New ideas at new-look film fest

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

The KwaMashu African Film Festival, which has been one of Durban's successful events, has grown so huge it has become the KwaZulu-Natal African Film Festival.

It starts on December 5 at the Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre before hitting the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on December 6.

Dominating the KwaMashu film culture for the past four years, the festival has also attracted producers and film-makers from other parts of Africa and from Europe.

Because it was presented during the festive season, it offered those who could not make it during the year an opportunity to come and see what was on offer.

The festival has played an important role in developing a film audience in the region by showing mostly African films.

As part of the festival there are training opportunities and workshops for aspirant film-makers, conducted by people who have produced successful films.

Among the cream-of-the-crop films already screened at the KwaMashu festival are internationally representative films such as Max and Mona, Tsotsi, Bunny Chow, Ukhamen Ekhayelisha and Drum.

KwaMashu has been used to make films such as Nothing But the Truth by John Kani and KwaMashu Still My Home by Edmund Mhlongo.

Some of the actors and the crew of both films are the product of training programmes under the auspices of the film festival.

The purpose of extending this event to Maritzburg is to reach more young people and give them skills.