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AFRICAN UNION FILM FESTIVAL (article first published : 2002-06-28)

High-powered delegations from around the continent converge on Durban for the much-anticipated African Union Summit at the ICC at the end of June 2002.

Forming part of the Summit’s overall objective to promote pride in Africa’s uniqueness and untapped potential, the African Union Film Festival will run in tandem with the conference. This showcase of the finest of African and South African cinema is a project of the South African Government co-ordinated by the Film Resource Unit (FRU) in association with the University of Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA).

The festival includes close on 30 feature films that have broken the mould plus a selection of documentaries and shorts. These will be screened at formal and informal venues around Durban from July 1 to 6. These screenings are sponsored by the South African government and will be at no cost to the public. Leading African film-makers will attend the festival and panel discussions, seminars, film-makers workshops will also form an integral part of the festival programme.

The audiovisual medium is a powerful form of cultural expression, it is classically an “ideological item”, in that it embodies social values and messages and consequently influences the organization of entire social systems. Africa has a long history of film making with an industry that is over 80 years old.

Working with the acclaimed Durban International Film Festival, the event offers a selection of thought-provoking, stimulating and socially relevant films to complement the important issues being dealt with around the conference tables during the Summit.

The African Union Film Festival kicks off with a launch function at the Playhouse with a high ranking government official and other guest speakers on June 30. Public screenings will take place from July 1 at the Playhouse Drama Theatre and Grand Foyer, the Workshop Mall Cinemas, KwaMuhle Museum as well as at various tertiary institutions and community venues in Durban.

No booking is necessary, and full details of the festival will be on the African Union Film Festival website www.auff.co.za as well as on CCA and FRU websites: www.und.ac.za/und/carts and www.safilm.org.za




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