The 32nd edition Durban International Film Festival’s taking place from July 21 to 31, 2011, opens with the World Premiere of a film shot in Durban – Otelo Burning, directed by Sara Blecher. Beginning in the late 1980s, the story is set around youngsters from Lamontville township who discover surfing as an empowering escape from the political violence of the times. Surfing facilitates the shaping of a new culture and lifestyle for them, and this reflects a real process that continues to take place in Durban. Adventures and drama follow. There is romance, rivalry, and tragedy, and, ultimately, choices have to be made.
The film includes excellent and credible performances by a quartet of talented actors – Thomas Gumede, Sihle Xaba, Jafta Mamabolo and Tsepang Mohlomi. Otelo Burning is to an extent based on Sihle’s own story. Matthew Oats and Hamilton Dlamini also star in the film.