Mossel Bay hosts the Garden Route International Film Festival which highlights local film productions. The organizers also want to market the area as a film destination. The Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (WESGRO) is supporting the event to help drive industry growth, post-COVID-19.
Home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the country, the Garden Route is an ideal location for filmmakers. With several local and international productions under its belt, the industry has slowed down during COVID but is slowly making a comeback.
“It’s about rejuvenating and bringing back those people who were filming on the Garden Route and letting them know that the environment has changed again. So we encourage people to come and see the places. Since August last year, we have made direct investments of R27 million in films and we have very good expectations for the end of the year, around R40 million in production,” said the director. of the festival, Patrick Walton.
Local youth also benefit from learning various skills in the industry.
“What we do is we develop their skills at no cost to make films in a way that we as creatives can. Because sometimes we have professionals who do it with professional material, but what we do is empower young people so that they can use all the material they have to tell their story,” says Calvin Claassen of the Garden Route Film Commission.
With their horror flick already gaining momentum on streaming platforms, some filmmakers were thrilled to be part of the festival.
“We are very happy to be here. We are taking the film on the festival circuit. It’s been performed at various festivals around the world and having any local festival show our work is one of the highlights and being able to attend in person…this place is really cool, amazing,” says the writer and director of The Domestic, Brad Katzen. .
A true story about farmers and climate change also hit home.
“I have a very positive reaction because a lot of people didn’t expect to see this style of film told in this way because most documentaries are very informative. But this one has a very personal and intimate journey through a farmer from Lesotho coming to South Africa to learn modern farming methods,” explains director: Lesotho Lwazi Duma. Lesotho.
More than sixty films will be screened indoors and outdoors until this weekend.
VIDEO: Mossel Bay hosts the Garden Route International Film Festival