45è Durban International Film Festival (DIFF 2024)

Genre : Festival | Durban

From thursday 18 to sunday 28 july 2024

Times : 00:00
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv

There will be fierce but friendly competition for the many accolades and cash prizes to be announced at the 45th edition of the Durban International Film Festival. Films that win Best Documentary and Best Short Film automatically qualify to enter the Oscars race. DIFF is the only Oscar Qualifying festival in Southern Africa and one of only four on the continent.
"The stakes are high, the competition is tough, and no matter who walks away with the coveted awards, the real winners will be audiences who will be able to experience the awe, delight, and wonder of the many films on offer," says Andrea Voges, Head of Programming & Manager of the festival.
Films in contention for the Best Feature Film are All We Imagine As Light by Payal Kapadia (France, India, Netherlands, Luxembourg), Dear Jassi by Tarsem Singh Dhandwar (India), How To Have Sex by Molly Manning Walker (United Kingdom), Malu by Pedro Freire (Brazil), My Favourite Cake by Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha (Iran, France, Sweden, Germany), The Seed Of The Sacred Fig by Mohammad Rasoulof (Germany, France, Iran), Sonti by Terrence Aphane (South Africa), The Story Of Souleymane by Boris Lojkine (France), The Village Next To Paradise by Mo Harawe (Austria, France, Germany, Somalia) and Who Do I Belong To by Meryam Joobeur (Tunisia, France, Canada)

Heidi Zwicker, Sean Drummond and Pape Boye as jurors will award the sought after honours for the Best Feature Film and the Best South African Feature Film. Zwicker is a senior programmer for the Sundance Film Festival where she has contributed to various Sundance Institute programmes for over fifteen years. She was a programmer at the Palm Springs International Shortfest from 2011 to 2014 and is a senior programmer at the Provincetown International Film Festival. Pape Boye co-founded the sales company Funny Balloons in 2002 and co-founded Versatile, a subsidiary of Wild Bunch. After more than twenty years in sales, he decided, in 2022, to get closer to the filmmakers and launched, Black Mic Mac (BMM), a production and packaging company focused on the African continent. Sean is a writer and producer best known for multi-awarded films Five Fingers for Marseilles, Apocalypse Now Now, Netflix hit series Unseen, and for his 10 years as the founding festival manager of shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival's South African chapter and as its global coordinator. As an in-demand story consultant, his roster of projects has garnered accolades and awards at festivals the world over and found commercial success.
No stranger to awards herself, award-winning producer Antoinette Engel is one of the jurors for the documentary films. She has executive produced non-fiction VR experiences for Electric South, which have gone on to premiere at IDFA, SXSW, Sheffield DocFest and Sunnyside of the Doc, with her independent documentary work having screened at IDFA, Dok.Fest Munich, Encounters, NYADIFF and on Al Jazeera English. She is joined by human rights law specialist-turned-documentarist, Shameela Seedat, who was the first in-resident film activist at the Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education in 2019, taught documentary film at the University of Cape Town in 2023, and has served as a board member of the Documentary Filmmakers Association. The final member of the documentary panel is Theresa Hill, who has worked in the documentary field for more than two decades. She is a deputy director at STEPS, a nonprofit organisation, passionate about the power of documentaries to disrupt, shift, and move the world around us, and an acquisitions manager for AfriDocs, an exciting African documentary online platform.

Adrian Van Wyk, Ama Qamata, and Tamsin Ranger will present the awards for Best Short Film and Best South African Short Film. Their joint experience covers acting, creating, directing, producing, curating and financing films. Van Wyk, a filmmaker, creative producer, and cultural historian from Cape Town, has reflected on the manifestations of Cape Town Hip Hop in his research and films. He was selected as an artist in residence by the Singapore Art Museum for 2023 and another of his documentaries, What the Soil Remembers has recently won the Best International Short Documentary at the Regina International Film Festival and Awards, the Best Short Documentary Film at the 30th edition of the Ningbo International Short Film Festival in China and the Critics' Choice Award at the Siberian International Film Festival. Ama Qamata is best known for her roles as Buhle in the series Gomora and Puleng Khumalo in the hit Netflix series, Blood & Water. Adrian and Ama are joined by Tamsin Ranger, head of production at Big World Cinema in 2011. She has produced several independent features, documentaries, and television series, which have screened at Sundance, Berlinale, Cannes, Venice, Toronto, IDFA and over one hundred other festivals. She is a producer on the AFRICA DIRECT documentary series for Al Jazeera English.
Ana Camila Esteves, Jacintha de Nobrega, and Khosie Dali will judge the student films at the festival. Ana Camila Esteves, a Brazilian journalist, cultural producer, researcher, and film curator is the co-founder, director, and curator, of Mostra de Cinemas Africanos, the Brazil African Film Festival. Jacintha de Nobrega is one of South Africa's leading female producers and an alumnus of the Los Angeles Film School. She founded Arclight Productions, a film and television production company based in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, and her debut film won the coveted Best Film and Best Director awards at the Simon Mabhunu Sabela Award in July 2019. Khosie Dali is a film producer based in Cape Town, South Africa. As the founder of Miss K Productions, a boutique production house specializing in narrative fiction, she has made significant strides in both the local and international film scenes over the past decade. Her feature film, "Sons of the Sea," a gripping crime-thriller, premiered at CineQuest in Los Angeles and won the Best South African Film award at the 43rd Durban International Film Festival.
In addition to awards for the best film in each category, Amnesty International Durban will present the Human Rights Award, and audiences will have an opportunity to vote for the Audience Choice Award. South African films are also eligible for the Best South African Film in each of the categories - feature, documentary, short, and student. Winners will be announced at the closing ceremony on the 27th of July.
"Whilst we are superbly proud about our distinguished jury assembled for this year's festival, we are equally excited to see how the audiences take up the opportunity to vote for the Audience Choice Award", added Andrea Voges.


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