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Saturday, July 15, 2023



The 44th edition of the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) will kick off on July 20, 2023, welcoming filmmakers and cinephiles from all over the world. This year's festival will feature over 90 films from more than 54 countries, with a strong focus on African cinema.  

(Above: ApollineTraoré, Ian Gabriel, Thabiso Camilo Christopher)

Apolline Traoré from Burkina Faso will be flying in for the South African premiere of her film, Sira. The film follows a young nomad named Sira who refuses to surrender to her fate without a fight and instead takes a stand against terror. In conclusion of the opening screening, South African producer Layla Swart will host a Q&A with the filmmaker, producer and cast members. South African director Ian Gabriel will be presenting the world premiere of Runs In The Family, a South African comedy which follows a father and his transgender son on a road trip to compete in a drag race. The film also stars writer of the film and Gabriel’s son, Gabe Gabriel.

(Right: Prime)

Prime will also make its world premiere at the festival this year, the second feature film from director Thabiso Camilo Christopher, explores the effects of childhood trauma on a young man as he enters a new relationship, with a supernatural twist.

Other highlights include the attendance of Malusi Bengu, presenting his short film Vinyl On Bones, a film that explores music as a healing tool and the cost of this alchemy to the healer, Sheetal Magan presenting City Of Ashes a dystopian drama where the fate of humanity is being decided on the chaotic streets of Johannesburg , Steven Markovitz presenting the sci-fi thriller Omen ,South African director Khalid Eljelailati's presenting his drama Let's Not Talk About It , Adrian Van Wyk presenting his documentary What The Soil Remembers about South Africa's history of land dispossession, and Milisuthando Bongela presenting her documentary Milisuthando, a poetic reflection on love and what it means to become human in the context of race.

(Above: Sheetal Magan, Malusi Bengu & Milisuthando Bongela)

The festival will also be enjoyed by the presence of filmmakers Alessandro Gueli (Redreaming), Daniel Howells (Hibernation), Juana Castro (Bajamar), Leandros Brown (Hibernation), Luke Johnstone (10th Floor) , Luyanda Ngcobo (Catch My Baby) , Nakesa Ndou (Mbokodo (Rock), Ramata-Toulaye Sy (Banel & Adama), screenwriter Rasmus Bitsch (!Aitsa), Renan Brandao (Last Sunday), Sihle Hlophe (Lobola, A Bridestrue Price?), Se-Eum Jeong (Baton Touch), Talia Jawitz (On Mothers And Daughters In Times Of Injustice), actor Thomas Schubert (Afire) , Xan Marçall Di Alexandria (Trans Display: Travesty Memory) and Zenobia Kloppers (Riel).

The 44th Durban International Film Festival, presented by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu- Natal, is presented with support from the National Film and Video Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, the Durban Film Office, The National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Avalon Group.


Programme and tickets

The 44th Durban International Film Festival will take place from July 20 to 30, 2023. Widely regarded as one of the leading film festivals on the African continent, DIFF will showcase an impressive variety of shorts, features, documentaries and student films. The programme is available for download on

To stay up to date, follow #DIFF2023 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Tickets can be purchased on and the DIFF website, all screenings at KZNSA are free and open to the public.

To link direct to the Centre for Creative Arts website, click on the logo to the right of this article.