Film Festival


Saturday 21 March – Tuesday 24 March 2015

The Labia Theatre, 68 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town

Watch a selection of beautifully shot and engaging local and international documentary films about a wide range of water related topics.

All films will be followed by an informal audience discussion and Q&A session.

Tickets cost R40

Book your tickets by calling the Labia on 021 424 5927


Buy your tickets on now:



Running Dry

(USA | 2005 | 81 min | Dir: Jim Thebaut)

Saturday 21 March 2015 | 6.15pm

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Narrated by actress Jane Seymour, Running Dry is a visually dramatic and hard-hitting documentary that raises awareness regarding the worsening humanitarian water crisis around the globe, including in South Africa. The film demonstrates that the looming world water emergency is huge but not insurmountable. A few simple changes can make a great deal of difference. Read more here.

A wooden Canoe on the Songwe RiverRunning Dry screens with a South African short film about the Zambezi River (SA | 2014 | 4 min | Francois Odendaal Productions): What would you do if you woke up one morning and discovered that the borders have changed? In the northern reaches of Southern Africa’s biggest river basin, the Zambezi River Basin, lies the Songwe River, which forms the border between Tanzania and Malawi. This meandering river shifts its course with the annual floods, leaving some residents without land and the international border having shifted. This short film demonstrates that regional cooperation is not an optional extra, but a matter of survival when managing trans-boundary waters in the Zambezi River Basin, which is shared by eight SADC countries.

Visitors will also watch an interesting short film (6 minutes long) about the City of Cape Town’s water by laws.


Congo: The Grand Inga Project

(USA, Congo | 2013 | 82 min | Dir: Steve Fisher)

Saturday 21 March 2015 | 8.15pm

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Inga:  the world’s biggest rapids, 1.6 million cubic feet of water per second, thundering down the final pitch of the mighty Congo River. Twice as steep and 100 times the average volume of those found on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Explorers have tried to conquer these rapids for generations, but none have succeeded. Now, after years of planning and research, South African kayaking icon Steve Fisher has handpicked an elite team of top international paddlers to succeed where all have failed before. Congo: The Grand Inga Project follows their epic expedition as the team navigates complicated logistical challenges and the deadliest rapids on earth. Read more here.

McBride_FijiAerial_140316_84874578Congo: The Grand Inga Project screens with a gorgeous short film called River of Eden (USA | 2014 | 6 min | Dir: Pete McBride): The Upper Navua Conservation area in Fiji is also known as The River of Eden or The Tropical Grand Canyon. It is one of the only protected rivers in the South Pacific and its conservation was driven by a small rafting company and nine local families. A beautifully-shot, inspirational short film.


Visitors will also watch an interesting film clip (5 minutes long) about the historic dams on Table Mountain.



(USA | 2014 | 87 min | Dir: Ben Knight, Travis Rummel)

Sunday 22 March 2015 | 6.15pm

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This powerful film odyssey across America explores the change in attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. Dam removal has moved beyond the fictional Monkey Wrench Gang to go mainstream. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds after decades without access. DamNation’s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature. Read more here.

Bridge Over the Limpopo River at Guija'DamNation screens with a South African short film about the Limpopo river (SA | 2014 | 4 min | Francois Odendaal Productions)Shared by four southern African countries, the Limpopo River is important to the livelihoods of all who live on its banks, but as much as it is a source of life, it can just as easily bring death. In early 2013 heavy rains flooded the river basin, shattering lives and leaving Mozambique and its people devastated. This short film aims to highlight the importance of cooperation by countries sharing the river, and the need for improved early warning systems in the Limpopo river basins.

Visitors will also watch an interesting film clip (3 minutes long) about the City of Cape Town’s water and sanitation services, as well as a fabulous short film (1 minute) by Cape Town filmmaker Sven Harding, called Moonwalk.

*** BREAKING NEWS: Moonwalk has just been announced as the winner of Sh2orts, a global short film competition themed around water, hosted by  WorldView and WaterAid. Read more here. ***



Water – The Sacred Relationship

(Canada | 2014 | 53 min | Dir: Greg Miller)

Monday 23 March 2015 | 6.15pm

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Water – The Sacred Relationship is the result of a three year research project by the Canadian Aboriginal non-profit agency Native Counselling Services of Alberta. Guided by a circle of Cree Elders and led by a team of Aboriginal and Western scientists, this insightful film explores how reconciling the relationship between indigenous people and the modern world can lead to healthier water, while also healing the rift between ancient worldviews and Western science. Read more here.

Water – The Sacred Relationship screens with a South African short film called Dressing the Princess (SA | 2013 framegrabs09| 16 min | Dir: Carlos Francisco): Legend has it that a Khoi Khoi princess living on the Cape Flats in the early days of European exploration was violated by sailors. She fled to the mountain fortress of Elephant’s Eye cave and wept so much that her tears formed Princess Vlei. Today, local communities are fighting against inappropriate commercial development that threatens the natural beauty, recreational value and spiritual heritage of this traditional commonage. A STEPS/SANBI Production.


Last Call at the Oasis

(USA | 2011 | 100 min | Dir: Jessica Yu)

Tuesday 24 March 2015 | 6.15pm

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Water is the Earth’s most valuable resource. Our cities are powered by it, agriculture and other industries depend on it, and all living things need it to survive. But instead of treating it with care, we’ve allowed it to become polluted with toxic chemicals and agricultural and industrial waste. And it’s very possible that in the near future, there won’t be enough to sustain life on the planet. With Academy Award®-winning director Jessica Yu (Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien) and Academy Award® nominated producer Elise Pearlstein (Food, Inc.), and featuring famed environmental advocate Erin Brockovich, Last Call at the Oasis sheds light on the vital role water plays in our lives, exposes the defects in the current system, shows communities already struggling with its ill-effects and introduces us to individuals who are championing revolutionary solutions. Read more here.


Where is the Labia Theatre?