DIFF opening sets the tone for a captivating festival


On 17 July the 35th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) launched with a star studded red carpet event and the premiere of Zee Ntuli’s action packed romance Hard to Get. The festival, which is a highly anticipated and pivotal cultural gathering, brought together South Africa’s major filmmaking players to honour and celebrate an industry which is growing from strength to strength.

Festival director Peter Machen delivered inspiring words which denoted the extent to which South Africa as a nation has blossomed in the wake of 20 years of democracy. He also commented on how film has the power to catalyse change and spread awareness on a number of issues the country, and the African continent at large, is facing, “Film changes us on a personal level, it changes the world too, even as the world changes.”

This sentiment is evident in the DIFF film line-up which features a number of provocative South African documentaries such as Miners Shot Down and Soft Vengeance as well as a variety of feature films that not only align with the celebration of 20 years of democracy but are rich with cultural and emotional relevance, good story-lines and impressive filmmaking techniques. One such film is the festival’s opening movie, Hard to Get. Featuring the electrifying talent of lead actors Thishiwe Ziqubu and Pallance Dladla, Hard to Get has set the tone for an engaging and impressive feast of film viewing at DIFF.

A.B. Moosa, CEO of the Avalon Group which co-founded the festival, spoke about the journey which DIFF has taken and how it was, and continues to be, a pioneering platform for diversity. He honoured “all of us who stood against the system’ and recounted DIFF’s ability to prevail, “at a time in the history of the country when other cinemas were for whites only.’

Visit the DIFF website or the Durban FilmMart website for more information on screenings, events and the ample activities happening at the festival between 17 and 27 July at venues around KwaZulu Natal.


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