Durban International Film Festival Celebrates Success And Online Platform Stays Accessible

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), is hosted the Durban International Festival (DIFF) from 10 to 20 September 2020. This year, for its 41st edition, the festival successfully presented a programme of close to 60 feature films, documentaries and short films alongside exciting industry programme: isiPhethu.

The DIFF accomplishments have gone beyond the organiser’s expectations. The festival hosted around 3,500 film lovers and the 58 films were streamed close to 7,000 times.

“We did not know what to expect when we had to move our festival to a virtual platform, but attendance and feedback have been wonderful. It has certainly given us quite a lot to think about and work with as we revision the future of the festival.”

says Chipo Zhou, the festival’s Head of Programming.

To celebrate its success and by popular demand, the festival is keeping a selection of 17 films on the platform accessible until 30 September. These films include seven documentaries: The Art of Fallism, Janitou, 143 Sahara Street, Days of Cannibalism, How to Steal a Country, The Letter and In your Eyes, I see my Country. Also, five shorts will be still available: EsCape Town, Grey Matter, Henet Ward, Sandpaper, Sadla and the DIFF2020 award-winning Exam. Lastly, the following four features are still available: Just Like That, Shaft 6, Our Lady of the Nile and Burkinabe.

The films can be watched for free until 30 September on

Festival online

Comic Con Africa Launches Online

On Thursday this week Comic Con Africa’s Online Con hits the internet. Almost 6,000 registered fans will head over to for the largest online pop culture festival on the continent!

Comic Con Africa has created a unique hub that will be the epicentre of all things Pop Culture from this Heritage Day public holiday, Thursday 24 September, until Sunday 27 September 2020. And this Con is entirely free to access!

The website URL for the Online Con is

Visitors who have already registered will be able to enter their log in details, which Comic Con Africa will send by email the evening before – giving registered fans an advance sneak peek. If anyone has not registered, they will be able to register once the Con opens at 10h00 on Thursday morning.

Once signed in, the hub will open and visitors will find themselves in the Pop Culture galaxy especially created by Comic Con Africa. Much like the various halls at a physical convention, different planets will lead fans to different fandoms.

The Main Stage, hosted on YouTube, features 14 film, series and entertainment celebrities such as Tom Hopper from the Umbrella Academy, Jason David Frank AKA Tommy from the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, Chandler Riggs who plays Carl in The Walking Dead, and Bret “The Hitman” Hart of WWE Fame, along with voice artists, Animetubers, and esports shoutcasters.

The Comics and Art planet plays home to 36 international and local comic artists, illustrators and writers. Battle Sketches, live draws, panels and Q&As will give insight into what it takes to be part of the industry. Fans will be familiar with locals like Sean Izaakse and Team Kwezi, and internationals like Will Sliney, Kevin Eastman – a co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,

The Tabletop Gaming planet boasts tournaments, online games, panels and free-to-play games. The amazing folks at Easy Gaming Group have hustled the largest prize pool for any Magic: The Gathering tournament in Africa to date and Dum Dum Die is hosting midnight Dungeons & Dragons games for After Dark, along with awesome prizes from Unplug Yourself.

The Cosplay Connect planet will feature the Virtual Masters competition in partnership with long term partner GES and incredible prizes sponsored by Brother. To win these prizes or be featured on our sites, Comic Con Africa is daring you to Cosplay and share your Cosplays on social media with the tags #ComicConAfricaOnline, #WeDareYouToCosplay and #BrotherAtYourSide

The Exhibition Hall is packed with almost 60 epic exhibitors offering amazing weekend deal.

Comic Con Africa’s interactive Quiz Nights became a feature of lockdown, and over the Con there will be six quizzes from Pokémon to Comedy Central and DC. There are hot prizes up for grabs so get in on a quiz in your favourite fandom and take home the coveted top prizes.

We can’t cover everything you’re going to see at Comic Con Africa’s Online Con in one article. Best you get to and experience it for yourself!

Festival Film

TNT Original Movie “Days Of Bagnold Summer” To Premiere At Garden Route International Film Festival (GRIFF)

This October, TNT Original Movies brings an exciting twist to its original slate of movies. On Saturday, 3 October, Days of Bagnold Summer will premiere on TNT, DStv channel 137, and then feature at the Garden Route International Film Festival (GRIFF) from Wednesday, 7 October.

In true retro fashion, the movie will be aired as part of the Drive-In Cinema screenings. “In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, we had to change our concept for the short term to ensure the festival goes ahead. To this end, we are bringing back Drive-ins to the Garden Route International Film Festival,” says Patrick Walton, GRIFF Festival Director. The Drive-in Cinemas will feature a double bill for each venue with the screening of a film in competition and an ‘oldy but a goodie’ each night.

Adapted from the graphic novel by Joff Winterhart, Days of The Bagnold Summer is a tender, funny coming-of-age story about single parenting and heavy metal. Sue (Monica Dolan) works in a library. Daniel (Earl Cave) eats crisps and listens to Metallica. This was the summer Daniel was due to spend with his dad and his dad’s new wife in Florida. But when they cancel his trip at the last minute, Sue and Daniel suddenly face the prospect of six long weeks together. An epic war of wills ensues in the unassuming battleground of their suburban home as they each reckon with private tragedies – and pursue their personal passions.

