The inaugural Isiphethu International Student Film Festival (IISFF), the first South African international film festival dedicated to student films, was launched during this year’s Durban International Film Festival (DIFF).
The Durban International Film Festival is hosted by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) under the College of Humanities.
IISFF aims to create a platform and gateway for students to the festival by exposing them to the role-players in the film industry and showcasing their work on cinema screens. It also aims to educate, empower and up-skill young aspirant filmmakers, bolster their confidence, and share information that is relevant to the industry.
Said IISFF manager, Mr Sakhile Gumede: ‘The IISFF wants to encourage the development of new ideas and globally showcase those emerging filmmakers who produce quality work. The films include fiction, documentary, and animation from all continents, making it a true reflection of what is being created in globally.’
The festival took place primarily online, with 37 virtual film screenings and a selection of eight films that screened at Suncoast CineCentre, Durban, on Wednesday, 27 July 2022.
Four of the films were from UKZN students and alumni: Ghroza by Mr Siyabonga Chico Nhadevele, Revolt by Mr Qhawe Ndlovu, The Shadow Creatures by Mr Clayton Lyle Flanagan, and The Detective by Mr Mvelo Zimu, an alumni and intern Graphic Designer based on the UKZN Westville campus.
Zimu’s project is short animation of how a brilliant detective suffers deep trauma after losing his best friend, who is also a policeman, during a bank robbery shooting.
‘The experience of being at a film festival was overwhelming, I was standing alongside big-name filmmakers. My film was an honours project with no film making expertise, nevertheless, the experience was very rewarding: the treatment was five-star, the experience insightful, not to mention that I had a chance to network with very interesting people and got to know the ins and outs of the film industry in South Africa’, he said.
The IISFF also hosted two awards, the Best South African Student Film was won by Where is Mr Adams? directed by Afda alumni, Mr Cameron Murray who created the film as part of his honours studies while the Best International Student Film went to Mona & Parviz directed by Mr Kevin Bielle from Germany, which the jury called ‘the perfect short film’.
Special mentions in the student category went to Hourglass House for being a beautiful film that is not easily forgotten and A Woman of No Importance for not just being another migrant story.