School of Arts

Humanities students part of DIFF Film Discussions

Some of the UKZN student films featured during the Durban International Film Festival and IsiPhethu industry programme.
Some of the UKZN student films featured during the Durban International Film Festival and IsiPhethu industry programme.

Seven students from the School of Arts together with staff members Dr Michelle Stewart (Digital Arts), Mr Melikhaya Noqamza (Digital Arts) and Mr Mzwandile Makhanya (Media Studies) were part of the Durban International Film Festival virtual discussion alongside George Mason University, US.

Students, faculty and staff from both universities collaborated on a number of events and panels, sharing ideas, documentary, animated, and fiction films, and commitments to collaborative arts and social justice.

Project Officer at the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) Mr Sakhile Gumede and Film at Mason’s Production Manager Ms Abbesi Akhamie coordinated the multifaceted programme for Creative Arts. The film discussion was part of the isiPhethu industry programme that aims to entertain, educate, train and up-skill, and instil confidence in young aspirant film-makers and share information that is relevant to the film industry to empower young people.

The UKZN student participants were Ms Mbalenhle Mbatha, Mr Teboho Makopo, Mr Ndumiso Msomi, Ms Kayleigh Paige Gemmell, Mr Mnotho Msweli, Mr Limo Velaphi and Mr Sfundo Cele, who discussed and answered questions about their projects.

Digital Arts lecturer Stewart said, ‘The show reel of the films from both UKZN and George Mason University were put up on the DIFF social media platforms for everyone to view beforehand. The films were strong and there were significant synergies between the two show reels. As institutions, we agreed that this is a relationship that we would like build on in the future. It was a dynamic and exciting experience for everyone.’

Gemmell said the programme is important for students, ‘because it is a site for learning, growth and inspiration. The festival also provided a platform to showcase work that might normally go unrecognised, ultimately giving us access to an international network of interested and like-minded individuals.’

Films featured and discussed during the programme were:


  • Director: Mzwandile Makhanya
  • Editors: Teboho Makopo and Ndumiso Msomi
  • Production Manager: Mbalenhle Mbatha

The Decision

  • Director: Mbalenhle Mbatha
  • Editors: Mbalenhle Mbatha, Teboho Makopo and Ndumiso Msomi


  • Director/ head animator: Limo Velapi

The Next Few Months

  • Director/ animator: Kayleigh Gemmell

Lost in technology

  • Director/ animator Limo Velapi

Cayenne Crusade (Sand and spice stop motion animation)

  • Director/ animator: Melikhaya Noqamza

The YinYan Crisis

  • Director: Mnotho Msweli

A Day In The Life

  • Director: Sfundo Cele

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