Days of Bagnold Summer, be aired for the first time on a big screen in South Africa at the following Drive-In Cinema venues:
Plettenberg Bay Rugby Club – Wednesday, 7 October @ 19h30
Knysna Primary School – Saturday, 10 October @ 19h30
Sedgefield Lions Club – Sunday, 11th October @ 19h30

The Drive-In Cinemas tickets will be a sought-after commodity. Depending on the venue, and Covid-19 restrictions at the time, up to 60 cars per venue are anticipated. Tickets* range from R220 – R250 and are available from

TNT is obsessed with creating unique experiences for movie fans. With the new TNT Original Movies, they’re providing African audiences with an exciting, wide range, and consistent flow of high-quality programming across all genres, building a slate of originals that is nothing short of amazing, aligned with international standards! Catch the premiere of Days of Bagnold Summer on TNT Africa, DStv channel 137 on Saturday, 3rd October, at 20:00 CAT.

Please Note:

Days of Bagnold Summer is premiering on TNT, DStv channel 137, on Saturday, 3 October at 20:00 and it will repeat on the following dates:
Monday, 5 October @ 15:15
Monday, 19 October @ 11:23
Thursday, 29 October @ 15:05

*Drive-In Cinema ticket are subject to postponement (not cancellation) depending on Covid-19 level at the time.


48 Hour Film Race A First For The Garden Route

Are you an amateur, semi-professional or professional film or video producer? Then the Garden Route 48 Hour Film Race is just for you. The concept is simple. You will have 48 hours from the moment that you receive the mystery genre, prop, character and dialogue to conceptualise, script, shoot, edit, and deliver your finished film. There are great prizes to the value of R40 000 to be won which includes Kloppers vouchers, Godox video lights, and a corporate video production master class. This competition is open to anyone over the age of 18 and production can be done on something as simple as a cellphone. According to the organiser Cara Botha “The days when you needed expensive gear to make movies are gone forever. There are excellent examples of feature films that was shot on a cellphone on the internet today. It’s all about imagination and how you use your camera to bring your stories to life”.

The 48 Hour Film Race is hosted in association with the Garden Route International Film Festival which take place from the 21st of September to the 11th of October 2020. The Film Race will be hosted within the confines of Covid-19 regulations. Although the kick-off event will take place live it will happen without an audience. Instead the participants will be able to view the event live online through Facebook and Youtube live streaming. Once the participants has been briefed the race is on. All teams will be required to do an online Covid-19 safe sets safety course in advance for which a certificate will be issued. The entries will be uploaded via the internet instead of being handed in.

A team can consist of 1-3 members and a maximum of two actors are allowed although using actors is not compulsory. The film must be at least 3 minutes long but must not exceed 5 minutes. The best entries will be screened at the Garden Route International Film Festival on the 9th and 10th of October. We are also in final discussions with Ster-Kinekor to screen the 10 best films at the Garden Route Ster-Kinekor theatre on Sunday 11 October. Entry is free. Tips and production tools will be emailed to the registered teams regularly so early registration is highly recommended. Online registration closes on the 23rd of September. To enter or for more information go to


Durban FilmMart Announces 2020 Project Award-winners

After 10 days packed with virtual panel discussions, conversations, presentations, pitches, and meetings, the 11th Durban FilmMart ended on a high with the announcement of the 2020 Official Awards for Projects on Sunday, 13 September.

A total of 64 projects were selected to participate at the DFM, Africa’s premier co-production and finance market. These included: 32 official fiction and documentary projects, 26 Talents Durban projects and 6 Jumpstart projects.

“We were impressed by the high quality of project submissions that were pitched to the various broadcasters, financiers, investors, markets and producers at our first virtual edition,” says Mandisa Zitha, Chairperson of the Board of the Durban FilmMart Institute. “What is coming through in these projects is an overall boldness, and willingness of filmmakers to push the boundaries of their uniquely African stories. We are delighted that through our partners and funders that some of these film projects will be given the opportunity to develop further through some very generous grants and awards provided.”

Awards and Awardees:

The CineMart Award sponsored by the co-production market of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (The Netherlands), went to The Accident (South Africa), produced by Khosi Dali and directed by Imran Hamdulay. The filmmakers will be able to attend the Rotterdam Lab, a five-day training and networking event for producers in 2021.

The Produire au Sud of Festival des 3 Continents (Nantes, France))/ IFAS Award went to We All Fall Down (Zimbabwe), directed and produced by Tapiwa Chipfupa. Ms Chipfupa will be given the opportunity to attend the developmental workshop programme, PAS, where they are supported with developing tools, expertise, and opportunities to forge European networks.

The Sørfond Award (Norway) was awarded to the project Vlees van my Vlees (Flesh of my Flesh) (South Africa) produced by Lucia Meyer-Marais and Jozua Malherbe and directed by Matthys Boshoff. The filmmakers have the opportunity to attend a pitch course, as well as pitch this project at the Sørfond Pitching Forum in Oslo, Norway.

