International director Jean-Jacques Annaud leads French delegation at DIFF


Academy Award Winner and internationally renowned French filmmaker, Jean-Jacques Annaud (Seven Years in Tibet) attends the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) 2015 as part of a widely represented delegation from the French film industry. His new film, Wolf Totem, which screens at DIFF for the first time in South Africa, is set to be released in cinemas nationwide after the festival by Videovision Entertainment.

Wolf Totem screens at DIFF as part of an exceptional line-up of French films at the festival this year, including Hope by Boris Lojkine, which is part of Cannes Critics’ Week selection; and White Dry Season (1989) from female director Euzhan Palcy, which was adapted from the novel by South African writer Andre Brink.

Wolf Totem, screens on 21 July at 20h00 at the Supernova Cinema at Suncoast with Annaud in attendance.

“The French Institute of South Africa is proud to have made it possible for Jean-Jacques Annaud to attend the DIFF, together with UniFrance and Videovision, as part of its efforts to strengthen the links between France and South Africa in the film industry’, says Frederic Chambon, film and media regional attache at the French Embassy in South Africa.

Two films by female director Euzhan Palcy will also be showcased at DIFF: Sugarcane Alley (1983) and Dry White Season (1989).
Euzhan Palcy is a film director from Martinique, a French Caribbean Island. She is known for being the first black woman director to have her film produced by a major Hollywood studio (MGM) in the 80’s.

Semaine de la critique (Critics’ Week)

Urucu Media, with the support of the French Institute, have launched a travelling programme of La Semaine de la critique (Critics’ Week) as part of DIFF.

Since its inception in 1961, the annual Cannes’ La Semaine de la Critique (Critic’s Week) is dedicated to the work of emerging filmmakers. The South African edition of Critics’ Week will host a dynamic selection of five critically acclaimed films, including three French features. The opening film is Hope by French director Boris Lojkine, who is attending DIFF.

Additional screenings will be scheduled in Johannesburg (Rosebank Cinema Nouveau) and Cape Town (Waterfront) from 31 July to 2 August.

Cannes South African Film Factory

The Cannes South African Film Factory – launched this May in Cannes – is also coming to Durban.The Factory, initiated by producer Dominique Welinski in cooperation with Directors’ Fortnight, aims to supporting emerging new talents on the international scene, allowing young international directors to meet and create together.

This year, the Cannes SA Film Factory, organised by South African production company Zidaka, will provide an opportunity for four South African directors and four international directors to collectively produce four short films that will be showcased next year in Cannes. Both international and South African directors will then take part in workshops from 22 to 25 July.

“The Factory enjoys exploring “new territories’ of cinema… The South African cinema scene, which, in recent years, has often surprised us in major festivals, remains, however, little known in our hemisphere. Four short films that will be soon directed by South African and international young filmmakers will enable the public of the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes to discover the unsuspected realities of South Africa. Vive the SA Factory!” says Edouard Waintrop, artistic director of Directors’ Fortnight section.

Partners of the Cannes SA Film Factory include:South African Production company Zidaka, French Production Company DW, the KwaZulu Natal Film Commission (KZNFC), the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), the Directors’ Fortnight, AFDA Film School, Media Film Service, DIFF, Cote Ouest Audiovisual, Sound Surfers and the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS).

French films at DIFF

The French film industry will be represented at DIFF with 14 French feature films and five short films.

Fiction films:
Bizarre by Etienne Faure (United States, France) 2015
Dealer by Jean Luc Herbulot (France) 2014
Dry White Season by Euzhan Palcy (USA, France) 1989
Eden by Mia Hansen-Løve (France) 2015
Fevers by Hicham Ayouch (France, Morocco) 2014
Hope by Boris Lojkine (France) 2014
LadyGrey by Alain Choquart (South Africa, France, Belgium) 2015
Run by Philippe Lacote (Ivory Coast, France) 2014
Sugarcane Alley by Euzhan Palcy (France) 1983
Suzanne by Katell Quillevere (France) 2013, 94min
Wolf Totem by Jean-Jacques Annaud (China, France) 2015
You and the Night by Yann Gonzales (France) 2013


Cartoonists: Foot Soldiers of Democracy by Stephanie Valloatto (France) 2014
I am the People by Anna Roussillon (France) 2014

Short films:

July 14th by Barocas Michael (France) 2015
A Single Body by Sotiris Dounoukos (France) 2014
Superman isn’t Jewish (but i am a bit…) by Jimmy Bemon (France) 2014
Mother Earth by Aliou Sow (France, Senegal) 2014
Quiet Mujo by Ursula Meier (France, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Switzerland, Germany, Portugal) 2014


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