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Anti-coal film wins Best SA Short Documentary Award at Jozi Film Festival

September 25, 2017 at 8:20 am

We are proud to announce that The Bliss of Ignorance, a documentary made in collaboration with our partner organisation groundWork and Friends of the Earth International, won the award for best South African short documentary at the 2017 Jozi Film Festival last night.

London-based filmmaker Simon Waller directed, shot and edited this 30-minute documentary looking at the impact of South Africa’s coal-fired power stations on air pollution, public health and the wider climate change debate. Living on location in the townships of Mpumalanga, Waller was able to witness the effects of the industry on local communities and the natural world. He also travelled to Pretoria, Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town gathering interviews from a range of experts and stakeholders including South Africa’s public utility giant Eskom. A number of activists, lawyers and academics associated with the Life After Coal/Impilo Ngaphandle Kwamalahle campaign are interviewed in the film.

If you haven’t seen this beautiful and compelling film yet, take 30 minutes to watch The Bliss of Ignorance. You can also watch it in Zulu.

For more updated information on the health impacts of Eskom’s coal, visit: Air pollution from coal power stations causes disease and kills thousands of South Africans every year, says UK expert

For more updated information on Eskom’s avoidance of complying with the minimum emission standards under the Air Quality Act, visit

For more information on the campaign against coal in South Africa, visit the Life After Coal/Impilo Ngaphandle Kwamalahle campaign website.

For media queries, please contact Annette Gibbs on agibbs@cer.org.za or 082 467 1295.

Life After Coal Campaign organisations (Centre for Environmental RightsEarthlife Africa Jhb and groundWork):

Centre for Environmental Rights: Annette Gibbs, Email: agibbs@cer.org.za, Mobile: 082 467 1295

groundWork: Nombulelo Shange, Email: nombulelo@groundwork.org.za, Mobile: 078 874 2177

Earthlife Africa: Makoma Lekalakala, Email: makoma@earthlife.org.za, Mobile: 082 682 9177

Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

Report a Violation

National Environmental Crimes & Incidents Hotline (24 hours): 0800 205 005

In addition, there are a number of national and provincial hotlines that may be useful.

Contact us

  • Address:Cape Town: Second Floor, Springtime Studios, 1 Scott Road, Observatory, 7925, Cape Town - View map
  • Address:Johannesburg: Ninth Floor, Southpoint Corner, 87 De Korte Street, Braamfontein, 2001, Johannesburg - View map