Durban Filmmart Talents Durban Award (South Africa) for the Talents Durban Project went to Between Worlds (Uganda) director Adong Judith, This project automatically qualifies for the DFM 2021 pitch and finance forum.

The DoK Leipzig Award (Germany) went to The House is Burning (South Africa) directed and produced by Sara Gouveia and co-produced by Natalie Geyser. These filmmakers will now participate in the 2021 DoK Leipzig Industry Programme and are given an opportunity to do a public presentation of the project in the DOK Co-Pro Market or DOK Preview Presentation.

International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) Award (The Netherlands) was given to The Ship and the Sea (O Navio e o Mar) (Mozambique) produced by Lara Sousa, co-produced by Matheus Mello, and directed by Lara Sousa and Everlane Moraes allowing them to participate in IDFA 2020 virtual event later this year.

Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival (China) Special GZDOC Invitation went to five film projects providing them with the opportunity to participate in the virtual GZ Doc Pitch Session in 2021.

  • The House is Burning (South Africa) – Producer and director Sara Gouveia, Co-producer Natalie Geyser
  • Rising Up at Night, (Democratic Republic of the Congo) – Producers: Dada Kahindo, Rosa Spaliviero, Director: Nelson Makengo
  • How to Build a Library, (Kenya) – Producer and director Maia von Lekow and Christopher King
  • The Ship and the Sea (O Navio e o Mar), (Mozambique) – Producer: Lara Sousa, Co-producer: Matheus Mello, Directors: Lara Sousa and Everlane Moraes
  • The Wall of Death, (Morocco) – Producers: Merieme Addou, Alexis Taillant, Nadege Labe, Director: Amine Sabir

Festival International de film Documentaire d’Agadir (Morocco) (FIDADOC) Awards went to the Talents Durban project To Be Loved (Togo) directed by Justin Kpatchaa and Pan Africa & The Ticking Time Bomb (Kenya) produced by Jean Meeran and directed by Eva Njoki Munyiri providing the filmmakers with the opportunity to participate in the FIDADOC Writing Residency in December 2020.

International Emerging FilmMakers Association (IEFTA) Award (Monaco) went to three Talents Durban projects:

  • Feature Documentary Film: Conti-Mental/Black People Don’t Get Depressed (South Africa) directed by Sara Chitambo
  • Feature Film: Between Worlds (Uganda) directed by Adong Judith
  • Short Film: I Might Not Normally Share This (Egypt) directed by Noura Sharaf

These projects will be given mentorships through one of IEFTA’s partner development programmes and labs.

DOK.fest München Award (Germany) was given to The House is Burning (South Africa) directed and produced by Sara Gouveia and co-producer Natalie Geyser who will participate in the Marketplace.

Miradas Doc Award (Spain) was given to Rising up at Night (Democratic Republic of the Congo), produced by Dada Kahindo, Rosa Spaliviero and directed by Nelson Makengo which includes participation in the Miradasdoc 2021.

FIPADOC International Documentary Festival Award (France) went to Des Espoirs (Hope) (Tunisia), produced by Erige Sehiri, Carine Ruszniewski, Clothilde Bunod and directed by Dhia Jerbi to participate in FIPADOC 2021 programme.

The National Film and Video Foundation (South Africa) awarded three projects this year with cash grants to further develop their films:

  • Best SA Non-fiction grant of R50 000 went to 12 Pangas (South Africa) produced by James Tayler and Xola Mteto and directed by Xola Mteto
  • Best SA Fiction grant of R50 000 went to the Talents Durban project Behind High Walls (South Africa) produced by Jono Kyriakou and directed by Pheello Mokokeng
  • Best Overall Pitch grant of R100 00 went to The House is Burning (South Africa) directed and produced by Sara Gouveia and co-produced Natalie Geyser

The Durban FilmMart platform is still open to registered delegates to review presentations, pitches and network until 30 September.

For more information about the DFM go to

The Durban FilmMart 2020 is produced by the Durban FilmMart Institute with principal funding from the Durban Film Office and Ethekwini Municipality. The DFM 2020 virtual event is supported by the National Film and Video Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, Film and Publications Board, Gauteng Film Commission, IEFTA, Institut Francais – South Africa, Candian High Commission of SA, Wesgro/Film Cape Town and Namibia Film Commission with the following programme partners – Talents Durban Berlinale Talents, Documentary Filmmakers Association, DOK.fest München, Dok Leipzig, FidaDoc, FipaDoc, Hot Docs Blue Ice Fund, Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, Incoproduction, Independent Producers Organisation, Miradas Doc, Netflix, Norwegian South Film Fund, Produire au Sud, Rotterdam Cinemart, Realness Institute, San Francisco Black Film Festival, SASFED, SWIFT, TRT 12 Punto, Writers Guild of South Africa, University of Cape Town’s Screen Incubator programme. DFM media partners include Awotele, Callsheet and Variety.