Event details

Reception 7.30pm

Film 8.30pm

Introduced by director Jean van de Velde and lead actor Peter Paul Muller. With additional words of introduction from Sir Sydney Kentridge KCMG, QC.

Attending this event

Jean van de Velde

Born in 1957 in Bukavu (Democratic Republic of Congo) Jean van de Velde grew up in the tropics, went to secondary school in the Netherlands and studied at the Film Academy in Amsterdam. He has written and directed a large number of successful features and television series, including the award-winning LEAK and International Emmy Award winning All Stars. Recent movies Silent Army and The Price of Sugar have been selected for prestigious festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival and the AFI Fest. 

Peter Paul Muller

Peter Paul Muller is a Dutch film and TV actor whose films include All Stars, De Passievrucht, The Dominee and Everything is Love. He was awarded Best Supporting Actor at the Dutch Film Festival in 2011 for his role in the film Gooische Vrouwen. He plays the lead in An Act of Defiance, which is the Opening Night Gala film at the 2017 UK International Jewish Film Festival.

Sir Sydney Kentridge KCMG, QC

Sir Sydney has had an illustrious legal career both in South Africa and in England. In South Africa, he was appointed Senior Counsel in 1965. He represented Nelson Mandela in the Treason Trials between 1959-1961. He was a friend of, and defended, Bram Fischer (the hero of ‘An Act of Defiance), when Bram Fischer was accused of sabotage and treason, and an application was made to remove him from the Roll of Advocates for dishonourable conduct. In 1978, he represented the family of Steve Biko in the inquest into the brutal killing in police detention of Steve Biko, where he was instrumental in exposing the circumstances of Biko’s death. Kentridge practised with great distinction at the English Bar between 1977 and 2013, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1984.

Films screening at this event

An Act of Defiance

Jean van de Velde
Peter Paul Muller, Antoinette Louw, Sello Motloung
Netherlands, South Africa
124 min

1963, South Africa. Ten men – some black, some Jewish – are arrested for conspiring to commit sabotage against the Apartheid state and its government. Led by fellow defendant Nelson Mandela and represented by courageous lawyer Bram Fischer, the group members plead not guilty, shifting attention instead to the corrupted and grossly unjust political system. This powerful and captivating true story captures a seminal moment in the fight against racism and explores the little known role of South African Jews in consigning Apartheid to history.


Winner, Dorfman Best Film Award – UK Jewish Film Festival 2017