The Isiphethu programme aimed at young, emerging and community arts film-makers is committed to the development and promotion of an industry-relevant programme. Aligned to the curatorial strategy of the annual Durban International Film Festival the Isipethu programme presented by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of Kwazulu-Natal is a significant role-player in the skills development value change and a key driver of social transformation and economic empowerment in the film industry


The Isiphethu programme was born out of a commitment to provide skills and training for young aspirant filmmakers and to grow newer film-makers and audiences that would be representative of South African demographics. As far back as 2016 the Centre for Creative Arts has catered for micro budgets films as part of the DIFF programme. In 2018, the idea had already taken shape to consolidate the DIFF industry programme and other activities at the Centre for Creative Arts so that the community outreach activities for the Centre’s four festivals can create a bridge between the University, emerging film-makers, their community and the industry.

Nokukhanya Luthuli

Actress, Writer, Producer

At the age of 35, Nokukhanya Luthuli has worked on numerous projects after she began her journey in 2013 by participating in the DIFF2013 Video Production. Hailing from Cornobia just outside of Durban and from attending various workshops around the city of Durban, Nokukhanya attributes her illustrious success in the film industry to the DIFF workshop where her passion for film was kindled. Nokukhanya now organises workshops to assist young girls with information about the film industry and she provides opportunities that are available for young aspirant filmmakers


Generations( The Legacy) 2020
Deep Wounds 2019
Amehlo Ami Yini 2019

“I gained confidence to work behind the scenes after learning how to edit videos and produce music during my sound engineering year 2005, I then later had an opportunity to do TV and Film Production at Movie Tech and not forgetting Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) workshops”

“I am happy with the direction that my career is taking. I have been part of SABC 1 Uzalo’s supporting cast and Imbewu on E.TV. I play a leading role on my recent(2021) FILM Lachitheka Igazi written by Shokwakhe Mavimbela, Raphael is shooting the behind the scenes of E. TV’s new telenovela Durban Gen. This is growth”

Raphael Chillis Mhlongo’s acting and film journey started in 1997 when he featured as a lead on Vukani Ndebele’s zero-budget short film among those films was a popular Thomas is Back.

Durban Intl. Film Festival

Isiphethu provides a vehicle for filmmakers in KZN/SA to engage with industry experts through master classes, panel discussions and workshops.

Micro Budget Films

Isiphethu services the gap for local filmmakers with minimal or no budget to share their work with the local audiences.

Schools Programme

Isiphethu creates access to cinema by screening films in primary, high schools and film schools; and by giving learners the opportunity to participate in competitions and discussions.

Prison Programme

Isiphethu contributes to the social rehabilitation of prisoners and the change that they can make to their lives and to society by engaging critically with films..

DIFF: School Programme

The school programme is aimed at pupils in primary schools, high schools and tertiary institutions, especially the film schools. It is an intergral part of the festival. The festival works with different schools around the city of Durban and its surrounding areas as well as schools throughout the country. We are delighted to welcome these schools on yearly basis and we certainly aim to continue the relationship for many more years to come.


Previous Programmes


Programme Partners

Digital Arts
Luthuli Museuem
Westville Correctional Services

Wushwini Arts Centre
San Francisco Black Film Festival
Creative Arts College
Alliance Française

Anobla AKA 2019

“Alliance Française de Durban traditionally supports DIFF and is always happy to host screenings of the movies in competition.“

Bongi Malefo 2020

“First and foremost, I always knew that my work brings me so much joy, that I can bury myself and time could just pass without me noticing but presenting my work for DIFF and answering questions really gave me another perspective I didn’t know about myself. It made me realise what a great job I do and that I have the potential to give back the knowledge I’ve learned over the years, it also gave me a sense of purpose. It gave me the confidence I always knew I lacked, It made me realise that my work is impactful and I’m really good at it.
After the masterclass, I paid even more attention to how and why I do my work. I wish more black females can join me in post production in the near future and make an even bigger impact.
What an honor for me and my family to have been a part of such a huge platform.”

Edmund Mhlongo

“For the KZN film industry to grow adequately, there is an urgent intervention need to implement quality, accredited screenwriting training programmes that will yield quality and professional scriptwriters for the province! Screenwriting is a critical scarce skill not only for KZN but for the whole country! We have aspirant writers with great story concepts – however, they require serious training and mentorship intervention with dedicate training programmes!”

Luthuli Museum / 2020

Loyiso Gumede

“The CCA programmes benefit learners and local artists; everybody gets a chance to share wealth knowledge from international and national artists. In many cases more partnerships have been born out of the engagement with CCA, more programmes that are skills development for artists have been started and run at the museum and that would not have happened if it was not because of the opportunity presented by the CCA”

Director of KCAP /2019

Kevin Palium

“Attendees of the Industry Programme were enriched with specialist knowledge of Film and Television Production. This engagement broaden one’s mind beyond that of textbook knowledge. The event was lauded by participants and industry experts alike.”

CEO South African Film Institute/2019

Thato Molamu

“I applaud DIFF for creating this impactful platform to meet other creatives that have an interest in entrepreneurship with the aim to change the african film sector ecosystem by empowering it with knowledge. For me Storytelling is a commercial art that brings different cultures , religions and beliefs together to touch our hearts and souls Forever. Thank you DIFF”

Funders and Sponsors

Isiphethu (Industry Programme)
Durban International Film Festival
Centre for Creative Arts
University of KwaZulu Natal
Howard College Campus
Glenwood, South Africa
Tel: 031 260 1817
Email (W):