Daring films from new talents, superb new works

THE annual 31st Durban International Film Festival is planned for July 22 to August 1.

THE annual 31st Durban International Film Festival is planned for July 22 to August 1.

The festival programmers have scoured the globe for films that excite, thrill, raise awareness and provoke.

These will be presented in more than 200 screenings at venues across Durban and in surrounding communities.

Alongside the screenings of films, the festival offers an extensive workshop and seminar programme, as well as training and industry events.

The festival will open with the world premiere of Khalo Matabane's State of Violence, a powerful tale of revenge, history and memory.

The closing film is Josh Appignanesi's hilarious comedy, The Infidel, about a British Muslim who discovers that he was born Jewish.

Between these two outstanding films, film lovers will find daring films from new talents, superb new works by established masters, award-winners from around the world, and an unprecedented number of world premieres of new South African films.

South African feature films making their debut at the festival are Jahmil XT Qubekas' stylish and original A Small Town Called Descent, starring Vusi Kunene and Hlubi Mboya, and Jann Turner's much-anticipated follow-up to White Wedding, Paradise Stop which features Rapulana Seiphemo and Kenneth Nkosi; the hilarious Attack of the Indian Werewolf by Masood Boomgard, Jyoti Mistry's striking experimental film The Bull on the Roof, Regardt van den Bergh's charming The Incredible Adventures of Hanna Hoekom, the gangland action film Jozi Kings by Jonathan Boynton-Lee and Jamie Ramsay, the inspirational Machansa by Muntu Zwane, and the quirky romantic comedy Visa/Vie by Elan Gamaker.

Raoul Peck, the acclaimed director of Lumumba and Sometimes In April, will visit the festival to present his new masterpiece, Moloch Tropical, a searing satire on political dictatorship.

Chadian Mahamet-Saleh Haroun's A Screaming Man, recent jury prize-winner at Cannes, is a devastatingly powerful film about the complicated relationship between a father and his son set against the backdrop of civil strife.

The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke's vision of an early 20th century German village in which disturbing acts of cruelty take place, is both terrifying and masterful.