For the first time in its 41-year history, Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) will go virtual from 10 to 20 September 2020. The South African international film festival will screen over 50 selected films in its virtual edition.
Film fans will be treated to screenings of cutting-edge films from around the world, with a particular focus on South African and African films. In addition to film screenings, the 2020 festival will include innovative ways of connecting with filmmakers and audiences online, and the annual DIFF awards will take place as normal.
As always, the festival will offer an industry programme with seminars and workshops presented by both local and international filmmakers and industry professionals, with the Isiphethu Hub running from 14 to 18 September 2020. “Isiphethu is a melting pot as well as a hub geared towards the exchange of ideas and uplifting emerging and aspirant filmmakers across the province of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa as a whole. We are excited about this year’s programme despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” comments Sakhile Gumede, Project Coordinator for the Isiphethu Hub.
The festival organisers are saddened not to be able to put on a physical event this year but the team is adapting to the new realities, partnering with Festival Scope and online streaming solution service Shift 72 to facilitate the screenings.
“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, DIFF head of programming