The Durban International Film Festival’s new
Manager Peter Machen.

South Africa’s largest and longest running film festival hosted by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) – the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) – has a new manager.

‘We are pleased to announce the appointment of well-known film critic and arts journalist, Peter Machen,’ said Mr Kishore Gobardan, Director of Professional Services in the College of Humanities in which the CCA is housed.

The CCA is also currently a special project of the newly appointed College of Humanities Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Cheryl Potgieter.

‘Peter has been working with the Durban International Film Festival for the last seven years as a programme advisor,’ said Gobardan. ‘He comes to the Festival with a wealth of institutional knowledge which provides much needed continuity.  Along with a solid knowledge of the programming requirements, Peter has also been responsible for writing synopses in the festival publications and editing and designing the festivals’ Reel Times daily newsletters.

‘He has appeared on various DIFF panels, as well as introduced directors and facilitated Q&A sessions during festivals. So we are pleased to welcome him on board the team and look forward to the significant value he will add to the mix.’

Machen, who has a BA Honours degree in economics from UKZN, is a leading South African arts writer and communication consultant. A talented publication designer, Machen has produced a range of publications and is author and designer of two coffee-table books Durban – A Paradise and its People and Durban – A Return to Paradise. He is currently the Sunday Tribune’s resident film columnist.

Earlier this year, Machen attend the Rotterdam and Berlin Film Festivals as part of his research as a programme advisor for DIFF, and is excited about the challenges that lie ahead.

‘It is quite a daunting task to step into someone else’s programming shoes,’ he said, ‘but because I have been so intimately involved in the festival for some time now, I know my way around and look forward to creating a programme that will be interesting and varied for our audiences.’

Machen will be at the Cannes Film Festival next month to seek out additional cinematic treasures for the DIFF 2013 programme.

‘The Assistant Film Festival Manager position will be announced within the next few weeks, and the CCA Director’s post has been advertised and should be filled soon,’ said Gobardan.

The 34th Durban International Film Festival takes place from July 18 to July 28. The full programme will be on the website five weeks before the festival begins.