South African filmmaker Jahmil X.T. Qubeka (you may recall his last feature film, A Small Town Called Descent, was profiled on this site), will see his follow-up to that film, Of Good Report, open the 34th Durban International Film Festival, which runs from July 18-28.

Qubeka’s film, described as an homage to classic film noir, tells the story of a demented school teacher’s attempts to get away with the brutal murder of a teenage beauty queen. 

The teacher gets involved with one of his students, which obviously doesn’t end well. Jahmil calls it a “serial killer origins story about how a social misfit turns into an inadequate man hell-bent on satisfying his shameful lust. It is Little Red Riding Hood, told from the wolf’s perspective.

The celebrated young filmmaker has seen his past work across a spectrum of filmmaking disciplines, screen at various international film festivals, from Rotterdam, to Pusan International Film Festival, Dubai Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival (LA), Stolkholm Film Festival and others.

In 2005 an Aids documentary he directed for Sesame Street (Talk To Me) won the prestigious Peabody Award for best actuality programming, and more.

Jahmil tells me that his last film, A Small Town Called Desent, will be available on iTunes soon, so when we know that it’s available, you will too.

DIFF calls Of Good Report a challenging and evocative, yet humorous film, and a hypnotically engaging journey into the soul of a mentally troubled man.

Mothusi Magano stars in the film, along with Petronella Tshuma

It’s produced by Mike Auret and Luzuko Dilima (Spier Films).

DIFF’s Peter Machen says: “We are extremely happy to be opening DIFF 2013 with Jahmil’s brave and remarkable film. Of Good Report does so much more than simply telling a South African story – the film redefines the local filmmaking landscape and extends the language of African filmmaking while acknowledging the rich history of global cinema.

And I’m definitely looking forward to checking it out, whenever it comes my way. It’s not often that we see strong *genre* films by black African filmmakers, and, by all accounts thus far, this is one to watch for.

No trailer yet unfortunately.

Of Good Report leads what I think is an impressively eclectic list of films at this year’s DIFF, so look out for individual profiles of those that we haven’t covered previously.

The Durban International Film Festival takes place from July 18 – 28, 2013. The Festival includes 170 theatrical screenings, a full seminar/workshop programme as well as the Wavescape Film Festival and industry initiatives: the 6th Talent Campus Durban (in cooperation with the Berlin Talent Campus) and the 4th Durban FilmMart (the co-production market in partnership with the Durban Film Office), with the Wild Talk Africa Festival taking place in the city from July 23 to 26. 

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