Here are some suggestions of what to do this month from my events pages in the khuluma and horizons magazines:
The Shnit! International Short Film Festival, in Cape Town from 5 to 9 October, is
a showcase of themed local and international films incorporating talks by filmmakers and a competition.
‘Each film runs from one to 20 minutes,’ says festival director Sean Drummond, but several are combined for screening – at the Labia Cinema in Gardens – in themed blocks of 90 minutes.
Themes this year include a specialised focus on black and white films, movies dealing with death – comedy, horror and drama – plus a block of films from the Middle East called ‘Hummus’. There’s the ‘Feel Good’ screening on Sunday afternoon, as well as ‘Kaapse Bobotie’ (works by local filmmakers, including Focus, pictured above, by Ari Kruger).
‘There is also Hook-up, Break-up and Peeping Shnit, which is basically tongue-and-cheek erotica, that will be shown late at night at the alternative screen at
95 on Hout Street,’ says Drummond.
There are 75 films in competition, selected from 4 000 submissions from all over the world. One South African film (by Oliver Hermanus) and one from Tunisia made it through; the rest are mostly from Europe and the US, with a few from Iran, Russia, Iceland and Argentina.
There will also be a real-time competition, in which three chosen filmmakers make and edit a movie over the length of the festival – to be screened at the final event on Sunday evening.
Tickets R30 per block viewing, or R75 day pass, R180 weekend pass. shnit.org
This year Paulaner Bräuhaus at the V&A Waterfront celebrates its 10th birthday and 10th Oktoberfest, from 14 to 30 October. Nine-thousand litres of Paulaner Oktoberfestbier, brewed on site according to the Rheinheitsgebot (Purity Law) of 1516, have been maturing in the storage tanks below sea level in preparation. www.paulaner.co.za
Red-wine blending with Steenberg winemaker JD Pretorius is one of many activities on offer at the Spring It On Constantia festival (14 to 23 October). There’s also food and wine pairing at Constantia Glen, bubbly and oysters at High Constantia, classical music at Klein Constantia, and a Grape Run through the valley. spring-it-on-constantia.com
A charity golf day kicks off the Helderberg Wine Festival, taking place from 20 to 23 October at 40 participating wineries along the R44 between Somerset West and Stellenbosch. There will also be port tastings, live music, food and craft markets and a Big Walk. A festival pass costs R100. helderbergwinefestival.co.za
Following the success of the first Cook Franschhoek festival in winter, the summer edition takes place from 7 to 9 October with a host of culinary activities throughout town and on wine estates. Enjoy personal tutoring by acclaimed chefs in their restaurants, such as Mange Tout, L’Ermitage, Huguenot Fine Chocolates and Ryan’s Kitchen. Also stop in at the Ingredients Kitchen, Speciality Foods Kitchen and Festive Cooking Kitchen. franschhoek.org.za
8-9 October – The Green Mountain Eco Route hosts its inaugural Blossom Festival in the Overberg region. Events include a mountain-bike race and trail run, and an Amazing Race with prizes. There will be brandy, wine and apple tastings, markets, live music and kids’ activities.
14-16 October – Head to Goudmyn Farm on the banks of the Breede River, between Robertson and Bonnievale, for this year’s Wine on the River festival. Taste more than 300 wines from the region while enjoying live music, boat trips and country food. Tickets from R90; shuttles are available. Wear a funny hat and you could win a two-night stay in the valley. www.wineonriver.com.
22 October – Sip on as much Diemersfontein coffee pinotage as you want at this year’s Pinotage On Tap at the estate in Wellington. Tickets cost R285 and include a wine glass, unlimited access to the wine barrels, plus a picnic lunch, dessert, games and music from Evolver One, Hot Water and Albert Frost. www.diemersfontein.co.za
Bafunny Bafunny’s new show, The Odd Shaped Ball, is touring SA. The 2011 team – John Vlismas, Nik Rabinowitz, Trevor Noah, Loyiso Gola, Mark Banks, Barry Hilton, Eugene Khosa and Stuart Taylor – are a must-see for rugby fans. Catch them on the 5th & 6th in Durbs, 14th & 15th in Jozi and 20th & 21st in Cape Town. Tickets R120 at Computicket.
