The festival will kick off with the screening of the NFVF supported first ever Venda feature film Elelwani on the opening night on Thursday 19 July. Directed by Ntshavheni wa Luruli and starring Florence Masebe, the film addresses the convergence of modernity and traditional culture. It is about a progressive young woman growing up in new South Africa, trying to shed her cultural past but later realises its value, that the past is still relevant in dealing with the present including the future. The other projects that have been supported by the NFVF that will also premier at this year's DIFF include Zambezia (the closing film), One Last Look and Blitz Patrollie.
South African films are set to take the centre stage this year with a total of 66 local films to be screened, which is the biggest number of local films to be screened in the history of DIFF. Other than the screening of films, the festival's programme also features industry seminars and networking sessions where filmmakers get the opportunity to pitch their projects to potential financiers, co-producers and distributors.
The NFVF, as mandated to spearhead the development of the local film industry and one of the key partners of DIFF, will also host various activities as part of the festival. These comprise among others In Conversation with Blitz Patrollie team on the 20th of July, Film Industry and media engagement on the 21st, and NFVF Bursaries, Sediba and Spark talk on the 28th.
This year will be the first time Zama Mkosi attends the festival as NFVF CEO. She highlights that "DIFF is one of the key projects in our annual calendar as NFVF and each year we always strive to strengthen our involvement with the festival. To us it is not just about supporting the festival financially, our participation further involves ensuring that DIFF, as the country's primary film festival, remains an empowerment platform for local filmmakers and that the sustainable legacy of the local industry is achieved in the long-term."
The festival menu also offers the launch of the KZN Film Commission which is scheduled to take place on Monday the 23rd of July 2012. The establishment of the film commission in KZN is set to be a historic moment in the provincial film. Other key events on DIFF's calendar include among others Durban Film Mart, Talent Campus Durban, Focus on French Film which will be boasted by the French South Africa Season 2012 & 2013, a two year exchange programme between the two countries.
For full festival details including the screening schedule and synopses of all the films to be screened, click here.