5 films from Cannes will be screened at this year’s Durban International Film Festival

Souleymane Sangare, a recent arrival in Paris from Guinea, sleeps in homeless shelters at night and works as a delivery biker by day. Picture: Instagram

Souleymane Sangare, a recent arrival in Paris from Guinea, sleeps in homeless shelters at night and works as a delivery biker by day. Picture: Instagram

Published Jun 18, 2024


South Africa’s longest-running film festival, the Durban International Film Festival, (Diff) is almost upon us and, this year, organisers have lined-up some top-notch feature films for attendees.

Among the 28 films that will be on offer during the festival, which runs from July 18 to 28, are five compelling films that screened at this year’s edition of the the world-renowned Cannes Film Festival.

Below is a list of the movies:

“All We Imagine as Lights”

The film is a magical ode to nocturnal Mumbai with a distinctively feminist thread.

Directed by Payal Kapadia, it tells the bittersweet stories of three female friends, who have devoted their lives to others, with little thought to their self-realisation.


The female-led narrative follows a young Hindu widow who inherits her husband’s job as a police constable in the rural badlands of northern India.

When a low-caste girl is murdered, Santosh is pulled into the investigation by charismatic feminist inspector Sharma.

The portrait of power and how it perverts those who wield it shines light on the complexity of caste and religion in India.

“The Story of Souleymane”

The French film, written and directed by Boris Lojkine, follows Souleymane, an undocumented Guinean delivery biker and asylum seeker who has followed his dream to Paris.

He balances his precarious employment and the complexities of preparing for his interview with the government to determine his status.

In sharing his story, he could be sharing one of the many who have fled countries torn by conflict in search of a better life.

The Seed of the Scared Fig”

The celebration of Iman’s latest promotion as investigating judge in the Revolutionary Guard Court coincides with widespread public protests after the death of a young woman in the streets of Tehran.

The demonstrations and heavy-handed government response upset the dynamics within his family.

When Iman discovers that his service weapon is missing, he suspects his family. Frightened to lose his reputation and job, he becomes more and more paranoid, starting an investigation in his own home.

“The Village Next to Paradise”

Dreams play a pivotal role in this first Somali feature selected for Cannes.

The film follows the lives of three misfits who form a makeshift family. They must navigate between their aspirations and the complex world surrounding them.

Love, trust and resilience will power them through their life paths against the backdrop of a volatile Somalian political landscape.

Andrea Voges, the Head of Programmes and Diff manager, said: “With the backdrop of warfare ever present, Diff presents films that draw attention to the countless conflicts across the world.

“Often, it is in the intimate stories of individuals that the immense atrocity of war is understood.”

∎ The Durban International Film Festival will take place from July 18 to 28 at commercial venues like NuMetro Pavilion, Ster-Kinekor, Suncoast CineCentre, The Bioscope (Johannesburg) and The Labia (Cape Town). The non-commercial venues include Cap Studios, Denis Hurley, Luthuli Museum, K-Cap and Wushwini Art Centre.

Festival passes are available at Webtickets. Single tickets, for each film, are also available at R80 at each cinema.