First taste of what to expect at this year’s Durban International Film Festival

A scene from Valley of a Thousand Hills, directed by Bonnie Sithebe. (Photo: Supplied/DIFF)

A scene from Valley of a Thousand Hills, directed by Bonnie Sithebe. (Photo: Supplied/DIFF)

EVENT: The Durban International Film Festival

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) will host the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) from 21 to 30 July.

The theme for this year’s 43rd edition of the festival is ‘adaptation, survival, and sustainability’.

The DIFF will present a selection of South African premieres, which include a diverse number of features, documentaries, and shorts.

The festival has also curated a hybrid film presentation programme consisting of almost 200 features, documentaries, shorts and student films. The selected films highlight alternative views through different lenses.

“The DIFF prides itself on discovering and nurturing new talent, and each year we select films from filmmakers from various countries, including first-time feature-length directors,” Valma Pfaff, festival manager, said in a statement to the press.

“The 43rd edition is no exception with almost 30% directorial debut feature-length films programmed, which we are very excited about,” Pfaff added.

The programme celebrates the myriad ways in which we have restructured our lives to reflect the current global focus.

The program’s greatest strength is its 50% female content contribution and representation.

The DIFF 2022 will be presented in a hybrid edition with online screenings at and a diverse live programme presented at Suncoast CineCentre, Durban.

Tickets for the live screenings will be available directly at the Suncoast CineCentre and will open by the end of this month. The full festival programme will be released online on 1 July.

A scene from Donkeyhead, directed by Agam DarshI

A scene from Donkeyhead, directed by Agam Darshi. (Photo: Supplied/DIFF)

Some of the feature films include:

Donkeyhead (Canada), directed by Agam Darshi in which failed writer Mona is tasked with taking care of her ailing Sikh father, but her three successful siblings soon interfere.

Juwaa (Belgium), directed by Nganji Mutiri in which a son and a mother are reunited in Belgium, after a traumatic night in the Congo.

Klondike (Ukraine), directed by Maryna Er Gorbach is set in 2014, in the early days of the Donbas war. It is the story of expectant parents, Irka and Tolik, living in disputed territory in Ukraine.

Public Toilet Africa (Ghana), directed by Felix ‘Kofi’ Ofosu-Yeboah, in which a reticent Ama returns to the city where she was gifted to a white art collector as a little girl, with a quest to even the score.

Ring Wandering (Japan), directed by Masakazu Kaneko, is a fantasy drama about a young man who aspires to be a manga artist and traces the memories of past sleeping souls in downtown Tokyo.

Skeletons (South Africa), directed by Jade Bowers, is set in the Maluti mountains and is a magical realist film that grapples with social and political issues and matters of land and ownership.

Valley of a Thousand Hills, directed by Bonnie Sithebe, in which a young woman from a conservative village must choose between living a lie to stay the perfect Zulu daughter or risk her life for true love – with another woman.

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