Durban International Film Fest to go virtual

Like so many other events that have had to look for alternatives in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) will also be going virtual. The virtual festival will be held from 10-20 September 2020 and will showcase more than 50 selected films, with the international nature of the festival balanced with a highlighted component of the finest of African cinema.

Home-bound film fans will be treated to screening cutting-edge films from around the world, with particular focus on South African and African films, DIFF is one of the premier platforms for the launch of African films. It has a competition for fiction feature films, documentaries and short films. The festival is committed to quality programming and is profiling and showcasing some of the best 2020 has on offer. 

In addition to film screenings, the festival aims to include innovative ways of connecting with filmmakers and audiences online. Also, the yearly awards will resume as normal. The festival will offer an industry programme with seminars and workshops comprising both local and international filmmakers and industry professionals, with the Isiphethu running from 14 to 18 September 2020. Isiphethu Hub remains an exciting space for the local audiences and people can expect a series of workshops, school programmes, and exchange of ideas by experts from across the world who will be part of the DIFF this year.

The festival is saddened not to be able to put on their physical event, but also incredibly excited to be working on their virtual edition. The team has decided to adapt to new realities and partner with Festival Scope in partnership with Shift 72 to facilitate the screenings. The festival looks forward to hosting yet another successful edition and present as much of a full festival experience as they can offer.

“Of course, we all want to get back into the cinema, but since we are not able to, we need to adapt to this new virtual world swiftly. All creative industries are finding innovative ways to connect with their audiences, so we believe film festivals must also adapt,” says Chipo Zhou, head of programming. The festival is organised by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, together with the US Consulate, KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission and other valued partners.