Full Programme Announced for 35th Durban International Film Festival
The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) returns to the city for its 35th year from 17-27 July to celebrate the wonder and diversity of global cinema.
Speaking at the announcement of the Festival’s line-up at UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts, Festival Manager Mr Peter Machen said this year’s diverse line-up of world-class cinema included a key focus on 20 years of freedom and democracy in South Africa as well as a snapshot of contemporary British film and various focus areas.
‘The 20 Years of Freedom and Democracy programme features an expanded South African documentary programme in response to the large number of high quality doccies currently being produced in the country.
‘The result is a rich and diverse slate of films, including Khalo Matabane’s Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me and Miners Shot Down, Rehad Desai’s devastating account of Marikana. They are joined by many other films that chronicle lesser known but no less significant stories behind the end of apartheid and the rebirth of South Africa into a new country,’ said Machen.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, further pointed out that the Festival was a special project of her office and would continue to receive support from the College to ensure the future of the Festival.
‘A festival of this nature is important as it contributes to nation-building and social cohesion and reflects global society. As one of the strategic initiatives of the College, we are working towards establishing a closer relationship between DIFF, our students and the School of Arts,’ said Potgieter.
The Head of the eThekwini Municipality’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Department, Mr Thembinkosi Ngcobo, said DIFF had become a signature event for Durban and continued to grow.
‘We have a three-year agreement with DIFF and we hope to increase the investment to ensure longevity of the Festival and to continue supporting this venture.’
The DIFF team also screened sneak-peak trailers for the upcoming Festival and revealed that this year’s opening night film Hard to Get - the electrifying feature debut from South African filmmaker Zee Ntuli, who has already received critical acclaim for his short films - will also enjoy its world premiere. The film follows the mercurial relationship between a handsome young womaniser and a beautiful, reckless petty criminal.
DIFF 2014 includes a generous selection of feature films, cutting edge documentaries, eight packages of short films and a selection of thrilling surf films in the Wavescape Film Festival.
This year also sees the return of Durban Wild Talk Africa, which includes a selection of the best environmentally themed films from around the world, as well as the second edition of The Films That Made Me, in which an acclaimed director introduces five films that have been important to his/her growth as a filmmaker.
Machen highlighted that the week after DIFF ended, Durban would host the World Congress of Architects. In acknowledgement of this, the Festival would present a small stream of films exploring various aspects of architecture.
DIFF 2014’s principal screening venues are Suncoast Cinecentre; Ster Kinekor Musgrave; Cinema Nouveau – Gateway; Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre; Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre in KwaMashu, and the Tsogo Sun Elangeni Hotel. Other venues include the Bay of Plenty Lawns, the KZNSA Gallery and the Luthuli Museum on the North Coast, which will have a special programme of screenings.
Tickets are available at the respective venues and prices range from R25 to R40 (R50 for 3D screenings), except at Luthuli Museum, Ekhaya, Elangeni Hotel and Bay of Plenty lawns, which are free of charge. The Short Film programme at the KZNSA Gallery costs R25.
Programme booklets with the full screening schedule and synopses of all the films are available free at cinemas, and other public information outlets.
For full Festival details go to www.durbanfilmfest.co.za or phone 03-2602506 or 03-2601816.
- Words and photograph by Melissa Mungroo