JOMBA! on the Edge - 4 Sept - Sneddon


20th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience


The annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience, hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts showcases a feast of dance from August 28 to September 9 at various venues around the City.


One of the features of the festival, which celebrates it 20th anniversary, is JOMBA! ON THE EDGE, which aims to encourage young dance-makers to create new work and to draw new creative young audiences into the festival.


Three young professional local dance-makers were awarded grants to premier new work on this platform on Tuesday 4 September @ 7.30pm at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. 


A major talent on the local dance landscape and winner of the  2017  ‘JOMBA! Pick of the Fringe’ award,  JC Zondi opens this programme with “Classi_filed” - a physical theatre piece that depicts the role clothing plays in our lives. Zondi’s unique style of contact improvising and lyrical choreography is intensified in this work.


The gutsy Kristi-Leigh Gresse, having just received a gold Fringe Ovations Award at the 2018 National Arts Festival for her work “Sullied”, offers her newest creations “Blank”. In this work she follows her interrogations of the role of women in society. Her strong technical prowess as a dancer is situated against stark and dangerous subject matter that is making the dance community in South Africa sit up and notice. 


Finally, Tshediso Kabulu who has opted to share this grant with fellow dancer Thami Majela in a joint creation called “IMVELO”. Imvelo is a Zulu word that translates to mean origin and/or tradition. This work is a gentle and often intimate look at human relationships that journeys back to origins and beginnings. It question societal ‘truths’ that often get in the way of love and tenderness. 


Of special note is that all three of these choreographers have collaborated with JOMBA!’s visiting Chicago (USA) lighting designer Julie Ballard  who has shared her technical skills with these 3 emerging choreographers in bringing their work to the stage.  


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JOMBA! @DAG – September 7 at 6pm

Media Release

JOMBA! @DAG – September 7 at 6pm

20th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience


Dance that moves away from traditional performance spaces to challenge its audience has always been of interest to contemporary dance-makers. In the spirit of adventure and creating new ways in which to interact and engage with audiences, this year the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience joins forces with the Durban Art Gallery to present a JOMBA! @ DAG a free public event on Friday, September 7 at 6pm at the Gallery in Anton Lembede Road.


This event brings together dance-makers and fine artists in the unique site-responsive space of DAG. In keeping with the Women’s Month DAG exhibition theme of “SHE” which has been curated by Jenny Stretton, JOMBA! @DAG features work by Durban women dance-makers Lorin Sookool, and Jabu Siphika and Zinhle Nzama, Swiss choreographer and dancer Ioannis Mandafounis, Malagasy Gaby Saranouffi who partners with  South Africa’s Moeketsi Koena and films by Spain’s Aïda Colmenero Dïaz


Lorin Sookool, fast developing a reputation for her iconic pop art, street funk and contemporary dance confluence, presents “The Moon and Her Bloom” that looks at the relationship between the sexual and the sacred. Jabu Siphika and Zinhle Nzama collaborate on a dance performance installation called “Locked” that looks at contemporary black (African) women’s lives that transect township, rural and urban living. The work will feature 3 generations of women (mothers, children and gogos). It is a very personal encounter with black women’s private and public selves and the questions around identity that link into the ‘#metoo’ phenomenon.


Ioannis Mandafounis, once again shares his unique vision of challenging audience/dancer relationships. His latest duet “ONE-ONE-ONE” offers the simple staging of two parallel lines on the floor and two chairs, one on each line. The dancers invade the public space and invite the audience into an unexpected experience providing a witty and challenging dance work


Malagasy Gaby Saranouffi partners with  South Africa’s Moeketsi Koena in a riveting duet “CORPS/BODY” a collaboration between four artists from France, South Africa, Madagascar and Mozambique that explores embodied links between the real and unreal through photography, music and dance.  


Dance films created by Spain’s Aïda Colmenero Dïaz called “SHE-POEMS” are short solo pieces of contemporary dance performed by creative African women that Dïaz has encountered in her travels on the continent and are inspired by poems written by women.


JOMBA! @DAG is free and there is a cash bar.

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Fabulous Fringe Events at JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience.



Fabulous Fringe Events at JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience.


The JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience, hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts, UKZN,  celebrates its 20th edition, offering its audiences a variety of dance in which to indulge over the 13 day event taking place from 28 August to 9 September.


This year, besides a packed programme of dance on the main festival,  six new short works are featured on the Fringe which takes place on Saturday, September 1 at 7.30pm at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.


“This open performance platform provides an opportunity for choreographers (some new to choreography and some professional dancers and dance makers) to present their work in a professional theatre environment with the support of a full technical team,” says Artistic Director of JOMBA! Lliane Loots. “This is one of the ways in which the JOMBA! festival offers assistance in developing dance and choreographic talent, by offering open professional performance spaces.”


Works to be presented this year include Mbontsi and Alice Findlay – Pietermaritzburg (KZN), Flatfoot Dance Company (Junior Company: Sbonga Ndlovu, Ndumiso Dube, Siseko Duba, Qhawe Ndimande and Mthoko Mkhwanazi – Durban (KZN), Mlondi Ngubani –  Pietermaritzburg (KZN), Sabelo Cele – Pietermaritzburg (KZN), Sizwe Hlophe – Durban (KZN) and Thulisile Binda – Johannesburg (Gauteng).


For the second year running the Centre for Creative Arts, will honour one of the works with the “JOMBA! Pick Of the Fringe Award” in recognition of the excellence that independent artists and companies bring to this platform. This award comes with a small cash prize but more significantly the artist making the winning work is automatically invited to the 2019 JOMBA! KZN ON THE EDGE platform to premier a new fuller length work that will be financially and technically supported by JOMBA!


The adjudication panel for 2018 are Adrienne Sichel - independent arts/dance journalist and writer, and curator for The Ar(t)chive at the Wits School of Arts., Lauren Warnecke – special guest to the JOMBA! 2018 festival, dance writer and journalist (Chicago, USA)  and Musa Hlatshwayo – dancer, choreographer and Director for Mhayise Producitons and 2018 recipient of the Standard Bank Yong Artist Award. 


Last year’s award went to Pietermaritzburg’s JC Zondi, who has now been invited to present a new work on the “JOMBA! ON THE EDGE” platform on Tuesday, September 4 at 7.30pm at the Sneddon.


Then in an endeavour to encourage young dancers, the free JOMBA! Youth Fringe takes place at the Open Air Theatre (UKZN – Howard College Campus) on Sunday 2 September at 2pm.


This is a popular festival event for the sheer vitality and energy of the performances,  and is a showground for young dancers under 16. This year will feature works by many of Durban’s dance development programmes showing off the incredible dance training being given. Twelve groups of young KZN dancers feature including Siyakhula Dance Project (Flatfoot Dance Company) – KwaMashu, Newlands Youth Organisations – Newlands, Project Hheshe Nsizwa(Flatfoot Dance Company) – Umlazi, Project Dudlu Ntombi (Flatfoot Dance Company) – Umlazi, Martizbrug College - Pietermatrizburg, St. Annes  - Hilton, Slangspriut – Pietermatrizburg,Epworth School – Pietermaritzburg, Nqabakazulu High School – KwaMashu, Waterloo Dance Programme (Flatfoot Dance Company) – Waterloo, JG Zuma High School – Inanada, William Clarke Gardens Dance Programme  (Flatfoot Dance Company) – Sherwood.


Tickets at the Sneddon Theatre are R80 or R60 (scholars/students/pensioners/block booking of 10 or more). Booking through Computicket (or at venue from one hour before). Durban Art Gallery and Open Air Theatre are free events.


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New book from Kingsley Holgate: Africa – a Love Affair with a Continent.

Media Release

New book from Kingsley Holgate 


KINGSLEY HOLGATE the well-known humanitarian adventurer, TV personality, Land Rover Ambassador, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, renowned speaker and a legend known as  ‘the most travelled man in Africa’ has launched his new book Africa – a Love Affair with a Continent.

Holgate is the author of four previous best-selling books on travel and adventure:  ‘Cape to Cairo’, ‘Capricorn – following the invisible line’, Africa – in the footsteps of the Great Explorers’ and ‘Afrika – Despatches from the Outside Edge’.  


This widely-anticipated 5th book, Africa – a Love Affair with a Continent has been five years in the making and spans 30 years of adventure and exploration in every country in Africa, including all of her island states.  


Armed with a Zulu calabash and Scrolls of peace and goodwill, by Land Rover, inflatable boat, Swahili dhow and on foot, Kingsley and his adventurous team have traversed the continent on world-first expeditions, touching over a million lives through their humanitarian and conservation efforts.


