Paton Film Festival

The Paton Film Festival, 11 -13 May 1998
During this film festival, which was the first function in celebration of 50 years of Cry, the beloved country, both the 1951 and 1995 versions of Cry the beloved country were shown.  The award-winning documentary, ‘Alan Paton’s Beloved Country’, produced by Clive Morris Productions, also drew an enthusiastic crowd.  The film festival was repeated in September at the Malherbe Library on the Durban campus, and a display was shown on the Pietermaritzburg campus and at Hilton College.

Paton and Cry, the beloved country: the man, the book and the message’
University Lecture by Ray Swart, 13 May 1998
A highlight of the commemorative festivities was the University Lecture by Ray Swart, a retired lawyer, Progressive Party politician and friend of Alan Paton.  Swart spoke about the Alan Paton he knew, his strengths and his weaknesses.  He gave interesting statistics on the book – it had sold over 15 million copies after being in print for 40 years, and was still selling at the rate of 100,000 copies per year after 50 years of being in print.  It had also been selected by the American Library Association as one of the outstanding classics selected most often by library users.

Alan Paton’s Pietermaritzburg: tour, 3 September 1998
A tour of places in Pietermaritzburg where Alan paton had lived, worked or been to school, took place as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations.  A similar place took place in 2003.