On Tuesday, July 1st, 2008, the Africa Program screened Township Opera, a moving documentary which follows a talented and diverse group of South African performers as they grow as artists, rise above adversity and controversy, and finally gain prominence as an international opera company. Many of the performers benefited immensely from the opportunity to develop their talents and perform, coming from townships where poverty and crime are pervasive, and where their possibilities are generally limited. In addition, this film shows that opera in South Africa is no longer an exclusively white enterprise, as it was during the apartheid era. The film culminates with the group's performance of Carmen, in London. Township Opera was directed by Anthony Fabian (While the Music Lasts, 2005, Harmony in Hanoi, 2003).
The South African Film Festival was a three-part series, co-hosted by the Wilson Center's Africa Program and the Embassy of South Africa.