An Act Of Defience: The Bram Fischer Story To Open CIFM&F

The Cape Town International Film Market & Festival (CTIFM&F) will open on Thursday October 12th with the powerful and highly relevant South African story: An Act of Defiance; Die Bram Fischer Storie.

The film tells the story of a man who did not become legendary like his client, Nelson Mandela, but who was one of the key people in the fight for democracy in the country in the fifties and sixties.

Bram Fischer managed to reconcile his white Afrikaner roots with his desire for justice, joining the struggle against apartheid out of principle. He defended Nelson Mandela and his comrades in the Rivonia Trial of 1963 and 1964 – playing a crucial role in preventing the ANC-leaders being sentenced to death – and was an underground guerrilla at the same time.

The film is a co-production between Dutch and South African teams that have worked closely with the Fischer family and others, including some of the Rivonia triallists to create a highly authentic and accurate historical film.

Jean van de Velde directed this political thriller from his adapted screenplay based on Joel Joffe’s book The State Vs. Nelson Mandela. Van de Velde has this to say of the film, ““I never fully realised the commitment and sacrifice these brave men and women who fought Apartheid made, until making this movie; and I dare say this also on behalf of our very talented and motivated crew and cast, it once again opened our eyes.”

Producer Michael Auret expreses his thoughts on the film, “It’s appropriate that across the water from Robben Island, home to so many that gave their lives for the establishment of a non-racist and democratic South Africa, we can have the African Premiere of a film which celebrates the life and work of some that we have not heard before.”

South African actor Sello Motloung, who plays a young Nelson Mandela in the film visited the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg as part of his preparation for the role. The Foundation gave Motloung access to the audio records of “Speech from the Dock”, which Mandela delivered on 20 April 1964 during the Rivonia Trial to help him to re-create these powerful moments.

Much of the cast, the Director, Jean Van De Velde, Producers Hugh Rogers, Richard Claus and Mike Auret, co-producers, Lwazi Manzi and Pat Van Heerden will all be in attendance on Opening Night as well as Bram Fischer’s daughters, Ruth Rice Fischer and Ilse Fischer.

The cast members attending include Antoinette Louw, Morne Visser, Sello Motloung, Izel Bezuidenhout, Jose Domingos, Fezile Mpela, Conrad Kemp and Nico Van Diemen amongst others.

The Opening Night event is an invitation only Black Tie event that will see a host of celebrities and dignitaries walking the Red Carpet at Nu Metro at the V & A Waterfront.

The film will screen again for those who would like to see it can book via the cinema website for the following screening:

October 21st:  17:30 Ster Kinekor Cinema Nouveau V & A Waterfront

For all film screening details, schedules and special event programmes visit

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers. Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry. Catch him on Twitter: Instagram: IMDb: