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Strong African Content for DIFF 2016

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This year’s edition of the Durban International Film Festival (16-26 June) once more features a very strong selection of African titles. With just under half of all the films originating from Africa and South Africa, and much of the rest of the programme dealing with diasporic issues and identity politics, this year’s DIFF is a true festival of African film located within a global context. Of the 101 feature-length films to be shown at the festival, 50 are African films, including ...

Durban International Film Festival Announces Award Winners for 2014

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The Durban International Film Festival announced its award-winners last night at the closing ceremonof the festival’s 35th edition at the Suncoast CineCentre Supernova, prior to the screening of its closing film, Million Dollar Arm. The announcement comes as the festival rounds off a very successful year, with significant increase in attendance with many films screening to sold-out audiences. Festival Manager Peter Machen says of this year’s event: “I was extremely ha...

Film in the cards at Durban's DIFF 2014

My psychic was right... I visited the psychic expo before my first film of the day and the tarot reader told me I'm very relaxed and happy. She was spot on. How can I not be? I'm in Durban at the country's top film event with a smorgasbord of art and independent films just waiting to be seen.  The 3 films on my menu are superb, albeit for very different reasons. The variety at DIFF this year is outstanding with films for all tastes. I kicked ...

Let's be frank

Gone to far   Technical issues can be so frustrating. Last year's DIFF was dogged by technical issues as one of the main venues switched over to digital just before the festival. I tried to put that behind me. Come 2014, I flew to the surf city in a positive mood just to be slapped through the face with technical issues. My first day at the prime film fest in the southern hemisphere was, I'm sad to say, disappointing. Icehorse, the first fully improvised Dutch film, was suppos...

The good, the bad and the ugly

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Day 2 of DIFF was a day of extremes. It was wonderful to see all the film fans studying their guides - some of the guides visibly well-read. I watched three films today and they are very diverse. Chicken with plums (Poulet aux prunes) premiered at Venice. It is a beautiful love story of a musician, played by Mathieu Amalric of The Diving Belle and the butterfly fame, who can't get over the loss of his violin and he decides to rather die. It sounds like a depressing film but it is in...

DIFF announces opening film

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The Durban International Film Festival has announced the selection of Elelwani as the film that will open the curtains on the 33rd edition of South Africa’s largest and longest running film festival. This groundbreaking world premiere takes place on July 19, made possible by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (who was both the first funder of the film, and principal funder of the festival), and the National Film and Video Foundation, a crucial partner  both of  this pioneering p...

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GAY FILMS AT DURBAN FILM FEST

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Taking place from 21 to 31 July, the 32nd Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) will present a number of gay-themed films as part of its feature film selection.   From the powerful Man at Bath, which chronicles a week in the life of two soon-to-be ex-lovers, to Skoonheid, the latest award-winning film from South African prodigy Oliver Hermanus, DIFF 2011 offers a snapshot of life in the various gay, lesbian, bisexual and trangender communities around the world. Oliver Her...

Calling all surfers

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WAVESCAPE @THE DURBAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL A tumultuous documentary about a schism that splits Papau New Guinea villagers apart, a flowing depiction of South Africa’s surfing dolphins, and a music video by Paul McCartney and filmmaker Jack McCoy premiere at the 2011 Wavescape Surf Film Festival, adding a unique variety to the 32nd Durban International Film Festival, which is supported by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder) and runs from July 21 to ...

Paul Watson in Durban

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Paul Watson at Durban International Film Festival Time Magazine called him one of the 20 environmental heroes of the 20th century.  The Guardian mentioned him as one of 50 people who could save the planet. These are some of the numerous accolades bestowed on Paul Watson which also include honorary citizenships, environmental, animal rights and human rights awards.He has also been denied visas, banned in certain places, and arrested on numerous occasions for his provocative activism....

Film gems in Durban

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Great Line-up at the 32nd Durban International Film Festival   The 32nd Durban International Film Festival kicks off on 21 July with the World Premiere of the South African film Otelo Burning, directed by Sara Blecher.  Set during the last days of apartheid, the Durban-shot film tells the story of a group of South African township youngsters who discover surfing as an empowering escape from the political violence of the times. There is drama, romance, rivalry, and tragedy in this c...

Durban in full swing

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I have arrived yesterday 28 July and what a day it was! Flying in from Johannesburg was memorable as I saw two South African singing sensations making out at the drop-off. They can be compared to Bollywood stars as they have just starred in a local film together called Jakhalsdans where they fell in love on the set! It was something to behold to see thse two kissing as they would have been arrested in places like Dubai. The flight down - just under 50 mins - was routine and then Durban hit me...

Destination Durban

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Hello out there! This is my first entry for my trip to the 31st Durban International Film Festival. The festival kicks off with the world premiere of the SA film, State of Violence, on Thursday 22 July.  I'll be in Durban from 28 July till the end of the festival on 1 August. More about my programme and what's to offer at DIFF in my next blog entry. First I have to thank the organisers for allowing me, a small-town journo, to travel to their city and attend their esteemed event. This wil...

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