The Ugu Film Festival lived up to its promise of becoming bigger and better, providing the highest level of film industry development. Hosted by Sollywood Films, the film festival ran from the 21 until the 23 September at the Margate Hotel, extending to various Ugu Districts.
“I’m proud to say that I’m happy with the community response we received as well as the support from the Uzalo cast that came to ensure that our participants leave the festival with wealth of knowledge. The Ugu District Municipality, whom the festival could not have happened without their support, continues to be our pillar and we wish they continue with their amazing work of ensuring community development,” says Senzo Zindela Ugu Film Festival founder.
The three-day festival was packed with an amazing skills development menu which entailed high school programmes, panel discussions, workshops, and round-table discussions aimed at encouraging the production of films by linking writers, directors and producers. “I would do it again,” said Siyabonga Shibe from Uzalo when asked how he felt about the festival. Shibe added that for him the festival served as a platform to give back to the community, as “the contents of the workshops, engagements and the exercises that took place will stay in the participants’ minds for a long time as they build their careers.” Apart from Shibe, industry stars that attended the festival included Baby Cele, Dumisane Dlamini, Nokuthula Mabika, Nelisa Mchunu, Thembinkosi Thwala and Glen Gabela.
The documentary film Isivivane SeNkosi Ushaka produced in Port Shepstone is the tangible results of this event. “This is testament that our efforts are indeed bearing fruits,” added Zindela. The film, which stars Ntokozo Ndlela and Nosipho Mbhele as main cast, centres on the late King Shaka’s trek to the then Mpondoland to battle King Faku and how on his way he made a stop in Port Shepstone.
The next installment of the Annual Ugu Film Festival will take place in September 2019. For more information about the festival, visit their website.