Thank you VSAFF fans!


What a terrific opening day at the 2013 VSAFF!

There was great support for the films all day long and the gala showing of Material sold out!

Deputy Mayor Tony Tang was on hand to declare April 11-16 South Africa Week in Vancouver, on behalf of Mayor Gregor Robertson.

The South African High Commissioner to Canada, His Excellency Membathisi Mdladlana, spoke beautifully and even sang for us.

The Vancouver Whitecaps kindly donated tickets and a signed jersey, and young defender Ethen Sampson, from Mitchells Plain near Cape Town, was there to present to the winners.

Material was a huge hit and we were thrilled to have on of the actors, Nik Rabinowitz, in the crowd.

Thanks to all our gala sponsors for the delicious food and drinks!

See you again Sunday for four more films, closing at 7 p.m. with Little One, South Africa’s nominee for the best foreign language Oscar.

All proceeds from the VSAFF go to Education without Borders, a fully-volunteer local charity that does educational development work at schools in Gugulethu and the surrounding townships near Cape Town.


Gala showing of Material is SOLD OUT

VSAFF fans, thanks for all your support so far. Tonight’s gala showing of Material is a sell out!

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and there is no priority seating (apologies to pass holders), so please arrive at an appropriate time to get good seats.

There is a slim chance that a handful of tickets could be available at the door right before showtime, but only if other ticket holders don’t show up. We will make that decision around 7:30 p.m. There will be a rush line at the theatre. Please bring cash if you’d like to wait in that line. No promises, sorry.

There are lots of great films all day Sunday, including our closing film, the world premiere of Little One, which was South Africa’s nominee for best foreign language film at the Oscars.

Nik Rabinowitz kicks off VSAFF in style!


What a great night at Studio 16, VSAFF fans!

Thanks to everyone who came out to laugh and mingle and support the VSAFF and Education without Borders. And, of course, thanks to Nik Rabinowitz, who had the sold out room in stitches.

Thanks, also, to our food and drink sponsors for the event: African Breese, Taste of Africa, Wines of South Africa and Ceres Juices.

If you missed Nik on Thursday, you can still see him on screen Saturday in our gala film, Material.

For pictures of Thursday night’s comedy show, follow us on Facebook!

South African High Commissioner to attend VSAFF

MembathisiMdladlanaHis Excellency Membathisi Mdladlana, South African High Commissioner to Canada, will be the honoured guest at this year’s Vancouver South African Film Festival.

“The attendance of the High Commissioner marks a real step forward for the VSAFF,” said co-founder David Chudnovsky. ”He has been tremendously supportive, as has the South African Department of Arts and Culture.

“The VSAFF is being recognized as an important international venue for highlighting the significance of South African film. We really appreciate his gesture of support. We couldn’t be more delighted.”

In recognition of their support, the VSAFF would also like to thank the South African Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile, and Kim Jawanda, Regional Director, North America, for the Department of Arts and Culture. The South African Department of Arts and Culture is a Festival Partner this year.


“I am delighted to attend the VSAFF,” Mr. Mdladlana said. “The festival is a wonderful way to share the diverse and exciting cultures of South Africa with our friends in Vancouver. The movies this year are inspiring and thought provoking. I encourage everyone to attend.”

This year’s VSAFF runs Sat-Sun, April 13 & 14 at the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema in the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings.

The award-winning Material, is our gala film on Saturday, followed by a delicious spread of South African food and drink. All proceeds from the VSAFF go to Education without Borders’ projects in South African township schools.

We hope you can join us!

Material, Little One win SAFTA Awards

56th BFI London Film Festival: Filmmaker Afternoon Tea

VSAFF gala opening film Material and closing film Little One each won awards over the weekend at the 7th annual South African Film and Television Awards in Midrand.

Material, a humorous and emotional look at the struggles of a Muslim family facing the modern world, walked away with five Golden Horns, as the South African Oscars are known.

It won for best feature film, best director (Craig Freimond), best actor (Riaad Moosa, pictured), best supporting actor (Vincent Ebrahim) and best sound designer.

Little One’s star Lindiwe Ndlovu took home best actress in a feature film and none other than Samuel L Jackson presented her award.

