Cape Town & Winelands     International Film Festival

   A  Window  on  World  Cinema

The Team :

As in life, nothing can be achieved just by yourself and it takes a formidable team like ours to keep the Film Festival & the Film Mart running.


Leon van der Merwe was instrumental to organise several retrospectives of South African cinema at international events.

Since 2006 he has played a key role in several South African film festivals namely Apollo Film Festival, ABSA KKNK Film Festival and started the Cape Winelands Film Festival in 2008.

Leon served on several international festival Juries and is Advisory Board Member for the FILM FESTIVAL ACADEMY.

With major experience  in the development and marketing of tourism related products Melanie took up the position as Festival Manager in 2013

She has been responsible for designing and developing systems, policies and procedures in the arts, entertainment, tourism and economic development, including, strategic management where these inputs were implemented at regional and national levels, through  partnership with the Dti, DAC, NFVF and CATHSSETA. She played a strategic role in establishing and expanding businesses in these sectors.

Rafiq Samsodien - is South African, born and raised in Cape Town. He has more than 15 years of experience in the business of producing commercials, television / film / corporate video and industrial production.

As  Producer Rafiq has achieved numerous accolades and has built international relationships with clients from Europe to the Americas. He has served on many committees, such as the Arts and Culture Fund, creating policies for funding in the Western-Cape. He was also the Deputy Chairman of the Cape Film Commission and Chairman of the location sub committee for the Commission.

Dr Martin Botha is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town. He is a member of FIPRESCI (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique) and was South Africa’s correspondent for International Film Guide from 1991–2012.

He has published more than 200 articles, reports and papers on the South African media, including six books on South African cinema, namely Images of South Africa: the rise of the alternative film (1992), Movies Moguls Mavericks: South African cinema: 1979–1991, Marginal Lives and Painful Pasts: South African cinema after apartheid (2007), South African Cinema 1896–2010 (2012) etc.

At the 1994 Giffoni International Film Festival and at the 2009 Ischia Global Film and Music Festival he received awards for his contribution to South African cinema.