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Electric Africa Virtual Reality Festival - The First of its Kind

Electric Africa VR Festival is an online virtual reality festival presented by Cape Town-based NPO Electric South. The first of its kind and based in Africa, the festival will be happening online for one week from 5 to 11 November.

Virtual reality is strongly associated with gaming but is becoming more integrated into experiential storytelling. AFDA film school featured a narrative-driven virtual reality short film at one of their recent graduation film festivals, so it's becoming more of a focus. The challenge associated with this kind of storytelling is that directors usually frame shots to direct an audience's attention. Enabling the story to spread in all directions, one has to create situations that exist concurrently, focus on experience-rich atmospheres or grab one's attention so there's a clear thread to the story.

VR usually requires a special viewing headset or goggles for a more immersive experience, however this online festival is making it possible to get the 360 degree experience without one. Through the partnership with webXR platform LucidWeb, the programme is enhanced for desktop, mobile phone or VR headsets.

The Electric Africa VR Festival is committed to showcasing African artists working in the virtual reality arena, alongside international works of narrative fiction and on-fiction. This is your opportunity to discover new voices and realities. The festival includes: Another Kind of Dying: Virtual Experience (South Africa), A Visit at Cissé Films (Mali/France), Daughters of Chibok (Nigeria), the world premiere of Gr8ness (South Africa) and an African premiere for afro-surrealist VR dreamscape, Ferenj: A Graphic Memoir in VR by Ainslee Alem Robson.

The festival is geo-blocked for Africa but includes a series of freely available live talks and webinars with directors, producers, leaders in creative technologies and acclaimed artistic teams. Panelists include founder of Kenya’s BlackRhino VR, Brian Afande; Nigeria's Judith Okonkwo of Imisi3D and Daliso Ngoma, founder of African Technopreneurs.

Antoine Cayrol, co-founder of France’s leading VR company AtlasV and producer of ATOMU, together with its directors Shariffa Ali and Yetunde Dada, alumni of the 2017 Digital Lab Africa acceleration programme, will discuss their pioneering participatory movement piece which formed part of the official selection of the New Frontier Exhibitions at Sundance Film Festival 2020.

5 Steps to Get Ready for 'Bingeing with Spling' this Halloween

This year's played like a horror movie and according to an article in Psychology Today, horror fans have handled the pandemic much better than others. To get into the trick-or-treat fun of the annual celebration, join Spling for the next Bingeing with Spling watch party and movie night festival event. SPL!NG has teamed up with FrightFan.TV to bring you two horrors... psychological horrorThe Cleaning Lady and dark romance comedy Videoman, which will be playing as a double feature. Check out the trailers...

Prefer to hear all about it? Listen to this interview Spling did with Sara-Jayne King on CapeTalk.

In addition to the double feature, we're screening It's Complicated, a horror comedy short film as a curtain raiser, having a local horror author Joan De La Haye read a bedtime story at midnight, a bunch of Halloween music and loads of special guests. We'll kick things off with Marc van de Meulen's multi-screen cover of John Carpenter's Halloween theme, then when it comes to the evening's proceedings... local gothic industrial metal band, Terminatryx, will be introducing their music videos, which will serve as book ends for the night.

The Cleaning Lady, Videoman, It's Complicated - Bingeing with Spling

In-between screenings Spling will be interviewing special guests: Stelio Savante, Joan De La Haye and Grant de Sousa. We also have The Cleaning Lady's Rachel Alig and Jon Knautz, who will be giving us more detail on their experiences of making the psychological horror. Besides movies, music and special features... we're all going to be chiming in across social media, Spling's going to be giving live commentary and as host will be getting people excited for a great evening of entertainment!

Here's how to get ready for the Halloween movie night festival!

1. Put a big red X or circle your calendar for Halloween, 31 Oct at 6:30pm.

2. Follow /SplingMovies and /FrightFanTV socials to stay tuned for updates.

3. Join the official #BingeingWithSpling watch party group on Facebook and/or WhatsApp.

4. Charge your phone, laptop and get your snacks ready for the big night!

5. Add some Halloween cosplay into the mix and invite your friends to join in the watch party fun!

Critics and Fans Can't Get Enough of Primal

Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal recently won three of the five Outstanding Achievement In Animation Awards at the 2020 Emmys. The Adult Swim animated series received accolades for Tartakovsky’s story boards, art director Scott Wills, and character designer Stephen DeStefano.

