Change Of Guard At Durban Filmfest: Machen Out, Pimenta In
Former writer and programming consultant of Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) Peter Machen who was only appointed festival manager in 2013 has resigned from his position as festival manager. Machen told ScreenAfrica.com that his resignation is effective March 31.
An arts writer and film critic who has been working with the DIFF as writer and programming consultant since 2006, news that Machen will be quitting his job as festival manager came early in February when it was alleged that the organisers of the DIFF were contemplating hiring a new manager for the over three decades old festival.
But about a month later, news broke that that indeed filmmaker Pedro Pimenta has been formally appointed festival director.
A proper confirmation of Pimenta’s appointment came when he addressed delegates who attended the South Africa-Nigeria fact-finding mission in Durban in March as new festival manager of the DIFF, which takes place every July in Durban, South Africa.
Organisers of the well attended festival have assured that Machen’s resignation will not affect the 2015 edition of the festival which is just months away. Even Machen confirmed that ‘all will be well’ as he is happy to be leaving behind ‘’a strong programme of features and documentaries for DIFF 2015, the bulk of which has been invited and locked-down’’.
Machen also stated that he is very happy to be leaving the festival in the hands of Pimenta whom Machen described as someone who is well loved in the industry and who has ‘’a lucid understanding of film and festivals.”
Machen who hinted that he will be leaving Durban for Berlin in June to continue with his work as a freelance writer, editor, art director and art photographer said it has been an extraordinary and remarkable experience working at DIFF.
According to him “It has been a remarkable experience getting to know so many wonderful people on the local and international film festival circuits and I have built many rich relationships, which will continue to be sustained in the future. I am sure that I will continue to work with film and film festivals in the coming years.”
The 36th Durban International Film Festival will take place as from July 16 through to 26. There is certainly going to be a large Nigerian presence at this year’s edition of DIFF owning to the working relationship that the DIFF has entered with the Nigerian based Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF). The AFRIFF holds annually in November at the Tinapa Resort, Calabar, Cross River State.