Mapantsula (in-person & online)

Dir: Oliver Schmitz

South Africa


1h 43m


“South Africa from a Black perspective… it’s about time.”
Spike Lee

A true classic of guerrilla filmmaking, Mapantsula is now available to watch in stunning 4K after years of suppression, marking the 30th anniversary of South African Freedom Day in April 2024.

Director Oliver Schmitz worked closely with co-writer and lead actor Thomas Mogotlane to produce a film under extreme censorship, and while evading the authorities, they bravely created a radical and rare anti-apartheid feature film. Mapantsula tells the story of Panic, a small-time hood who believes he sees all the angles. But he is soon in the web of the authorities, pushed to betray the revolutionaries fighting for change.

More than a gripping crime story, Mapantsula is an almost miraculous opportunity to understand South Africa from within during its struggle for freedom, centred on the choices offered to Panic by a system set out to dehumanise him. Vital, humane and unvarnished, this is the time to reckon with Mapantsula.

Presented by Mosa Mpetha of Cinema Africa! and Tatenda Jamera of Maona Art

With thanks to What The Hero Wants

Funded by the BFI Audience Projects Fund


Booking Information


Independent Cinema Office (ICO)


Release Date

1 April 2024


35% vs £100 (plus print transport fees)

Available Formats

DCP or Blu-ray

“This restoration is a tribute to all who participated in this venture, which was dangerous at the time, and to the countless others who fought the oppressive system.”

– Oliver Schmitz, Director


Mosa Mpetha

Cinema Africa!

Mosa Mpetha is curating the project and working with a wide range of national, regional and local partners to reach South Africans across the country.

Based in Leeds, and from Liverpool & South Africa, Mosa is a film programmer of Black, African and Archive films in a freelance capacity and in a permanent role as Creative Engagement Officer at her local heritage cinema, Hyde Park Picture House (est. 1914). At Hyde Park Picture House, amongst other things, Mosa curates a new permanent strand of African films called Cinema Africa! for African and Non-African audiences, addressing the unreasonable lack of African films being show on the big screen in the UK.

Mosa is particularly passionate about archive film and has recently published a personal journal from a research trip on African Film Archives in South Africa, Burkina Faso, France and the UK. Please see her website for more information.

Tatenda Jamera

Maona Art

Tatenda Jamera of Maona Art is working closely with Mosa Mpetha and ICO to distribute this film to as wide a range of cinemas as possible, utilising their preexisting network of cinemas that screen African films monthly.

Tatenda Jamera is a director, producer and curator, who obtained his BA in Filmmaking from the School of Audio Engineering (SAE) in Oxford and the National Film and Television School (NFTS) based in Beaconsfield. He is the founder of Jam-era creations, a company that specialises in the production of branded content, music videos and commercials. He also founded Maona (pronounced Ma-ona), which is a Shona word from Zimbabwe meaning ‘you have seen’. This name was chosen because we are passionate about others being able to see and experience African stories. Africa comes with an undeniably rich and exciting heritage that has yet to be experienced. Maona is committed to its audience to experience, enjoy and value the rich heritage and culture of Africa through the exhibition and production of the best of African cinema and films from creatives from Africa and its diaspora.

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