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Tuesday, September 26, 2023



Film-lovers in Durban are in for a treat in October during the European Film Festival which runs from October 12 to 22. The festival has extended its reach beyond its principal cinema screenings in Johannesburg and Cape Town to include a special programme at Ster-Kinekor Gateway in Durban.

As co-director of the festival Magdalene Reddy explains: “Five of the most recent films this year will only show in cinemas: Anatomy Of A Fall, Goodbye Julia , The Old Oak, The Teachers Lounge, and Mavka – The Forest Song. Because they will not be available in the festival’s free countrywide online streaming programme, they have scheduled a special showing for these five films for Durban, as well as in Johannesburg and Cape Town. If extending the festival footprint to Durban in this way draws significant public interest perhaps this is something the festival can revisit again for future events.”

(Above: Image from “Anatomy Of A Fall”. Pic supplied)


More about the Films:

The French film Anatomy Of A Fall, astonishingly well-written and directed by Justine Triet, won the top prize at Cannes, the Palm d’Or. Starring Sandra Huller, this part thorny family story, part whodunit, part courtroom drama, puts marital power dynamics under the microscope. As Time Out magazine says: “This is a thriller of real psychological, intellectual and emotional depth.”


(Right: An image from “The Old Oak”. Photo supplied)

Veteran UK filmmaker Ken Loach’s latest work The Old Oak is an incisive social drama about an English village where there is anger, resentment and a lack of hope since the closing of the local mine. What more could go wrong for the world-weary townsfolk? That’s when the Syrian refugees move in….! A timely story about modern Britain, immigration, xenophobia, and the need for compassion and understanding.


(Left: An image from “Goodbye Julia”. Photo supplied)

 Goodbye Julia is a six-country coproduction (Sudan, Egypt, Germany, France, Sweden and Saudi-Arabia) and winner of the prestigious Prix de la Liberté (Freedom Award) at the Cannes Film Festival. 

Directed by Mohamed Kordofani, Goodbye Julia tells the story a friendship between two women who represent the complicated relationship and differences between northern and southern Sudanese communities at a time of intense upheaval and transition in that country.


The smallest of decisions has seismic repercussions in The Teachers’ Lounge. When a young teacher decides to investigate theft at her school, things escalate dramatically, not how she intends. Crackling with tension, İlker Çatak’s film is about a lot of things — conformity, rebellion, racism, optics, and intergenerational mistrust. The Teachers’ Lounge swept up the top prizes at this year’s German Film Awards: Best Film, Best Direction, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay, and has just been selected as Germany’s submission for next year’s Oscars.

(Right: An image from “The Teachers’ Lounge”. Photo supplied)


Carving a path to peace and a future beyond war, Mavka – The Forest Song, by directors Oleh Malamuzh and Oleksandra Ruban, is a family animation with key intrinsic messages, and the highest-grossing Ukrainian film ever. Poignant and uplifting, this gloriously animated story touches on themes of love, trust, and the coexistence of two worlds: people and forest creatures. And the transformative power of music!

 Visit for film synopses, trailers, and screening schedules.

The European Film Festival 2023 is a partnership project of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), the Delegation of the European Union to South Africa and the participating European embassies of Belgium, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine; as well as the cultural agencies of British Council, Camoes Institute of Portugal, Diplomatic Representation of Flanders, French Institute in South Africa, Goethe-Institut and Italian Cultural Institute.

The festival is organised in cooperation with Cineuropa, supported by Ster Kinekor, The Labia and coordinated by Creative WorkZone.