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Durban Film Festival


Durban calls for entries

The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) will celebrate its 36th edition from 16 to 26 July 2015. Presenting over 250 screenings of cutting-edge cinema from around the world, with a special focus on films from South Africa and Africa, the festival exhibits films in a diversity of venues around the city. DIFF is the premiere platform for the launch of African films and a key gateway to the African film industry. The festival also includes a local and international awards component.  On...

Durban International Film Festival Announces Award Winners for 2014

The Durban International Film Festival announced its award-winners last night at the closing ceremonof the festival’s 35th edition at the Suncoast CineCentre Supernova, prior to the screening of its closing film, Million Dollar Arm. The announcement comes as the festival rounds off a very successful year, with significant increase in attendance with many films screening to sold-out audiences. Festival Manager Peter Machen says of this year’s event: “I was extremely ha...

My last day of DIFF: Strong women in film

My last day of DIFF had 3 films and they starred strong women. The storylines are so different – one is a monkey, the other is an elderly Chinese mother and the third is a vampire. Day 6 kicked off with the beautiful wildlife doccie called Amazonia in 3D. The film follows a capuchin monkey called Sai, who is dumped in the Amazon after a a plane crash. I would love to know how this was filmed. It is a tale of an animal that has to survive although she is tame. The soundtrack, only monkey...

Out and proud or not?

  Gender and sexuality is one of the official themes at DIFF.   I saw three films today and a little-known surfer documentary stole the show. Out in the    line up is the story of how gay surfers struggle to fit in in one of the most macho sports. It    is polished, beautifully filmed, straight forward without offending and even funny. It is a    pity the doccie was only screened once as a wider audience should s...

Apartheid alive and well

    Racial and religious intolerance go hand in hand   Day 4 at DIFF consisted of two films that portray Apartheid - one set in modern SA and    the other in the West Bank.  Twenty years after democracy in SA, Fatherland was quite a shock. While most of South    Africa have embraced the rainbow nation, a small group of right wing extremists still    fight the ”negroids".  In this ...

Love is strange

Love is strange indeed. How many words do we have for love? Day 3 at DIFF consisted of three films that have love as its central theme - admiration for a friend, revenge after the loss of a loved one and love by family and friends. How strange to be named Federico is Ettore Scola's tribute to his friend, Frederico Fellini. This documentary, part recreation and part original footage, shows how the master developed from cartoonist to deity. I expected a more dissecting portrait of the...

Film in the cards at Durban's DIFF 2014

My psychic was right... I visited the psychic expo before my first film of the day and the tarot reader told me I'm very relaxed and happy. She was spot on. How can I not be? I'm in Durban at the country's top film event with a smorgasbord of art and independent films just waiting to be seen.  The 3 films on my menu are superb, albeit for very different reasons. The variety at DIFF this year is outstanding with films for all tastes. I kicked ...

Let's be frank

Gone to far   Technical issues can be so frustrating. Last year's DIFF was dogged by technical issues as one of the main venues switched over to digital just before the festival. I tried to put that behind me. Come 2014, I flew to the surf city in a positive mood just to be slapped through the face with technical issues. My first day at the prime film fest in the southern hemisphere was, I'm sad to say, disappointing. Icehorse, the first fully improvised Dutch film, was suppos...

Durban DIFF goes British

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 ...

DIFF 35 programme announced

The programme for DIFF 35 has been announced and film lovers can travel the world without leaving their seats. 2014 sees the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) return for its 35th year to celebrate the wonder and diversity of global cinema. From 17 to 27 July, Durban will be lit by the glow of the silver screen, with over 250 screenings in 9 venues across the city. Alongside this smorgasbord of the best of contemporary cinema from around the planet, including 69 feature films, 60 do...

Durban goes back to its roots

The ever-expanding African film industry will once more be represented at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) 2014 although South African film retains the festival’s key focus, with 40 feature-length films and 38 short films – most of them receiving their world premieres on Durban screens, and collectively representing by far the largest number of South African films in the festival’s 35 year history.This year’s opening night film on July 17 se...

Discover the dark underworld of Joburg - in Durban!

The 35th Durban International Film Festival announces Hard to Get for its opening night film The Durban International Film Festival (July 17 – 27) is extremely happy to announce that the opening film at DIFF 2014 will be Hard To Get from first-time feature director Zee Ntuli and produced by Junaid Ahmed and Helena Spring. The film tells the story of TK, a handsome young womanizer from a small community who falls for a sexy, reckless young thief named Skiets. Thrust into Joburg’s ...

Countdown to Durban

The countdown to the 35th Durban International Film Festival has begun. Thematically, this edition of DIFF will reflect on South Africa’s twenty years of democracy with a focus on film that explores the many diverse facets of the nation’s history over the past two decades. Other focus areas for this year include African cinema, British cinema, the Wildtalk Wildlife Film Festival, Wavescape Surf Film Festival and a programme of cinema centred on architecture, in acknowledgement of t...

