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Film Studies: National Cinemas

This guide highlights selected resources for various national cinemas.

Introduction to South African cinema

The first public film screening in South Africa, and probably the earliest on the African continent, took place on 11 May 1896 at the Empire Theatre in Johannesburg. In 1898 and 1899, local filmmaker Edgar Hyman produced a number of actualities, and by the early 1900s numerous film theatres had opened, though these were restricted to white audiences. In 1916 African Film Productions (AFP), a studio created by entrepreneur and media baron I.W. Schlesinger, made De Voortrekkers, directed by Harold Shaw. A historical epic about the settling of the colony, the film depicts cultural and racial kinship between Britons and Boers as against negatively stereotyped black Africans. AFP monopolized film production in South Africa in the 1940s and 1950s and films such as Die Bou van ‘n Nasie/They Built A Nation (Joseph Albrecht, 1938), sponsored by South African Railways and Harbours, explicitly sought to maintain and cultivate Afrikaans nationalism.  ...

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). South Africa, film in. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2 Jun. 2021

Searching the online catalog

You can use the subject heading below to find resources in the online catalog. The call number range is also included.

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book title(s)

Finding journal articles

Articles on South African cinema are in many publications. Our collection does not have journals that cover South African cinema exclusively. You can use Film & Television Literature Index to find articles or the search box at the top of the page.

Selected film titles

Find more South African film titles in the library's online catalog.

Internet resource(s)

Keeping up with the journal literature

Want an easy way to keep up with the journal literature for a national or regional cinema? And you use a mobile device? You can install the BrowZine app and create a custom Bookshelf of your favorite journal titles. Then you will get the Table of Contents (ToCs) of your favorite journals automatically delivered to you when they become available. Once you have the ToC's you can download and read the articles you want.

You can get the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Don't own or use a mobile device? You can still use BrowZine! It's now available in a web version. You can get to it here. The web version works the same way as the app version. Find the journals you like, create a custom Bookshelf, get ToCs and read the articles you want.