Blackfish comes to Jozi

After a successful South African premiere at the 2014 Cape Town Eco Film Festival, Blackfish, the shocking feature documentary about killer whales in captivity, opens at The Bioscope Independent Cinema in Johannesburg this Friday:

A mesmerizing psychological thriller with a killer whale at its centre, Blackfish is the first film since Grizzly Man to show how nature can get revenge on man when pushed to its limits.

Exclusive to The Bioscope in Johannesburg, and presented through a new partnership with The Cape Town Eco Film Festival.



Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Along the way, director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry.

This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals.

Paying it forward in trees!

For each ticket sold at the 2014 Cape Town Eco Film Festival, R5 was contributed to our partners Greenpop, an organisation based in Cape Town that plants trees in South Africa and Zambia.


In addition, 21 “Tree Ticktes” were sold on, each of which contributed R120 to Greenpop – the amount required by the organization to plant one tree.

In total, we’re donating R8245 to Greenpop.

That’s equivalent to 68 planted trees!

Hemp Documentary Wins Audience Choice Award

BRINGING IT HOME, the documentary feature film about industrial hemp has won the Silver Tree Audience Choice Award at the inaugural Cape Town Eco Film Festival.


After every screening at the Festival, audience members were asked to give each of the films they had just watched a score between 1 (poor) and 5 (excellent). A total of 1167 votes were cast during the Festival.

As the film that received the highest average score, BRINGING IT HOME is the first recipient of the Silver Tree Audience Choice Award, named after the beautiful indigenous Silver Tree (Leucadendron argenteum), a member of the protea family that grows only on a few spots on the slopes of Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head on South Africa’s Cape Peninsula.


BRINGING IT HOME achieved a near-perfect score of 4.9. Close runners up were More Than HoneyBlackfish and The Last Ocean.

New documentary reveals Brazilian anger at Soccer World Cup

A brand new documentary that reveals Brazilian rage against Fifa’s Soccer World Cup will be screened at the Labia Theatre on Orange Street in Cape on Wednesday the 9th of April 2014 at 6.15 pm.

In the 33-minute film Imagina na Copa (Imagine the Cup), South African storyteller, journalist and photographer Yazeed Kamaldien explores the voices for and against the tournament.

The screening will be followed by an audience discussion and Q&A with the director, Yazeed Kamaldien.

Director Yazeed Kamaldien visits Santa Marta favela in Rio.

Director Yazeed Kamaldien visits Santa Marta favela in Rio.

In Brazil, increasing government expenses related to the Soccer World Cup have led to violent protests in recent months and the tournament has locals disagreeing about the cost and value for the host country

The documentary takes its title from a popular phrase that Brazilians quote each time they reflect on the social challenges in relation to the Soccer World Cup. When faced with yet another local corruption case or services that don’t run smoothly, they exclaim, “Imagine during the World Cup!”

Imagina na Copa includes interviews with citizens reflecting on why they don’t want the Soccer World Cup, Brazilian government representatives and those involved in organising the event.

There are interviews with favela residents who claim that the government wants to evict them from their homes as it prepares for the Cup. Kamaldien wants to expose these important voices from the ground in Brazil to outsiders.

“The anger and energy at protests and fearless opposition to government evictions cannot be ignored. Anyone who is interested in the Soccer World Cup needs to hear these voices. Brazilians want the rest of us to know that it’s not all soccer, samba and supermodels but a very challenging reality,” says Kamaldien.

“As a journalist, I wanted to show both sides of the story though. So while I went to protests and favelas, I spoke to officials too. It’s a very complex situation because there are various allegations about the government and Fifa creating an event that offers locals little value.”

It is not the first time that locals from a developing country hosting the Soccer World Cup speak up against what they perceive to be an injustice. Kamaldien says he saw first-hand how locals felt disenfranchised in South Africa, when the country hosted the last Fifa tournament in 2010.

“There was dissatisfaction that big businesses and only the wealthy benefited financially from the event. My film should reignite a conversation about the legacy of the Soccer World Cup in South Africa,” says Kamaldien.

“We have around the country stadiums that are still being paid off. We need to ask why these stadiums are not yet sustainable and what this means for taxpayers. We need to look critically at what this tournament meant.”

Imagina na Copa is Kamaldien’s debut feature documentary film. He has worked on TV news inserts and other documentary films.

Place: The Labia Theatre, Orange Street, Cape Town
Date: Wednesday 9 April 2014
Time: 6.15pm

The screening will be followed by an audience discussion and Q&A with the director Yazeed Kamaldien.

Tickets are R40 and can be reserved by calling The Labia at 021 424 5927. Reserving tickets is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment.

This event is presented by Yazeed Kamaldien in association with While You Were Sleeping, a Cape Town-based non-profit collective committed to bringing documentaries with important social and environmental messages to South African audiences.



Yazeed Kamaldien | | 082 682 2438

Facebook page with updates:


The Labia:

021 424 5927


While You Were Sleeping:

Andreas Wilson-Späth | | 021 671 4364 | 084 749 9470

Dougie Dudgeon | | 021 424 1313 | 082 560 2296


Twitter: @WYWS_SA

Another chance to see ‘Blackfish’

Did you miss the thrilling documentary BLACKFISH at the Cape Town Eco Film Festival?

It will be screening again at the Labia Theatre on Orange Street Cape Town from Friday 4 April until Thursday 10 April at 12.15 pm and 6.15 pm.

Don’t miss out again! Call the Labia box office now to reserve you tickets now: 021 424 5927.


Eco film fest trailer

Want to get a flavour of what to expect from the 2014 Cape Town Eco Film Festival?

Watch our festival trailer:

Fracking: What SA can look forward to

With our fossil fuel enamoured government seemingly hell-bent on facilitating the extraction of shale gas in the Karoo and elsewhere by hydraulic fracturing, you might be wondering what this will mean for local communities.

One way of getting a sense of what we are in for if fracking takes off in South Africa is to watch the explosive documentary Gasland Part II at the Cape Town Eco Film Festival, which chronicles the American experience with this controversial technology.

By giving voice to ordinary Americans who’s health, quality of life, livelihood and environment have been impacted by fracking, Gasland Part II offers a bleak vision of a future that many South Africans now living in the ecologically fragile and water-stressed Karoo may be faced with soon.

Gasland Part II is much more than just a follow up to director Josh Fox’s original Gasland (nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2011), it’s an indictment of an entire industry that routinely puts profits before the wellbeing of people and the natural world in a desperate attempt to extract as much money out of climate changing fossil fuels as possible.

Is this the future the Karoo has to look forward to?

The Treasure Karoo Action Group’s Jonathan Deal will participate in an informal audience discussion and Q&A session following the screening.

Date:  Thursday 27 March 2014

Time: 6:00 pm

Place: The Labia Theatre on Orange Street, Cape Town

Buy tickets:  Webtickets online

Reserve tickets by calling the Labia box office at 021 424 5927.