Aligned to its 10th annual 2018 summit - an international relations conference attended by the heads of state or government of its five member states, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - the festival is part of the focus on film events, including Durban International Film Festival; Durban FilmMart; Wavescapes and the Nature Environment and Wildlife Filmmakers Congress, in Durban this month.
Each BRICS member state will have a day dedicated to showing five of its best recent films - in whatever genre.
They will be free, open to the public and shown at the Playhouse Drama Theatre. July23 is South Africa; July24 is Russia; July25 is India; July26 is China and July27 is Brazil.
Two of the five films to be screened each day will be competition entries - with the best films of the festival chosen by a panel of experts from each member country, and awarded at a closing event on Friday.
South Africa’s selected two competition features will be Beyond The River, based on the moving true story of two men’s journey to gold in the 2014 Dusi Canoe Marathon, and Five Fingers for Marseilles, where a disgraced former hero returns to establish a quiet life only to find a new threat to be faced in this local Western.
In Beyond The River, KwaZulu-Natal can stand tall as the two main characters are Duma, played by Lemogang Tsipa, who grew up in Zululand, and Steve, who is played by Grant Swanby, who originally hails from Durban.
For screening times see: What's showing at the #BRICS film festival
Also representing South Africa will be The Whale Caller, set in the seaside town of Hermanus and based on a novel by Zakes Mda. This has been described as an enchanting tale of isolation, infatuation and human connection; Comatose, which centres around two siblings in conflict over the future of their comatose mother, testing their family ties and posing difficult questions about euthanasia; and Skulls of My People, a deeply affecting and important documentary about the 1904-1908 genocide of about 80% of the population of Nama, San and Herero people in Namibia.
]The festival opens with an invitation-only concert in the Playhouse Opera Theatre, tomorrow evening, marrying live performance with short films from each of the BRIC member states.
A carefully presented programme allows Durban artists to represent the member states though music, song and dance.
Compered by LeAnne Manas and Tony Kgoroge, performers include leading Shembe group Amazebra Indlamu, and musician Mbuso Khoza representing South Africa; the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Christopher Chen, will represent China by performing Act 2 Grand Pas de deux from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker; the acclaimed Nateshwa Dance Company and Kathak dancer Manesh Maharaj are representing India; dancers Casey Swales and Rachel Abrahams will perform ballet representing Russia; dancers Angelique Allison and Ryan Hammond will perfom the samba and representing Brazil; with support from the Playhouse Dance Residency with Smeetha Maharaj at the helm, displaying their Bollywood and Brazilian samba routines.
The evening is directed by Ralph Lawson, and produced by the Playhouse Company, an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture.
The opening night films will honour Nelson Mandela’s centenary.
They will be five minutes long and produced by the respective countries under the facilitation of a South African production company, Via-Vollenhoven and Appollis Independent.
The theme for the films is “Mandela”, and each will reflect the uniqueness of the country, as well as how each member country relates to Mandela and the impact he had on the world through leadership, politics, humanity, culture, and unity.
There will also be a BRICS Film Forum on Monday that will focus on the opportunities and challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for content creators in BRICS markets; presenting insights on creative, political, legal, financial and institutional frameworks for the establishment of BRICS audio- visual/film co-production and distribution treaty and fund; opportunities and challenges of content creation, distribution collaborative content development among BRICS film-makers; and funding, production and distribution of content that can travel between the five countries.