It’s juts nine days to go to the start of the 34th Durban International Film Festival , South Africa’s premier film industry event which sees a host of local, continental and international filmmakers and film-lovers converge in the city to feast on everything to do with film from July 18 to 28.
The festival, is hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts, University of KwaZulu-Natal, a special project of the Deputy Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities, Prof Cheryl Potgieter, with principal funding by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund. Over the years, the fest has grown in global stature to being one of the most important global festivals for viewing African and South African films, as well as offering audiences the best of the most recent international films. The full programme with schedule of films and workshop and seminar as well as all synopses of films is now up on the web – www.durbanfilmfest.co.za.
Eleven venues around Durban will host 170 films in 250 screenings in a smorgasbord of the best of contemporary cinema, and film-lovers and aspiring and experienced film-makers can enjoy a comprehensive workshop and seminar programme that facilitates the sharing of knowledge and skills by film industry experts.
This year the theme focus areas are African cinema with 12 world premieres of South African films including the opening night film Of Good Report directed by Jahmil Qubeka; Contemporary Europe, American Independent films, films about sexual identifies and sexuality, a Zombie fest as well as a broad variety of films showcasing the best of world cinema.
For film-lovers, this is an opportunity to go see films from firm favourites as well as to explore new and first time directors, films from new places and foreign language films; to discuss and debate the films, and get to meet the people who make them. Festival-goers will be delighted to hear that the DIFF has created a new free public marquee with refreshments for sale in front of the Blue Waters Hotel, as a social meeting point.
For film-makers there is the Fourth Durban FilmMart, a partnership project with the Durban Film Office, and supported by the City of Durban, which is a film finance and co-production market presented in three strands – Finance Forum, Master Classes and the Africa in Focus seminars. The DFM master class and networking programme is open to registered delegates only. See www.durbanfilmmart.com for further details.
For the ninth year, DIFF partners with Wavescape – a feast of surfing cinema and shark stories including 11 features and 5 shorts with a free outdoor screening at the Bay of Plenty Lawns on Sunday 21 July, before locating at Ster-Kinekor Musgrave Monday 22 July to Friday 26 July.
The 6th Talent Campus Durban brings together the creativity of 50 selected filmmakers from 18 different countries in Africa, chosen from over 450 submissions, who will take part in a series of masterclasses, workshops and industry networking opportunities during the DIFF.
Running parallel to the DIFF is Durban Wild Talk Africa, the continent’s most respected Natural History Film Festival and Conference which takes place at the Docklands Hotel in Durban from July 23 to 26. For more info www.wildtalkafrica.com.
Principal screening venues are Suncoast Cinecentre; Ster Kinekor Musgrave, Cinema Nouveau – Gateway, Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre; Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre in KwaMashu; and the Blue Waters Hotel. Other venues include the Bay of Plenty Lawns, the Upstairs at Spiga D’oro and the Luthuli Museum on the North Coast, which will have a special programme of screenings.
Tickets are through the respective venues and prices range from R25 to R35 (R50 for 3D screenings), except at Luthuli Museum, Blue Waters, Ekhaya and Bay of Plenty lawns, which are free of charge. The Short Film programme at Upstairs at Spiga d’Oro costs R20.
Programme booklets with the full screening schedule and synopses of all the films are available free at cinemas, and other public information outlets. Full festival details can also be found on www.durbanfilmfest.co.za or by calling 031 2602506.
Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts in the College of Humanities (University of KwaZulu-Natal) the Durban International Film Festival is supported by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder), National Film and Video Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism, City of Durban, German Embassy, Goethe Institut, Industrial Development Corporation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture, and a range of other valued partners.