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Friday, July 16, 2010


(Pic: The DIFF 2010 Poster)

Eco-Lens, Shorts Cuts and Workshops for Durban International Film Festival.

ECO-LENS AT DIFF 2010: Filmmakers are key agents in keeping a watchful eye on threats to human ecology and environmental balance in films such as Scientists Under Attack, and South African Carlos Franciso's American Foulbrood. When the water that comes out of your taps turns to flame you know something is wrong – Gasland explores the shocking consequences of massive natural gas drilling across the USA. On a highly positive note the multi-award winning Waste Land witnesses the creative production that results when art and poverty collide at the world’s largest rubbish dump in Brazil, while the 4th Revolution: Energy Autonomy outlines the tantalising possibility of switching to 100% renewable energy sources in the next 30 years.

SHORT CUTS: Recognising short films not only as an all-important stepping stone for film makers who wish to venture into documentary or feature film making but also as a valid art form in their own right, this year's Durban International Film Festival boasts a bountiful selection of 58 short films with a strong focus on films made in Africa and films about Africa. 22 are from South Africa and 19 have been made in African countries.

The shorts are compiled in eight separate viewing packages, and are flagship screenings in DIFF’s community programmes. The line-up includes award winning South African film Father Christmas Doesn't Come Here, and the winner of the Berlin Today Award 2010, Jonah and the Vicarious Nature of Homesickness, as well as a crop of hot films made by emerging AFDA film students. The Latitude package, supported by the Goethe Institut, presents an excellent array of 9 contemporary African films which includes Jan-Hendrik Beetge’s Abyss Boys, recently named best short film at the African Movie Academy Awards in Nigeria.

WORKSHOPS AND SEMINARS: Optimising the presence of filmmakers and industry experts, DIFF offers a packed programme of seminars and workshops aimed at both aspirant filmmakers and professionals. An open and free workshop programme takes place daily at The Royal Hotel. Closed programmes include the 3rd Talent Campus Durban which brings together 40 filmmakers from 20 different African countries, the 9th UKZN Audio Visual’s week-long workshop for first-time filmmakers, and the inaugural edition of the Durban FilmMart, a film financing and co-production initiative in partnership with the Durban Film Office. Involving local and international producers and film financiers, the Durban FilmMart’s Finance Forum and Producers Forum will provide capacity-building programmes and business networking opportunities to stimulate industry development and filmmaking in Africa. Allied to industry stimulation are DIFF audience development initiatives to broaden public access in community based venues, and a Film Literacy programme for schools in the Inanda-Ntuzuma-Kwamashu area of Durban.

For full festival information, click on the Centre for Creative Arts advert which will take you to the Durban International Film Festival site. See all film synopses, screening schedules and workshop programme at

Principal screening venues of the festival are the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre; Nu Metro Cinecentre - Suncoast; Ster Kinekor Junction – Musgrave; Cinema Nouveau - Gateway; Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre in KwaMashu; and The Royal Hotel, with further screenings in township areas where cinemas are non-existent.

Programme booklets with the full screening schedule and synopses of all the films are available free at cinemas, Computicket, and other outlets. Call 031 2602506 or 031 2601650 for further details.

The Durban International Film Festival is organised by the Centre For Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) with support by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder), National Film and Video Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism, HIVOS, City Of Durban, German Embassy, Goethe Institut, Industrial Development Corporation, Commonwealth Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture, and a range of other valued partners.