Ambassador Barbier attends the Durban International Film Festival [fr]
Ambassador of France to South Africa Elisabeth Barbier attended the 36th edition of the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) from 19 to 22 July 2015.
She was accompanied by regional film and media attaché Frédéric Chambon, cultural officer Alizée Dallemagne from the French Institute of South Africa and press attaché at the French Embassy Lali van Zuydam.
The French film industry was widely represented at DIFF with 14 feature films, 3 documentaries and five short films screening. Most notably, award winning French director Jean-Jacques Annaud attended the festival to launch his film Wolf Totem in South Africa. French director Boris Lojkine also screened his film Hope as part of a Cannes Critics’ Week best-of.
Ambassador Barbier attended a screening of Sugar Cane Alley in the presence of French female director Euzhan Palcy invited by the festival. Her film A Dry White Season, adapted from a South African novel by André Brink, was also part of the DIFF screening programme.
During her visit Ambassador Barbier met with Videovision Entertainment’s Singh brothers, who will distribute Wolf Totem in South Africa later this year.
She also met with Carol Coetzee of the KwaZulu Natal Film Commission (KZNFC), Toni Monty of the Durban Film Office (DFO) and Eric Appelgren, head of international and governance relations in the eThekwini Municipality.
On the evening of 21 July Ambassador Barbier hosted a cocktail function at the Elangeni Hotel in honour of the French delegation at DIFF.
Among others, Ambassador Barbier had the opportunity to attend screenings of South African films Ayanda and The Shore Break.
On 21 July, Ambassador Barbier, Mr Chambon and Mr Annaud attended the screening of Wolf Totem. Also in attendance were Anant Singh, producer of The Long Walk to Freedom, and leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
For the first time, two prestigious Cannes Film Festival sections were represented at the festival, the Critics’ Week and the Directors’ Fortnight, together with a delegation from Reunion Island and experts from Produire au Sud- 3 Continents Festival taking part to the Durban FilmMart industry programme for the third consecutive year.
As sisters cities, Durban and Nantes were glad to welcome back successful partnership between their film festivals’ industry programmes, respectively the Durban FilmMart of the DIFF and Produire au Sud of Festival des 3 Continents.
Ambassador Barbier also launched the SA Film Factory workshops (Directors’ Fortnight) on 22 July in presence of the 4 South African young directors selected for the project together with 4 international directors.
- Download the Ambassador’s address during the cocktail function.
- Read press coverage of the French films screened at DIFF here.