Durban Film Festival Unveils Lineup With 72 Features, 48 Docs

Durban International Film Festival Poster 2013 P

The South African festival will screen Asghar Farhadi's Cannes competition entry "The Past" and films from the likes of Wong Kar Wai, David Cronenberg and Bernardo Bertolucci.

South Africa's Durban International Film Festival on Thursday unveiled the lineup for its 34th edition this summer, which will include 72 feature films, 48 documentaries and 45 shorts.

Beyond its traditional focus on movies from South Africa and the rest of Africa, the festival will put a spotlight on U.S. independent films from the likes of Derek Cianfrance and works from European veterans such as Michael Winterbottom and Bernardo Bertolucci.

African-noir film Of Good Report by Jahmil XT Qubeka, which tells the story of a serial killer obsessed with young girls, will open the Durban festival, while the closing film will be Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, directed by Shola Lynch. The documentary chronicles the life of young college professor Angela Davis, her social activism and how it implicates her in a botched kidnapping attempt that ends with a shootout.

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Meanwhile, the festival's World Cinema section will feature Chinese director Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster, which opened the Berlin film festival this year, Japanese director Takeshi Kitano's Outrage Beyond, David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis, Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt, as well as Iranian contributions Closed Curtain from Jafar Panahi and Asghar Farhadi's Cannes competition entry The Past.

Farhadi's A Separation last year won the best foreign-language film Oscar and the award for best film in Durban.

Among European directors' works featured in Durban will be Winterbottom’s The Look of Love and Bertolucci’s Me and You, his first film in more than a decade. American fare will include Cianfrance's The Place Beyond the Pines, Quentin Dupieux's Wrong and Spring Breakers from Harmony Korine.

"The burgeoning African film industry will once more be represented at DIFF 2013, although South African film retains the key focus, with 12 feature films, as well as 16 documentaries and a number of short films – most receiving their world premieres on Durban screens in July," festival organizers said.

High-profile South African films being screened include thriller Layla Fourie; The Forgotten Kingdom, which features a township boy intent on following his musical dreams; globalization drama The Good Man and Khumba, the second feature from South African animation studio Triggerfish.

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From further afield, the Durban International Film Festival will feature films from such African countries as Senegal, Algeria, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and Kenya.

The Durban fest, which runs July 18- July 28, will also offer what it calls a "ZombieFest!" showcase. "With literally hundreds of Zombie films currently scheduled for release around the world, DIFF 2013 showcases a selection of films from the current Zombie wave," festival organizers said. Headlining the focus lineup will be Fede Alvarez's Evil Dead remake.

The festival's "Sexual Identities" sidebar will include such films as Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer, about the infamous Russian girl band.

Twitter: @georgszalai