Following the resounding success of the recent 7th edition of Ugu Film Festival (UGUFF) held at the Margate Hotel in Port Shepstone from 24-26 January, 2020, the organisers of the festival, Zindela Pictures are set to return virtually with a bigger and better 8th edition of film screenings, talks and industry-driven workshops.
Dubbed the Ugu Film Festival Virtual Integrated Programme, due to the prevailing Covid-19 restrictions, the online programme will feature an array of local and international film screenings as well workshops manned by a litany of speakers, thought-leaders and stakeholders from across the filmmaking landscape. The workshops, talks and discussions hosted in partnership with The Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, and Ugu South Coast Tourism will be hosted via Microsoft Team’s webinar as well as through the film festival’s official Facebook page on October 23, while the virtual film screenings of local and international films will happen live on Facebook as well as virtually on Microsoft Team’s from October 22 –October 25. For four days, the virtual event will culminate in at least nine online interactive workshops while showcasing over 30 film screenings in what looks like the film industry’s biggest online event.
The opening night of the virtual screening will kick things off with the screening of Toxic, a film set in the midst of a fast-approaching insomniac pandemic. The film is directed by award-winning screenwriter and director, Ariel Martinez Herrera. Toxic which was filmed in 2017 is a foreshadow of the current state of affairs and a fitting opener as the world battles the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The film captures the lives of Laura (39) and Augusto (42) who leave the city in their motorhome, in an attempt to avoid chaos. As they travel the road, the world becomes a stranger and dangerous place, finally Laura reveals something that changes their entire purpose. The path grows silently uninhabited, is tougher by the second, and eventually separates reality from waking dreams.
As the only event of its kind in the South Coast region, UGUFF is a crucial local film development and empowerment platform aimed at giving emerging up and coming filmmakers an opportunity to learn as well as gain expert insight and exposure on and about the nature of the filming industry, while also being a vehicle to showcase their craft to potential investors, film enthusiasts and the media.
Talks earmarked for virtual event 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.
According to the Founding CEO of UGUFF, Senzo Zindela, the 2020 virtual line-up of films and workshops are meant to empower and equip emerging filmmakers with skills as well as intimate knowledge about the industry’s multi-faceted value chain.
“We, at UGUFF, strive to entertain our fans, most of them, young up-and-coming filmmakers and creatives in the space with great content in the form of film screenings and workshops. Our mission is to create and sustain a friendly working environment that acknowledges and celebrates professionalism and responsible decision-making processes.
“As we attempt to adopt to the new normal, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have employed our best technological knowledge to ensure that we unleash our utmost best innovative creativity. Our hardworking team is ready to host our speakers and guests from all over the world,” says Senzo Zindela.
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