International director Jean-Jacques Annaud leads French delegation at DIFF

Academy Award Winner and internationally renowned French filmmaker, Jean-Jacques Annaud will attend the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) 2015 edition to present his new film, Wolf Totem, screened for the first time in South Africa and to be released in cinemas nationwide after DIFF by Videovision Entertainment. The director of Seven Years in Tibet, Quest for Fire, The Name of the Rose and The Bear has worked with many stars like Brad Pitt, Sean Connery and Jude Law.

Jean-Jacques Annaud will premiere his new film in South Africa at DIFF as part of an exceptional line-up of French films and guests present at the festival this year, including Boris Lojkine (Hope) as part of Cannes Critics’ Week and female director Euzhan Palcy. Her film, White Dry Season (1989), adapted from the novel by South African writer André Brink will be screened on the occasion of Mandela Day (18 July).

For the first time, two prestigious Cannes Film Festival sections will be represented in Durban, the Critics’ Week and the Directors’ Fortnight, together with a delegation of Reunion Island and experts from Produire au Sud- 3 Continents Festival taking part in the Durban FilmMart industry programme for the third consecutive year.

1. Jean-Jacques Annaud

The beautiful adaptation of the Chinese best-seller by Jiang Rong, Wolf Totem, will be screened on 20 and 21 July at 20h00 at Supernova Cinema (Suncoast) in the presence of the director.

“The French Institute of South Africa is proud to have made it possible for Jean-Jacques Annaud to attend the DIFF, together with UniFrance and Videovision, as part of its efforts to strengthen the links between France and South Africa in the film industry”, says Frédéric Chambon, film and media regional attaché at the French Embassy in South Africa.

2. Euzhan Palcy

Two films from female director Euzhan Palcy will be showcased in Durban, Sugarcane Alley (1983) and Dry White Season (1989).

Euzhan Palcy is a film director from Martinique, a French Caribbean Island. She is known for being the first black woman director to have her film produced by a major Hollywood studio (MGM) in the 80’s.

Her film Dry White Season (1989) depicts the reality of Apartheid, focusing on the social movements of South Africa and the Soweto riots. The film, starring Marlon Brando, will be screened on the occasion of Mandela Day on 18 July, at 20h00.

Screening schedule:

White Dry Season: 18 July, 20h00, Suncoast 6
Sugarcane Alley: 20 July, 20h00, Suncoast 1

3. Cannes Film Festival at DIFF

For the first time in Durban, two prestigious Cannes Film Festival sections, the Critics’ Week and the Directors’ Fortnight, will be represented at the festival.

3.1.) Semaine de la critique (Critics’ Week)

Urucu Media, with the support of IFAS, launch a traveling programme of La Semaine de la critique (Critics’ Week) as part of DIFF.

Since its inception in 1961, the annual Cannes’ La Semaine de la Critique (Critic’s Week) is dedicated to the work of first and second time feature of emerging filmmakers. The South African edition of Critics’ Week will host a dynamic selection of 5 critically acclaimed films, including 3 French long features.

The opening film is Hope by French director Boris Lojkine, who will be in attendance at DIFF and will present a masterclass entitled ‘Bringing Reality to Fiction Film’ on Monday, 20 July, from 10h00 to 12h00.

Additional screenings will be scheduled in Johannesburg (Rosebank Cinema Nouveau) and Cape Town (Waterfront) from 31 July to 2 August.

Critics’ Week screening schedule:

Hope by Boris Lojkine (France) – Tue 21 July at 20h00 at Suncoast

Salvo by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza (Italy/France) – Wed 22 July at 17h30 at Suncoast

Suzanne by Katell Quillévéré (France) – Thu 23 July at 22h00 at Suncoast

The Kindergarten Teacher by Nadav Lapid (Israel) – Fri 24 July at 17h30 at Suncoast

You and the Night by Yann Gonzalez (France) – Sat 25 July at 17h00 at Suncoast

3.2.) Directors’ Fortnight: Cannes South African Film Factory

The Cannes South African Film Factory – launched this May in Cannes – is coming to Durban where the four South African directors will be selected and announced on 15 July. Both international and South African directors will then take part in workshops from 22 to 25 July.

The Factory, initiated by producer Dominique Welinski in cooperation with Directors’ Fortnight, aims to supporting emerging new talents on the international scene, allowing young international directors to meet and create together.

