Durban International Film Festival

Durban International Film Festival
Photo: durbanfilmfest.co.za
The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) is an annual film festival held in the city of Durban, South Africa. It is one of the oldest film festivals in Africa as well as the country’s largest event of its kind.

The Durban International Film Festival was founded in 1979. It is the second-oldest film festival in Africa (the oldest one, the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, was created in 1969). Every year DIFF screens about 200 feature films, documentaries and short films, celebrating the best in local, regional and international cinema. Most films screened at the festival are South African or African premiers.

DIFF is a competitive film festival with four competition sections: Feature (60 min and longer), Short (under 60 min), Documentary (60 min and longer), and Short Documentary (under 60 min). The festival’s international jury presents two awards in each section (Best Film and Best South African Film) and several cross-section awards including Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, and Artistic Bravery. Besides, there are special awards such as the Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award.

Alongside film screenings, the festival hosts a series of industry events (discussion forums, seminars, filmmaker workshops) and outreach activities such as screenings in rural areas where access to high-quality, contemporary cinema is limited.

One of DIFF’s signature projects is the Durban FilmMart, a joint program of the festival and the Durban Film Office. It gives African filmmakers an opportunity to pitch their projects to leading producers and investors and provides networking opportunities for African and international film industry professionals.

Another industry event hosted by DIFF is Talent Durban, a training and development program for emerging African filmmakers. It was founded in partnership with the Berlinale Talents project run by the Berlin International Film Festival. Each year between 25 and 30 emerging filmmakers from all over Africa participate in an intensive 5-day program of seminars, workshops, masterclasses, and other activities.

Durban International Film Festival

Photo: durbanfilmfest.co.za



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