From 21 October – Written and directed by David Kramer, Some Like It Vrot at the Baxter Theatre (until the end of the year) stars comedians Marc Lottering and Christo Davids as Smiley and Fuad, taxi operators who have to flee from mean crime boss Big Bucks. Tickets from R90
7-9 October – Slip on your wellies, top up your wine glass and jam to the latest music on a wine estate, nogal. Rocking the Daisies is back at Cloof Wine Estate in Darling, with a line-up that includes Civil Twilight, Gazelle, Yoav, Lark, Tumi and the Volume and the UK’s Band of Skulls. Plus The Lemon Tree Theatre will feature comedy stars and other interesting acts. Tickets for the whole weekend cost R450. www.rockingthedaisies.com
***interview CIVIL TWILIGHT***
Rich Wouters, drummer
What are you looking forward to most about Rocking the Daisies?
Just playing in SA again will be awesome! We love South Africa and we love playing in South Africa. Performing there last year was one of the highlights of the year for us. It was very special to feel so much love from the South African people, even after we'd been away for so long. We've also heard a lot about what a great festival Rocking the Daisies is so that makes it even more exciting. It's a real honour for us to be asked to play this festival.
Are you going to stick around watching other bands, roughing it with the festival folks or are you being whisked off straight after your show?
We will definitely stick around on Saturday. There are a few bands we want to check out and we always enjoy the festival atmosphere and hanging out with old and new friends.
Where is the most obscure place in South Africa you have ever played?
Man, it was a long time ago now, but when we were kids living in Cape Town, we once did a small tour up the South Coast. We played places like George and Knysna, and I think we even played a high school in Oudtshoorn once... That was probably the most obscure one.
What has been your favorite venue/festival that you’ve played at world wide and when was that?
We did a lot of festivals in America this year but I think the highlight for us was playing Bonnaroo, in June, with Arcade Fire, Eminem, The Strokes, Mumford and Sons, Florence + the Machine, Neil Young... just a ridiculous line up of bands and an amazing festival. Like nothing we've ever experienced before. The size of it is just mind-blowing. It's like an entire city that they build for this thing out in the middle of nowhere Tennessee. It's crazy.
What are things you miss most about South Africa?
The beauty. The wildness of South Africa. The ocean down there is like nowhere else. In America the ocean seems tame in comparison. The colourfulness of the people and culture, the vibrancy and energy and organized chaos of it all. The food. The people. There are a lot of things we miss.
Probably the crime and the disorganization of certain things. The US definitely has a good, established system of doing business that works well. It's comparatively easy to tour here because everything is set up for it and we have a team of people that we work with who are really good at what they do and have been doing it for a long time. It's great to be a part of that.
Throughout October, Franschhoek will be hosting its first Ceramics Festival: Art in Clay. What is the connection between SA’s gourmet capital and pottery? Organiser David Walters says he has been ‘making pots for SA’s top three chefs – Margot Janse, David Higgs and George Jardine [all Franschhoek based] – for several years and because of this we decided to encourage local chefs to cook meals and serve them in art galleries’. This will take the form of ‘pop-up’ Sunday lunches during the festival – for example, Neil Jewel of Bread & Wine will be at Ebony Gallery. Works by top SA ceramicists such as Catherine Glenday and Hennie Meyer will be on show at galleries around town, and a Pottery Fair will take place on the grounds of the Dutch Reformed Church on the last weekend. Walters says he is most excited about a number of historic pieces, ‘normally locked away for safety’, that will be donated by Iziko SA Museum. ‘And the best of the dead potters will be exhibited at the Pierneef Museum at La Motte.’ Call 021-876-4304 for more info.