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Thursday, July 15, 2021


The Durban International Film Festival, a project of the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, notes with extreme sadness the events that have gripped South Africa and, in particular, the KwaZulu-Natal province this past week. The Centre for Creative Arts calls on government to bring an urgent resolution to the crisis.

The Centre also expresses concern about how the crisis will exacerbate the impacts on the South African economy, and in particular, on an arts & cultural economy that already has been seriously affected since the commencement of the National Lockdowns promulgated in March 2020. The Durban International Film Festival, like most other festivals, has been able to sustain itself on an online platform to create income opportunities for filmmakers, producers and distributors.

The current crisis gripping South Africa will inevitably make more people vulnerable to the super-spreading risks of the Covid-19 pandemic, and a prolonged lockdown that may result is bound to have an even more devastating impact on the sector. The Centre for Creative Arts remains cognizant and empathetic of the enormous social challenges which underline much of the pent-up rage during the unrests.

The Centre for Creative Arts, through its festivals, passionately advocates for a sustained and critical engagement with challenges such as inequalities, corruption and prejudices of gender, race, patriarchy, sexuality and other negative notions that impede the advancement of a constitutional democracy.

The Durban International Film Festival, which is located in Durban but representative of African voices across the continent and the diaspora, is a dynamic platform that aims to broaden viewpoints and allow for robust critical discourse about South African societies. The Festival hopes that its extensive programme drawn from across the continent and from other parts of the globe will disrupt, challenge, provoke and provide directions for a deeper and more empathetic understanding of the human condition.

The Festival takes place online from July 22 to August 1, 2021. The entire programme, alongside all the films that will be screening, is accessible through

The 42nd edition of the Festival is organised by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, in partnership and with the support of the KZN Film Commission, the National Film and Video Foundation, KZN Department of Arts & Culture, the Film and Publications Board and other valued funders and partners.