New in 2018: talks to unleash the power of ideas

There are a variety of new shows and new projects at this year's #NAF18. Photo: Supplied

This year’s #NAF18 programme introduces ‘Film & Ideas’ to the variety of shows. Festival Executive Producer Ashraaf Johaardien says, “this year’s Film and Ideas platform will present a diverse and robust programme that aims to challenge and inspire audiences.”

The National Arts Festival’s all-new Film and Ideas platform is a reimagined aspect of the programme, which reboots and integrates what was previously presented separately as Thinkfest and the Film programme. The National Arts Festival organisers claim, “our intention is to present a robust and diverse programme of films, talks and presentations by local and international Festival guests.”

Leading the inaugural programme is a trio of centenary celebration talks that pay respect to three notable historical figures: The Nelson Mandela Legacy is presented in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and features panelists Elinor Sisulu, Mike van Graan, Selloane Mokuku and Annalie Dempsey. Professor Laurence Wright honours the father of the National Arts Festival in The Importance of Being Guy Butler. Completing the trilogy is a tribute to political activist Albertina Sisulu in Writing the Life of Albertina Sisulu.

Visiting producer Martine Dennewald has worked for theatres and festivals in Luxembourg, Germany, the UK, Hungary, Switzerland and Austria. Since 2015, she has been the Artistic Director of Festival Theaterformen, a performing arts festival taking place alternately in Hanover and Braunschweig (Germany). In Destabilising Privilege: Can Festival be Allies?, Martine contemplates whether it’s possible for a European festival to destabilise its own privilege and asks would it mean to become an ally.

Director of International Relations at FiraTàrrega (Spain) Mike Ribalta is head of the Performing Arts Market ‘La Llotja’ and the coordinator of the trans-national cooperation projects in which FiraTàrrega is involved: Meridians, TransAC, CaRRer and CASA. In Street Arts in Europe: Creation…Beyond Buskers Playing Guitars, he looks at how street arts is a very strong form of high-quality performing arts and how it reaches all kinds of public, transforms public space and creates new audiences.

In Sympactico: Canadian and South African Synergies, Candian producer/performer Alon Nashman, emerging South African director Gopala Davies, visiting Canadian playwright Greg MacArthur and local performer Kiroshan Naidoo engage in conversation about the power and purpose of Canadian and South African theatrical exchange and collaboration.