Durban International Film Festival’s Programme Announced
The full programme for the 37th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), hosted by UKZN’s College of Humanities, was announced during a media launch at the Maharani hotel.
The Festival takes place at 15 venues across the city and its outlying areas from 16-26 June.
College Director of Professional Services, Mr Kishore Gobardan, said at the launch: ‘As the College of Humanities, we are proud to host the Festival and we will continue to support it.’
Head of eThekwini Municipality’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Department, Mr Thembinkosi Ngcobo, said: ‘As the city, we are investing R4 million into the festival. We have realised that in order for the Festival to continue to grow, it needs to impact all corners of our city and be accessible to a wide range of audiences and we are happy that venues have been selected in areas such as Umlazi and KwaMashu.’
The Festival opens on the 40th anniversary of the June 16, 1976 uprising with the world premiere of the South African documentary, The Journeymen, directed by Sean Metelerkamp and produced by Jolynn Minnaar.
Other South African Films include Endless River by Oliver Hermanus Kalushi which chronicles the story of Solomon Mahlangu; the mockumentary Wonderboy for President starring Kagiso Lediga and directed by John Barker, and Tess from previous DIFF winner Ms Meg Rickards, which follows the story of a sassy 20-year-old prostitute on the streets of Cape Town.
A South African documentary to be screened is Alison, a deeply personal account of a woman who endures unimaginable suffering but refuses to become a victim.
Acting Festival Director Mr Peter Machen spoke enthusiastically about this year’s programme. ‘This is my 27th year attending the Festival and it’s been incredible to watch the continual expansion of African cinema, as the industry slowly rebirths in the wake of colonialism,’ said Machen.
‘In those first years that I attended, there was virtually no African content, and it’s wonderful that an industry which exists against a background of enormous challenges is growing with such vigour. African cinema continues to grow more and more complex, offering a wealth of cinematic language that puts much of mainstream cinema to shame.’
According to Machen, other key areas include ‘a focus on issues around indigenous rights and colonialism, a small programme of films that deal with HIV (given the fact that the World AIDS Conference takes place in Durban two weeks after the Festival ends), and a rich programme of films about dance and music’.
There is also a country focus on Dutch cinema, in recognition of the Dutch-South African Co-production Treaty, as well as a focus on Portuguese-language African film in partnership with the Tri-Continental Film Festival.
DIFF partners for the 11th year with Wavescape to present a feast of surfing cinema from around the world. Wavescape opens with a free outdoor screening at the Bay of Plenty Lawns on Sunday, 19 June, before locating to the new venue at Rivertown Beerhall from 20 to 26 June.
The 9th Talents Durban in co-operation with Berlinale Talents, brings together the creativity of 20 selected film makers from Africa who will take part in a series of master classes, workshops and industry networking opportunities during the Festival.
Programme booklets with the full screening schedule and synopses of all the films will be available free at cinemas, and other public information outlets.
For more information visit www.durbanfilmfest.co.za The full programme will be available online from 1 June.