Feature films vie for top honours at the 2024 Durban International Film Festival

“Malu” by Pedro Freire. Picture: Supplied

“Malu” by Pedro Freire. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 9, 2024


The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) returns for its 45th edition from July 18 to 28 with the screening of over 80 films, which will not only vie for honours at the festival but also have a chance to qualify for the Oscars.

Films will compete for titles such as Best Feature Film, Best Documentary, Best Performer and Best Cinematography. As a bonus, the the film that wins the Best Documentary and Best Short Film award will qualify for the Oscars.

DIFF is the only Oscar Qualifying festival in Southern Africa and one of only four on the continent.

Andrea Voges, the Head of Programming and Festival manager said: “The stakes are high, the competition is tough, and no matter who walks away with the coveted awards, the real winners will be audiences who will be able to experience the awe, delight, and wonder of the many films on offer.

Films competing for the Best Feature Film honours include “All We Imagine As Light” by Payal Kapadia, “Dear Jassi” by Tarsem Singh Dhandwar, “How To Have Sex” by Molly Manning Walker, “Malu” by Pedro Freire, “My Favourite Cake” by Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha, “The Seed Of The Sacred Fig” by Mohammad Rasoulof, “Sonti by Terrence Aphane”, “The Story Of Souleymane” by Boris Lojkine, “The Village Next To Paradise” by Mo Harawe and “Who Do I Belong To” by Meryam Joobeur.

Also, Amnesty International Durban will present the Human Rights Award and viewers will have an opportunity to vote for the Audience Choice Award.

South African films are also eligible for the Best South African Film in each of the categories: feature, documentary, short and student.

Winners will be announced at the closing ceremony on July 27.

Jurors Heidi Zwicker, Sean Drummond and Pape Boye, will award the sought after honours for the Best Feature Film and the Best South African Feature Film.

Award-winning producer Antoinette Engel is one of the jurors for the documentary films alongside human rights law specialist-turned-documentarist, Shameela Seedat, and deputy director at STEPS, Theresa Hill.

Filmmaker, creative producer and cultural historian, Adrian Van Wyk, “Blood & Water” actress Ama Qamata and producer Tamsin Ranger will present the awards for Best Short Film and Best South African Short Film.

Voges added: “Whilst we are superbly proud about our distinguished jury assembled for this year’s festival, we are equally excited to see how the audiences take up the opportunity to vote for the Audience Choice Award.”

∎ The Durban International Film Festival will take place from July 18 to 28, at commercial venues like NuMetro Pavilion, Ster-Kinekor, Suncoast CineCentre, The Bioscope (Johannesburg) and The Labia (Cape Town). The non-commercial venues include Cap Studios, Denis Hurley, Luthuli Museum, K-Cap and Wushwini Art Centre.