'Dear Mandela' documentary out this week

Multi-award-winning South African documentary Dear Mandela premiered last night at Cape Town’s Fugard Theatre, and will be screened at The Bioscope in Johannesburg over the long weekend from 14-19 December.

The hard-hitting film tackles South Africa’s first post apartheid generation, and scooped several awards since its premiered at the Durban International Film Festival in 2011. It went on to win the Grand Jury Prize and Best Documentary at 2012 Brooklyn Film Festival, Best Documentary, Montreal int’l Black Film Festival, Golden Butterfly Award, Movies That Matter Film Festival as well as a nomination for the African Academy Award for Best Documentary.


Filmmakers Dara Kell & Christopher Nizza document the housing crisis that arose from the South African government’s move to destroy shack homes, delving into the world of shantytowns and informal settlements.

Viewers are introduced to the core of a resistance movement called Abahlali baseMjondolo – Zulu for ‘People of the Shacks’. Among its members are three inspirational young leaders: the calm, eloquent student Mazwi, the passionate, rousing shopkeeper Mnikelo, and the resilient Zama, who runs an AIDS orphanage, and is such an orphan herself. Though these three serve as the film’s beating heart, Kell & Nizza offer a wide-ranging portrait of a nation straying far away from Nelson Mandela’s vision.

Dear Mandela is the product of the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Fund.

Dara Kell is a South African documentary director and editor, who has edited short films for Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Christopher Nizza, a native of New York City, is a two-time Emmy winner.

For more info about screenings, or to book, go to or call 011-0397306. For more info about the film go to


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