The SA films to watch at this year's Durban Film Fest

2017-07-09 00:00

Johannesburg - The annual Durban International Film Festival taking place 13 to 23 July is the place where the year's best local and international films screen.

Here are four local films you should catch when you're there:

The Whale Caller 
Director: Zola Maseko
Legendary author Zakes Mda’s fantastical tale gets the full CGI treatment in this feature film, brought to life by the director of Drum. It tells the story of a whale caller in Hermanus trying to fall in love again, this time with humanity. It’s described in the programme as “an enchanting romantic comedy of sorts told with poetry and magic”. Giant fish, literary genius, major CGI and big, big hurdles to overcome? We’re sold.  

Director: Pascale Lamche
Interlinking the story of Africa’s first lady with archival footage, interviews with her, her daughter Zinzi and all those involved in her personal struggle, the documentary tells a different side of Winnie Mandela’s layered story. It won Best Director at Sundance this year in the World Cinema Documentary category, and Best Film at the Encounters Documentary Festival. 

Director: Mbongeni Ngema
The closing film of this year’s festival, Asinamali is one of the big ones. Adapted from Mbongeni Ngema’s famous Broadway production by the same name, the film takes place on the prison yard of Robben Island, where a musical created by inmates brings escape from the harsh realities of apartheid South Africa outside their walls. It’s the film debut of the famous playwright, who worked with award-winning producer Darrell Roodt to realise his vision. It features an all South African cast, with more than 60% of the script in isiZulu.

Strike a Rock
Director: Aliki Saragas
This moving documentary, which won the audience award at Encounters this year, tells the story of two South African mothers and best friends, Primrose Sonti and Thumeka Magwangqana, who form a women’s organisation, Sikhala Sonke (We Cry Together), after their friend Paulina was killed

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