18-year-old Deon Joseph Duncan had the opportunity to attend the Giffoni Film Festival (GFF) in Italy last month from July 20 to the 28th.
Duncan, who lives in Kliptown, is currently completing his final high school year at Kliptown Secondary School and dreams of being one of the greatest actors of all time.
The objective of this year’s edition was not only about change but deep evolution within the film industry.
Duncan said, “Director Claudio Gubitosi always says, ‘Giffoni is a creature that cyclically regenerates from its own ashes, arising from its destruction. It’s an always-changing format, including much more than just cinema, which is going to turn from experience into opportunity’.”
The theme for this year’s festival was cinema, and community, workshops and mind gym, even more than before. It also hosted a large number of institutional guests, from the president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Roberto Fico and deputy prime minister, Luigi Di Maio to young film hopefuls across the world.
Aspiring actors were invited to the festival and Duncan made the cut because of his undeniable acting ability. He is currently working on a short film that should be released within the next few months.
“Being in Italy was by far one the greatest experiences of my life. I am so grateful and humbled by the opportunity to make my hometown proud,” said Duncan.
“This experience taught me to make the most of what I have. Struggling should never stop you from making your dreams a reality,” he added.
The budding thespian said that he always knew that he would pursue a career in the Arts.
“It’s where my passion lies, it’s my lifeline. I rap and write songs too,” he said.
The youngster said that there are a few special people who he would like to thank for making his trip to Italy a reality.
“Let me start with councillor Peter Rafferty. He sponsored my passport and for that, I am so grateful. He did it without complaining, he is truly an amazing selfless man. I would also like to thank Prince Massingham for being my source of inspiration and for encouraging me. He always has my back,” said Duncan.
“I would also like to thank my school teachers, Mr Gibson and Mr Silvano who arranged over R1 000 to pay for my travel insurance,” he concluded.
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