The Durban Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, which was set to open today, has been postponed, although screenings of Inxeba (The Wound) will go ahead as planned.
The event, which is now in its seventh year, was faced with unexpected last minute requirements by the Film & Publications Board (FPB) that it submit all the films on the programme for classification.
Because Inxeba, the opening night film, has already received a 16 SL classification, it was allowed to be screened as per the festival’s original schedule.
“It is with great regret that I have to announce the postponement of the DGLFF programme for a month so as to comply with technical issues raised only this week by the FPB,” said Festival Director Jason Fiddler.
“Previously we had sincerely not been made aware of certain technical requirements, and on learning what was needed, I ensured very quickly that the FPB was provided with what they needed,” he explained.
“Unfortunately timing is an issue with the process and this led to a mutual decision that in order for the festival to be fully in alignment with FPB requirements, we should postpone to achieve this.”
The screenings of Inxeba are still a victory for free speech, following calls by amaXhosa king Zwelonke Sigcawu for the FPB to stop it being shown at the festival because of its exploration of masculinity and homosexuality and also for its depiction of sacred male initiation rites.
In recent years, the FPB has shown renewed vigour in clamping down on unclassified films, as well as trying to restrict online content and secretly working with other’s country’s repressive censorship authorities.
Inxeba will screen at 8pm on Friday 25 August at the Waterfront Hotel, Point, with an additional screening at 8pm on Saturday 26 August, and then Thursday 31 August 2017 at 8pm at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof. The community screening of the film on Saturday 2 September at 12pm will be in a venue as yet to be confirmed.
“The programme will remain largely intact and we will simply commence from the end of September,” assured Fiddler. The revised DGLFF programme will be available online within the coming week and all screening information relating to Inxeba can found on the festival website www.dglff.org.za.