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Bollywood "porn" wins DIFF

A Bollywood film with sex won the Durban International Film Festival. The award-winners were announced during the closing ceremony of the festival’s 37th edition at the Playhouse prior to the screening of the closing film, The Space in Between – Marina Abramovic and Brazil. The award for the Best Feature Film went to The Violin Player directed by Bauddhayan Mukherji. The jury’s citation said: “A seductive and mysterious tale of a...

Viva South Africa

The Durban International Film Festival opens on 16 June and the SA film industry is alive and well. The day is significant as it is the 40th anniversary of the Soweto uprising. The world premieres of 2 local doccies and the SA premiere of Oliver Hermanus’ new thriller are some of the highlights. Hermanus made the gay film Beauty that won the Queer Palm. Nobody’s Died Laughing is a theatrical-action-documentary that celebrates the life and work of performing artist and activist Piet...

No "Shepherds and butchers" in Durban

Producer, Anant Singh and director, Oliver Schmitz announced with great disappointment, the withdrawal of their film SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS from the Durban International Film Festival. Speaking from Berlin, Oliver Schmitz said, “It is with great regret that I support the withdrawal of SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS from the Durban International Film Festival. I had high hopes of premiering SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS in Durban. It has been the most respected South African festival for me for...

Strong African Content for DIFF 2016

This year’s edition of the Durban International Film Festival (16-26 June) once more features a very strong selection of African titles. With just under half of all the films originating from Africa and South Africa, and much of the rest of the programme dealing with diasporic issues and identity politics, this year’s DIFF is a true festival of African film located within a global context. Of the 101 feature-length films to be shown at the festival, 50 are African films, including ...


The annual Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) and the Durtban FilmMart (DFM) have announced the dates for next year’s editions, which take place almost a month earlier than the usual July dates. The DIFF will now take place from June 16 to 26, 2016 while the DFM will take place from 17 to 20 June, 2016 The events have been rescheduled due to a clash with the 21st International Aids Conference, which takes place at the end of Jul 2016. The AIDS conference will be using both the El...

DIFF announces award winners for 2015

The Durban International Film Festival announced its award-winners at the closing ceremony of the festival’s 36th edition at the Suncoast Cinecentre, prior to the screening of the closing film, The Prophet directed by Roger Allers.  The international jury this year was led by former Manager of the DIFF and current Director of the Sydney Film Festival, Nashen Moodley and included prolific and award-winning South African filmmaker Robbie Thorpe, South African producer of numerous award...

Do I sound gay?

Showing at DIFF at the same time as its opening in the US is a fascinating documentary about the gay voice called Do I sound gay?. The film is a funny yet technical examination of the gay voice, which I didn't know existed before I saw the film. It is a real eye-opener as it immediately made you examine your own voice. Suddenly everybody in the cinema was practising their s's and going down at the end of a sentence instead of going up! The crowd was mainly gay and they, as I,...

Dealt a taste of Durban weather

I saw one of the best crime thrillers that I've ever seen last night and visited Taste of Durban, a food festival presented outdoors in the pouring rain.  Durbanites huddled under their umbrellas while sampling food and wine. That reminds me, I'm seeing a Swedish documentary about food porn called Foodies today. I could only take competing for a dry seat, hiding under umbrellas, getting rain in my Thai food and having my ale diluted for so long and headed for the scr...

Joost do it

Nike changed their well-known slogan from Just do it to Joost do it on the sports icon's 43nd birthday. Normally that sort of tribute would mean you have made it. In his case, it was a way of saying thank you for still being with us. I saw Glory Game - The Joost van der Westhuizen Story at DIFF yesterday and its a masterpiece.  The cinema was almost empty with a couple of die hard fans. I find that shocking as people apparently don't pay to see documentaries. If ...

The sun always shines on TV

  I arrived in Durban, one of the world's top surf cities and a sub tropical paradise on 22 July and it's wet, cold and gloomy.  Allow me to quote eighties band A-ha when they sang "The sun always shines on TV". They sang about the unpredictable British weather; I am referring to what happens at one of the world's top film festivals. It may have been wet and cold outside, but the impact of the two world premieres screened on 22 July and the sold o...

A Dry White Season on Mandela Day

The award-winning and world-renowned French filmmaker Euzhan Palcy will showcase her most celebrated work, A DRY WHITE SEASON (1989), as part of the film’s 25th anniversary at this year’s Durban International Film Festival (DIFF). The film was adapted from a book by the acclaimed South African writer Andre Brink who died earlier this year. Palcy will be honoring Brink on Mandela Day (July 18). Additionally, in a tribute to her contribution to the South African film industry, Palcy w...

Fabulous French films in Durban

Urucu Media, one of South Africa’s newest feature film production houses, which recently produced the internationally acclaimed Necktie Youth, is proud to announce that they have partnered with Cannes’s La Semaine de la Critique (Critic’s Week) to host a dynamic selection of the top films emerging from this programme in recent years.  The South African programme launches as part of the Durban International Film Festival 2015, at Cinecentre, Suncoast ...

Durban going back to its roots

The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) has announced its programme and the choice is amazing. DIFF returns for its 36th year of cinematic celebration. From 16 to 26 July, the city will be illuminated by the wonder and diversity of global cinema. This year's diverse line-up includes an expanded focus on African cinema with a selection of Africa's Lost Classics and a showcase of this year's FESPACO winners. Other focus areas include a cross-section of contemporary cinema...

Talents Durban 2015 Participants Announced - Durban International Film Festival

The 36th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) is proud to announce the participants of the 8th edition of Talents Durban, presented in cooperation with the Berlinale Talents an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival. Talents Durban is a five day development programme made up of workshops and seminars for African filmmakers delivered by film professionals, academics and intellectuals. The Talents, who are selected through a rigorous application process, will also have the opp...

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...

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 ...


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