The spotlight shone upon Eastern Cape filmmakers as the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) took place from 18 to 28 July in Durban
The filmmakers were supported by the Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council (ECPACC).
The festival opened with the riveting boxing film Knuckle City shot in and around East London and Mdantsane. The film stars local talent and is directed by award-winning director Jahmil XT Qubeka.
Veteran actor Jet Novuka premiered his Letters of Hope at Southern Coast Casino, winning the DIFF Artistic Bravery award.
“The film is inspired by a true story of a man who used to deliver letters from the liberation struggle soldiers in exile to their family members.
“These letters were the only source of hope for the families and the film honours these unsung heroes,” Novuka said.
The festival also provides a platform for talented filmmakers to make their debut.
“DIFF always provides incredible debut and growth opportunities for filmmakers who want to make it big in the film industry, and is a good networking platform,” ECPACC CEO Phumeza Skoti said.
King William’s Town filmmaker Ntsikelelo Mavata received an opportunity to attend the DIFF for the first time, and also a chance to pitch his film, Soul Tie, to a panel of M-Net and Multichoice representatives.
“It was nerve-wrecking as I had never pitched before, but I greatly appreciate the support from the ECPACC who personally sat in a pre-pitching session in preparing me for the big moment. Having established many networks and relations at DIFF, I now feel ready to soar the sky without leaving behind my peers who I work with in this difficult industry,” Mavata said.
In celebration of Women’s Month, ECPACC together with the department of sport, recreation, arts and culture (Dsrac) plan to launch an online portal that will provide a single point of access to the Eastern Cape film industry.
Women filmmakers will be the first to register.
The portal will also serve as a database of filmmakers and films shot in the province, providing an online platform between filmmakers and other producers throughout the globe.
Skoti believes that with mobilising funds for the sector so far, it will go a mile in developing the sector.