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Durban International Film Festival

This longest-running S.A. festival has +-300 films from +- 30 countries. Highlights: African & International film; workshops with directors, etc. Competition! It has screenings in areas where cinemas are non-existent. A high-profile screen


Fabulous French films in Durban

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

The South African programme launches as part of the Durban International Film Festival 2015, at Cinecentre, Suncoast Casino on July 21, with the support of Institute Francaise. Five critically acclaimed films will be screened during the course of the festival with additional screenings scheduled for Johannesburg and Cape Town the following weekend.

Established in 1961, the Semaine De La Critique competition is dedicated to showcasing emerging filmmakers from around the world. Since it's inception the competition has featured the early works of numerous famous auteurs including Ken Loach, Wong Kar-Wai and Alejandro González Iñarritu.

The travelling Semaine de la Critique programme is part of a broader initiative by Urucu Media, supported by the French Institute of South Africa, to promote unique cinematic voices and innovation, while cultivating an audience for the types of films Urucu believes are worth making.

Opening the South African edition of La Semaine de la Critique is Hope, French writer-director, and documentarian, Boris Lojkine's first fiction film.

According to The Hollywood Reporter Hope is a “scrupulously well-researched” recounting of a journey of desperation taken by a Nigerian woman and a Cameroonian man across the Sahara in an attempt to reach Europe. Cine Europa Online highlighted the “incredible and moving realism that emerges reveals a director whose work should be kept an eye on.” 

Award winning director Lojkine will be in attendance at DIFF where he will present a Master Class, as part of the Talents Durban programme, on bringing reality and authenticity to fiction filmmaking.

Other films include The Kindergarten Teacher by Nadav Lapid (Israel, 2014) about a crèche teacher and aspiring poet, who discovers unusual poetic talent in her five-year old student. Informed by her own deprived past and a fear that the world will eat his sensitive soul alive, she takes it upon herself to protect the boy and the gift he carries.

Yann Gonzalez’s debut feature You And The Night by  (France, 2013) is an erotic-existential-queer comedy. Starring legendary French footballer Eric Cantona in the role of a well-hung stud/former child-poet and one of seven member of a meticulously cast orgy, it explores and intentionally confuses memory and fantasy.

From Italy and France comes Salvo the winner of last year’s La Semaine de la Critique of Cannes Film Festival directed by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza (2013). It tells the story of Salvo (Saleh Bakri) – a merciless body guard/hit man in Sicily’s underworld.  Meeting Rita (Sara Serraiocco), the blind sister of one of his victims – and a witness at that – changes not just Salvo’s life, but Rita’s too, and offers the pair a relief from the literal and metaphorical darkness in which they are stuck.

Writer/director Katell Quillévéré’s second feature, Suzanne  (France, 2013) follows Suzanne (Sara Forestier) during 25 years of her life. Suzanne grows up with her sister (Adèle Haenel) and widowed truck-driver father (François Damiens). When Suzanne falls pregnant while still in school, the family with its new member remains a tight unit, but when she falls in love with a gangster, the stability is threatened. 

 “My business partner, John Trengove and I are, incredibly excited about hosting the first official platform for La Semaine de la Critique in Africa and hope to cultivate strong local audience base for the wonderful films that emerge from this inspiring competition every year.” says Urucu’s Elias Ribeiro.

For more information about the La Semaine de la Critique go to and for the Durban International Film Festival go to

(Danie Jacobs for



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About Durban International Film Festival

This longest-running S.A. festival has +-300 films from +- 30 countries. Highlights: African & International film; workshops with directors, etc. Competition! It has screenings in areas where cinemas are non-existent. A high-profile screening platform.

Durban, South Africa

South Africa

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