Programs Film at The Africa Center - Mapantsula


  • Date:
    Jan 25, 2024
  • End Date:
    Jan 25, 2024
  • Time:
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Location:
    The Africa Center
    1280 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10029
    United States (map)

Film at The Africa Center presents Mapantsula


Thursday January 25th, 2024 | 7:00PM – 9:00PM
Doors open at 6:30PM; Film begins at 7:00PM
Runtime – 1 hour 44 minutes

*Events are free and open to all, due to space constraints registration is requested.

Mapantsula was the first anti-apartheid feature film by, for and about black South Africans. Filmed inside Soweto, scored to the urban beat of “Township Jive,” it has been called a South African The Harder They ComeMapantsula tells the story of Panic, a petty gangster who inevitably becomes caught up in the growing anti-apartheid struggle and has to choose between individual gain and a united stand against the system. This film will give viewers an insider’s tour of township life and a foretaste of the vibrant popular cinema promised by the new, democratic South Africa.

In partnership with the African Film Festival, Film at The Africa Center will host a series showcasing a selection of films by emerging African filmmakers. These films will reflect a range of genres, themes, and visual styles, allowing audiences to experience the vibrant tapestry of African cinema.

About the Director

Oliver Schmitz (born 1960) is a South African film director and screenwriter. His film Mapantsula was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival. His 2010 film Life, Above All (Le Secret de Chanda) was selected as the South African entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards. It made the shortlist of nominations announced in January 2011. Growing up in Cape Town, Schmitz comes from a fine art and music background. With others, from 1981-1983 he ran a cult nightclub (Scratch), that successfully beat Apartheid segregation laws and nurtured a generation of creative and militant youth. Schmitz has made several films, four of which have screened in official selection in Cannes – one being the Parisian omnibus film Paris je t’aime (Place des fetes). Shepherds and Butchers, with Steve Coogan and Andrea Riseborough premiered at the Berlinale 2016, where it won an audience award and Best Directing at the South African Film and Television Awards.

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