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Special Focus on UK Film at the 35th Durban International Film Festival 

 Special Focus on UK Film at the 35th Durban International Film Festival 

This year’s edition of the 35th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) sees a special focus on British Cinema. Supported by the British Council and its Connect ZA programme, the focus is Part of the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015 cultural season taking place over the next two years.

In recognition of this season, DIFF presents a diverse snapshot of contemporary British cinema – including the strangely compelling Lilting, which tells the story of the triangular relationship between two gay men and one of their mothers, ’71 which is set in Belfast at the beginning of The Troubles and the highly endearing Frank, which chronicles the misadventures of a band of outsider musicians.

Other features include How I Live Now, a post-apocalyptic tale set in rural England in the wake of a nuclear bomb, and The Selfish Giant, a Dickensian tale of two working class boys who live on the knife’s edge of poverty and adolescence. Gone Too Far! offers a nuanced look at race in contemporary Britain, while Only Lovers Left Alive is the UK-produced downbeat vampire masterpiece from Jim Jarmusch.

British documentaries include InRealLife, which explores our relationship with the internet and social networking technology, the real-life heist drama Smash and Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers,  20 000 Days on Earth, which documents a fictitious day in the life of much-loved musician Nick Cave, Coach Zoran and His African Tigers which tells of the birth of the South Sudanese national soccer team, and the UK/SA co-production One Humanity, which documents the global anti-apartheid movement from the perspective of the two tribute concerts to Nelson Mandela that took place in London in 1988 and 1990.

In addition to this focus area in DIFF’s programming, the DIFF UK Focus also includes free public screenings of British films, preceded by a programme of short films from young South African filmmakers presented by the National Film and Video Foundation. These screenings will take place on Friday 18 July, Saturday 19 July, Friday 25 July and Saturday 26 July on the Bay of Plenty lawns on Durban’s Marine Parade.

Said Festival Manager, Peter Machen, “The collaboration between the British Council, the NFVF and the Durban International Film Festival for DIFF 2014 will help the festival to expand its festival base, attract diverse new audiences. The beach screenings at the Bay of Plenty will help to make the festival more inclusive by increasing the number of free screenings offered to the public. Set against the gorgeous backdrop of Durban’s beachfront, the event will also do much to infuse the festival with the spirit of freedom and the sharing of culture”

The Durban International Film Festival takes place from 17 – 27 July 2014. The festival includes more than 200 theatrical screenings and a full seminar and workshop programme, as well as the Wavescape Film Festival, the Wild Talk Africa Film Festival, and various industry initiatives, including the 7th Talents Durban (in cooperation with Talents Berlinale ) and  the 5th Durban FilmMart co-production market (in partnership with the Durban Film Office).  For more information go to

The UK Focus is supported by the British Council, while the beach screenings form part of the British Council’s Connect ZA programme, and are presented in conjunction with the National Film and Video Foundation.

The 35th Durban International Film Festival is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (a special project of the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter) with support from the National Film and Video Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development & Tourism, KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, City of Durban, German Embassy, Goethe Institut, Industrial Development Corporation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture and range of other valued partners.

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