Tartakovsy adds these covetted awards alongside his Emmys for Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars. Primal's creator has previously been nominated for Dexter’s Laboratory and The Powderpuff Girls previously and directed the Hotel Transylvania series, which was nominated for a Golden Globe. He's becoming a legend in the world of animation, delivering something bold and distinctly fresh in Primal.

The first five episodes are now complemented by new episodes, which are airing on Showmax every Monday of October. The animated series follows a caveman at the dawn of evolution and a dinosaur on the brink of extinction as the two forge an unlikely partnership. Navigating a primitive, brutal and hostile environment, their unspoken kinship unites them.

People riding dinosaurs may recall Dino-Riders for some who grew up with films like Jurassic Park, but taking it back to the days of early man makes this stylish series captivating and spectacular in its minimalist approach. Using little to no dialogue, it's all about the visual storytelling and soundscape. Grabbing hold of audiences with its harsh reality and gore factor, it's almost a relief that the visuals are animated rather than live-action!

Tartakovsy has been receiving rave reviews from fans and critics alike for Primal. The series has an 8.7/10 rating on IMDb, a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes and has been described as "amazing", "genuine", "intense", "eye-popping", "stunning" and "soulful" from Collider to Rolling Stone. Comicbook.com call it a "masterpiece" and from the awards it's landing, it's easy to see why.

Don't take our word for it... experience the dark, brooding and powerful majesty of Primal for yourself.

16th South African Horrorfest Goes Virtual

For fifteen years the South African HorrorFest film festival and Halloween event have graced the screen with every kind of thrill and chill at the Labia Theatre in Cape Town.

The Covid pandemic has forced the 16th edition online, but we want to keep the cinema spirit alive and host at least around half a dozen movies at our favourite cinema venue. The line-up includes: local trip Fried Barry, the unbridled Sky Sharks, two sneak previews of new cinema releases and two documentaries. These are Rocky Horror 45, looking at the legendary movie musical's legacy and a look at the late Wes Craven's notorious, but undeniable early movie in The Last Word on the Last House on the Left.

The South African Horrorfest 2020

The Virtual Horrorfest Edition - Ghost in the Machine

This year we're bringing horror fans a mammoth online edition of our freaky film festival in collaboration with local horror streaming service Frightfan.TV. The upside of this virtual edition means around half of the SA Horrorfest line-up will be accessible to anyone around the world! The Bloody Parchment event and dress-up will also be online this year.

Over 40 titles take you through the gamut of subgenres, with vampires, killer dolls, mutants, zombies, possession, gore, very bad men and evil minds, supernatural forces, Troma and Full Moon madness, alien possessed psychos, a different take on the Japanese kaiju movie, horror filmmaking documentaries, fantasy-, sci-fi- and comedy elements, and even flying sharks controlled by zombie nazis!

Feature Films

The festival period will stretch across Halloween season and beyond, from Wednesday 28 October to Friday 13 November, giving you enough time to catch as many movies as you can handle! The bulk of movies, most having their African premieres, will be accessible across the full duration of the festival with some more limited releases.

Short Films

The 5 exciting feature-length Shadow Realm short film collections come from all around the world with some rare submissions from Tunisia, Kuwait, Myanmar, Iran, Turkey, Republic Of Korea and Malaysia.

Classic Silent Film Soundtrack Performance

One of the festival highlights each year is The Makabra Ensemble's new original live soundtrack performance to a classic silent film. Since it's the centenary of legendary German Expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the film will be streamed with the live soundtrack performance from the 2007 SA Horrorfest with live musician footage added in an extra on-screen window.


Single on-line tickets are R50 each with a full festival pass only setting you back R600 (resulting in around R12 a ticket!). Both booking and viewing can be accessed at Frightfan.tv. You can book tickets for cinema screenings via Quicket.co.za.

Naturally, the movies in the Horrorfest line-up are for mature audiences only. Get the full line-up and more information at www.horrorfest.info

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