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#OnTheBigScreen: Hot Seat, Henry V and Diff

On this week's entertainment front there's explosive action in the cyber-tech thriller Hot Seat, a feast of films at the 43rd Durban International Film Festival, and Shakespeare's exhilarating Henry V.
#OnTheBigScreen: Hot Seat, Henry V and Diff

Hot Seat

Director James Cullen Bressack’s Hot Seat takes place in a setting too familiar for comfort, as characters reveal hidden secrets and navigate tough choices in order to survive the day.

A regular day at work transforms into a thrilling, high-stakes puzzle with a ticking clock in the hypermodern cyber-tech action/thrill. Orlando Friar (Kevin Dillon) is a former hacker trying hard to turn his life around before it falls apart. When an anonymous caller tells him a bomb under his seat will explode unless he completes a series of impossible digital bank heists, what began as a mundane workday quickly swells into a suspenseful rollercoaster ride that will force Orlando right back into the kind of shady tech manoeuvres he’s been trying desperately to leave behind.

Orlando frantically works to extract himself from the situation without triggering a massive explosion, while behind the scenes, a bomb squad led by wise, veteran leader Wallace (Mel Gibson) gathers to diffuse the situation.

“Even though we are watching what we think are just regular people going through this extreme event,” says actor Michael Welch, “what’s cool about this movie is that, throughout the journey, you learn that everyone’s got a secret. Everyone’s got something else going on that, throughout the course of this very intense process, ultimately gets revealed.”

Read more here.

Henry V

Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) plays the title role in a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s thrilling study of nationalism, war and the psychology of power.

Henry V is Shakespeare’s thrilling study of nationalism, war and the psychology of power - captured live from the Donmar Warehouse in London.

Fresh to the throne, King Henry V launches England into a bloody war with France. When his campaign encounters resistance, this inexperienced new ruler must prove he is fit to guide a country into war.

Directed by Max Webster (Life of Pi), this exciting modern production explores what it means to be English and our relationship to Europe, asking: do we ever get the leaders we deserve?

On 23, 24, 27 and 28 July at Cinema Nouveau

Bookings can be made here.

43rd Durban International Festival

The 43rd Durban International Film Festival (Diff) offers a hybrid event with both online and live screenings, showcasing a programme of close to 200 feature films, documentaries and short films alongside an exciting community and student programme: Isiphethu. This year’s curatorial theme is ‘Adaptation, Survival and Sustainability’.

Three feature films are exclusively shown in cinema: Nostalgia, directed by Mario Martone; Eiffel, directed by Martin Bourboulon and Notre-Dame on Fire, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud.

Diff believes short films are a powerful medium for expression and contribute significantly to the film industry. As part of the programme, the festival offers almost 75 short films that are diverse but have a common thread of all being thought-provoking stories.

The inaugural Isiphethu Student Film Festival, with the theme of migration, aims to develop young talent in the industry.

The Festival’s outreach programme will work with a range of organisations to take parts of the festival programme to community centres which include amongst others the Wushwini Arts Centre, Luthuli Museum, Ubuntu Nest and K-Cap.

The pan-African documentary project Generation Africa will feature both cinema and virtual screenings from 21 to 31 July. Generation Africa is a collection of 25 films produced by Cape-own production company Steps and directed and produced by filmmakers from 16 African countries, featuring stories about migration.

The virtual festival is free and the programme is available here.

Read more about the latest and upcoming film releases here.

About Daniel Dercksen

Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit

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