Packed with stories taken from Kingsley’s pile of dog-eared expedition journals and laced with his legendary humour, each chapter is a stand-alone chronicle of a life of adventure; the excitement, escapades and characters met along the way, with beautifully detailed descriptions of Africa’s wildlife, wild places and fascinating tribes – and the downright scary moments when things go wrong, from a croc chomping the inflatable boat and attack by pirates, to child soldiers high on cocaine. 


With dramatic, full-colour images taken on each expedition, it’s a must-have for all adventurous souls and is arguably the most comprehensive African adventure book ever written.


Africa – a Love Affair with a Continent was launched in Cape Town on Madiba Day, 18 July 2018 as part of Kingsley’s next world-first Land Rover expedition (Cape Town to Kathmandu) and will be available by direct order from the Kingsley Holgate Foundation in August.


For more information go to



‘No-one I know has done more African miles in a Land Rover than Kingsley Holgate, which is why he has been able to unearth these incredible true tales from the beautiful continent.  This book will teach you more about Africa than Google or the Lonely Planet.’  Patrick Cruywagen, Land Rover Monthly UK


‘Life has lots of simple pleasures — the warm sun on your back or a cool sea breeze in your hair – or the fact that there are still larger-than-life characters around such as Kingsley Holgate.  To call him an explorer or humanitarian doesn’t do true justice to the man.  Kingsley is an absolute force of nature; he brings exuberance, energy, enthusiasm and undiluted vivacity to everything he does.

This new book is a collection of his expeditions and adventures that are unique to Africa. You will not find such wonderful tales of, and insights into, this magical land anywhere else.  You will be transported to a fireside under the megawatt stars of an African night with a maestro storyteller entrancing you with words so vivid that they are forever etched on your brain.  The extraordinary characters, the gripping anecdotes, the edge-of-seat adventures and the superb humanitarian work each expedition brings is a magnificent testimony to a richly-lived life, where being bored is an alien and unforgivable concept.’  Graham Spence, co-author of the best-seller The Elephant Whisperer



JOMBA! Dance and Choreographic Workshops

Media Release

JOMBA! Dance and Choreographic Workshops


The annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience will host a variety of workshops open to the general public from 29 August to 8 September at various venues around Durban. 


JOMBA! is hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts and celebrates its 20th edition this year under the theme ‘Legacy’. These workshops fall within the festival’s ongoing endeavours to develop the South African contemporary dance landscape, and are offered free of charge to participants, however booking is essential as places are limited. Unless otherwise stated these workshops are open to dancers 18 years and older of all abilities.


An Afrofusion session for youth from 6 to 18 years of age conducted by Johannebsurg-based Moving Into Dance Mophatong kicks off the workshops at KwaMashu Sports Hall on Thursday 29 August from 4pm to 5:30 pm.  On the same day, other dance-makers from Moving Into Dance Mophatong will conduct an Adult Afrofusion session from 4:30 to 6 pm. This and all other workshops take place at the UKZN Dance Studio, Drama Studies Practical Block.


From India, celebrated dance-maker Anita Ratnam will facilitate a workshop on Saturday, 1 September from 10am to 12noon. This choreographic workshop looks at some of the styles and techniques that Anita uses to create her dance work. No prior knowledge of Indian classical dance is needed and this workshop.


Award-winning Durban dancer and choreographer, Musa Hlatshwayo will facilitate a session which focuses on growing the lexicon of dance language that includes an encounter with both traditional and African contemporary dance styles. This workshop takes place on Tuesday, 4 September from 4pm to 6pm.


Malagasy dance-maker Gaby Saranouffi and South Africa’s Moeketsi Koena will facilitate a workshop that will look into exploring some of the unique contemporary styles and techniques that are seen at the confluence of their collaborative dance work. This takes place on Thursday, 6 September from 5pm to 6:30 pm.


Spain’s extraordinary Aida Colmenero Diaz takes a session on September 8 from 10am to 12 noon where she will explore her African dance and Spanish roots in a fire-filled and energetic workshop.


Swiss choreographer and dancer Ioannis Mandafounis will facilitate a closed workshop between with 12 invited young professional Durban dancers where he will be pushing technique and improvisational skills.


To book a place email no later than 2 days before the workshop.



2nd International Bow Music Conference & Concert (29 Aug - 1 Sept) - Durban



The 2nd International Bow Music Conference,  is being held in conjunction with the 12th South African Society for Research in Music (SASRIM) Conference at the University of KwaZulu-Natal from 29 August to 1 September.

Hosted by the School of Arts Performing Arts Cluster and curated by an international team led by Dr Sazi Dlamini, UKZN’s renowned music scholar and well-known township jazz exponent, the 2018 event has partnered with SASRIM in a diverse programme of paper presentations, workshops, select musical performances and documentary film screenings.

As with the inaugural conference of February 2016 the present gathering has attracted a wide-ranging interest of local and international music researchers, bow music enthusiasts and players alike. Of special interest is that a keynote address will be given by Gerhard Kubik, Austrian cultural anthropologist and music ethnologist, titled “Musical Bows and the Spirit of Human Discovery” which will be read by Prof Andrew Tracey, celebrated South African, ethnomusicologist, Emeritus Professor of African Music and composer.

One of the conference highlights is a day-long programme, on Saturday 1 September at Durban’s BAT Centre, which includes free bow music workshops and hands-on demonstrations, a musical bow instrument mini-market, an Afro-Brazilian Percussion Workshop and a demo/talk performance by Colin Offord, the Australian mouthbow inventor and performer.  The workshops begin at 10am and run until 3pm. No booking is needed.

The afternoon will culminate in Conference Closing Concert from 3pm featuring an array of top local and international musical bow performers, among them Madosini (Cape) - umrhubhe, uhadi, sitolotolo; Bavikile Ngema (KwaZulu-Natal) - makhweyana, mbheleza/mqangala;  Prof Greg Beyer and Arcomusical Brazil (USA and Brazil) - berimbau chamber ensemble; Rafael Mathusi & Maneto Tefula (Moçambique) - xizambi, xipendani, xitende, kankubwe; Cathrina Make Magagula (Swaziland) – makhweyane; Mpho Molikeng (Lesotho) – lesiba, sekhankule; Cara Stacey & Jason Finkelman (SA and USA) – umakhweyana, umrhubhe, berimbau and electronics; Mtumbateka Mamatsharanga (Northern Province) – dende.

Tickets for the closing concert are R60 and R30 for students and available at the door.

Registration for the conference takes place via the SASRIM portal online:

For the full programme and other information check out



Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge Sunday 19 August - results

Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge

Pietermaritzburg: Sunday 19 August


Drama unfolded today (Sunday, 19 August) in the Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge as Irvette van Zyl running for Nedbank claimed victory in KZN’s capital in a time of 34.26.


Van Zyl, and a group of four elite athletes led from the onset, getting to the 4km mark looking fresh and energised. The tightly bunched pack parted ways nearing the Time Freight avenue, with Glenrose Xaba, Kesa Molotsane, Manorallo Tjoka and Neheng Khatala rounding the turning circle in Park Drive at the bottom of Princess Margaret.


Pioneering, van Zyl continued straight passing the circle and made her way through to the avenue in the Mayor’s Garden running solo. Having slowed down in the uncertainty of being left by the leading pack, van Zyl lost critical seconds deciding if her homework was in fact correct and her decision was the correct course.


Powering up the incline, van Zyl got back into stride, rounding back onto Park Drive, passing through the half way mark at 16.43. She was followed by Rudo Mhonderwa and Rutendo Nyahora who were neck-and-neck at the 5km mark, going through at 16.58.


Confusion ensued with the front runners between 4km and 5km, now consisting of four runners and Lebogang Phalula trailing just behind, with no sign of van Zyl and the lead bicycle. The crucial decision by the four of the five who followed the vehicles which were forced off the route as no vehicles are allowed through the avenue in the Mayor’s Garden. Van Zyl started to round the roundabout but remembered from the previous year, the route going through the park.


“We were told that the race was exactly the same from last year, and we received an sms yesterday about the water table being at the top of the park. So, I knew that we needed to go through the park. Three of us in the leading pack had done the race last year, so it wasn’t new to us. I knew the route, and I knew where I was going so I am happy that I stuck to my decision to go solo,” said a relieved van Zyl.


For Xaba and Molotsane, the Maritzburg race was a make or break race for them as going into the PMB race, the two athletes had a single point separating them in the Grand Prix.


