The Journeymen has its world premiere
at DIFF 2016.

The opening night film of The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), hosted by UKZN’s College of Humanities, is the world premiere of the South African documentary, The Journeymen, the latest instalment in the Twenty Journey project.

The documentary is directed by Sean Metelerkamp and produced by Jolynn Minnaar, whose film, Unearthed, was one of the big hits at DIFF 2014.

The Journeymen chronicles the experiences of three young photographers – Wikus de Wet, Sipho Mpongo and Sean Metelerkamp – as they travel 24 000km throughout South Africa in a motorhome, with GoPro cameras strapped to their chests, to explore the mood and feel the pulse of the country.

From urban sprawls to dusty rural roads, the trio are driven by the question: ‘Has Mandela’s vision of equality in a rainbow nation been achieved?’ The film answers this with a kaleidoscopic set of responses that are disturbing, beautiful and thought-provoking.

Acting Festival Director Mr Peter Machen said: ‘It is highly appropriate that this intersectional portrait of our strange and beautiful country will screen on the 40th anniversary of the June 16 uprising. The film is a portrait of a nation that was forever changed by the actions of the youth of Soweto, and screening it on this day will act as a tribute to the bravery of the tens of thousands of unnamed young people who helped build the road to our liberation.

‘The film shows the underlying demons of our troubled national soul but also its deep and profound beauty,’ said Machen. ‘Made with technology that is widely accessible, the film is also a vibrant call to arms for new modes of film making and fresh approaches to narrative. We are very happy to be screening the world premiere of The Journeymen on the opening night of the 37th edition of DIFF.’

Director Metelerkamp added: ‘While we never set out to make a feature length documentary, looking back, through embracing new technology, we were able to capture our promising, contentious and confusing country as we went about exploring our respective photographic themes.

‘We hope that this collaboration – between three guys from different cultural and racial backgrounds, united simply by a duty to set out and discover truly authentic South African stories – kickstarts conversations and interactions. As luck would have it, our film features a chance encounter with Sam Nzima, who photographed Hector Pietersen. We can’t think of a better way to honour Youth Day than to share our film with the country.’

The Twenty Project was made possible by many generous Kickstarter sponsors. The documentary is executive-produced by Dylan Voogt and made possible through the support of Stage 5 Films, Priest Post Production, 744 Digital and Mothership Studio.

The Festival, which runs from 16-26 June, includes nearly 200 theatrical screenings as well as the Wavescape Film Festival and various industry initiatives, including the 9th Talents Durban programme in co-operation with the Berlin Talent Campus and the 7th Durban FilmMart co-production market in partnership with the Durban Film Office.

For more information go to #DIFF2016  @DIFFest

Melissa Mungroo