VSAFF tickets and passes are NOW ON SALE.

The VSAFF presents: Nik Rabinowitz in Vancouver!

VSAFF fans! In conjunction with this year’s festival, we are pleased to announce that beloved South African comic Nik Rabinowitz will perform in Vancouver, with all proceeds going to Education without Borders!

Nik plays a role in our Gala film, Material, but two nights before you see him on screen, you can see him on stage at Studio 16 (1555 West 7th Ave.). That’s Thursday, April 11, with doors at 6:30 p.m. for a wine and cheese reception. The shows starts at 7:30 p.m.

Capacity is limited and we expect to sell out.


Nik has performed alongside some of the country’s finest comics, including two hits with Marc Lottering  and Riaad Moosa, under the direction of David Kramer (Three Wise Men & Three Wiser Men, 2008 & 2009). In 2010, he starred alongside a selection of SA’s top stand-ups in Bafunny Bafunny, which included a performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall. He followed that up with a television appearance on BBC 2’s Mock the Week.

Nik currently presents “The Week that Wasn’t” for 702 and Cape Talk Radio, plays a host of characters in the online satirical production ZA News, and has produced and performed five one man shows.

We hope you can join us for this unique opportunity to see Nik in Vancouver!


South Africa’s Oscar submission, Little One, to close VSAFF

We are thrilled to announce that Little OneSouth Africa’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the recent Academy Awards, will be our closing feature this year. It is the Canadian Premiere.

Darrell Roodt, who wrote the award-winning film Yesterday, directed Little One, which tells the story of a six-year-old rape victim left for dead in a township near Johannesburg. She is eventually rescued by an older woman, who decides to launch her own investigation. Roodt has called it “a film for the new South Africa.”

Little One was nominated for three SAFTA awards: Best Director of a Feature Film, Best Actress in a Feature (Lindiwe Ndlovu) and Best Writing in a Feature Film (Roodt).

“The movie’s story is told beautifully and poignantly, in a way that resembles and maybe even supersedes some of Roodt’s earlier acclaimed movies,” says producer Anton Ernst. “Ultimately it is a story of love and hope.”

We look forward to sharing this moving film with you on April 14. Here is the trailer:

Get the latest VSAFF news!

Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! Ticket and complete film and schedule info will follow later this month!

All proceeds from the VSAFF go to support the important educational development work Education without Borders has been doing in South Africa since 2002.

Volunteer at the VSAFF!

The VSAFF can’t run without the generous support of the community. If you’d like to volunteer at this year’s VSAFF, we’re looking for ticker takers and ushers who can commit to a minimum of four hours. In return, you get to see a couple of our terrific films for free!

To volunteer with us, please e-mail info(at) with “volunteer” in the subject, and leave us your name and contact info. Thanks in advance! We can’t do this without you.

“Material” to open 3rd annual VSAFF

“Life is not a funny business,” reads the tag line from Material, a heartwarming film that we are proud to announce as part of our 2013 VSAFF Gala Opening.

Cassim is a young Muslim man working in his father’s textile store. It’s Ebrahim’s dream for Cassim to take over the shop, but Cassim has discovered a talent for stand-up comedy, and he soon finds himself in direct conflict with his father, his family and his community.

Material is a warm, funny and emotional look at the struggles of a Muslim family facing the modern world, exploring, destiny, responsibility and what family really means. The film is entirely set in the Indian enclave of Forsdburg, Johannesburg, South Africa. If you like Bend It Like Beckham, you’ll love Material!

Tickets for Material and the rest of the VSAFF films will go on sale later in March.

Nik Rabinowitz to appear in Vancouver in support of the VSAFF and EwB

Starring Cape Town stand-up comedian Riaad Moosa as Cassim, Material also features well-known South African comic Nik Rabinowitz, who we are thrilled to announce will be in Vancouver for the festival! Nik is going to perform a stand-up show on April 11 in support of Education without Borders, the festival’s presenting charity. Full details to come soon!

Get the latest VSAFF news!

Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! Ticket and complete film and schedule info will follow later this month!

All proceeds from the VSAFF go to support the important educational development work EwB has been doing in South Africa since 2002.