DIFF launch event in Joburg


SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE…The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) announced the line-up for its upcoming festival in July and screened a selection of trailers during a media launch at the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) offices in Johannesburg on 28 June. The event was attended by DIFF director Peter Rorvik, NFVF CEO Zama Mkosi, as well as industry stakeholders and media.

Rorvik noted that it was the first time the festival, which takes place from 19 to 29 July, has had media launches in Johannesburg as well as Durban.
He emphasised that DIFF will screen more South African feature films than ever before in 2012. “We have award-winning films and brilliant filmic gems from around the world, most of which will be South African premieres, but we’re very proud to be a platform for local films.’

According to Rorvik they will be screening 66 South African films, including 16 feature films, 19 documentaries, 27 short films and four films in the Wavescape section. “There is a diversity of stories, styles and genres that is very encouraging,’ he added.

Opening film Elelwani by Ntshavheni wa Luruli and closing night film, 3D animation Adventures in Zambezia were highlighted, as well as comedies Blitz Patrollie, Copposites and Gog’ Helen.
“There will also be a range of local thillers and dramas, including Fynbos, Accession, the very topical Zama Zama, Uhlanga – The Mark and Barry Berk’s gripping thriller Sleeper’s Wake. Uhlanga –The Mark and Sleeper’s Wake were both shot in KwaZulu-Natal, which is something we hope to see more of in the future,’ said Rorvik.

He noted that the festival will also be screening inspirational work from the rest of the continent, including the award-winning Rwandan film Grey Matter, The Pirogue from Senegal (which just competed in the Un Certain Regard competition at Cannes) and Playing Warriors from Zimbabwe. “We just hope some of the many programmers visiting DIFF from festivals around the world will take notice of the fantastic cinema coming out of the continent,’ said Rorvik.

“Apart from the stories made by Africans, we are also seeing more filmmakers from the rest of the world coming to Africa and telling African stories,’ said Rorvik. He named examples such as The Ambassador, The Education of Auma Obama and Call Me Kuchu.

Rorvik also highlighted the work that Durban FilmMart and Durban Talent Campus – which run concurrently to DIFF – are doing to grow the industry. “There is a trajectory of development where former Talent Campus participants are now starting to make films that are accepted to screen at the festival, so we can see the fruit of the programmes.’

NFVF CEO Zama Mkosi told Screen Africa after the launch that she is very excited about attending the festival. “After today I’m even more excited about what DIFF is doing.’
She said the NFVF will continue to use DIFF as a platform to engage with industry. “We host a couple of events there aimed at fostering networking and updating the industry on our strategy and plans. It’s the one event that brings the whole industry together in one place and we want to use the opportunity to also to hear the industry’s concerns and make sure we remain relevant.’

By Linda Loubser


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