“Five runners were disqualified for following the incorrect route.  At the conclusion of the race, objections were lodged, and a jury was convened. A unanimous decision was made and Irvette van Zyl is recognised for running the correct route, therefor she officially is the winner of the 2018 Maritzburg SPAR 10km race,” stated Race Director, Brad Glasspoole at the media briefing following the announcement.


The five runners disqualified are Glenrose Xaba, Kesa Molotsane, Manorallo Tjoka, Neheng Khatala and Legogang Phalula.


“It was quite a dramatic day for the top runners, but we are pleased that the policies and procedures in place were able to help resolve the results. I would like to thank the officials for their professional handling of this. Alongside all of this, we had 4,502 people out on the route who had a magnificent day in glorious weather,” said Max Oliva, MD for SPAR KZN.


The final race in the Grand Prix takes place in Johannesburg on 7 October, which promises to be an exciting conclusion to the elite race.


For more info visit or like the race’s Facebook page.


Female Senior

1 Irvette van Zyl 34.26, 2 Jenet Mbhele 34.47, 3 Rutendo Nyahora 34.56, 4 Portia Ngwenya 35.16, 5 Rudo Mhonderwa 35.38, 6 Patience Murowe 36.16, 7 Nobukhosi Tshuma 36.28, 8 Cornelia Joubert 36.37, 9 Cherise Sims 36.52, 10 Mokulubete Makatisi 36.59


Female Junior

1 Liza Kellerman 38.38, 2 Simangaliso Madlala 39.35, 3 Cherry Lee Schoeman 40.28


Female 35 – 39

1 Fikile Mbuthuma 37.59, 2 Cary-Ann Smith 43.53, 3 Nikki Kelbrick 58.52


Female 40 – 49

1 Ronel Thomas 40.23, 2 Elizabeth Dlhiwayo 40.57, 3 Janene Carey 41.52


Female 50 -59

1 Grace de Oliveira 44.45, 2 Xolisile Mwelase 48.11, 3 Gail Babich 48.40


Female 60 -69

1 Blanche Moila 49.11, 2 Jenny Taylor 51.29, 3 Sibongile Zakwe 01:00.35


Female 70+

1 Gill Tregenna 59.25, 2 Ivy Gertrude Lottering 01:20.51



Photographs by Rogan Ward 



Step to it Maritzburg - The Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge

Step to it Maritzburg

The Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge

Dubbed, South Africa’s most beautiful race, the next leg of the national series of the SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge comes to the Capital on Sunday, August 19 and participants have until Monday, August 13 to enter online, otherwise they will have to manually enter at race registration on August 17 and 18.

This past weekend, over 25,000 women came out in full force for the Pretoria race that saw Glenrose Xaba, take the honours in a time of 33.56 minutes, and the excitement has started to build as all eyes focus on Maritzburg.

Once again, the Challenge starts outside Maritzburg College in Princess Margaret Drive, taking a route through the picturesque Alexandra Park, and through the outer parts of the CBD on Sunday 19August. Both the 10km and 5km races start at 8am and end at The Oval Cricket Stadium in Alexandra Park. 

All participants will receive a race T-Shirt and goodie bag when collecting their race numbers, which must be done at Race Registration, and after completing the race participants will receive a breakfast pack. There is a Kids Zone for children to have some fun at the finish, however this is not a child care facility and adults still need to look after their children.


Entries can still be done online at using a credit card by 13 August. Manual Entry at Race Registration takes place on Friday 17 August (10am to 5pm) and Saturday 18 August (10am to 3pm) at The Oval Cricket Stadium in Alexandra Park.

Entries to the 10km distance are open from age 14 and to the 5km from age 9, the age restrictions being applicable on the day of the competition. Entry fees are R110 for the 10km licensed athletes and for all the 5km runners, and R125 for 10km unlicensed athletes. The field is capped at 4,500 entries. This year, R2 from each entry goes to the official race charity - CHOC (Childhood Cancer Foundation) Pietermaritzburg.

For more information contact the race organisers on or visit the official race on or like the Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.



20th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience “LEGACY” 28 August – 9 September 2018

20th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience


28 August – 9 September 2018


Durban, SA: The annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience, hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, celebrates its 20th edition with the theme ‘Legacy’, from 28 August to 9 September 2018 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, with special performances at the Open Air Theatre and the Durban Art Gallery. This landmark edition celebrates 20 years of bringing Durban the world through contemporary dance and nurturing and supporting the development of contemporary dance through open workshops, grants and the creation of platforms for dance-makers to showcase their work.


This year’s JOMBA! sees dance companies and choreographers making their way from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Spain, Switzerland, India, USA and Madagascar to join Durban companies in a programme of innovative dance theatre work that promises to provoke, entertain, delight and challenge. This 2018 ‘Legacy’ edition of JOMBA! also has a strong focus on ‘Durban Dances’ and offers unprecedented spaces for the evolution of eThekwini’s dance community. 


The JOMBA! opening features Johannesburg-based Moving into Dance Mophatong (MIDM) which is celebrating its own 40th anniversary this year. “As they performed in the very first edition of JOMBA! in 1998, we felt it only fitting to honour them,” says Artistic Director of JOMBA! Lliane Loots.  MIDM will perform two new works: Sunnyboy Motau’s “Man Longing”, a brooding yet beautiful work that uses dance and poetry to explore the sinister world of human trafficking, and guest artist, Khutjo Green’s collaboration with MIDM women dancers. “The women who fell from the moon” inspired by the Nina Simone’s song ‘Four Women’, a searing exploration of the collective power of woman.


The acclaimed Indian dancer and choreographer Anita Ratnam presents her iconic and award winning work “A Million Sitas. Heralded as one of the forerunners of Indian contemporary dance, Ratnam’s performance weaves the many disciplines of dance, theatre, ritual, archaeology and women's issues. “A Million Sitas” is a re-telling of the classic Ramayana, using every weapon in her creative dance arsenal - voice, movement, song, dance, and storytelling - to illuminate the character of Sita. 


Two dance-makers from Madagascar feature this year: Malagasy Gaby Saranouffi partners with  South Africa’s Moeketsi Koena in a riveting duet “CORPS/BODY” a collaboration between four artists from France, South Africa, Madagascar and Mozambique that explores embodied links between the real and unreal through photography, music and dance.  And Malagasy Haja Saranouffi presents a duet called “Danse Des Bouteilles” based on a dual between myth and reality and in which the ‘art of bottles’ interrogates how we place value on a person in society. 


Spain’s Aïda Colmenero Dïaz presents her solo “AKA NATIVA”; a quirky and beautiful work using voice and body that is a manifesto for life and the living. Dïaz has a strong and long relationship with many African dancers, which led to her astounding short-film project called “SHE POEMS” of solo dance performed by creative African women that Dïaz has encountered in her travels on the African continent and are inspired by poems written by women. Some of the these will be screened at JOMBA! @ DAG.


Swiss choreographer and dancer Ioannis Mandafounis, once again shares his unique vison of challenging audience/dancer relationships. His latest duet “ONE-ONE-ONE” offers the simple staging of two parallel lines on the floor and two chairs, one on each line. The dancers invade the public space and invite the audience into an unexpected experience providing a witty and challenging dance work. 


As part of this year’s “Legacy” theme and “Durban Dances” focus,  grants, commissions and various spaces for the ongoing evolution of eThekwini’s dance were given to local dance-makers. 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist (SBYA) for Dance, Durban’s own Musa Hlatshwayo presents, “UDODANA”, which premiered at the National Arts Festival playing to standing ovations. This powerful work explores the black male body, challenging both traditional and religious systems that continue to dehumanise men into a state “where black masculinities are forever changing for the worst while patriarchy continues to reign supreme”.


JOMBA! presents an unique collaboration between Durban’s Flatfoot Dance Company and Cape Town’s Unmute Dance Company. Both dance companies have a reputation for working in spaces that challenge access and inclusivity in South African dance and this meeting is sure to be explosive. A double bill kicks off with Yaseen Manuel’s provocative “ASLAMA” and the journeys into his own identity as a Muslim South African dancer. “ASLAMA” takes its inspiration from the struggles of the Syrian people. In a context of on-going war and violence, Manuel – and the dances from Unmute and Flatfoot - wonder where personal faith comes into our making of dance. The second work, a collaboration between choreographers Lliane Loots and Andile Vellum is titled “The Longitude of Silence”, which has been created over only 14 rehearsals in 14 days. “The Longitude of Silence” begins to question how we map identity through shared sound and ask what happens in the chasm of silence.


