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2015 UKZN 16th Durban Film Festival- Personal reflection

Sep 10, 2015

Reflections on the Durban international film festival.

By: Kirsten Scharneck

The ten day madness that is the film festival that began on the 16th July to the 26th July and the excitement could be felt in the buzzing lobby of the Elangeni hotel.

The festival is not only about watching amazing but I also learned a great deal from the seminars and workshops I attended which were aimed at anyone with a love for cinema.  I would definitely recommend these workshops to any aspiring film makers and script writers who want to know more about their craft and have their burning questions answered. This was also the hub of information regarding the opportunities available for young film makers which might not be known. Most importantly the festival avails you an opportunity to create a dialogue between like minded individuals and create a business network for yourself.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and write up experience as it gave me a new appreciation for the art of cinema. My favourite film was the African French film Eye of the cyclone, as the story line was compelling with powerful performances by the cast. I also found the most beautiful feature was Sunrise, which was set in India and followed the mental downward spiral of a father and mother after their daughter their young daughter went missing outside school. Following the strict laws in Kenya regarding homosexual behaviour, Stories of our lives opens your eyes to real life situations faced by the LGBT community and is a film I would recommend everyone watch. Another piece that everyone should invest their time in watching is a social documentary called Above and Below which is focused on the sustainability of human life on earth, in space and underground the tunnels of Las Vegas. Its an extremely riveting piece and is puzzled together exquisitely by the world class cinematography.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the film festival and would love to attend every year. The only problem I encountered was when I went to Suncoast for a screening and they were not showing the film scheduled in the programme. The movie I watched instead was definitely worth watching and I’m glad I had the opportunity to, although I do think it is something that needs to be addressed as to avoid future inconvenience.

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