20 Years of democracy

The South African delegation lead by the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa in partnership with KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, Durban Film Office and WESGRO will this year celebrate 20 Years of Freedom at the 67th Cannes International Film Festival. The festival has been scheduled to run from the 14th until the 25th of May in Cannes, France.   "As we celebrate the 20 years of Freedom we reflect on the strides that we have made both as a nation and the loca...


The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) will celebrate its 35th edition from 17th to 27th July 2014 with over 250 screenings of cutting-edge cinema from around the world with a special focus on films from South Africa and Africa. The largest of Southern Africa’s film festivals, and the most important film festival in Africa, DIFF has a film competition component and also presents screenings in township areas where cinemas are non-existent. The festival will consider films completed...

Durban awards winners

DIFF honoured its two favourite sons, Qubeka and Worsdale, during the awards ceremony on Saturday 27 July. Intense pressure on the morality police also prevailed with the unbanning of the opening film and a screening on the last day. Presenting the award for Best Feature Film to the film The Land of Hope. The International Jury commended Sion Sono for a film that “masterfully and humbly draws together an array of cinematic means of expression to engage us in a story”. The internat...

Cape Town to Pyongyang - reporting from Durban DIFF

Only at a film festival can you experience the underworlds of Cape Town and Bangkok and the beauty of North Korea. Tourist brochures paint a very different picture. My last day at Diff started with a doccie about the Nice Time Kids, a gang on the Cape Flats. The Devil's Lair takes viewers into the home of one of the gang leaders where death can come at any moment and his wife also lives with this reality. There are no more screenings at DIFF. Ryan Gosling can be seen in Only God Forgive...

Attack of the deranged vaginas

How did Pussy Riot - A punk prayer escape the wrath of the SA morality police? As a member of Brics, Russia is a friend and the film is everything they don't like - offensive, deranged, undesirable and shocking. Luckily they did not apply the chop as its one of the best examples of filmmaking I've ever seen and everybody should see it.. The doccie had its African premiere on Monday - on the same day new draconian anti-gay laws and an anti-blasphemy law, aptly called the Pussy Riot law, came in...

Durban poisoned

Lovers of weed will know that Durban poison is a prime example of marijuana. It is also the most destructive. This year's DIFF was poisoned by the banning of the opening film and cancellation of yet another film yesterday not approved by the morality police. The screening of Michael Winterbottom's The Look of Love about British porn baron Paul Raymond was cancelled and its remaining screening on 28 July is in doubt. According to the organisers, The Look of Love wasn't banned, they only cou...

The sex issue

One of the themes at this year's DIFF is sexual identities and it certainly has stirred up a lot of interest. The day  will be remembered for two reasons: seeing three sex films (sexual identities sounds too sterile) and the technical problems at Musgrave Centre with films getting cancelled and the festival's reputation on the line. The day had the feeling of a G&L filmfest as I saw I am Divine and Interior. Leather Bar, James Franco's weird but ste...

The heat is on

I don't know what's more uncomfortable - the balmy 30 Celsius in winter and uncertainty after the banning of the opening film at DIFF. The organisers will appeal the banning at the Constitutional Court, but I can't stop myself from thinking what's next. I attended two screenings on Day 2. In previous years I had never thought of interference from anybody in the choice of films screened , and now I can't help thinking that almost 90% of the...

Opening film banned

  Nothing short of an outrage. That's the only way I can describe the gagging of art and artists in the new supposedly free South Africa. Hallo film festivals lovers. Its time for the 34th Durban International Festival which kicked off on 18 July with shocking events on day 1.  The opening film, Of Good Report, was not screened as it was banned by the SA Film and Publications Board aka Big Brother - the first film to be banned in SA in twenty year...

Opening film banned

  Nothing short of an outrage. That's the only way I can describe the gagging of art and artists in the new supposedly free South Africa. Hallo film festivals lovers. Its time for the 34th Durban International Festival which kicked off on 18 July with shocking events on day 1.  The opening film, Of Good Report, was not screened as it was banned by the SA Film and Publications Board aka Big Brother - the first film to be banned in SA in twenty year...

Durban reveals programme

2013 sees the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), with principal funding by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, return for its 34th year to celebrate the beauty and diversity of global cinema. From 18 to 28 July, Durban will be illuminated by the glow of the silver screen, with over 250 screenings in 11 venues across the city. Alongside this smorgasbord of the best of contemporary cinema from around, comprising 72 feature films, 48 documentaries and 45 short films, the festiva...

Amour wins big in Durban

Award-winners announced at Durban International Film Festival The 33rd edition of the Durban International Film Festival, with principal funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund,  this evening (Saturday, July 28) announced its award-winners, prior to the closing film. Winner of the Best Feature Film award, Love (Amour) was applauded by the International Jury as “unmissable”, and the film’s director Michael Haneke, as a “contemporary master with an astute under...


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