JOMBA! 2018 grants were awarded to three young professional local dance-makers to premier new work on the especially focused JOMBA! ON THE EDGE platform. JC Zondi, the 2017 winner of the ‘JOMBA! Pick of the Fringe’ award, opens this platform with “Classi_filed”, the gutsy Kristi-Leigh Gresse  offers her newest creations “Blank” and Tshediso Kabulu, sharing this grant with fellow dancer Thami Majela, presents a joint creation called “IMVELO”. 


JOMBA! hosts its first major partnership with the Durban Art Gallery on Friday 7 September. Titled ‘JOMBA!@ DAG’, this free event sees the DAG spaces offer an alternate kind of challenge to dance-makers and for those intrepid artists who work outside of the traditions of the proscenium arch. Coinciding with the DAG Women’s Month exhibition titled “SHE”, this JOMBA! event has offered grants to three local female dance makers to premier new work. Lorin Sookool, Jabu Siphika and Zinhle Nzama.


Usual festival favourites will include the  Fringe and youth fringe as well as a full programme of workshops and master classes by all of the participating dancers and choreographers. For the full festival programme and listing of workshops go to and click on the JOMBA! page. All workshops and classes are offered free of charge (dancer over 16yrs only) but booking is essential.


Most performances take place at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at 7.30pm (9 September @ 2.30pm) with the youth fringe at the Open air Theatre UKZN on 2 September at 2pm and Durban Art Gallery 7 September at 6pm. Tickets at the Sneddon Theatre are R80 or R60 (scholars/students/pensioners/block booking of 10 or more). Booking through Computicket (or at venue from one hour before). Durban Art Gallery and Open Air Theatre are free events.


Like on Facebook (JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience) and follow on Twitter (Twitter@Jomba_dance).


The 20th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience is under the artistic direction and curatorship of Lliane Loots and is organised and hosted and run by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), and is supported primarily by the eThekwini Municipality. 



39th Durban International Film Festival Awards

Media Release

39th Durban International Film Festival Awards


The 39th Durban International Film Festival held its awards ceremony last night (Saturday, 28 July) at Suncoast CineCentre on as filmmakers and film-lovers gathered to watch the official closing film Rafiki, directed by Wanuri Kahiu. 


A total of 17 awards were given out at the ceremony:

Best Feature Film: The Reports on Sarah and Saleem, directed by Muayad Alayan, and produced by Muayad Alayan, Rami Alayan, Hans de Wolf, Hanneke Niens, Rebekka Garrido, Rodrigo Iturralde, Georgina Gonzalez, and Alejandro Duran. The award is accompanied by a cash prize of R50 000.

Best South African Feature Film: High Fantasy, directed by Jenna Bass and produced by David Horler and Steven Markovitz. The film received a cash prize of R25 000.

Best Documentary: New Moon, produced and directed by Philippa Ndisi-Hermann. The film received a cash prize of R25 000.

Best South African Documentary: Sisters of the Wilderness, directed by Karin Slater  and produced by Ronit Shapiro. The award is accompanied by a cash prize of R25,000.

Best Direction: Constantin Popescu for Pororoca 

Best Cinematography: Liviu Marghidan for Pororoca

Best Screenplay: Jennifer Fox for The Tale

Best Actor: Bogdan Dumitrache for his role as Tudor in Pororoca, directed by Constantin Popescu 

Best Actress: Maisa Abd Elhadi for her role as Bisan in The Reports on Sarah and Saleem

Best Editing: Anne Fabini, Alex Hall and Gary Level for The Tale

Artistic Bravery: was won jointly by High Fantasy, directed by Jenna Bass and Supa Modo directed by  Likarion Wainaina.

Best South African Short Film: Stillborn, directed by Jahmil X. T. Qubeka and produced by Huanxi Media Group, Xstream Pictures, and Yellowbone Entertainment. The film received a cash prize of R20 000 sponsored by the Gauteng Film Commission.

Best African Short Film: Aya, directed by Moufida Fedhila and produced by Appel d’Air Films. The film also received a cash prize of R20 000 sponsored by the Gauteng Film Commission.

Best Short Film: -The Patience of Water(La Paciencia Del Agua), directed by Guillem Almirall,. The film received a cash prize of R20 000 from the Gauteng Film Commission.

Audience Choice Award: The State Against Mandela and the Others, directed by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte, which received a cash prize of R25 000.

Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award: Silas, directed by Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman and produced by Appian Way, Big World Cinema and Ink & Pepper Productions.

Best Wavescape Film: Heavy Water, directed by Michael Oblowitz


DIFF has recently been included as a Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival by the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences, which means that both the winners of the Best Documentary, New Moon and Best SA Documentary Sisters of the Wilderness, will now automatically qualify for consideration for an Oscar nomination.


The Shorts jury included creative media education and development  specialist Alicia Price and Leon Van Der Merwe of the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival. The fiction feature jurors were SA Producer Bongiwe Selane, Nigerian actor  Hakeem Kae Kazim and Nigerian actress Nse Ikpe-Etim. The documentary film jury included South African producer Uzanenkosi, Zimbabwean producer Nakai Matema, Nigerian filmmaker Mahmood Ali-Balogun and and Berlin-based freelance filmmaker, writer and curator, Dorothee Wenner 


The festival continues until Sunday, 29 July,  at various venues around Durban.  DIFF 2018 is part of a month-long feast of film in Durban, including the BRICS Film festival and industry programmes, the Durban FilmMart, Isiphethu, Talents Durban, and the Nature Environment and Wildlife Film Congress. 

Online and Bulk entries open for SPAR Women's 10/ 5km in PMB.

Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10 / 5km 

Pietermaritzburg: Sunday 19 August


Online and bulk entries are now open for the Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge taking place in the KZN Capital on Sunday 19 August.


The Challenge starts at 8am for both the 10km and 5km in Princess Margaret Drive outside Maritzburg College and ends at The Oval Cricket Stadium in Alexandra Park. The course described as a ‘out-and-back’ race is expecting a field of 4,500 participants and will include some of the country’s top athletes, who will be vying to score points for their standings in the SPAR Grand Prix Series – part of the national competition within the SPAR Challenge for elite runners.


There are two options to enter: online at where one can either pay by EFT by 6 August or by credit card by 13 August. The second option is a Manual Entry at Race Registration on Friday 17 August and Saturday 18 August at The Oval cricket stadium in Alexandra Park subject to the limit of 4,500. 


If you are entering 10 or more people, you can email You will be sent information on how to manage your group entry. Time Freight will deliver your race packs and goodie bags directly to you team co-ordinator. All entries will only be processed once payment has been reflected and this form of entry can only be submitted electronically and closes on Monday 30 July.


Entries to the 10km distance are open from age 14 and to the 5km from age 9, the age restrictions being applicable on the day of the competition. Entry fees are R110 for the 10km licensed athletes and for the 5km runners. The entry fee for the non-licensed athletes in the 10km is R125. R2 from each entry will be presented to CHOC Pietermaritzburg (Childhood Cancer Foundation).


The time limits for the 10km is 2 hours and 30 minutes, while the cut off time for the 5km race is 1 hour and 30 minutes. There will be a 55 minute cut off at the 4.5km mark on the 10km route, participants who are lagging will be redirected onto the 5km route.


Race Registration will take place two days prior to the race. This is where competitors can register manually and collect their race numbers, t-shirts and goodie bags. The times are Friday 17 August from 10.00am to 05.00pm and on Saturday 18 August from 10.00am and 03.00pm.


All finishers will receive a breakfast pack on completion of their race. All female finishers of both distances who are present at the prize giving, stand a chance to win fabulous lucky draw prizes. All lucky draw prizes are due to be drawn after the final prize giving on race day.


For more information contact the race organisers on or visit the official race on or like the Facebook page.




SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge Grand Finals St Marys DSG, Kloof: 21 – 22 July

SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge

Grand Finals

St Marys DSG, Kloof: 21 – 22 July


After a flawless performance, Saints defended their title in magnificent style at the Eighth SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge, with a determined 3 – 0 win against St Anne’s College in the Grand Finals.


St Mary’s added to their impressive tally at the SPAR Grand Finals, making the 2018 win their fourth time raising the trophy in the history of this tournament and third consecutive win, having won the tournament in 2012, 2016, 2017 and now 2018, overtaking Durban Girls College who dominated in the years 2013, 2014, 2015.


