School of Arts

Durban International Film Festival hosts successful virtual Opening Night

DIFF Opening Night film, The Eagles Nest.
DIFF Opening Night film, The Eagles Nest.

The Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within the College of Humanities officially opened the 42nd Durban International Festival (DIFF) that runs from 22 July until 1 August.

The indie feature film The Eagle’s Nest by Cameroonian-British director Mr Olivier Assoua opened the festival. The film, which was shot in Cameroon, tells a story that touches on immigration. ‘In 2018, CNN published a report stating that, six migrants and refugees die every day on the journey to Europe by boat. They also exposed how black Africans were sold as slaves in India, which made me think: What can I do? How can I tell the world that African lives matter?’ said Assoua.

The movie also aimed to give young people in Africa the unique opportunity to showcase their talents to the world.  ‘I am pleased to say that Ms Felicity Asseh, who plays Samantha in the movie, has gained some international recognition,’ Assoua remarked.

According to the Director, the movie project is an independent, self-funded, feature film that aims to create global awareness of the psychological and emotional wounds resulting from Africans’ desperate bid to leave the continent. ‘In making this movie, I want to participate in the debate and hopefully offer practical, realistic recommendations to policymakers on how we can meet those challenges. I also made the movie because I wanted to give young people in Africa this unique opportunity to gain new skills, and a paid job, as well as have some fun in the process.’

The film follows a night of debauchery, in which best friends Paris and Samantha discover five million dollars. Later, a thief breaks into Paris’s house, kills her mother and her, sister and leaves her for dead. When she recovers, with the help of Samantha, Paris sets off on a quest to find answers. What begins as a search for the truth quickly turns into violence and disturbing revelations. In a world of lies, deceit and betrayal, will they be able to uncover the identity of the murderer?

The entire programme, alongside the films that will be screening, is available on Tickets for the virtual screenings are free and open through a booking system two days ahead of the event.

The 42nd edition of the DIFF is organised by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s CCA with the support of the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, National Film and Video Foundation, National Arts Council and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture.

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