RapidLion Film Festival

World-class venue for a World-Class Film Festival – RapidLion returns

The RapidLion South African Film Festival steps into a new era with a superb line-up of films seldom seen in South Africa. Now proudly in partnership with UJ Arts & Culture, a division of a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA), RapidLion continues to grow in stature and is fast becoming the go-to film festival for top content outside of the global West. 

Running from 4-11 March 2023, the RapidLion Film Festival is the only film festival in the world that focuses on feature films from BRICS and BRICS Plus countries and features the now much anticipated, RapidLion awards ceremony.  

The partnership with UJ Arts & Culture brings the festival into the Keorapetse William Kgositsile Theatre, a world class venue, that promises a top viewing experience. 

“You know,” says Festival Director Eric Miyeni, “If the Martians were to land here, and attend anything there, they would say; “Wow! This is gorgeous! What a venue!” Just experiencing movies in this theatre alone is going to be amazing.”

According to Miyeni this year’s festival offers some of the very best cinema from BRICS and BRICS Plus countries, Africa and the African diaspora and audiences can expect cinema that is generally never shown in South Africa.

This year features a wonderful line-up including The Song of the Rifles from Burkina Faso, the sci-fi film, An Electric Sleep, by the African American filmmaker, Theo Brown, and from Ethiopia, a beautiful conceptual film called Superno

From South Africa comes the beautiful biographical documentary film, I Am Here and from India The Cloud and the Man, a whimsical love story that involves a man and a cloud.  The festival opens on 4 March with film 47 described as a real gem of a movie.

“RapidLion  opens up hidden cinema to its audiences. Who would have known how strong, and exciting, for example, Iranian cinema is but for RapidLion?” states Miyeni when asked about the festival’s unique appeal. 

The move to the UJ Arts Centre is the start of a new partnership for RapidLion and elevates the festival to an education level, as well as an entertainment level. The move will contribute meaningfully to the University’s arts and culture programme.

“This partnership is collaboration towards the development and teaching of future filmmakers, it broadens the student’s cinema lens inspiring them to make even greater films. On the other hand, the RapidLion documentary segment can also help the humanities departments show, through cinema, some of what they teach in class.  Students are offered free screenings, workshops and masterclasses by established filmmakers and practitioners,” explains Miyeni.

Started in 2015, RapidLion is the brainchild and passion-project of Miyeni, he stands proud in the fact that, despite the challenges of the last three years, the festival is still going strong and now being in partnership with UJ Arts & Culture promises many more editions.


Festival Dates: 4-11 March 2023

Venue: UJ Arts Centre, University of Johannesburg Kingsway Campus Corner of Kingsway Avenue and University Road, Auckland Park

About the RapidLion – The South African Film Festival

RapidLion was launched in 2015. It is the only film festival in the world with a special focus on feature films from BRICS countries. Industry events at RapidLion include master classes and Q&A’s with directors and producers of selected films.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]