St Mary’s hit the astro in top gear for the finals, dominating for majority of the game and not allowing the visiting St Anne’s to really get into the game.  Having previously played each other in the pool games where the scoreline was 2-1 to St Mary’s DSG.

All three goals were netted by Jodie Conolly who displayed superb skills with the stick. Her first goal was mid-way through the first half, in a short corner. The ball went to the castle at the top of the D, a flurry of perfection with a fake flick, spin and then pass finding Conolly who slotted in Saints first.


The second was off a shortie that went awry for St Anne’s, the ball nudged in by Conolly, scuttling past a stretching Reo Sachane – keeper for the visiting team, and finding the foot of a defender. Umpire on the spot deemed it deliberate and Conolly got directed to the penalty spot. Stepping up, she effortlessly found the back of the box for her team’s second point.


The third and final goal was also off a set play in another short corner. This time the ball moved left to a lurking Conolly who sliced the ball through the air into the top right corner of the goal. As the clock started to wind down, Cailie den Bakker made a phenomenal, exciting run. Breaking free from the St Anne’s defence, she made a solo effort only to see her attack sadly run out of steam, unable to score her teams fourth.


Captain for St Mary’s DSG, Max Hannan stated Saint’s weekend was amazing with incredible hockey being played all round. “We dedicate our win to Kiana Cormack who is currently playing in Algeria at the African Youth Olympic Qualifiers. And of course, to Amanda Ntuli who is forever in our hearts – we miss you and think of you often. And thank you to our coaches, you keep us going!”


Head of High School Sport for St Mary’s, Malcolm Reeders enthused, “Our weekend was incredible besides the magnificent out come, our girls thoroughly enjoyed the event and played some fantastic hockey only conceding one goal in their six games! We are very grateful that SPAR puts so much effort into school girls’ hockey”


Tournament Director, Les Galloway shared, “Eight years on, and we have only been here for two days and it feels like a big family. Our Grand Finals certainly are the climax of all our regionals.”


Varsity College continued their relationship with the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge, awarding budding hockey players bursaries. Having travelled to all the regionals around KZN, they decided to offer two bursaries. The first went to Kerryn Swanepoel from Westville Girls’ High School and the second went to Itumeleng Noko from Ridge Park College.



1 St Mary’s DSG, 2 St Anne’s College, 3 Epworth School, 4 Durban Girls’ College, 5 Our Lady of Fatima, 6 Ferrum High School, 7 King Edward High School, 8 Amanzimtoti High School, 9 Felixton College, 10 Greytown High School





DSC_6039.jpg: Firing in a shot in the dying seconds, after a fantastic break Cailie den Bakker from St Mary’s DSG reverses an attempt to go 4 up against St Anne’s in the gold silver game at the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge. St Mary’s DSG defended their title in superb style, taking the game 4 nil. Falling back to defend are St Anne’s players Sarah Church and Gabi van Hone.


Pic by Jonathan Burton


St Mary’s DSG – Highway Regional Winner - Gold (2012, 2016, 2017, 2018), Bronze (2011, 2013), Fourth (2015)

Winners of Best International Documentary and Best SA Documentary at DIFF now automatically qualify for Oscar Consideration

Media Release

Winners of Best International Documentary and Best SA Documentary at DIFF now automatically qualify for Oscar Consideration


Winners of Best International Documentary and Best SA Documentary at the Durban International Film Festival will now automatically qualify for Oscar consideration.


The festival has been notified by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of this inclusion, which effectively means that the winning documentaries will be up for consideration for the 91st Academy Awards in 2019.


This year, the Academy established a Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival List, and the DIFF is one of 28 selected international festivals that will be have their winners up for consideration. 


DIFF joins other prestigious festivals from around the globe including the Cannes International Film Festival, Berlinale International Film Festival, Sydney International Film Festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival, and IDFA – the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.


The only other qualifying African festival is the Carthage Festival in Tunisia.


“We are delighted with this international recognition, and we are especially pleased for the film-makers that will benefit from the recognition that they will receive as a result,” says Lliane Loots speaking on behalf of the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Centre for Creative Arts which hosts the fest . “The festival began 39 years ago as a means to expose South Africans to global stories, during the really dark days of Apartheid, where censorship and government policy, as well as hard-felt, yet very effective, cultural boycotts denied us access to international creative expression. It was also started as a means to offer cinema experiences in townships where people had very little access to “the media” at large. So from these humble beginnings, we are really grateful to the Academy for providing this opportunity for the filmmakers who have films in the festival.”



The Durban International Film Festival is currently running at various venues in Durban until July 29. Within the festival, over 850 filmmakers are in Durban for the business of film in the Durban Filmmart until Monday, July 23, the Wavescape Surf Film Festival at Ushaka until July 27  for free screenings. Then the BRICS Film Festival, takes place from July 23 to July 27 at The Playhouse.



Durban FilmMart Awards 2018

Media Release

Durban FilmMart Awards 2018


It’s been a bumper year for this year’s Durban FilmMart (DFM), the industry development programme of the eThekwini Municipality’s Durban Film Office and Durban International Film Festival (Centre for Creative Arts, UKZN), which ended with an awards ceremony at the Southern Sun Maharani Hotel in Durban, South Africa on Monday, July 23.


Speaking at the DFM’s awards ceremony, Toni Monty, Head of the Durban Film Office and the Durban FilmMart, said, “As one of the most important, film industry events and film finance platforms on the continent, we are really pleased that we have grown the DFM substantially this year with 877 delegates attending. We had over 40 countries participating this year, of which 19 were from Africa.  A total number of 52 projects were pitched to potential partners, financiers, filmmakers, producers, distributors and agents during countless meetings.”


Key to the value that the Durban FilmMart provides filmmakers are the many meetings and networking sessions that are held between delegates over the four days.


“The important work we do to enable the film-makers, would not be possible without our partners and sponsors,” said Monty, “And we would like to thank our partner markets, development organisations and funding bodies with deep gratitude.”


“The work we do at this Mart supports the DIFF and DFO’s vision to dynamically grow the industry and bring African cinema to its own people and to global platforms.”


Eighteen official DFM film projects in development were presented at the Finance Forum through the sponsorship of the Industrial Development Corporation and the National Film and Video Foundation.


Supported by Berlinale Talents, the Goethe-Institut and the German Embassy and in cooperation with Fipresci, Durban Talents was able to host 16 young filmmakers, and 3 Talents Press.


“We hosted a number of scriptwriters’ labs including Jumpstart which is supported by Produire au Sud, France and the Realness Script Writing Residency. Hot Docs Canada, mentored 11 documentary projects in development and six CineFam Africa television series projects were mentored by Caribbean Tales, Canada.”


“We recognize the important role that the eThekwini Municipality, the principal funder of the DFM plays in its success,” continued Monty. “The City’s involvement actively enables the economic growth of the industry, and we thank them for this.”


The DFM hosted a number of delegations this year including the in bound delegation through the Department of Trade and Industry, the BRICS Film Festival delegation through the Department of Arts and Culture. Special thanks must go to the Canadian High Commission and US Embassy and the French Institute (IFAS), NFVF and KZN Film Commission for their support in bringing in delegates.


The Awards/Grants:

·      The International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) awarded the most promising documentary project at the DFM,  Cheese Girl, (South Africa) -  Producer: Batana Vundla, Marion IsaacsDirector: Milisuthando Bongela with an opportunity to attend the  IDFA Forum, one of the top gatherings for documentary filmmakers, producers, commissioning editors, funds, private financiers and other documentary filmmakers in Europe, in November.


·      The broadcast stream, Afridocs, that flights African and other international documentaries across 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa on a weekly basis, gave a €2500 award, funded by the Bertha Foundation, to Zinder, The Seeds of Violence, (Niger) - Producer: Clara Vuillermoz, Ousmane SamassekouDirector: Aicha Macky.


·      The CineMart Award, sponsored by the co-production market of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, went to the fiction project, Nyanga / The Horn, (Zimbabwe) - Producer: Sue-Ellen Chitunya, Brett Michael Innes, Director: Brett Michael Innes. The project is given an opportunity to attend the Rotterdam Lab, is a five-day training and networking event for producers from all over the world.


·      Produire au Sud of Festival des 3 Continents (Nantes), awarded the fiction film Porta-Retrato, (Mozambique) -Producer: Aldino Languana, Osvaldo Lupini BambambaDirector: Orlando Mabasso Jr. an opportunity to attend its developmental workshop programme, PAS, where they will be given tools, expertise, and opportunities to develop European networks.


