The much-anticipated 9th Ugu Film Festival will run in Port Shepstone from 23 to 26 September 2021. The festival will feature dynamic local and international film screenings, talks and industry-driven workshops that give filmmakers and artists a platform to showcase their talent.
“The KZN South Coast has long been a key destination for local and international film production companies in search of natural assets and a hospital work environment,” explained Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT). “We’re excited to, once again, play host to the Ugu Film Festival which brings the film industry’s best talent to the region, and highlights why this continues to be a leading location for production companies.”
Hosted by Zindela Pictures and supported by the National Film and Video Foundation (The NFVF), Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT), Saigon Cowboys Pictures, GS Bookings and Aroma Pictures, this year’s Ugu Film Festival will be a hybrid model with both a physical event and online version available. Organisers can accommodate a limited number of in-person attendees alongside its online format, in line with Covid-19 regulations.
“We remain grateful for the support from both the festival audiences and our partner stakeholders that constantly ensure that every year we host a festival that not only entertains its audiences through the screening of films, but uplifts and educates its audiences,” said Senzo Zindela, CEO at Zindela Pictures.
The festival will feature talks that include, among others, script-writing, film regulation, policy and law industry, film financing, film production and distribution, as well as the art of film development and film funding. These will be offered by industry professionals including NFVF representatives, internationally acclaimed directors and producers, as well as representatives from the local Ray Nkonyeni Municipality. There will also be some significant feature films screened, including:
· The Hell City directed by Tebogo Mmela and starring Patrick Shai (opening film)
· Besekgreti directed by Siyabonga Zulu (closing film)
· Anger Origin directed by Raphael Chilis Mhlongo
· Minenhle directed by Happiness Mpase
· uKhumbuzile directed by Sanele Ndlovu
· Illusion directed by Sylvain Boayaga (Cameron)
· Nyara directed by Ram Ally K, Cece Mlay (Tanzania)
· After the Night with Valerie directed by Alex Garnett (United States)
· Everything is False by JeanMarie Villeneuve (France)
The KZN South Coast as a film destination In addition to the annual Ugu Film Festival, the KZN South Coast attracts leading production companies, among them international film crews that visit every year to film the planet’s greatest biomass migration, the Sardine Run.
The KZN South Coast remains a leading film destination for a number of reasons:
· Ideal climate: Filming with year-round warm weather and sunshine.
· Diverse aquatic locations: Two Marine Protected Areas at Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks, waterfalls, tidal pools, rivers, estuaries, lakes and dams.
· Unique cultural attractions: KwaXolo Caves, Isivivane seNkosi uShaka, the KwaNzimakwe Multi-Trails, and Ntelezi Msani Heritage Site; the world’s smallest desert–Red Desert; age-old lighthouses and a shipwreck site.
· Diverse landscape: Indigenous coastal forests, Blue Flag beaches, 11 golf courses, nature and game reserves, parks, cliffs, gorges and valleys.
· Wildlife: The Sardine Run and whale migration, bird and wildlife at game and nature reserves.
· Ease of operations: Filmfriendly municipal by-laws.
· Ease of accessibility: The on-site Margate Airport, King Shaka Airport in nearby Durban and direct access to the N2.
· Great accommodation: Everything from the budget friendly self-catering units through to five-star resorts.
· A proven track record: Filmmakers include Discovery, National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild, as well as feature filmmakers and television crews.
To discover more about the KZN South Coast, download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores, or visit www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za. Alternatively, visit the ‘South Coast Tourism’ Facebook page, or follow @infosouthcoast on Twitter.
For more information, follow the ‘Ugu Film Festival’ Facebook or visit www.uguff.org