Silent film preems at Durban

'Faith's Corner' to debut at country's oldest fest

JOHANNESBURG — An innovative silent feature by the team behind South Africa’s first Oscar-nominated film, “Yesterday,” will have its world premiere this month during the 26th edition of the Durban Film Fest (June 15-26).

Director Darrell James Roodt, lead actress Leleti Khumalo and producers Anant Singh and Helena Spring of Videovision Entertainment, fresh from their international award-winn”faith’s Corner’ to ing success on the first Zulu-language feature, have produced another groundbreaking local film, the no-dialogue “Faith’s Corner.”

Film revolves around Faith, a woman who works a busy Johannesburg street corner begging from passing motorists, a familiar reality in South Africa. With the little money she makes, she tries to raise her children as best as she can, although they often go to sleep hungry and scared.

“Faith’s Corner” will be one of 300 films from around the world to be screened at South Africa’s longest-running film fest, which opens with the South African premiere of Ramadan Suleman’s “Zulu Love Letter” and will also screen local releases “Drum,” “A Boy Called Twist,” “uCarmen uKhayelitsha,” “34 South” and “Cape of Good Hope.”

Durban’s vibrant surfing culture will be celebrated with a sidebar of surfing films, the Wavescapes Surf Film Festival, kicking off with the open-air screening of “Billabong Odyssey,” the cult film about a two-year project to find and ride the biggest waves on Earth.

A strong African presence will include a focus on three generations of cinema from Burkina Faso as well as work from directors from Senegal, Angola, Morocco and Egypt.

Other festival sidebars include animation workshops, with screenings of “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Steamboy,” industry seminars, discussion forums and outreach activities that include screenings in black township areas where cinemas are virtually non-existent.

The jury is represented by Ethiopian filmmaker Maji Abdi, Marianne Bhalotra from the Rotterdam Film Festival, Indian filmmaker Buddadeb Dasgupta, South African filmmaker-actor Akin Omotoso, and Wieland Speck of the Berlin Film Festival.

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