The Durban International Film Festival presents a broad selection of culturally diverse, quality films from around the world with a special focus on Africa and South Africa, and provides an internationally recognized platform to promote film and filmmakers. The festival takes place each year in July and attracts an average of 25 000 audiences for our national and international competitions and 650 Industry people. Apart from compiling innovative programs both for our competitions and our out-of-competition series, we’re anxious to establish a lively international platform for professional exchange. During the festival itself, our Filmmart comprises activities like the Finance Forum as well as panel talks with renowned industry professionals from across the globe. Our Isiphethu (springs) hub, focuses on developing local talent through workshops and access to world renowned experts, opening the doors for South African filmmakers to reach a global market.

Best Feature Film R 50 000,00
Best South African Feature Film R 25 000,00
Best Documentary R 25 000,00
Audience Choice Award R 25 000,00
Best South African Short Film R 20 000,00
Best African Short R 20 000,00
Best Short Film R 20 000,00


The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) housed in The College of Humanities, School of Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

1.1 Introduction

The 41st Durban International Film festival will take place in Durban, South Africa from 16-26 July 2020. The mission of DIFF is to develop and deliver a sustainable world class film festival, which engages stakeholders and achieves critical acclaim by presenting a unique program that inspires, challenges and entertains an increasingly broad and diverse audience. The festival aims to offer a platform for content that is unavailable through mainstream cinema to both local and international audiences.

1.2 Submission Deadlines
• Official Submission Deadline : 31 January 2020

1.3 Categories of the Festival and Terms
• The Official Selection: Reserved for fiction films that are bold, inspiring and that have added value in cinema. This is the competition section of the festival, which covers a selection for Feature Fiction, Feature Documentaries, Shorts and South African to be adjudicated by an international jury.
• Documentaries: Non-fictional films which are innovative, challenging and informative intended to document some aspect of reality.
• South Africa Select : Reserved for the very best of South African Cinema. These are films, fiction or documentary, which may or may not have shown at other local festivals outside of Durban. These films will not qualify for competition.
• Feature Length Film: a narrative, animated or experimental film with a running time of 60minutes and above.
• Short Film: A fiction or documentary film with a running time of under 60minutes.
• All submissions should be made by the official representative who will serve as the mediator for screening fees as well as the transportation of DCPS.

1.4 Eligibility Regulations
• The festival allows submission of feature films, documentaries, short films that have been completed since January 2019
• Films that were submitted and declined for the previous edition will not be considered for the new 41st edition unless they are changed or improved.
• Feature length productions (fiction or non-fiction) over 60 minutes must not have been shown on South African television, internet streaming services or a commercial screening prior DIFF presentation.
• Selected Films must be made available for the Festival presentation in DCP.
• Films written in other foreign languages other than English must be subtitled in English in order to be considered for selection.
• Works that are solely promotional, educational or scientific in nature are not eligible for selection for the DIFF.
• A Film that is selected to participate in the festival cannot be withdrawn from the festival during the event.

1.5 Entry Form
• Entry form can be found and submitted through the filmfreeway site.

1.6 Selection and Notification
• Films presented at the festival are selected by the Selection Committee.
• All selected films will be notified by the Festival Manager no later than 15 April 2019.

1.7 Selected Films Required Materials
• A Director of the selected film must complete an official Diff Participation Confirmation Form available on selection no later than 30 April 2020.
• A 300 word minimum synopsis in English
• The director’s photo, biography and filmography
• Trailers, posters, post cards and EPKs for promotion of the film
• By submitting the DIFF PARTICIPATION CONFIRMATION FORM and the above materials, the entrant(s) grant to DIFF a non-exclusive license to publicly screen the selected film in the 2020 Durban International Film Festival in theatres used by the festival.

1.8 Shipping and Customs

• All films that are selected for participation in the event must be clearly labelled with a courier tracking number.
• The participating film will pay the shipping cost to Durban and the Festival Office will pay the cost of returning the film DCP to the participant.
• No prints for screening must arrive at the Centre for Creative Arts Office later than the 31st of May 2020.
• The Durban International Film Festival is not responsible for any damage incurred during submission of the DCP by the participant to Durban, however it is responsible for the damage incurred when is returning the DCP to the participant.