DURBAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL invites filmmakers to submit for 2022 edition

Presented by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa’s longest-running film festival, the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), inviting filmmakers to submit their feature films, documentaries, and shorts for the 43rd edition taking place from July 21st to 30th, 2022. The deadline for submissions is February 28th 2022. For eligibility, submission fees, and to submit, please visit the DIFF profile on FilmFreeway:

The date of 27 October for DIFF’s opening for submissions is no coincidence, as it coincides with UNESCO’s World Day for Audiovisual Heritage that aims to acknowledge the importance of audiovisual documents. Just like UNESCO’s aim, DIFF’s vision is to underline the increasingly vital role that audiovisual content plays in our lives, as it gives us the ability to understand the world and engage with each other.

The official opening for submissions calls on global filmmakers to speak to the myriad of ways we have all restructured our reality. This year’s curatorial theme is ‘Adaptation’; DIFF is challenging filmmakers during these times of unprecedented transformation to rise and introduce audiences to fresh perspectives of diversity and inclusion. The festival is looking for films that reach back while looking forward, focusing on strengthening the tapestry of indigenous and authentic African stories with a global view to sustainability and inclusion.  These could be films that speak to migration, climate adjustment, social isolation, hybrid integration and films that explore other ways in which humanity is expanding.

The 4th Industrial Revolution engulfs us, forcing adjustment, offering opportunity and benefit. We would like to see how filmmakers moderate these structures, processes, and practices to enhance humanity without compromising it. DIFF would like to see how we can augment and expand on potential growth without cancelling reverence for nature and sustainable practices that will ensure our survival,” says festival manager Valma Pfaff.

DIFF2022 continues to cement its position as an incubator for African talent, maintaining its equilibrium in the global film festival sector with a particular focus on celebrating South African films and diasporic productions speaking to the experiences of Africans worldwide. DIFF2022 will be presented as a virtual festival, with a small selection of films to be screened live subject to prevailing Covid-19 related restrictions. 


DIFF contributes to expanding filmmaker networks, attracts local and international media, creates public awareness of South African and African cinema, and promotes and celebrates African cinema that highlights the possibilities of local film production and stimulates the growth of the film industry. DIFF proactively encourages the development of the African film industry and provides a strategic exhibition platform for local products alongside international films within a professionally implemented and reputable cultural experience.

DIFF has two principal strands: Isiphethu, consisting of a seminar and workshop component to stimulate industry development and a community outreach programme to engage underserviced audiences and the celebration of cinema through the exhibition of films. Isiphethu is due to release a separate call out for the inaugural International Student Film Festival.

Valma Pfaff is the new manager of the 43rd Annual Durban International Film Festival. She completed her BA in DESIGN at Ryerson University in Toronto but quickly became captivated by film production. She honed her skills as an art director in Montreal through the Directors Guild in Toronto and Cape Town, where she currently lives. Pfaff supports authentic indigenous voices and equitable representation and sees her role as DIFF Manager as an advocate of diversity in the film and Media Sector in South Africa and beyond. As geography gives way to the Digital and Hybrid space, she welcomes engagement with international partners who share DIFF’s mandate. She divides her time between Durban and Cape Town, enjoying yoga, the mountain, and her great love for jazz.

Note for the editor:

DIFF is exclusively receiving submissions through FilmFreeway. For eligibility, submission fees, and to submit, please visit the DIFF profile:

For interviews or more information: or 0797077773


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