DIFF coming to a small screen near you


This year's Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) will reach into the homes of people across 49 African countries, including South Africa. Channel [ED] (DStv Channel 190 and GOtv channel 65) will broadcast live from the continent s premier film industry event between 17 and 21 July.

The channel, which seeks to inspire and engage young Africans and is one of Urban Brew Studio s channels, will also screen selected DIFF documentaries on each of the five days.

The broadcast partnership was the brain-child of filmmaker Don Edkinds, who works closely with the channel. Roberto Carletti, Station Manager for [ED] says: It was an obvious decision for us to get involved. Not only does it provide us with the opportunity to offer our viewers prime new documentary content, but we re a Pan-African channel that can play a significant role in raising the status of African film makers.

Broadcasting from the continent’s largest film festival provides exposure for the filmmakers, both established and up and coming. [ED] line producer Colleen Smith explains: We re giving these film makers access to a wide African audience. It s hoped that the more exposure the film makers can garner, the better for the industry in the long run. If there are real platforms on which to showcase their work, there could ultimately be more documentary film makers that come to the fore.

Passionate about telling African stories, Smith says many of these powerful documentaries are empowering and in line with their vision of disseminating knowledge. The line-up of documentaries screened includes some of the best on offer at the festival. Last year [ED] showcased a number of acclaimed Durban International Film Festival documentaries, including Miners Shot Down by Rehad Desai and I, Afrikaner by Annalet Steenkamp.

This year, new documentaries coming out of the festival will be screened on [ED], during prime time. As well as a daily one hour live broadcast with stakeholders and filmmakers. The interviews will be broadcast live from the Elangeni Hotel hosted by Danine Naidoo, from Edge: Sci-Tech, an [ED] production.

The live broadcast also serves to empower those behind the scenes. It is an opportunity for second and third year students from Durban University of Technology (DUT) to man cameras and operate the OB unit, gaining valuable technical experience.

The broadcast team believes that the media can play a pivotal role in helping to grow the local and broader African film industry. Aside from the exposure that the coverage provides the film makers themselves, it also assists in elevating the status of the festival, which in turn helps to attract bigger names to South African shores.
Source: Screen Africa 1 July 2015