Call for Proposals: Artist opportunity

The Durban International Film Festival invites South African visual artists and fine craftspeople to submit proposals for the design of an award for the 43rd annual awards of the Durban International Film Festival. This competitive process will commission the successful applicant to design and create twenty awards in advance of the 2022 Durban International Film festival, taking place on 21st July – 30th July.


South Africa’s longest running film festival, the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) is widely regarded as one of the leading film festivals on the African continent and a vital event on the international film calendar. Whilst celebratory of excellence in film-making, the Durban International Film Festival is committed to ensuring that emerging filmmakers are also afforded a platform to advance and showcase their work. This is an imperative step towards developing the industry in Africa.

The commissioned design will be symbolic of the Festival’s quest for excellence, commitment to the development and vitality of the film sector. The design must have a distinct identity and African aesthetic that can be associated with the Festival and its brand.

The 20 awards will be presented in the following categories:

  • Best Cinematography
  • Best short film
  • Best Performer
  • Best Supporting Performer
  • Best Cameo Performer
  • Best screenplay
  • Best South African short film
  • Best documentary
  • Best African film
  • Best direction
  • Best South African documentary
  • The Amnesty International Durban Human Rights
  • Best feature film
  • Artistic bravery
  • Best South African feature film
  • Artfluence DIFF Award for Human Rights
  • DIFF Film In Education Award
  • The Award for Advancing Film in Communities
  • Best Student Film (South Africa)
  • Best Student Film (Overall)

The awards will be presented at the annual Awards Ceremony. Subject to Covid-19 protocols that prevail, the organisers of the DIFF will decide on a live or online Awards Ceremony. The commissioned artist will be an invited guest at the Awards Ceremony.

Scope of work

The design of the Durban International Film Festival Awards must be a piece of artwork of striking visibility, and it should generate industry-sector pride. The award should be inspirational, celebratory and have an African aesthetic.

The award can be a two or three-dimensional artwork in any medium, including wood, glass, copper, metal, ceramic, framed drawings or paintings, etc. The award should have presence and visual impact. In addition, the award should be able to be customized with credentials (the award category, year and recipient’s name) as part of the artwork or as a plaque affixed to the piece. The trophy should not be more than 25cm in height and 3.8 kg in weight.

In the event that the organisers decide to adopt the design as a consistent brand for a number of years, the artist will be paid a royalty and creation fee for each year that the design is used as the Award.


In addition to a one-time design fee of R10 000.00 awarded to the successful bidder, the proposals should include the cost, per award, to produce 20 awards using the proposed design. The maximum total budget per award, including all materials, production fees, and taxes, should not exceed R1 000.00 per award. The artist will also be awarded a budget for courier or transportation of the awards to the offices of the Durban International Film Festival.


The following are relevant dates for submissions for designs for the 2022 Durban International Film Festival Awards:

1 March 2022                                Call for proposals launched

30 March 2022                              Submission deadline (24:00)

1 – 15 April 2022                            Adjudication of submissions

30 April 2022                                  Successful artist contracted

5 May 2022                                     Winning design announced

30 June 2022                                   Artist completes the commission and delivers the artworks to the Durban International Film Festival.

21 – 30 July 2022                             Durban International Film Festival

30 July 2022                                    Awards Ceremony

Selection process and criteria

An adjudication panel comprised of the Centre for Creative Arts film festival team along with a select group of experts with film, visual art and branding expertise.

The panel shall adjudicate the proposals and decide on the artist and design based on the following criteria assessed from the artist’s proposal:

Qualifications and experience (20%)

Does the artist provide a portfolio of evidence of having the knowledge and skills required to design, create and deliver commissioned artworks on time and on budget

Quality of proposal (45%)

Does the Award proposal have artistic merit?

Is the proposed Award design contemporary, innovative and unique?

Is the Award design inspirational, celebratory, representational of the film industry?

Does it have an African aesthetic?

Budget (15%)

Is the proposed budget realistic and achievable


Quality of proposed materials (20%)

Are the proposed materials for the award durable, eco-friendly and locally produced?


The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) is an annual film festival that takes place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. Founded in 1979 by Teddy Sarkin and Ros Sarkin, it is the oldest and largest film festival in Africa and presents over 200 screenings celebrating the best in South African, African, and international cinema. The festival had positioned itself as a platform for protest during Apartheid. The festival had established ties with the Avalon Group for many years. 


Website and Social Media


Application process

Proposals submission deadline is 30 March 2022 at 24:00 p.m.

All submissions should be formatted as a single PDF, sent electronically to   and contain the following, corresponding to the outline below:

Completed Application form found on the last page of this Call to Artists

Award proposal (3-page maximum) outlining the artist’s inspiration and intent for the Award; note actual size, materials to be used, and an explanation as to how the artist plans to integrate Award credentials into the design. All submissions should include sketches of the proposed design.

The proposal must be able to demonstrate that the artist has the capacity to produce the quantity required within the time frame and budget indicated.

The proposal must include a budget for the proposed project. The maximum total budget, per award, including all materials, production fees, and taxes should not exceed more than R1 000.00 / award.

The proposal must include a narrative biography of the artist (150 words maximum)

The proposal must include a maximum of 5 photographs from the artist’s portfolio of previously created work, and which speaks to the artist’s ability to design an Award. The photograph must be labelled with artist’s name, title and description of work, date created, medium(s), budget (if applicable), and dimensions for the artwork.

Please include only the items listed above. Additional materials will not be considered by the selection panel. Canvassing by any artist of any member of the DIFF team or adjudication panel will result in immediate disqualification of the award. Proposals will not be returned, and late or incomplete proposals will not be considered.

General provisions:

Artist Agreement: The successful artist will enter into an agreement with the Durban International Film Festival. Upon notification of being awarded the project, the successful artist will have 48 hours to finalize, complete and return the agreement.

Conflict of Interest: Applicants must disclose any potential conflicts of interest in their contract, including any that may involve The Durban International Film Festival, the Centre for Creative Arts and / or relationships with employees of either the Durban International Film Festival or the Centre for Creative Arts.

Reserved Rights: The Durban International Film Festival is not obliged to accept any of the submissions and reserves the right to not recommend any proposal or finalist, or to terminate or re-advertise the project.

For more information

If you have questions about this opportunity, please contact:

Gamedala Sinazo   

031 260 2506