Introducing Durban 2014: Seaside South African Cinema At The Durban International Film Festival

Contributing Writer; South Africa
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Ah Durban! South Africa's cultural melting pot of English, Afrikaner, Indian, and Zulu. Famous for her sunny beaches and busy harbour; infamous for her cauterizing curries and wizardly weed. I grew up in the central green foothills you can see below, half an hour from those miles of golden sand. The snowcapped mountain range in the distance is the Drakensberg, named for the vast dragon's back it resembles. You may well have seen those mountains up close if you've ever watched Cry, The Beloved Country, or the historical war films Zulu and Zulu Dawn.

Durban is also home to Southern Africa's longest running and largest film festival, and as a local boy it gives me the giddys to introduce Twitch's virgin coverage of the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), which kicks off today, July 17. 

I'll be sinking my teeth into the South African fare on show, and you can watch trailers for the films I'm most anticipating in the gallery below. Several will be making their African or World premieres, so Durbanites, get out and soak up some seaside cinema! 

With thanks to Steve at Airserv for permission to use his incredible photo (www.airserv.co.za).

Now in its 35th year, DIFF has grown to encompass two additional genre festivals, the Wavescape Surf Film Festival and the Africa Wild Talk Wildlife Film Festival, as well as the Durban FilmMart, which has become crucial to the burgeoning South African film scene, and Talents Durban, a collaboration with the Berlinale Talents programme of the Berlinale Film Festival.

Twitch founder and editor Todd Brown will be in attendance, and he's already highlighted several films that will be screening: Hard To Get (South Africa), a slick crime romance; Shield And Spear (South Africa), a documentary examining integration through art; Coz Of Moni 2: Fokn Revenge (Ghana), a crime rap musical; and Joe Bullet (1971 South Africa), banned by the Apartheid government and finally restored to its glory.

Watch this space for more news about the festival, and reviews of the best new films coming out of South Africa.

Check out DIFF's full schedule here.

Further information about other festival activities:

Wavescape Surf Film Festival
Wild Talk Africa
Durban FilmMart

Official Trailer Reel of the 35th Durban International Film Festival 2014.

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