·      Videovision Entertainment awarded the “Best South African Film Project” to Snake, (South Africa) - Producer: Paul Egan, Stanford Gibson and Mustapha HendricksDirector: Meg Rickards. They receive a prize valued at R75 000, which guarantees its release once it is completed. The prize also includes marketing and distribution support from Videovision Entertainment.


·      Versfeld & Associates, publicity consultants awarded Nyanga / The Horn, (Zimbabwe) - Producer: Sue-Ellen Chitunya, Brett Michael Innes, Director: Brett Michael Innes the development of a press kit.


·      Sørfond awarded the project How to Steal a Country – Producers: Rehad Desai and Zivia Desai, Director: Mark Kaplan with an opportunity to pitch at the Sørfond Pitching Forum in Oslo later this year.


·      CineFAM-Africa Incubator Accelerator Programme award to pitch at the Caribbean Tales Film Festival in Toronto, went to The Summit Club by Layla Swart


New awards this year include:


·      Hot Docs Blue Ice Award, a cash prize of 2000 Candian Dollars went to the documentary project The Master’s Plan – Producer: Hanne Phlypo and Director Yuri Ceuninck.


·      11th Talents Durban “Talents Press” Recognition Award went to Cornelia Glele.


·      Durban FilmMart Award for the Durban Talents Project Selected as a project for DFM 2019 went to When Shadows Move -  by Aliki Saragas.


The DFM ended last night, but the Durban International Film Festival continues until July 29. There is a free industry - Isiphethu opposite the Southern Sun Garden Court Marine Parade for seminars and workshops for the public and emerging filmmakers, as well as the free screenings at various venues, including the Wavescapes Surf Film festival at Ushaka until Friday, JuLY 27. Also until Friday is the BRICS Film Festival at the Playhouse.


For more information about the DFM go to



Caption to photo supplied:

Award winners at this year’s Durban FilmMart.

Durban FilmMart – Enabler for Film Projects on the Continent

Caption to photo: DFM alumni project "Silas" screens July 23 at 20h00 - Gateway, July 28 at 20h00 - Musgrave

Durban, South Africa: The Durban FilmMart (DFM) is one of Africa’s premier film industry events. But it is far more than a glitzy annual showcase – while many of the items on the South African film industry calendar are all about celebrating the success of certain films and individuals, DFM is often the place where cinematic successes have their genesis. In fact, this four-day event, which takes place from 20 to 23 July 2018, is one of the most important cogs in the South African film industry, and fast becoming important to the continent as well, providing a space in which film projects can nurture, grow, and find the most appropriate production partners, funders and sales agents.

The Durban International Film Festival, in partnership with eThekwini Municipality’s Durban Film Office (DFO), the City’s film industry development arm under the Economic & Development cluster, has, for the last nine years, presented this important gathering for filmmakers from across the continent and beyond with the specific aim of growing the South African and African film industries. The market attracts a wide selection of film talents from all sectors of the industry and is globally renowned for providing an important springboard for African stories and ideas, collaborations, and investment in film projects.

As such, it is one of the key enablers in the South African film industry and has a significant impact on the economy of the creative sector, in the country and beyond. The success of DFM also points to the fact that government support is vital, both to grow the local industry and audiences, as well as providing a significant boost to films hoping to access the international market, thus exporting South African creativity in both financial and cultural terms.

The DFO aims to provide filmmakers support and advice and netowkring during DFM, and it is up to them to take advantage of the opportunities which the market offers. Speaking on behalf of the DFO, Toni Monty says, “As a government entity, we work on a highly professional level with filmmakers in order to ensure that we provide an environment which is enabling for them and which will prepare them for the international market. The FilmMart brings in over 500 experts, people, and organisations interested in potential film projects for further development. Here, they are able to meet film-makers from the continent and further afield. After that, it’s over to them to conclude their business independently.”


She continues: “We are very excited to see so many DFM alumni projects that have come to fruition and are doing very well on the local and international festival and cinema circuits. It is also very encouraging to see that many of these titles have clinched great distribution deals”. These include Rafiki, which is DIFF’s closing film this year, Inxeba: The Wound, and Five Fingers for Marseilles, as well as Silas, and Amal which are also screening at DIFF this year. Additionally, several titles from DFM alumni have also been submitted as their country’s nominations for the Academy Awards’ Foreign Language category. “This is exactly the strategy created by the DFO and DIFF nine years ago”, says Monty, “and it is extremely encouraging to see the long-term value it provides for the African film industry.”

A selection of DFM SUCCESS STORIES and REPORTS from Alumni

David Max Brown (Stage 5 Films)

Brown pitched Noem My Skollie at DFM in 2011 where it won the Videovision prize for most outstanding pitch. A deal was subsequently made with Mnet in 2013/14, with Ster Kinekor acting as the local distributor. With Mnet and Ster Kinekor onboard, the NFVF eventually followed suit along with the DTI. The film was shot 2015 and was released in September 2016. It was South Africa’s official selection for the foreign language Oscars in 2017 and won prizes at several major international film festivals. Skollie more than tripled Ster-Kinekor’s box office estimate for it, taking almost R4 million in 16 weeks on circuit, which, in South African terms, qualifies as highly successful for a serious drama that is more than two-and-a-half hours long.

Cait Pansegrouw & Elias Ribeiro (Urucu Media)

Urucu Media has had a stellar year, gathering attention from around the world for the award-winning Inxeba (The Wound) (DFM 2014). Directed by John Trengove, and produced by Urucu Media, the film had its SA Premiere at DIFF last year and its theatrical release earlier this year. Additionally, Inxeba wons 28 International awards and was screened at more than 50 festivals worldwide, as well as being South Africa’s submission for the Foreign Language Oscar. Most significantly, the film has been sold in over 40 territories. Impressively, Inxeba was not Urucu’s only country submission to the Academy Awards. The Train of Salt and Sugar (DFM 2014), directed by Licinio de Azevedo and co-produced by Urucu Media, was the official Oscar entry for Mozambique, and also won Best Film at last year’s Johannesburg International Film Festival. The film has also won 5 International awards and been screened at more than 20 festivals and sold to 10 territories. Abnormal Loads, from acclaimed South African writer Neil Coppen, is another Urucu project that was born at DFM. It is currently in development.


Steven Markowitz (Big World Cinema)

Big World Cinema have also been having a bumper year, with two Filmart projects from 2012 in the festival this year. Silas (originally Logs of War at the DFM) premiered at Toronto last year and was sold to Amazon, while Rafiki (Jambula Tree),  written and directed by Wanuri Kahiu, had the honour of receiving its premiere at Un Certain Regard in Cannes and has sold to 15 countries so far, including the USA.


Talal Al-Muhanna

Egyptian Jeanne d'Arc  (DFM 2014) is the second feature film from Egyptian filmmaker Iman Kamel. Co-produced with Kuwait-based Talal Al-Muhanna, the film also received a post-production prize at Carthage in Tunisia that awarded funds to the film for completion. Al-Muhanna also got acquainted with script consultant Miguel Machalski at DFM, later collaborating with Machalski on a feature film project from Iraq which is now in pre-production. Egyptian Jeanne d'Arc has travelled to all corners of the globe, premiering in competition in Dubai in 2016 and later making appearances in Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Oman, Sudan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Kazakhstan. It was also selected for the Panorama section of the Cairo International Film Festival in 2017, which provided a welcomg homecoming for a project that was born on the other end of the continent.


Sean Drummond and Michael Matthews (Be Phat Motel)

The African Western, Five Fingers for Marseilles (DFM2013), directed by Michael Matthews and produced by Sean Drummond, went into production in July 2016, and premiered at Toronto in September 2017, before going on to play Fantastic Fest in Austin, BFI London Film Festival, and Busan International Film Festival, with its festival run still continuing. The film recently received it New York premiere at the New York African Film Festival where it was very well received, while it had its South African premiere at Rapid Lion Film Festival in Johannesburg earlier this year. The film opened in SA cinemas in April, running for nine weeks. It was released in France in June and will release theatrically in the US in September, with upcoming releases scheduled for various European and Asian territories.

Sara Blecher

Director Sara Blecher’s Ayanda was first pitched at DFM in 2013 and completed in 2015, when it was the DIFF opening night film.  Ayanda went on to open four more festivals and garner awards at festivals around the world, as well as the SAFTA award for Best Actress. Blecher’s earlier film Otelo Burning was also a DFM project and was the opening night film at DIFF 2011. It was also screened at festivals around the world and received numerous awards


Samantha Nell and Bongiwe Selane

Miles from Nowhere, from writer-director Samantha Nell and Producer Bongiwe Selane, was selected for DFM in 2017 and is still in development. Thus far, the project has participated at Produire au Sud Workshop in Nantes, the Rotterdam Producer Lab, and La Fabrique Cinema Du Monde in Cannes. Nell and Selane have secured a French producer, MPM films (who are also the French producers of Rafiki). The project is currently being developed through EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs) and is scheduled for production in late 2019.

