South Africa's largest and longest-running film festival, the Durban International Film Festival, hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, (a special project of the Deputy Vice Chancellor, College of Humanities, Prof Cheryl Potgieter) presents its 35th edition from 17 to 27 July 2014. This year, the ten day celebration of world class cinema will see over 200 screenings of new films from South Africa, the continent and the world, with a number of world premiere screenings of local and international films.
Industry initiatives include a programme of seminars and workshops with notable industry figures from across the globe, the 7th Talents Durban, in cooperation with the Berlin Talents (which seeks to incubate African talent through master classes and networking opportunities), and the 5th Durban FilmMart coproduction market in partnership with the Durban Film Office, which is currently open for delegate registration.
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 the city of Durban’s hosting of the International Union of Architects Congress 2014. Among this year’s plentiful offerings, viewers will get the chance to watch Khalo Matabane’s Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Mickey Dube’s One Humanity, Annalet Steenkamp's I, Afrikaner, Carey Mackenzie’s Cold Harbour, Diao Yinan’s Black Coal, Thin Ice and Jane Pollard and Iain Forsyth’s 20 000 Days on Earth, to name just a few.
While DIFF will returns once more to light up screens in numerous venues across the city with a programme of fresh and exciting global cinema, the festival is delighted to announce that the festival hub, which houses both screenings and industry events, will now be located at the new, lavishly renovated Tsogo Sun hotel on Durban beachfront’s Golden Mile.
Mike Jackson, Director of Operations for Tsogo Sun KZN said, “Tsogo Sun, the leading hotels, gaming and entertainment company in South Africa, is proud to be associated with the forthcoming Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) and the Durban Film Mart (DFM). This is the first time that Tsogo Sun has been appointed the official event and accommodation partner for this prestigious event and we are proud that our mega-complex – Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani – is the chosen venue. We see this as a fantastic opportunity to showcase Durban to national and international film producers, buyers, sales agents, broadcasters and film financiers, with great networking opportunities for local talent. We look forward to welcoming both national and international visitors to our Province to enjoy the warm hospitality at our hotels.”
Festival manager, Peter Machen, is looking forward to the move, which is, according to him, “both strategic and practical. Both the festival and market have grown tremendously over the years and we needed to consider a venue that could accommodate the size of our current set of programmes, as well as allow for growth in line with future plans".
The festival is a key event for the African film industry and is an unmissable date on any film lover’s calendar. Keep an eye on durbanfilmfest.co.za for details and screening schedules. Follow on Twitter @DIFFest or Facebook on DurbanInternationalFilmFestival.
The 35th Durban International Film Festival is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) with support 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, the KZN Film Commission and a range of other valued partners.