The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) will host the Durban International Festival (DIFF) from 21 to 30 July. The 43rd edition of the festival programme speaks to the curatorial theme of: “Adaptation, Survival and Sustainability”. The festival will present a selection of South African premieres, which include a diverse number of features, documentaries and shorts, as live screenings at Suncoast CineCentre in collaboration with Avalon Group.
The festival has curated a hybrid film presentation programme consisting of almost 200 Features, Documentaries, Shorts and Student films. The selected films, programmed by national and international film professionals, highlight alternative views through different lenses. The programme celebrates the myriad of ways in which we have all restructured our lives to reflect the current global focus. Films that reach back while looking forward, focusing on strengthening the tapestry of indigenous and authentic stories with a view to diversity and inclusion. The program’s greatest strength is its 50% female content contribution and representation.
Some of the feature films that highlight these themes include:
- Donkeyhead (Canada), directed by Agam Darshi in which failed writer Mona is tasked with taking care of her ailing Sikh father, but her three successful siblings soon interfere.
- Juwaa (Belgium), directed by Nganji Mutiri in which a son and a mother are reunited in Belgium, after a traumatic night in the Congo.
- Klondike (Ukraine), directed by Maryna Er Gorbach is set in 2014, in the early days of the Donbas war. It is the story of expectant parents, Irka and Tolik, living in disputed territory in Ukraine.
- Public Toilet Africa (Ghana), directed by Felix ‘Kofi’ Ofosu-Yeboah, in which a reticent Ama returns to the city where she was gifted to a white art collector as a little girl, with a quest to even the score.
- Ring Wandering (Japan), directed by Masakazu Kaneko, is a fantasy drama about a young man who aspires to be a manga artist and traces the memories of past sleeping souls in downtown Tokyo.
- Skeletons (South Africa), directed by Jade Bowers, is set in the Maluti mountains and is a magical realist film that grapples with social and political issues and matters of land and ownership.
- Valley of a Thousand Hills, directed by Bonnie Sithebe, in which a young woman from a conservative village must choose between living a lie to stay the perfect Zulu daughter or risk her life for true love – with another woman.
“The DIFF prides itself on discovering and nurturing new talent, and each year we select films from filmmakers from various countries, including first-time feature-length directors. The 43rd edition is no exception with almost 30% directorial debut feature-length films programmed, which we are very excited about,” says Festival Manager, Valma Pfaff. Some of these directors include the South African Jade Bowers, who directed Skeletons, director Earl Kopeledo and Belgian Ngjani Mutiri, who directed Juwaa.
Additionally, the festival will screen two films by French directors in partnership with VideoVision that are exclusively screened in cinema: Eiffel, directed by Martin Bourboulon, a romance drama about celebrated engineer Gustave Eiffel, and Notre Dame on Fire, directed by Jean-Jacque Annaud, a thriller drama that gives a blow-by-blow recreation of the gripping events that took place on April 15, 2019, when the cathedral suffered the biggest blaze in its history.
Programme and details
DIFF 2022 will be presented in a hybrid edition with online screenings at www.durbanfilmfest.com and a diverse live programme presented at Suncoast CineCentre, Durban. The information about the live screenings is accessible on https://ccadiff.ukzn.ac.za/live-screenings/
Tickets for the live screenings will be available directly at the Suncoast CineCentre www.cinecentre.co.za and will open on June 22nd. The entire festival programme will be released online on July 1st at www.durbanfilmfest.com
The 43rd edition of the festival is produced by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, in partnership and with the support of KZN Film Commission, the National Film and Video Foundation, KZN Department of Arts & Culture, Avalon Group and other valued funders and partners.