'The Tokoloshe' is directed by Jerome Pikwane and stars Petronella Tshuma, Dawid Minnaar, Kwande Nkosi, Harriet Manamela and Yule Masiteng. Picture: Supplied

In the 39th edition of the Durban International Film Festival is set to take place from July 19 to 29 and making its debut at the festival opening is The Tokoloshe.

The film was chosen by DIFF, in a bold move to shift perceptions of how African stories can be told cinematically across genres.

The Tokoloshe, a South African thriller/horror feature film, directed by Jerome Pikwane, stars Petronella Tshuma, Dawid Minnaar, Kwande Nkosi, Harriet Manamela and Yule Masiteng. It tells the story of a young woman, crippled by suppressed emotions.

The Tokoloshe, tells the story of a young woman, crippled by suppressed emotions. Picture: Supplied


She must find the courage to face an insatiable demon, wrought in her own childhood, when she tries to save the life of a girl-child abandoned in a rundown Johannesburg hospital.

The closing film for the prestigious festival is Rafiki. A tender story of lesbian love, directed by Kenyan director, Wanuri Kahiu. The film, produced by Steven Markovitz, from South Africa, stars, Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva. It is a touching tale of two very different girls living in Nairobi, who fall in love.

A scene from Rafiki. This film will close the Durban International Film Festival. Picture: Supplied

Co-written with Jenna Bass, also from South Africa, the film was the first Kenyan feature film to be invited to Cannes Film Festival 2018 as part of the Official Un Certain Regard selection, and was a project in the 2012 Durban FilmMart.

“With the current global focus on giving womxn a voice in a world dominated by masculinity and systemic misogyny, we wanted to book-end the festival with films that tell stories about womxn, their strength and their survival. We also want to showcase, from a cinematic point of view, that there are many ways to tell these stories,” said Chipo Zhou, manager of DIFF.