The Durban International Film Festival officially opened this week. The festival, hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), will run until 1 August.
This is the 42nd year the prestigious South African international film festival is taking place. All screenings, seminars, and workshops are taking place online.
The indie feature film The Eagle’s Nest by Cameroonian-British director Olivier Assoua opened the festival. The film, which was shot in Cameroon, tells a story that touches on immigration.
"In 2018, CNN published a report stating that each day six migrants and refugees die every day the journey to Europe by boat. They also exposed how black Africans were sold as slaves in India, which made me think: What can I do? How can I tell the world that African lives matter?" said Assoua.
The movie was also made to give young people in Africa the unique opportunity to showcase their talents to the world.
"I am pleased to say that Felicity Asseh, who plays Samantha in the movie, has gained some international recognition," says Assoua.
Marketing manager of the festival, Marlyn Ntsele, opened the festival by welcoming everyone into the opening: "I kept on thinking about the knocks that the film industry had to take and how the film industry showed their resilience throughout this pandemic. I believe DIFF owes it to those filmmakers to keep going, as film festivals play an essential role in the value chain".
She further expressed her gratitude to all the sponsors and partners and encouraged audiences to continue sharing their film tips and reviews on social media.
Carol Coetzee, CEO of the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, followed by sharing: "It is an honour for the KZN Film Commission to be part of the 42nd DIFF. We wish to congratulate the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the festival team to continue to deliver during these trying times."
Aside from being an essential sponsor of the festival, The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission is presenting various workshops as part of the Isiphethu programme taking place from 26 to 30 July.
The entire programme, alongside all the films that will be screening, is accessible through www.durbanfilmfest.com. Tickets for the virtual screenings are only available from South Africa and are free and accessible through a booking system.
All workshops and seminars take place between 26 and 30 July and are accessible for free through Zoom and streamed live on Facebook. Find the entire programme and register for the Zoom Room here.