By Abdi Ali
Published May 20, 2016
South Africa’s Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) that is scheduled for June 16-26, 2016, says it shall focus on African films.
“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,” says Peter Machen, acting festival director, “this year’s DIFF is a true festival of African film located within a global context.”
Machen says that of the 101 feature-length films to be shown at the festival, 50 are African. He says the festival’s programme will include more than 90 short films, the majority of which are African.
“DIFF is the continent’s leading showcase of African film, while also providing a strong programme of world cinema for local audiences, featuring the kind of titles that would otherwise not get a showing on commercial screens in South Africa,” DIFF says in a pre-event Press statement. “Key titles from the continent’s ever-expanding film industry include AS I OPEN MY EYES, a powerful personal tale told on the eve of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution, NAKED REALITY, the latest film from provocative filmmaker Jean-Pierre Bekolo, NAKOM, a haunting filmabout the conflict between tradition, modernity and love, GHOSTLAND, about the loss of language and identity of indigenous Nambian people, and I SHOT BI KIDUDE, the long awaited feature film about Zanzibari musical legend.”
Saying it is his 27th year of attending DIFF, Machen says “African cinema continues to grow more and more complex, offering a wealth of cinematic language that puts much of mainstream cinema to shame.”
DIFF 2016 shall also “focus on issues around indigenous rights and colonialism, a small programme of films that deal with HIV (given the fact that the World Aids Conference will be taking place in Durban two weeks after the festival ends), and a rich programme of films about dance and music. There is a country focus on Dutch cinema, in recognition of the Dutch-South African Co-production Treaty, as well as a focus on Portuguese-language African film in partnership with Tri Continental Film Festival.”
DIFF 2016 will take place at the Playhouse, Ster Kinekor Musgrave, Ster Kinekor Nouveau, Nu Metro Pavilion, the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, the KZNSA Gallery, Rivertown Beerhall and the Elangeni-Maharani Hotel, with festival hubs at the Elangeni-Maharani and the Playhouse. There will also be screenings of selected titles in Clermont, KwaMashu, Inanda, Groutville, and others areas.