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5 short films to look out for at the Durban International Film Festival

A scene from short film, ’Al-Sit’. Picture: Supplied

A scene from short film, ’Al-Sit’. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 15, 2021


The Durban International Film Festival will shine the spotlight on a variety of short films.

While the virtual festival will still exist, the short films will be screened for free across the city at four venues: Alliance Française, KZNSA Gallery and Daily Dosage in Durban and Luthuli Museum in Groutville during the festival’s 10-day run.

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Festival manager and curator Chipo Zhou said: "Over the past several years, many platforms have been created to promote short films and pay the film-maker for their effort, a trend we hope continues to grow as demand for content increases and as attention spans decrease.“

The full programme will be announced closer to the start of the festival, but in the meantime, lets take a look at some short films that have been included.

“Five Tiger”

“Five Tiger”. Picture: Supplied

Directed by South African Nomawonga Khumalo, the film revolves around a god-fearing woman who finds herself in a transactional relationship as she tries to support her sick husband and daughter.

“A Guide to Dining out in Nairobi”

A scene from “”A Guide to Dining out in Nairobi“. Picture: Supplied

The Kenyan film, directed by American director Hugh Mitton, sees a security guard get a $10 tip from his wealthy boss, and we follow his journey in how far he can make it go.

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A scene from “Al-Sit”. Picture: Supplied

The Arabic story from Sudan is about women, both powerless and powerful, by director Suzannah Mirghani.

In a cotton-farming village in Sudan, 15-year-old Nafisa has a crush on Babiker, but her parents have arranged her marriage to a young Sudanese businessman living abroad and her matriarchal grandmother, Al-Sit, has her own plans.

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A scene from “Lizard”. Picture: Supplied

Nigerian-raised and UK director Akinola Davies Jr tells a story based on actual events about an eight-year-old girl who has an ability to sense danger.

She gets ejected from Sunday school service and unwittingly witnesses the underbelly in and around a mega church in Lagos, Nigeria.

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A scene from “Belia”. Picture: Supplied

Director Eman Hussein tells a story about how a young woman and her friends join a car repair shop as “Belia” (colloquial Egyptian for apprentices) to learn the craft from the Ustas (craft headmasters).

They explore what this relationship creates as it merges labour with everyday life rhythms to open a new space for movement.

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