Strong African content for DIFF 2016

Broadcast

This year’s edition of the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), taking place from 16 to 26 June 2016, once more features a very strong selection of African titles.

With just under half of all the films originating from Africa and South Africa, and much of the rest of the programme dealing with diasporic issues and identity politics, this year’s DIFF is a true festival of African film located within a global context.

Of the 101 feature-length films to be shown at the festival, 50 are African films, including 17 fiction films and 9 documentaries, while there are 24 South African films, including ten fiction films and 14 documentaries. Additionally, the festival’s programme will include more than 90 short films, the majority of which are African and South African.

Now in its 37th year, DIFF is the continent’s leading showcase of African film, while also providing a strong programme of world cinema for local audiences, featuring the kind of titles that would otherwise not get a showing on commercial screens in South Africa. Key titles from the continent’s ever-expanding film industry include As I Open My Eyes, a powerful personal tale told on the eve of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution; Naked Reality, the latest film from provocative filmmaker Jean-Pierre Bekolo; Nakom, a haunting film about the conflict between tradition, modernity and love; Ghostland, about the loss of language and identity of indigenous Nambian people; and I Shot Bi Kidude, the long awaited feature film about African musical legend Bi Kidude.

As well as the strong African Focus, other key areas include a focus on issues around indigenous rights and colonialism, a small programme of films that deal with HIV (given the fact that the World Aids Conference will be taking place in Durban two weeks after the festival ends), and a rich programme of films about dance and music. There is a country focus on Dutch cinema, in recognition of the Dutch-South African co-production treaty, as well as a focus on Portuguese-language African film in partnership with Tri Continental Film Festival.

“A festival such as the DIFF takes many years to build and grow, and involves the hard work of countless people,” said Machen. “We are pleased that one of the world’s leading showcases of African and global film will have a number of new venues this year, including the Playhouse, NuMetro Pavilion and various community centres around Durban, all of which will bring the festival to a greater and more diverse number of people,” says Machen.

The full programme will be announced in the coming weeks. “Durbanites can look forward to another exciting and eclectic selection of films,” said Machen.

For more information visit the DIFF website.