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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


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Viva South Africa

endless_river.jpgThe Durban International Film Festival opens on 16 June and the SA film industry is alive and well. The day is significant as it is the 40th anniversary of the Soweto uprising.

The world premieres of 2 local doccies and the SA premiere of Oliver Hermanus’ new thriller are some of the highlights. Hermanus made the gay film Beauty that won the Queer Palm.

Nobody’s Died Laughing is a theatrical-action-documentary that celebrates the life and work of performing artist and activist Pieter-Dirk Uys. It will have its world premiere on 19 June at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

In Nobody’s Died Laughing a film crew tries to keep up with one of the hardest working artists in South Africa on a journey from Cape Town, Johannesburg, Grahamstown, Stellenbosch to London, Berlin and his home in Darling. The film takes a closer look at the man behind all the famous characters, the humanitarian and his educational AIDS awareness work, for which he has received international acclaim.  

The film also includes never before seen archive footage, performances and interviews with Desmond Tutu, Charlize Theron, FW De Klerk, Sophia Loren with footage of Tessa Uys and Nelson Mandela.

“Jiving and Dying - The Radio Rats Story” sees Durban filmmaker Michael Cross return to the Durban International Film Festival with a documentary about a band he argues are so much more than one-hit wonders.
Almost forty years ago, in late-1970s South Africa, there was a song on the radio about a spaceman called ZX Dan.  It was by a noisy little band from Springs, near Johannesburg. That song and hundreds more songwriter Jonathan Handley has penned since then remain an important, if sometimes overlooked, part of South Africa’s musical landscape.
According to director Cross, this film, twenty-five years in the making, introduces the music of the Rats and the words of Jonathan Handley “in an attempt to afford them the place they deserve in the history of independent rock ’n’ roll in South Africa.”
The film reveals how Radio Rats were to influence one fellow resident of Springs, James Phillips (aka Bernoldus Niemand) to form a band and to write songs.   It was Phillips who went on to initiate the alternative Afrikaans music scene of the mid-80s, the Voëlvry “movement” and, indirectly perhaps, the Oppikoppi music festival where a stage still bears his name.
“Jiving and Dying” also shows Rats songwriter Jonathan Handley continues to record and archive music relentlessly. His sharply-observed characters form the basis for most of his songs and he's funny, he's witty and he's dedicated. He's disarmingly self-deprecating too. The filmmaker maintains Handley remains one of the unsung heroes of South African music.

Award-winning South African director Oliver Hermanus’ new film, The Endless River, will have its first South African screening at the Durban International Film Festival this month.

Having made history by being the first South African film to be invited to participate in competition at the Venice International Film Festival and picking up the Silver Tanit at the 25th Carthage International Film Festival in Tunisia, The Endless River will be screened for the first time in South Africa on 19 June.

In The Endless River, a young waitress welcomes her husband home to Riviersonderend (Afrikaans for the endless river) after his four-year jail sentence. At first it appears their plans for a new life together are finally being realized, but when the family of a foreigner living on a nearby farm is brutally murdered, the young woman and the grieving widower begin gravitating towards each other. Trapped in a cycle of violence and bloodshed, the two form an unlikely bond seeking to transcend their mutual anger, pain and loneliness.

 

(Danie Jacobs for filmfestivals.com)

 

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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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