The opening night of the 38th Durban International Film Festival took place at the Playhouse in the Durban CBD and South Africa's film fraternity came out in its numbers. Serpent, by Amanda Evans, was chosen as the opening film this year and it was mostly met with mixed reactions. Some audience members were shocked at the prominence of the snake in the film, with some even letting out shrieks during the screening.
IOL Lifestyle asked Evans if the snake used in the film was real and she confirmed it.
Serpent begins with a woman, ending her extramarital affair with a colleague and to runaway from her lover, decides to join her entomologist husband during his research trip searching for an elusive beetle for conservation purposes. But they find more than they bargained for. The film stars Sarah Dumont and Tom Ainsley as Gwyneth and Adam.
Other film makers spotted at the opening included Jahmil XT Qubeka, whose film, Of Good Report, was supposed to opening the festival in 2013, but was banned by the Film and Publications Board. When asked about he said that: "Regulation is good, but people need to follow the rules and actually do their jobs. Only then will regulation work." He said his relationship with the FPB is fine and will continue to make films that are edgy and get people talking. "My next is a Western and it's South African." We are looking forward to that.
Rolie Nikiwe was also spotted and he revealed he has a slate of nine films coming up, with the first being released in 2019. Thapelo Mokoena revealed he was enjoying his Broken Vows role as a journalist on the e.tv drama. He added that he has a respect for investigative journalists, thanks to the research he did for the role. "I wish we could get deeper with the character," he said.
We also spotted AB Moosa, Nigerian star, OC Ukeje, who starred in 2015's opening film, Ayanda; Gcina Mhlophe, Sinazo Yolwa and many other entertainment industry players.
The Durban International Film Festival is on until July 23 2017. Click here to check for screenings and the programme