Submissions for the 2017 edition of the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), a premiere platform for the launch of African films and a key gateway to Africa's fast-growing film industry, are now open.

Filmmakers from across the world are invited to submit their short, documentary or feature fiction films for screening in the 38th edition of the festival, which will take place at diverse venues in and around the city of Durban from 13 to 23 July.

Every year, DIFF screens cutting-edge cinema from around the world, with a special focus on South African and African films and a local and international awards component.

The festival also features an extensive industry programme with seminars and workshops led by local and international industry professionals. Included in this year's programme are the 10th Talents Durban (14 to 18 July), presented in co-operation with Berlinale Talents, and the 8th Durban FilmMart (14 to 17 July).

Special focus on 'Transit Tales', HIV/Aids

This year, the organisers are looking in particular for feature, shorts and documentaries that chronicle refugee or immigrant stories from various corners of the globe.

"This year the festival will shine a light upon the ever expanding trend in cinema highlighting the refugee or immigrant stories with our Transit Tales," the organisers said in a statement last week. "As the global society expands further every year, cinema has highlighted the stories of subjects as they chase their hopes and dreams for their lives in a new and sometimes unknown land."

DIFF 2017 will also feature a focus on films dealing with the subject of HIV/Aids.

The festival is organized by the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Centre for Creative Arts in partnership with the Durban Film Office, eThekwini Municipality, National Film and Video Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission and other funders and partners.

How to submit your film for DIFF 2017

Only films completed in 2016 or 2017 will be considered for the festival. There is no charge for entry.

All submissions must be entered online via the DIFF Visitor Page. To make a submission, either sign in on this page (if you already have an account from previous years) or create a new (free) account.

Then choose the submission type "online screener" from the available tabs and, in the fields marked "online screener", provide the URL link, username (if necessary) and password for your film's screener.

Password protected Vimeo video is the preferred format for online screeners. YouTube links are not accepted, nor are DVD screeners, and FTP links should be avoided. If you are unable to submit your film with an online screener, please contact Mitchell Harper at +27 31 260 1650 or harper@ukzn.ac.za

When completing your submission, indicate whether you are submitting a Feature (fiction film that is 60 minutes or over), a Short (fiction film that is under 60 minutes), a Documentary (60 minutes and over), or a Short Documentary (under 60 minutes - submit as a documentary).

If you have a film that speaks to one of the festival's focus areas (Transit Tales, or HIV/Aids), you should make a normal submission, merely noting the area of focus under the Categories section of the online submission form.

In the case of unfinished films, these will be considered as long as they are submitted before the deadline. You should state that your film is a work in progress, along with the expected completion date. If your film is selected, you will have an opportunity to submit a final exhibition copy.

The deadline for all entries, including delivery of screeners, is 28 February.

For more information, visit www.durbanfilmfest.co.za or email diff@ukzn.ac.za. Follow the festival on Twitter (@DIFFest) and on Facebook.

Inquiries: Mitchell Harper at +27 31 260 1650 or harper@ukzn.ac.za

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission