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Durban International Film Festival: Award Winning Films and Documentaries: 300 Screenings, 22 Venues

Published by Samuel Crowston

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The 28th Durban International Film Festival presents a selection of the best in cinema from South Africa, Africa and around the world, most of which are premiere showings in this country.

Over 300 screenings will be showcased at 22 venues across the Durban district between 20th June and 1st July. Films include numerous award-winning feature films, supplemented by a prime selection of topical documentaries and short films.

Durban Mayor, Obed Mlaba said: “It is essential for us to unite African film makers and provide a platform for the screening and consumption of African film; and more importantly, empower African and third world countries to compete at a Festival of this caliber.”

Themes and Focus Areas of the Durban International Film Festival

Themes and focus areas of DIFF 2007 include a South African and African perspective featuring the cream of the new crop of productions from this continent; the New Crowned Hope series of films commissioned to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth; the Poverty and Inequality Challenge Film Festival; the 3rd Wavescapes Surf Film Festival; Focus on Italian Cinema; Focus on Cinema of the Middle East; New Danish Cinema; Indian Ocean Islands Panorama; a Gay and Lesbian Cinema focus; the IceBox package of experimental films and animation; Films on Music and live music events.

The Crowned Hope Series

The Crowned Hope series of films which were part of the 250th anniversary celebrations of the birth of Mozart in 2006. Taking a highly original approach, and rather than re-presenting Mozart’s own works, project director Peter Sellars, commissioned completely new works from contemporary, international artists in the fields of music, theatre, dance, architecture, the visual arts, and film. The commissions are not about Mozart the man, nor use his music.

Simon Field, co-director of the film programme for New Crowned Hope, comments: “We are very happy indeed that the first presentation of the New Crowned Hope programme of film commissions on the African continent should be in South Africa and at the important Durban International Film Festival.”

This is partly because the series includes in its commissions a remarkable film by the very original young South African director Teboho Mahlatsi.

The Poverty and Inequality Film Festival

Another part of the Festival is the Poverty and Inequality Film Festival, which will take place in conjunction with the SANPAD Poverty Challenge Conference, which is funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and takes place in Durban from 26 to 29 June.

The Durban International Film Festival also offers free workshops, industry seminars, and public discussion forums with visiting filmmakers.

See a list of Feature Films in the Competition at the 28th Durban International Film Festival.

Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu- Natal

The Durban International Film Festival is coordinated by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu- Natal in Durban, which was established in as a multi-disciplinary arts organization within the Faculty of Human Sciences. Salaries and offices are provided by the university, but all projects and programms, however, require outside funding.

The CCA co-ordinates four annual festivals which are the foremost of their kind in the region; Time of the Writer, Poetry Africa, the Durban International Film Festival, and the Jomba! Contemporary Dance Festival. The CCA is also involved in other projects and programms.

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