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‘Adaptation, Survival and Sustainability’ is the focus of this year’s Durban International Film Festival

“A Little Bird Reminds Me”, by Chinese director SHI Xin, won Best Feature Film at DIFF 2021.

“A Little Bird Reminds Me”, by Chinese director SHI Xin, won Best Feature Film at DIFF 2021.

Published Jun 5, 2022

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Filmgoers from all over the world come to experience the Durban International Film Festival, making it arguable one of the biggest festivals on the calendar.

This year’s 10-day hybrid festival starts on July 21, under the theme of “Adaptation, Survival and Sustainability”.

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Over 3 000 films were submitted but after an intense selection process, only 157 shorts, features, and documentaries, including 19 live screenings which will show at CineCentre Suncoast Casino, were selected.

"The live screenings are a definite highlight for us as organisers, the industry, and the filmmakers. We cannot wait to see audiences indulge themselves in the authentic DIFF experience in the cinema again” said the new manager of the festival, Valma Pfaff.

Pfaff said during the unprecedented time of Covid-19, DIFF aims to present an offering that introduces audiences to fresh perspectives of diversity and inclusion.

“The festival is screening films that reach back while looking forward, focusing on strengthening the tapestry of indigenous and authentic African stories with a global view of sustainability and inclusion,” says Pfaff.

The theme, “Adaptation, Survival and Sustainability” intends to amplify the festival’s determination to build more sustainable societies, systems and opportunities.

“The last two years of a national lockdown of almost the entire globe has forced us all into re-thinking the ways in which we engage with our planet and with communities, societies and nations”, said Ismail Mahomed, director of the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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Student screenings, school programmes and engagements will be the pulse of this year’s inaugural Isiphethu Student Film Festival, which with the theme of migration, aims to develop young talent in the industry.

The Isiphethu programme also consists of a seminar and workshop component to stimulate industry development and a community outreach programme to engage under-serviced audiences and celebrate cinema through the exhibition of films.

“At the heart of the Durban International Film Festival is a mission to enable partnerships that aim to strengthen the film industry and create opportunities for African, and newer voices.

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“The Festival’s outreach programme will work with a range of organisations to take parts of the festival programme to community centres which include amongst others the Wushwini Arts Centre, Luthuli Museum, Ubuntu Nest and K-Cap,” read a statement.

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