Luzuko Dilima

The South African-Kenyan coproduction Matigari was selected for DFM last year and is still in development, with a focus on financing in South Africa and abroad. Luzuko Dilima,  Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda and Fidelis Duker are producing and Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda will direct. Crimson Multimedia Limited has been attached as a theatrical Distributor, with VOD platforms across East and West Africa to follow. John Kani has committed to playing the lead, while Sello Maake Ka Ncube has also been confirmed.  Rosie Motene's Waka Agency is doing the rest of the casting in both countries, while Nelson Mandela University’s Department of Media and Communication is partnering with the project to train their students on video production, scriptwriting, photography, design, journalism, and public relations.

Nicole Schafer

Buddha in Africa (DFM 2011) is a feature-length documentary produced by KZN-based filmmaker, Nicole Schafer from Thinking Strings Media. The film received the IDFA Most Promising Documentary Award at the Durban Film Mart Doc Circle pitch in 2011. Filmed over several years, the film follows the intimate story of a boy growing up in a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Malawi and the cultural challenges he faces between his African roots and Chinese upbringing. The film has subsequently been awarded funding from several international funds, including the Hot Docs Blue Ice Group Documentary fund and the Alter Cine Foundation in Canada, the IDFA Bertha Fund in the Netherlands, Chicken and Egg Pictures in New York, the South African National Film and Video Foundation, the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, and has a license agreement with Afridocs. Buddha in Africa is aimed for release at the end of 2018.


Janet Van Eeden

Director Janet van Eeden’s A Short at the Big Time (DFM 2012) was first produced as a short film and was screened at DIFF in 2013 and at Cannes Short Film Metrage in 2014. The short also won the eThekwini Award for Best Cine in 2015. The feature version of A Shot at the Big Time is currently in production, with funding from the KZN Film Commission.  

Wael Sayed El Ahl

Kiss Me Not (The Story of a Kiss) (DFM 2014) produced by Wael Sayed El Ahl  and directed by Ahmed Amer was released last March in theatres across Egypt, with a limited release in the Gulf and Lebanon. The film has also screened at numerous festivals around the world, including Dubai, Shanghai, Aswan, Miami, the Middle East Now Festival in Firenze, and the Malmo Arab Film Festival.

Akosua Adoma Owusu

Akosua Adoma Owusu (DFM 2013) has been awarded a 2018 summer artist-in-residence with the Goethe-Institut in Salvador-Bahia, Brazil, to continue developing her forthcoming debut feature Black Sunshine which was pitched at DFM in 2013. Selected for DFM 2013, the project won Arte France’s Arte International Award and received the 2015 Tribeca All Access grant. Produced by Obibini Pictures LLC and directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu, the project was also selected for the 2012 edition of Locarno Film Festival’s Open Doors co-production market.

The 9th Durban FilmMart takes place in Durban, at the Southern Sun Elangeni from 20- 23 July 2018, during the 39th edition of the Durban International Film Festival (19-29 July 2018).

For more information on the Durban FilmMart visit or for Durban International Film Festival


Mandela Capture site 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day set their sights on breaking a new world record – a 27km Scarf

67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day set their sights on breaking a new world record – a 27km Scarf


There is nothing like a warm scarf to keep away the winter chill and this year 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day are ready to tackle the icy weather while breaking yet another world record by crocheting a 27km scarf.


27KmScarf will take place on 29 July at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick, KwaZulu Natal.  It will be a day filled with live entertainment and a brightly coloured supernaturally long scarf. Anyone is welcome to come through on the 28th July from 10:00am to help sew scarves together and on the 29th July the site will be open the whole day with entertainment kicking off at 10:00am.


Over the last couple of months KnitWits around the country have been feverishly crocheting scarves to the exacting standards of the Guinness World Book criteria. Each 20cm x 200cm scarf has been crocheted using a hook size no bigger than 6.5mm. Massive rolls of scarves have been bundled up and ready to be transported to the Nelson Mandela Capture Site where on-site volunteers will loosely stitch the rolls of scarves together to form the one long scarf.


Since the earliest days of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day Stuttaford Van Lines have supported the initiative. Once again they have their engines revving in anticipation of the enormous pile of scarves that not only have to be delivered to Kwazulu Natal, but also collected and returned to all the provinces to be distributed.


“In the year that the Nelson Mandela Foundation celebrates a great milestone in history, 67 Blankets for Mandela Day has brought the understanding of making history with work that will benefit those in need. The many people who have been involved in this project will bring much needed smiles and warmth to so many in these very cold winter days” says Yase Godlo, manager of Mandela Day at the Nelson Mandela Foundation.


Singing sensation Timothy Moloi will be lending his voice to the event, joined by local musicians including singer-songwriter, author and playwright Audrey Mbuyazi, Flautist Kaolin Thomson Woods leading the Khazimula Orphanage marimba band, the St Johns D.S.G School orchestra and reggae band Undivided Roots.  Once again MCC have generously offered their services and will capture this incredible event from the skies using drones and a helicopter.


Without the numerous volunteers and support from companies like Ballid Security Howick, Prosound and KZN Weddings and Functions this event would not be possible.


“We will show the  world what we are doing, stitch by stitch, to keep the legacy of our beloved Nelson Mandela alive, by creating blankets and scarves for our fellow brothers, sisters, moms, dads and children who need extra warmth during our cold winter months, ”  says Carolyn Steyn, founder of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day.

“This is going to be a celebration of note. We have achieved Guinness World Records in Pretoria, Cape Town, Johannesburg and now it is time for KZN to feel and experience the excitement and be part of our history as we mark and pay tribute to Madiba in his centenary year,” she adds.


Following the 27KmScarf event the scarves will be transported to all corners of South Africa and distributed to those in need. Although 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day can not guarantee the original scarves will be sent back to the provinces they came from, they do ensure that the same amount of scarves are sent back to be distributed.


Mandela Capture site on the R103 ( Howick / Tweedie off-ramp off the N3). Entrance is free and please bring your own picnic, chairs and picnic blankets. There will be food at the Truth Café.


Visit the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day website and Facebook page to follow the build up to this momentous event.



NPO number:





011 673 0264 /011 477 0923 /


Five Fingers for Marseilles (BRICS Film Fest) and The Story of '72 for DIFF



After rave reviews and over two months in cinemas, Durban FilmMart’s ‘Best South African Project in Development 2013’ winner, Five Fingers for Marseilles, returns to Durban.  The film, starring Vuyo Dabula and an acclaimed ensemble cast, will represent South Africa in-competition in the BRICS Film Festival line up.


Five Fingers premiered at Toronto International Film Festival 2017 and has remained on the festival circuit since, screening at BFI London, Busan, Fantastic Fest, Palm Springs, Fantasia, Munich, New York African Film Festival and others. “The response to the film both in South Africa and abroad has been amazing and we’re excited to bring it back to Durban, where it first caught attention,” say writer and director respectively, Sean Drummond and Michael Matthews, who also produced through their own Be Phat Motel Film Company, in co-production with Game 7 Films, in association with Above the Clouds and Stage 5 Films, supported by the NFVF, the DTI and Dupa Films.


Drummond and Matthews, with South African producer Stevan Buxt, are also co-producers of Nepali feature Kathaa '72 (The Story of '72). A visually stunning, lyrical family drama set in the peaks surrounding Kathmandu, the film tells the story of a mother and son as they reconnect on a pilgrimage to a remote mountaintop lake, in the aftermath of the cataclysmic earthquake that shook the country in 2015. The film world premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival and continues to Durban for its African premiere. 


“Shot on real locations through a series of ruined villages and jaw-dropping vistas, the film is a meditation on life, family, love and regret,” says the team. “It’s written and directed by an exciting new voice in Prabin Syangbo. We hope this opens doors for future coproduction between Africa and Asia.”


