DIFF’s Swedish focus


Ten top films from Sweden will feature at the 31 Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), which takes place from 22 July to 1 August.

In a partnership between the Swedish Film Institute, DIFF will present five contemporary Swedish films (under the banner Swedish Film is Here) and five films from the late, legendary master, Ingmar Bergman. The latter will be in a section called, Swedish Film Is Bergman, and comprises Smiles Of A Summer’s Night (1955), Wild Strawberries (1957), Winter Light (1963), Cries And Whispers (1973) and Fanny And Alexander (1982).

Through DIFF’s focus on Swedish cinema, the Swedish Film Institute hopes to bring awareness to distributors and audiences of the entertainment value and commercial potential of Swedish films.

The focus on Swedish cinema also brings attention to the growing relationship between South Africa and Sweden in as far as creating cinema is concerned. The Durban FilmMart, taking place during the festival, will present an exciting project undertaken by Swedish co-producer Jan Blomgren and Durban director Junaid Ahmed with the South African/Swedish co-production Stockholm, Zululand.

As part of Swedish Film Is Here, Babak Najafi makes an outstanding debut with Sebbe, a superb film about a young misfit and his negligent mother. The lead actress of Sebbe, Eva Melander will attend the festival to present the film to audiences. Jesper Gansladt brings The Ape, a devastating and meticulous account of a man’s descent into a personal hell, while DIFF regular Lukas Moodysson explores the impact of globalisation in our lives, hearts and minds with the film Mammoth (starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Michelle Williams). Tarik Saleh’s exquisite animated film Metropia features at the festival along with Niels Arden Oplev’s much-anticipated The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo based on the bestselling novel by Stieg Larsson. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was a major box office success in Scandinavia.

Petter Mattsson, Project Manager for the Swedish Film Institute, comments. “It is of great importance for us that prestigious festivals such as the Durban International Film Festival decide to focus on Swedish cinema. The recent artistic, as well as commercial, success of Swedish films around the world brings great incentive to raise awareness of Sweden in general and Swedish cinema in particular. We are therefore very happy that the Durban International Film Festival has chosen to put a spotlight on Sweden this year.’

2010 also marks a partnership between the Sweden’s Goteborg International Film Festival and DIFF. The Goteborg International Film Festival Fund has supported DIFF’s workshop and seminar programme and will be represented at the festival.

Principal screening venues of the Durban International Film Festival 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, with further screenings in township areas where cinemas are non-existent.

Programme booklets with the full screening schedule and synopses of all the films are available free at cinemas, Computicket, and other outlets. Call 031 2602506 or 031 2601650 for further details, or visit www.cca.ukzn.ac.za


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