Martin Botha

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(1959-) Theatre and film critic, teacher and historian.


Born in Bethlehem in the Orange Free State, he went to school there and at Grey College, Bloemfontein. Then studied at the University of the Orange Free State and completed a doctorate on South African film there in 1990. His career included stints as lecturer and/or researcher at the Human Sciences Research Council (1983-1995), Film and Allied workers Organisation Johannesburg (1990 - 1994), University of Pretoria (1996 - 1997), City Varsity (1999-2004), Academic Head of the School of Media at City Varsity (2005), and was then appointed as Associate Professor in the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town in 2006.

In adition he has been arts editor of VUKA!

His contribution to South African Theatre, Film and Media studies


In addition to teaching, Botha has been a freelance film critic since the 1980’s he has published more than 200 articles, reports and papers on the South African media, including six books on South African cinema , i.e. Images of South Africa: the rise of the alternative film (1992), Movies Moguls Mavericks: South African cinema: 1979-1991 (1992), Kronieken van Zuid-Afrika: De films van Manie van Rensburg (1997) Jans Rautenbach: Dromer, baanbreker en auteur (2006), Marginal Lives and Painful Pasts: South African cinema after apartheid (2007) and South African Cinema 1896 – 2010 (2011).

He is a member of FIPRESCI (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique), South Africa’s correspondent for International Film Guide since 1991 and the founder of the African Cinema Unit at the Centre for Film and Media Studies. In addition he has advised on several national and international film festivals (including the Cape Winelands Film Festival, as well as Apollo, Edinburgh, Giffoni, Locarno, Durban, Zanzibar, the African Film Festivals in Milan and Leuven, the Genova Film Festival, the former Sithengi and the Festival des 3 Continents).


His involvement in theatre includes membership of the KKNK Kunstekabinet ("Arts cabinet" or advisory body: 2004 - 2008) and its Kannapaneel (awards committee: 2007 - 2008).


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