Preview: 31st Durban International Film

2010-07-17 15:13

A record number of nine South African feature films will ­premiere among the wealth of cutting-edge movies to be seen during the 31st Durban ­International Film Festival (Diff).

The festival programme boasts more than 200 screenings in ­all – ­including a selection of struggle films such as The Cradock Four and Sons of the Sands – along with workshops and seminars and other industry events.

“Increasingly, the Durban ­International Film Festival is ­featuring major films on its mainstream programme that have been made by former ­participants of the Durban ­Talent Campus Programme which has been running for ­several years now.

“This is a sure-fire indication of the development of South ­African and African film ­industry as a whole,” says festival ­manager Nashen Moodley.

Moodley adds that he has ­experienced widespread ­recognition of the festival during his ongoing visits to other film festivals across the world.

Many films have made their debut here – ­including Ralph ­Ziman’s Jerusa­lema, Khalo ­Matabane’s Conversations on a Sunday Afternoon and Izulu ­Lami by Madoda Ncayiyana.

Among the South African ­feature films debuting this year are Matabane’s State Of Violence, a powerful tale of revenge, ­history and memory; Jahmil Qubeka’s A Small Town Called Descent, starring Vusi Kunene and Hlubi Mboya; Jann Turner’s Paradise Stop featuring Rapulana Seiphemo and Kenneth Nkosi; the hilarious Attack Of The ­Indian Werewolf by Masood Boomgard; Jyoti Mistry’s experimental The Bull On The Roof; Regardt van den Bergh’s The ­Incredible Adventures Of Hanna Hoekom; the gangland action film Jozi Kings by Jonathan Boynton-Lee and Jamie Ramsay; the inspirational Machansa by Muntu Zwane; and the quirky romcom Visa/Vie by Elan Gamaker.

Along with these, the festival roster includes films by some of international cinema’s most prominent and respected ­directors, including Buddhadeb Dasgupta (The Window), Fatih Akin (Soul Kitchen), Brillante Mendoza (Lola), Bong Joon-ho (Mother), Todd Solondz (Life ­During Wartime), Guiseppe ­Tornatore (Baaria), and ­Mohammad Rasoulof (The White Meadows).

In a programme crowded with highlights, the acclaimed director Raoul Peck will present his new masterpiece, Moloch Tropical, a satire on political dictatorship.

Other provocative films up for viewing include The White ­Ribbon, Michael Haneke’s vision of an early 20th century German village in which disturbing acts of cruelty take place; Palestinian Elia Suleiman’s The Time That Remains, an astute and ­surprisingly funny look at the Palestinian struggle; and Michael Winterbottom’s devastating The Killer Inside Me which stars ­Casey ­Affleck, Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson.

Alongside these ace ­filmmakers, Diff 2010 will ­introduce SA audiences to the new generation of auteurs.

Exciting new talents include Xavier Dolan (I Killed My Mother), ­Anocha Suwichakornpong ­(Mundane History), Cherien ­Dabis (Amreeka), Arvin Chen (Au Revoir Taipei), Sophie Letourneur (Chicks), Paz Fabrega (Cold Water Of The Sea), Giorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth), Alvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro (Me Too), ­Claudia Llosa (The Milk Of ­Sorrow), Shalizeh Arefpour (Heiran), Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni (The Well) and Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone).

This year the festival will present a focus on the cinema of Sweden comprised of five contemporary Swedish films under the banner Swedish Film Is Here, and five Ingmar Bergman classics.

Swedish Film Is Here titles include Niels Arden Oplev’s The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo based on the bestselling novel by Stieg Larsson.

Swedish Film Is Bergman embraces Smiles Of A Summer’s Night (1955), Wild Strawberries (1957), Winter Light (1963), Cries And Whispers (1973) and Fanny And Alexander (1982).

Among the 29 documentaries showing, insight is given into a spectrum of African realities.

These include Rehad Desai’s The Battle for Johannesburg, ­inside stories from Cape Town informal settlements in When The ­Mountain Shadow Falls, and the tale of hope, defiance and perseverance in the face of brutality and injustice in Zimbabwe, as told in Mugabe and the White African.

Details for the Durban ­International Film Festival

» Enjoying high priority among ­activities at the festival is a daily, open and free workshop which takes place at The Royal Hotel.

» Of special interest will be the Wavescapes Surf Film aspects of the festival, to be seen free on big screen at the Bay of Plenty on 25 July, and from 26-30 at Ster-Kinekor, Musgrave.

» Presented by the Centre for ­Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban ­International Film Festival runs from July 22 to August 1 in Durban and ­surrounding areas.

» Principal screening venues are the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre; Nu ­Metro Cinecentre – Suncoast; ­Ster-Kinekor Junction – Musgrave; Cinema Nouveau  – Gateway; Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre in KwaMashu; and The Royal Hotel.

» 031 2602506, 031 2601650 or visit www.cca.ukzn.ac.za.

» The full schedule and synopses of all the films is available free at cinemas, Computicket and other outlets.
 

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