Be Phat Motel have an exciting slate of projects in development, maintaining a global outlook while focussing on South African stories. They, in collaboration with Stage 5 Films in South Africa, Canadian production houses Redlab Digital, The Magical Illusion Factory and First Generation Films and LA-based XYZ Films, produced the SAFTA-winning short film ‘Apocalypse Now Now’, written by Drummond and directed by Matthews. Based on author Charlie Human’s novel of the same name, the feature length version is currently scripting. “It’s a twisted urban fantasy that centres around a porn-peddling high school kid who's in search of his kidnapped girlfriend,” says Matthews. “He partners up with a supernatural bounty hunter as they get pulled deeper into an increasingly bizarre Cape Town underworld of creatures and lost mythology."


Drummond and writer-director Sheetal Magan are currently developing TV drama series, Acts of Man, a psychological thriller with supernatural elements. Set in a small former missionary town, the series examines mass hysteria and the legacy of religious colonisation, in the aftermath of a murder. A coproduction between Be Phat Motel and Atman Media Lab in South Africa, Cave Painting Pictures in Canada and Blazing Griffin in the UK, with XYZ Films repping the project, it aims for production in late 2019.


Five Fingers for Marseilles screens Monday 23 July in the BRICS South African section. Kathaa ’72 African premieres Sunday 22 July. Filmmakers in attendance for both.

For full DIFF Programme go to and for BRICS go to


How to unlock up to $2 billion of annual box office revenues in Africa:

Media Release

How to unlock up to $2 billion of annual box office revenues in Africa:

New study examines growth potential of the continent’s film industries


African cinema doesn’t have an African industry at all and that’s where our problem arises.

-Jihan El-Tahri


If Africa were to follow China’s example and broadly invest in cinema infrastructure, it could achieve annual box office revenues of $1.5 to $2 billion; with Nigeria and South Africa accounting for as much as $500 million. This is one of the main findings of the 2018 Framing the Shot: Key Trends In African Film report, which was conducted by Founder of 234 Media, Dayo Ogunyemi, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut and with support from the German Federal Foreign Office. Launched at the Durban International Film Festival 2018, the study aims to fill the substantial gap in information and analysis about the fast-changing film industry in sub-Saharan Africa.

Framing the Shot particularly recommends improving access to finance, incubating film-specific business skills and capacity and developing effective distribution. Says the report’s author, Dayo Ogunyemi: “For too long, Africa’s film industry has been the subject of many anecdotes and much supposition; the absence of credible, comprehensive data has led to wasted resources and lost opportunities which the continent can scarcely afford […] If African countries do not plan, invest and collaborate today, the trade deficit around content consumption will widen and the opportunity to shape the tastes and preferences of future generations of Africans will be lost.”


The Framing the Shot report catalogues and analyses the major opportunities and challenges that Africa’s film industries face through four substantive parts:


·         A survey of African film makers and general analysis of the African film landscape

·         Country studies of Africa’s two largest film industries: Nigeria and South Africa

·         Case studies of 3 African films from development through completion; a comparison of the commercial performance of an African and a European film; as well as lessons drawn from the diaspora — specifically in the context of African-American film.

·         Conclusions on African film in the global industry context and recommendations on priority steps to address the main opportunities and challenges identified


Says Noemie Njangiru, Culture and Development Coordinator at the Goethe-Institut: “There are two reasons behind our investment in reliable information about the continent’s film industries: Firstly, the sector has a huge potential to contribute to economic growth and create employment opportunities. Secondly, we believe that strong film industries and better conditions for pan-African collaborations can contribute to undoing stereotypes, particularly in the context of the Western gaze on ‘Africa’.”


Taking a closer look at the South African film industry, the report suggests extending the current “generous incentive system that is primarily centered on production […] to the post-completion value-chain — sales, marketing and distribution.” The study continues: “For filmmakers and audiences that continue to endure the historical disadvantages meted out under apartheid, more must be done. Cinema infrastructure must be extended to underserved townships in order to unlock latent spending power on film. One of the most promising ways in which South Africa can do this is to support entrepreneurs and SMEs to close the gaps in distribution capacity and the deficits in exhibition infrastructure in townships and rural areas.”


·         Browse the full report online on

·         Download PDF report and visual reference on   

·         Talk about this on social media via #FramingTheShot


Meet Dayo Ogunyemi at DIFF and DFM:



·         Distribution: Debunking the Myths - Understanding the Exploitation Value Chain

Sunday 22 July / 14:00 - 15:00 / Suite 5



Cover photo from the film I Am Not a Witch. Directed by Rungano Nyoni. Courtesy of Quiddity Films / Clandestine Films / Soda Pictures



Benjamin Keuffel

Public Relations Officer, Goethe-Institut South Africa


T: +27 (0)11 442 3232

M: +27 (0)82 769 3254



About Dayo Ogunyemi:

Dayo Ogunyemi is a creative entrepreneur and founder of 234 Media, a firm that develops enterprises and makes principal investments in the media, entertainment and technology sectors.

As part of a 234 Media investment, Dayo built and operated East Africa’s then largest cinema chain and an affiliated film distribution company through which he acquired and released art and independent films including Djo Munga’s Viva Riva, Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist and Kevin McDonald’s Bob Marley biopic.

Under 234 Media’s Studio Africa banner, Dayo serves as producer for films by leading and emerging African directors and has participated in the Cannes Producers Network and Cinefondation Atelier programs. Over the past 15 years, Dayo has worked and lived in 4 countries in all three regions of sub- Saharan Africa. He has advised African governments and regional economic communities on policy, legislation and regulations relating to e-commerce, intellectual property, technology and the creative industries. He served as a founding board member of the African Film Academy, organizer of the African Movie Academy Awards, and on the board of the UN Economic Commission for Africa’s Information Society Initiative. Dayo earned an SB from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law and an MBA from Columbia Business School. He is admitted to the New York Bar.


About 234 media:

234 Media shapes and creates compelling narratives of Africa and its global diaspora by creating and investing in innovative projects. The firm’s activities spans the breadth of Africa’s creative and technology scenes – tech start-ups, fashion and apparel firms, event producers, content aggregators, film production and distribution companies. It has made media investments in more than five African countries with a focus on the intellectual property value chain for audio-visual content — financing, packaging, producing, distributing, marketing and aggregating film and other content to mass-markets in Africa and the rest of the world.


About the Goethe-Institut:

The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide. Its mandate is to promote the study of German abroad and to encourage international cultural exchange. Today it is represented in 98 countries and has some 3,300 employees. It contributes widely to the promotion of artists, ideas and works. Supporting the local cultural scenes and strengthening pan-African dialogue through the arts are part of its mission on the African continent, where it operates 19 institutes in Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Cairo, Casablanca, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg, Khartoum, Kigali, Lagos, Lomé, Luanda, Nairobi, Rabat, Tunis, Windhoek and Yaoundé, as well as 3 liaison offices in Algiers, Kinshasa and Ouagadougou. For more than 20 years, the Goethe-Institut has been working together closely with filmmakers from Germany, South Africa and the African continent in organizing screenings, festivals, workshops and co-productions. The aim is to support film within the creative industries and to undo stereotypes through visual storytelling. The Goethe-Institut does this with training and networking initiatives, as well as through supporting interdisciplinary and pan-African collaborations.




Benjamin Keuffel
Public Relations Officer / Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

Goethe-Institut South Africa

119 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood 2193, Johannesburg



T: +27 (0)11 442 3232

F: +27 (0)11 442 3738

M: +27 (0)82 769 3254 

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Durban producer project selected for CineFam- Africa at Durban FilmMart

Durban producer project selected for CineFam- Africa at Durban FilmMart

Durban film producer Jacintha de Nobrega, pictured here has had her TV comedy series project “Singled Out” selected for incubation at the Durban FilmMart this week in the CineFam- Africa sessions which is part of the Canadian-based CaribbeanTales Media programme that supports bold, original films and television series by women of colour worldwide.  

Jacintha is producer OF "Deep End" directed by Eubulus Timothy, which had its world premiere at the Durban International Film Festival on 20 July. Further screenings on July 24 at 6.30pm Garden Court Marine Parade and then on 28 July at 2pm at Suncoast.

Deep End will also have a free screening at the BRICS Film Festival at 13:00 on Monday, July 23.

Over 500 film-lovers and film-makers descend on the City for the Durban FilmMart, Africa’s premier  industry event at the Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel. The DFM, now in its ninth year, takes place during the Durban International Film Festival  (19 - 29 July) and is a joint programme with eThekwini’s Municipality’s Durban Film Office.   Other film-related events include the Nature, Environment & Wildlife Filmmakers Congress (NEWF) (which ended on Wednesday July 18) which aims to create a path to conservation through film. Then from 22 to 27 July, the 2018 BRICS Film Festival showcases five films from each of the member countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa at The Playhouse.