The much-anticipated 9th Edition of Ugu Film Festival – 4 days of non-stop film screenings and workshops
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, 13 August 2021 – South Africa: The much-anticipated 9th Ugu Film Festival will take place from the 23rd to 26thSeptember 2021. Following on a strict virtual event that took place last year, the organisers have confirmed that this year’s installment will take on a hybrid format to accommodate online participation as well as a limited number of participants at a venue in Port Shepstone.
Hosted by Zindela Pictures and supported by the National Film and Video Foundation (The NFVF), Saigon Cowboys Pictures, GS Bookings and Aroma Pictures, the Ugu Film Festival will feature film screenings, talks and industry-driven workshops. “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. This year we decided to use the hybrid model, as we believe that job creation should always be a part of the film value chain. With us being at a venue, we aim to give our youth the opportunity to experience and be physically be involved in the hosting of the festival,” says Senzo Zindela, CEO at Zindela Pictures.
The festival will offer an entertaining and engaging menu; opening with the screening of South African film, The Hell City. Directed by Tebogo Mmela and starring legendary Patrick Shai, The Hell City boasts a colourful ensemble of popular and new actors. The film centers around the gang and mafia life in the city of gold, it is a brutal war with heartbreak, betrayal and violent death. This is the story of evil that lurks in the dark underground of Johannesburg yet is defeated by the courage of two of its victims.
Other films that will capture the audiences include; Anger Origin directed by Raphael Chilis Mhlongo, Minenhledirected by Happiness Mpase, Imfundo Nesintu by Sanele Mthembu, Amaqhinga directed by Nozipho Hlongwane, UKhumbuzile directed by Sanele Ndlovu, A Matter of Perspective directed by Gerda Leopold (Austria), 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), Oliver Black directed by Tawfik Baba (Morocco), Everything is falseby Jean-Marie Villeneuve (France), Shanin directed by Salar Tehrani and many more.
The festival has also earmarked talks that include but are not limited to 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. This will be offered by industry professionals including the NFVF representatives, internationally acclaimed directors and producers, as well as representatives from the local Ray Nkonyeni Municipality. “Skills development is at the forefront of our objectives; therefore, our audiences will once again benefit immensely from the workshops that we host with the aim of imparting knowledge,” says Mr. Zindela.
The closing film for this year’s edition is Besekgreti, a local film directed by Siyabonga Zulu. The film is about two brothers who receive inherited businesses after the death of their father. Unbeknownst to them, the father had dirty secret dealings which are about to unravel. Full of action and drama, the film will leave the audiences with both tears and humour.
Released by Sebabatso Media on Behalf of the Ugu Film Festival
Founded by Senzo Zindela, Ugu Film Festival is the fastest growing film festival in South Africa and is held every year on the KZN South Coast region. It was founded and initiated as one of the Zindela Pictures Pty Ltd’s social responsibility programmes in 2013. In its first year, the festival screened two films, four films in its second year. These were accompanied by three workshops (script writing, acting & editing) which were conducted by local industry experts and around 400 audience in 2014. It also had an international workshop (action & stunt coordinating) held by Hollywood veteran/Hall of Fame, Steve Lambert known for Indiana Jones, Robocop, Rambo etc.
The third year saw the festival receiving 60 international films, screening 23 altogether including local films. The event also featured five international guests who came on their own expenses with an audience of more than 1000 audience members. The 2020 festival was graced by the late Menzi Ngubane, and international stars including Simon Kook and Peter Pham from Vietnam.
MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDING DIRECTOR – Mr. Senzo Zindela
Adaption and adjusting to the new normal and 4IR at our doorstep is inevitable! COVID 19 pandemic has affected us all in one way or the other, but at UGUFF we are taking it as a wake-up call to unleash our utmost best creativity. Using our technological knowledge, our team is ready to host our guests from all over the world. After traveling the world, studying entrepreneurship & business management at Chicago State University, USA, I made it my life mission to establish initiatives/businesses that are capacitating local communities while having a global breakthrough impact. There are several factors which motivated me to embark on this selfless mission, some of them are the negative facts & perceptions written in most foreign books about us where they state that Africans are
followers programmed to be employees, Africans are not strategic thinkers, Africans don’t have strong intuition to invent or pioneer any project, Africans ONLY starts small businesses with no international appeal, Africans are scared to invest in big ideas beyond their comprehension if one of them attempts to start a big business with international appeal, he becomes a target and pulled down by his own people in every corner using every possible means! The most terrifying lesson in one of the foreign books was the prediction that African will remain in the same position for the next 100 years because innovations & pioneer spirit are killed and held back by the strongest enemy embraced as a norm across the board, that biggest enemy is kick-backs or bribery & corruption!
It is for those reasons that Ugu Film Festival was established as the international information-sharing platform to equip local creatives with breakthrough wisdom enabling them to operate globally without any limitations. We are intending to inspire upcoming youth and captains of industries who will refuse to be associated with the above mentioned negative perspectives! We believe that a positive environment, healthy working conditions respecting human rights, the ethical and highest degree of professionalism with integrity is attainable and within our reach, if we opt to prioritize merit in our daily operations! UGUFF is the living proof that Africans, especially previously disadvantaged individuals, CAN do things the right way and survive without entertaining unethical behavior and kick-backs in their daily operations. We, at UGUFF, strive to entertain our fans with great films & workshops, sustain a friendly working environment, praising professionalism, and encouraging responsible decision-making processes. We hope that our approaches and strategies against all odds/ obstacles throughout the years are inspiring upcoming youth and the community at large to encourage efficiency to all those under their care. Our 2021 physical and virtual line up of films and workshops are meant to empower and equip fans with breakthrough information which will help them grow from strength to strength. Make sure that your notebook and pen is always ready to take notes and details of new contacts, enjoy our hospitality.