AFDA Cape Town alumni Chipo Zhou has recently been appointed as the manager of One of Africa’s leading and long running film festivals – the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF)
DIFF is hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) under College of Humanities’ School of Arts. Ms. Zhou, a versatile film practitioner and film festival curator, has over a decade experience in the creative industry.
“After such a vigorous search, we are grateful that we finally found a rounded candidate of her calibre, with whom the festival is bound to have a refreshed face. We welcome Chipo to the CCA team and we are confident that she will steer the festival to a better future.” says the Director of Centre for Creative Arts, David wa Maahlamela.
Ms. Zhou holds a B.A. Hons Motion Picture Medium degree (cum laude) from AFDA, and she is currently completing an MFA Motion Picture Medium.
Between 2006 and 2009, she was the Assistant Festival Director of International Images Film Festival for Women (IIFF). She also served on the board of the Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe for five years.
On her appointment, Ms. Zhou says, “I am exceedingly honoured by the opportunity to be affiliated with this esteemed organisation and I am excited by this new chapter in my career, where I step onto the global stage, at the helm of one of the oldest and biggest film festivals in Africa.”
“This comes at a time of great transformation within the industry,” she adds, “not only with regards to how films are made and distributed but how they are consumed by our audiences. With this development comes the challenge to stay current and relevant, a task I am eager to tackle.”
Ms. Zhou served as the coordinator for prestigious events such as the South African Communication Association (SACOMM) conference, and most recently a media consultant for DERT-SA, a human rights and education development NGO operating within Southern Africa.
She has great interest in practice led research, with particular focus on Women in Film and Television. The film industry will benefit immensely from her film review passion.
Ms. Zhou will be introduced to the international film fraternity at the forthcoming 70th Festival de Cannes in Paris, France. The 38th DIFF edition, to be held from July 13 to July 23, will among others have focus on women filmmakers. Ms. Zhou is, therefore, a perfect festival manager to ensure that such focus will not become an event but rather part of the conscious identities of DIFF.