6 AFDA alumni feature films selected to screen at DIFF 2020

News, 03 September 2020



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Not one, not two, but six AFDA alumni feature films have been selected to screen at the 41st edition of the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) from the 10 to 20 September 2020.

On 10 September DIFF 2020 opens with a virtual and a drive-in screening of the multi-award winning film, “This is not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection”, directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese and produced by AFDA alumni Cait Pansegrouw and Elias Ribeiro from Uruca Media.

This film was specifically selected to open the festival, because it sheds some light onto the land issues in Lesotho by telling a very personal story through the journey of one woman.

“It was an incredible, life-changing experience birthing this film,” says producer Cait Pansegrouw of lauded production company URUCU. “We lived in the mountains, with limited access to water and electricity and fought against extreme weather conditions, all while transporting Ma Mary to location on horseback. For it to be opening DIFF, a festival very close to my heart and in my home province, is extremely special. I know both Mary and casting director Moonyeenn Lee, both of whom are no longer with us, will be with us in spirit as we bring this film to our local audiences.”

Cait and Elias have a second feature film in the running, “Stam” (The Tree), directed by Louw Venter.

AFDA alumnus Thomas Gumede is also in on the act with his debut feature film as a director, “Kedibone”. “This has been a dream of mine since the first time I attended as an actor with the film “Otelo Burning” and then numerous films thereafter. I knew that somehow one day, I too would be able to look at my cast and crew and bask in all our hard work for the world to see! This is an extremely proud moment and I just want everybody to know it was not easy. The sacrifices made are still felt today, however, they were all worth it.” says Thomas.

AFDA Durban lecturer, film director, producer and AFDA Master of Arts (MA) graduate, Richard Green’s Masters degree outcome horror film, 'Tokoloshe The Calling', has also been selected. The film, co-written and produced by AFDA Durban Head of Business Innovation and Technology School, Arish Sirkissoon and Richard was shot in Durban, South Africa. The film’s diverse cast includes AFDA alumni Shezi Sibongiseni and Angela Balkovic, AFDA Durban Registra Lloyd O’Connor and Head of Live Performance School Roel Twijnstra.

The film “Shaft 6” gets it’s call up at DIFF and is AFDA alumnus Delon Bakker’s directorial debut. Delon is one of the most exciting producing talents to come out of his country, his understanding of official international co-productions treaties has proved to be an invaluable part of developing and producing international projects out of South Africa.

Last but not least, AFDA alumnus and director Nathan Rice premiers his first feature film, “The Road Less Cycled” at DIFF. Nathan’s AFDA 2016 graduation film, “Homeless”, was shortlisted for the Student Academy Awards and was also selected in several film festivals around the world including Shnit and FICMEC.

The festival has curated a film programme consisting of 60 shorts, documentaries and feature films. The plots in the selected films, through different lenses, show contemporary relevance to the challenges currently faced by the world which has, over the last years, progressively begun to interrogate history to right wrongs and restore human dignity to previously disenfranchised populaces.

 “The DIFF prides itself on discovering and nurturing new talent, and each year we select films from a diverse number of first-time feature-length directors. The 41 st edition is no exception with almost 30% directorial debut feature-length productions on showcase, which we are very excited about” says Head of programming and AFDA alumna Chipo Zhou.

The full programme, alongside all the films that will be screening, will be accessible on ccadiff.ukzn.ac.za. Tickets for the virtual screenings are only available from South Africa and free, and accessible through a booking system, which will open in the next week. Tickets for the drive-in screenings and workshops will be free and available on a booking system, however at limited capacity.

The 41st edition of the festival is organised by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, in partnership and with the support of US Consulate Durban, KZN Film Commission, the National Film and Video Foundation, the Gauteng Film Commission, KZN Department of Arts & Culture, the Film and Publications Board and other valued funders and partners.

 

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