5 highlights from the open letter of former DIFF manager

2016-05-13 11:15

Cape Town – The manager of the Durban International Film Festival, Sarah Dawson, who recently resigned, on Thursday posted and open letter on Facebook detailing why she quit. 

This comes after news about her resignation broke last week.

According to a report by City Press, there is an ongoing dramatic stand-off within the organisation about the opening night film which has resulted in a number of resignations.

In her open letter Sarah addressed the following issues:

1. The claim that DIFF did not want Shepherds and Butchers as the opening night film is false, in fact the film was given a prominent position on the programme.

2. The claim that a film about Nkandla was to be screened on opening night is false, as there is no film about the subject in the DIFF programme. 

3. The decision to not screen Shepherds and Butchers as the opening film was not to censor but because of its graphic representation of violence and the historical trauma it could trigger. The film explores the psychological trauma of a young white Apartheid executioner. 

See the trailer here:

4. The film has been confirmed to be the festival opener by Prof Cheryl Potgeiter (UKZ-N Deputy Vice-Chancellor Humanities) after discussing it with Anant Singh, whose company, Videovision, has financial interest in the film. This was done without any consultation with Sarah or an advisory panel member. 

5. The credibility of the festival and the selection process is being undermined.

Read her letter here. 

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