Kenyan Films at Durban International Film Festival 18 – 28 July 2013

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Be sure to catch the 2013 Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) in South Africa. With principal funding by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, the festival returns for its 34th year to celebrate the beauty and diversity of global cinema. From 18 to 28 July, Durban will be illuminated by the glow of the silver screen, with over 250 screenings in 11 venues across the city. Alongside this smorgasbord of the best of contemporary cinema from around, comprising 72 feature films, 48 documentaries and 45 short films, the festival offers a comprehensive workshop and seminar programme that facilitates the sharing of knowledge and skills by film industry experts.

Running in parallel to the general Festival programme, this year’s Talent Campus Durban offers three hands-on training programmes: Doc Station which will focus on documentary-making, Talent Press which is dedicated to film criticism and Script Station which will foster story development. Although her films are not screening this year, Kenyan artist and filmmaker Ng’endo Mukii (Yellow Fever) is one of the candidates that was specially selected for this year’s Talent Campus.

The Kenyan films showing at the festival are:

Something Necessary (feature film)

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Director: Judy Kibinge
Language: Swahili with English subtitles
Run Time: 85min
Germany, Kenya, 2013

Directed by Kenyan filmmaker Judy Kibinge and produced by German filmmaker Tom Tykwer, Something Necessary is the latest film from One Fine Day Films. The film chronicles an intimate moment in the lives of two people from very different sides of history. Anne is struggling to rebuild her life in the wake of the violence which swept through Kenya after the 2007 elections. Joseph, a troubled gang member who participated in the violence, is drawn to Anne, seemingly in search of redemption. Both of them need something that only the other can give in order to move beyond the painful memories of their pasts. For details of the screenings at DIFF, follow this link.

To learn more about the film, read Ciné Kenya‘s feature on it here.

Ni Sisi (feature film)

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Director: Nick Reding
Language: Swahili with English subtitles
Run Time: 92min
Kenya, 2013

It’s Us (Ni Sisi) portrays a typical Kenyan community consisting of a harmonious muddle of tribes, intermarriages, and extended families. Then one day rumours begin to spread, mistrust suddenly takes hold and people are identified as belonging to a different tribe. Caught in this ripple effect, old friends begin to turn on each other and in a matter of days, the bonds and alliances that are the foundation of the community are severed. Despite its joyous vibrancy, It›s Us is a film that deals with vitally important issues, both in Kenya, still recovering from the violence of 2008, and beyond. For details of the screenings at DIFF, follow this link.

To learn more about the film, read Ciné Kenya‘s feature on it here.

His To Keep (short film)

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Director: Amirah Tajdin
Language: Swahili with English subtitles
Run Time: 15min
Kenya, 2013

His to Keep looks poetically at the consequences of Kenya’s struggle for freedom as seen through the heartbreaking words of a Mau Mau veteran. For details of the screenings at DIFF, follow this link.

To learn more about the film, read Ciné Kenya‘s feature on it here.

 

Other African films Ciné Kenya has featured showing at DIFF:

The Battle of  Tabatô (short film)

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Director: Joao Viana,
Language: Mandinka with English subtitles
Run Time: 80min
Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, 2013

In The Battle of Tabatô (A Batalha De Tabatô), first-time feature director João Viana explores music, magic and postcolonial angst in Guinea-Bissau. Fatu, who teaches at the local university, is about to get married to a well-known musician in Tabatô, a village where everyone makes music. Her father has returned home to Guinea-Bissau from Portugal to attend her wedding but on the way there, it becomes apparent that his return has unearthed the buried trauma of his experiences as a soldier in the colonial war decades earlier. Viana’s low-budget labour of love is a raw but luminescent gem of a film that shifts the discourse of African filmmaking.

For details of the screenings at DIFF, follow this link.

To learn more about the film, read Ciné Kenya‘s feature on it here.

Kwaku Ananse

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Director: Akosua Adoma Owusu
Language: Akan with English subtitles
Run Time: 26min
Ghana, Mexico, United States, 2013

Infused with the richness of Ghanaian mythology, Kwaku Ananse combines elements of autobiography with the West African fable of a trickster spider-man to show us that there are two sides to every coin. For details of the screenings at DIFF, follow this link.

To learn more about the film, read Ciné Kenya‘s feature on it here.

The 34th Durban International Film Festival is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) with support from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder), National Film and Video Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism, City of Durban, German Embassy, Goethe Institut, Industrial Development Corporation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture, and a range of other valued partners

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