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

Creating a hype in Durban is the 39th Durban International Film Festival set to take place from July 19 to 29.

The 10-day festival, and one of Durban’s biggest events, will see 180 features films, documentaries, and shorts films from around the world, screened at seven commercial venues and nine free public venues across the Durban.  

We know it’s sort of impossible to watch all so we’ve picked a few for you.

The Tokoloshe directed by Jerome Pikwane

This is the opening film for the festival and tells the story of Busi, a young destitute woman with dangerously repressed emotions. She lands a job as a cleaner at a rundown hospital in the heart of Johannesburg. Desperate for the money so she can bring her younger sister to Johannesburg, she must cope despite the predatory and corrupt hospital manager. When Busi discovers an abandoned young girl in the hospital, who believes she is being tormented by a supernatural force, Busi must face the demons from her own past in order to save the child from the abusive monster that pursues them both relentlessly.


Rafiki directed by Wanuri Kahiu

The festival will end with film. The story revolves around Kena played by Samantha Mugatsia and Ziki played by Sheila Munyiva, who are two very different girls living in a Nairobi housing estate. Despite the political rivalry that exists between their families, the girls remain close friends, supporting each other in order to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. But when they fall in love, they are forced to choose between their safety and their love for each other.


Farewell Ella Bella directed by Lwazi Mvusi

This is a story about a young woman, Ella, on a journey to bury her father. Abandoned by her mother at a young age, Ella has sacrificed her life, opportunities and love to care for a man she resents but is now left adrift in the world after his passing. The story is a coming of age tale for Ella and her nomadic godfather, Neo and the twists and turns of the long, open freeways from the Western Cape through the Northern Cape (Kimberley) up to Gauteng enable them to find strength in each other, maturity within themselves and wisdom in the characters they meet along the way.


Mayfair directed by Sara Blecher

Set in the Johannesburg suburb of Mayfair, an area that was previously defined as ‘Indian’ by the architects of apartheid but has since become a melting pot of new migrants from across the continent, the film tells the story of the relationship between crime boss Aziz (Rajesh Gopie) and his son Zaid (Ronak Patani). As the film progresses, Blecher peels back the layers of moral hypocrisy that lurk beneath the veneer of Aziz’s respectability. Zaid rejects and abhors everything about his father’s moral choices – until he learns that his dad once had to make the exact same choice that he is now being forced to make.