kazim will serve as the festival director.

In a recent Facebook live discussion with Steven Taylor, Kae-Kazim said the festival was aimed at celebrating Cape Town, diversity in film and the film industry.

“All those voices that have not necessarily been given a platform will have an opportunity now to be given a platform,” Kae-Kazim said.

“The indigenous voices of various communities whether they be in South Africa or in North America, the American Indians or in Australia the aboriginals. Those voices and those films from those filmmakers will be given a platform in this festival.”

Hakeem Kae-Kazim

‘Cannes of Africa’

One People International Film Festival organisers have grand intentions for the future with plans for a red carpet event, multiple screenings and simulcast in three provinces.

“One is hoping it could get into a space where One People International Film Festival is viewed as the Cannes of Africa. In order words, it has the glitz where filmmakers from all over the continent and the rest of the world come to it. That is something that we can build towards,” said Kae-Kazim.

Kae-Kazim added that he sees the festival being a place where filmmakers could collaborate and where African filmmakers can sign deals and co-production agreements.


The festival is offering free entries for South Africa filmmakers.

This is for the categories of film, documentaries and short films.

For the short film category, filmmakers are encouraged to tackle COVID-19 short films which could be shot on mobile phones.

Kae-Kazim said while they want the stories to be real, he hoped it was not all doom and gloom.

“It could be what your journey has been during this particular period…It’s a nice category to have to understand the difference voice and different experiences of people during period of COVID.”

The regular deadline for submissions is February 28 while late submissions could still be made until March 26.

Festival organisers will also arrange for industry experts to pass knowledge to aspiring filmmakers through online workshops and masterclasses.