This year, the Cannes SA Film Factory, organised by the South African Production company Zidaka, will provide an opportunity for four South African directors and four international directors to collectively produce four short films that will be showcased next year in Cannes.

“The Factory enjoys exploring ‘new territories’ of cinema… The South African cinema scene, which, in recent years, has often surprised us in major festivals, remains, however, little known in our hemisphere. Four short films that will be soon directed by South African and international young filmmakers will enable the public of the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes to discover the unsuspected realities of South Africa. Vive the SA Factory!” says Edouard Waintrop, artistic director of Directors’ Fortnight section.

Partners of the Cannes SA Film Factory:

South African Production company Zidaka, French Production Company DW, the KwaZulu Natal Film Commission (KZNFC), the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), the Directors’ Fortnight, AFDA Film School, Media Film Service, Durban Film Festival (DIFF), Cote Ouest Audiovisual, Sound Surfers and the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS).

4. Produire au Sud at DFM

Produire au Sud of Festival des 3 Continents (Nantes, France) is partnering for the third consecutive year with the DFM.

For this year, Produire au Sud and the French Embassy in South Africa will bring three International experts: documentary director/producer Stefano Tealdi, script-writer expert Sari Turgeman and strategy and development consultant Dominique Welinski, who will mentor 19 selected film projects in the DFM finance forum and conduct masterclasses for all attending film industry delegates.

“Our mission is to strengthen the film industry links between France and South Africa and to stimulate growth through creating opportunities for film-makers from both continents to collaborate. In the context of Africa, the DFM is the perfect vehicle for expertise exchange and capacity building” says Frédéric Chambon, film and media regional attaché at the French Embassy in South Africa.

Masterclass programme

Masterclass Stefano Tealdi – Pitching your way into the international Film Business – Sat, 18 July 10h00 to 12h00
Masterclass Sari Turgeman – Story Development: My Characters and I – Sun, 19 July 10h00 to 12h00
Masterclass Dominique Welinski – Co-productions, Strategies and Networks, Reunion Island – Mon, 20 July 10h00 to 12h00

5. Reunion Island delegation to attend DIFF

The Reunion Island, a French overseas territory located to the east of Madagascar, is a major European production centre in the Indian Ocean, in both volume and investment. Reunion Island is already in the process of co-producing two South African features with DV8 and Born Free Media.

This year a delegation of six Reunionese producers and representatives of the Agence Film Réunion will be present in Durban and will take part in a DFM focus on ‘Co-producing with Reunion Island’ on 19 July at 16h00 (Suite 5).

This focus will be an opportunity for film industry delegates to meet Reunion Island professionals and learn more about co-production financing mechanism, through the presentation of the Reunion Island Film Fund and Q&A with the attending Reunionese producers.

6. French films at DIFF

The French film industry will be widely represented at the 36th edition of the Durban International Film Festival with 14 French feature films and five short films.


Bizarre by Etienne Faure (United States, France) 2015, 98 min
Dealer by Jean Luc Herbulot (France) 2014, 75 min
Dry White Season by Euzhan Palcy (USA, France) 1989, 97min
Eden by Mia Hansen-Løve (France) 2015, 131min
Fevers by Hicham Ayouch (France, Morocco) 2014, 89 min
Hope by Boris Lojkine (France) 2014, 122min
LadyGrey by Alain Choquart (South Africa, France, Belgium) 2015, 109min
Run by Philippe Lacôte (Ivory Coast, France) 2014, 100 min
Sugarcane Alley by Euzhan Palcy (France) 1983, 103 min
Suzanne by Katell Quillévéré (France) 2013, 94min
Wolf Totem by Jean-Jacques Annaud (China, France) 2015, 120min
You and the Night by Yann Gonzales (France) 2013, 100min


Cartoonists: Foot Soldiers of Democracy by Stéphanie Valloatto (France) 2014, 106 min
I am the People by Anna Roussillon (France) 2014, 111min

Short films

July 14th by Barocas Michael (France) Year: 2015, 8min
A Single Body by Sotiris Dounoukos (France) Year: 2014, 19min
Superman isn’t Jewish (but i am a bit…) by Jimmy Bemon (France) Year: 2014, 30 min
Mother Earth by Aliou Sow (France, Senegal) Year: 2014, 30min
Quiet Mujo by Ursula Meier (France, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Switzerland, Germany, Portugal) Year: 2014, 11 min

Media contact: Alizée Dallemagne – culture@ifas.org.za

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