38th Durban International Film Festival Celebrates Opening Night

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The 38th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within UKZN’s College of Humanities, recently opened at the Durban Playhouse Theatre. It was a glamourous red carpet event under the #FashionMeetsFilm theme which also included the premiere screening of the highly anticipated SERPENT, a South African film by Amanda Evans.

The film follows a couple’s emotional journey as they battle to find and reignite their love, in a wilderness where they are trapped in a tent with a venomous snake. As secrets unravel, with no escape, they are forced to deal with their demons, simultaneously making life and death decisions.

Said Evans: ‘I didn’t even know that the film was being considered for DIFF and for it to open the Festival is fantastic. I hope everyone enjoys the film.’

Also on opening night, the late SA filmmaker Junaid Ahmed and actor Joe Mafela were posthumously honoured for their contribution to the South African film industry while Chairperson for the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission and renowned playwright Mr Welcome Msomi was awarded with the first Friend of DIFF award for his ongoing support of the Festival.

Festival Manager Ms Chipo Zhou said, ‘We have a strong focus this year on women-led films and we are particularly pleased that the opening night film is led by a female director and it sets the tone for the rest of the Festival. I am excited that this year, we have a variety of films that appeal to different audiences with a diversity of new content. We will continue to grow the festival and to develop future filmmakers ahead of the 40th edition of DIFF.’

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Stephen Mutula added: ‘We are excited to once again host this spectacular Festival. We encourage attendance and guarantee a showcase of riveting and enlightening films from around globe, as well as valuable programmes for film industry hopefuls.’

The Durban International Film Festival runs until 23 July 2017. The Festival includes theatrical screenings, as well as the Wavescape Film Festival and various industry initiatives, including the 10th Talents Durban programme (in co-operation with the Berlin Talent Campus) and the 8th Durban FilmMart co-production market (in partnership with the Durban Film Office).

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Words by: Melissa Mungroo