Environmental Films at the Durban International Film Festival 2015

Submitted by: Nadia Shah, Monday, July 13, 2015

<p>DIFF will showcase a range of global and local cinema at venues in and around Durban from the 16th-26th of July.</p>

DIFF will showcase a range of global and local cinema at venues in and around Durban from the 16th-26th of July.

The 36th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) has a number of environmental films on offer in line with its “Just One Planet” theme which aims to promote sustainable living, help raise environmental awareness and inspire environmental activism. Hosted by the University of KwaZulu Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, DIFF is South Africa’s largest and longest running film festival. DIFF will showcase a range of global and local cinema at venues in and around Durban from the 16th-26th of July.

Here are our picks of environmental films showing at the DIFF this year:

All the Time in the World

Suzanne Crocker, a family physician and aspiring filmmaker turns the camera on her own family as they explore a new way of life by spending a winter in the wilderness of northern Canada. This personal documentary follows the Crocker family’s journey as they leave the comforts of the modern world for a small cabin in Yukon with no road access, electricity, running water, Internet, TV, phone or clocks. Filmed over nine months with no external crew, this film captures the unique perspectives of children as they learn to reconnect with each other, their parents and nature in the absence of technology.

18 July 11:30 Suncoast 7

26 July 16:30 Suncoast 6

Blood Lions

Ian Michler, a wildlife guide and conservationist, teams up with Rick Swazey, an American hunter to expose South Africa’s canned lion hunting industry in an effort to end the exploitative breeding of lions in the country.

22 July 18:00 Supernova

23 July 10:00 Supernova

23 July 19:45 Musgrave 6

24 July 15:00 Ekhaya 

Blood Lions, 2014 (Image Source: DIFF)


Energised investigates the social and environmental impacts of energy generation, documenting attempts by corporate giants to tap the planet’s last oil and gas deposits and to conceal the risks of nuclear energy. It shares the stories of those affected by these polluting industries and their struggle for environmental justice. It also presents perspectives from renewable energy enthusiasts pioneering a more sustainable future.

18 July 12:00 Musgrave 6

23 July 18:00 Nouveau

Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story

With almost half of the food produced in North America being discarded either by farmers, manufacturers, retailers or consumers, this film seeks to understand the devastating consequences of food waste in an effort to inspire more sustainable practices. After coming across tonnes of good food in dumpsters as a result of society’s obsession with expiry dates and perfect produce, filmmakers Jen and Grant pledge to stop grocery shopping and survive only on foods that would have otherwise been thrown away.

19 July 12:00 Suncoast 7

20 July 10:00 Elangeni

The Shore Break

Set on the Wild Coast of South Africa, this film tells the story of two cousins with opposing views on a proposed mining development in their hometown. Madiba is in support of the titanium mining project as he feels that development will attract infrastructure and services which will help lift the community out of poverty. His younger cousin Nonhle is however not willing to risk losing their homes, farms, ancestral grounds and their way of life for short-term benefits at the expense of the environment.

18 July 16:30 Suncoast 8

 21 July 10:00 Supernova

 21 July 17:45 Suncoast 7

 24 July 20:00 Suncoast 7

The Shore Break, 2014 (Image Source: DIFF)


Virunga, a nature documentary deepened by investigative journalism, tells the real life story of a small team of courageous park rangers dedicated to protecting Virunga National Park, a world heritage site situated in the depths of eastern Congo. Rich in biodiversity and home to the last remaining mountain gorillas, Virunga National Park is under threat from armed militia, poachers and rebel forces. This film, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, has received several international accolades.

17 July 19:45 Suncoast 6

19 July 15:00 Ekhaya

21 July 10:00 Luthuli Museum

25 July 12:30 Suncoast 6

Virunga, 2014

The Yes Men Are Revolting

The Yes Men are an activist duo who believe laughter is a powerful tool for change. They are notorious for staging hilarious and outrageous hoaxes at business events, on the internet, television, and in the streets to expose the dangers of letting greed run our world. Over the past 20 years the Yes Men have tackled a number of mega-corporations with the aim of drawing international attention to corporate crimes against humanity and the environment. The Yes Men Are Revolting focuses on their climate change interventions as they take on Shell Oil, Gazprom Oil, and the US Chamber of Commerce with the hope of raising awareness and building public pressure for climate action.

18 July 16:00 Musgrave 5

19 July 18:00 Ekhaya

20 July 16:15 Elangeni

The Salt of the Earth

This visually stunning film documents the travels of photographer Sebastião Salgado as told by his son who accompanied him on his latest quest.  Their journey takes them across continents in search of pristine landscapes abundant in wild fauna and flora. Oscar nominated for the best documentary of the year, The Salt of the Earth presents an interesting observation of an artist, his work, and the experiences which shaped his perspective.

19 July 14:00 Suncoast 7

26 July 20:00 Suncoast 7 

For a full listing of films on offer please refer to the Durban International Film Festival website.

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