Durbanites will have to wait until late September to enjoy the seventh annual Durban Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Stock photo by Mitch Nielsen on Unsplash

Durbanites will have to wait until late September to enjoy the seventh annual Durban Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

With seven feature films, 11 documentaries and almost 30 short films from 14 countries globally, including South Africa, the festival – which now begins on September 28 – expects to speak to the interests of many different audiences.

Festival director Jason Fiddler said: “Ours is an inclusive festival. You don’t have to be gay, or lesbian, or otherwise to appreciate these well-made films. You just need to be open-minded, and make the effort to discover new stories.”

Organisers said in a recent statement that because of last-minute technical issues raised by the Film and Publications Board (FPB) about the broader programme, only the South African feature film Inxeba would go ahead to screened as scheduled.

This year the festival is expanding its reach within the Ethekwini region with screening venues that will include Durban’s Outer West LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) communities. 

“From both a practical and demand-driven perspective, #DGLFF2017 has recognised that for many, the journey to ‘town’ is both expensive and often far.”

To this end, Fiddler has successfully negotiated with Tina’s Hotel in Kloof, home to Roland Stansell’s branch of Rhumbelow Theatre, to host two evening screenings of films.

Other venues include the aha Waterfront Hotel and Spa in Point; Alliance Francaise; the Durban Lesbian and Gay Centre in Morningside; and the KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood.

The line-up includes Inxeba, which stars musician and novelist Nakhane Touré as Xolani, a lonely factory worker who joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood.


 Another film is Thishiwe Ziqubu’s Sina Nomakotshana (Dance with the maiden), a 24-minute short film about a girl falling in love with her contemporary dance partner and coming out of the closet during her traditional Zulu initiation.

Other South African content includes Allan McDonald’s moving documentary Locked in about transgender people within the Xhosa and Muslim communities, including their very real struggles for acceptance. 

The festival will also host the world premiere of  Durban filmmaker Dayakar Padayachee’s 40-minute gay short Shadow, a psychological horror following a gay Indian teen’s decent into darkness during his parent’s growingly ugly divorce, as a malevolent force takes hold.


Further information on the festival and its schedule can be found here.

The Mercury