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Thursday, September 10, 2020


The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), will host the Durban International Festival (DIFF) from September 10 to 20, 2020. This year, for its 41st edition, the festival presents a programme of close to 60 feature films, documentaries and short films alongside exciting industry programme: isiPhethu.

On September 10 DIFF 2020 opens with a virtual and a drive-in screening of the film, This is not a Burial, it’s a Resurrection by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese. From September 11, all other films will be available for online screenings. Thriller Dust by Pierre de Villiers is the closing film and will be screening during a drive-in screening on September 19 alongside the annual DIFF Award Ceremony. Dust will also be available online on September 19 and 20. Additionally, the festival is hosting drive-in screenings in Port Shepstone, Newcastle and Richards Bay.

The DIFF Awards

Head of programming, Chipo Zhou is proud to announce the films in competition that are diverse but have a common threat of revisiting the past as a way to instil hope for the future.

“The physical and internal wars and struggles in the films that explore what seemed impossible decades ago is now but a distant memory that we dissect in art as a way to reflect and create a better world. 2020 has proved to have been a very trying year, one of which despair and hopelessness enveloped the world. We are in this moment living the history of tomorrow. These narratives are mirrors of the art that the generations after us will create looking back at this very moment. The festival looks to the future, optimistic that this is not the apocalypse by exploring the histories that in those moments, could have felt like the very end,” says Zhou.

On the advancement of the film industry, she adds “The industry has changed, how film is created and consumed has evolved dramatically. The way we showcase has been propelled into the future, by the covid19 pandemic, and the festival will, for the very first time be presented online. Virtual platforms store everything in perpetuity as an archive of the showcase and subsequent dialogue around the issues highlighted in the narratives. This archive will be a great contribution to the future of film scholarship on the continent and beyond.” 


Documentaries in the 2020 Competition:

143 Sahara Street directed by Hassen Ferhani, Algeria, 2019

A Rifle And A Bag directed by Isabella Rinaldi, Arya Rothe and Cristina Haneș, India/Romania/Italy/Qatar, 2020

Softie directed by Sam Soko, Kenya 2020

FADMA: Even Ants Have Wings directed by Jawad Rhalib, Belgium/Morocco, 2019

In your Eyes, I See my Country directed by Kamal Hachkar, Morocco/France, 2019

Influence directed by Diana Neille, Richard Poplak, South Africa/Canada, 2020

The Letter directed by Maia Von Lekow and Christopher King, Kenya, 2020


Features in the 2020 Competition:

Dust directed by Pieter du Plessis, South Africa, 2020

Farewell Amor directed by Ekwa Msangi, USA, 2020 

Force Of Habit directed by Kirsikka Saari/Elli Toivoniemi/Anna Paavilainen/Alli Haapasalo/Reetta Aalto/Jenni Toivoniemi/Miia Tervo, Finland, 2020

Lusala directed by Mugambi Nthiga, Kenya/Germany, 2019

Our Lady of the Nile directed by Atiq Rahimi, France/Belgium/Rwanda, 2019

Stam (The Tree) directed by Louw Venter, South Africa, 2019

Take Me Somewhere Nice directed by Ena Sendijarevic, Netherlands/Bosnia/Herzegovina, 2019

This is Not a Burial, it’s a Resurrection directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Lesotho/South Africa/Italy, 2020


All short films are in competition.

The full programme, alongside all the films that will be screening, will be accessible on

Tickets for the virtual screenings are only available from South Africa and free. Once a ticket is booked, you can watch the film for two days and once you have started watching, you can playback for 24 hours.

There will be drive-ins screenings in Durban, Port Shepstone, Richards Bay and Newcastle. Tickets for the drive-in screenings are available on Quicket for R100 per car.

From September 14 to 18, DIFF is offering a variety of free workshops and panel discussions as part of the isiPhethu industry programme. Zoom links will be shared daily on people’s Facebook page.

The 41st edition of the festival is organised by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, in partnership and with the support of US Consulate Durban, KZN Film Commission, the National Film and Video Foundation, the Gauteng Film Commission, KZN Department of Arts & Culture, the Film and Publications Board and other valued funders and partners.