Bokeh Festival founder and MD Adrian Lazarus.
Bokeh Festival founder and MD Adrian Lazarus.
Pearl Thusi is the official face of the Cape Town International Film Festival. Picture supplied
Pearl Thusi is the official face of the Cape Town International Film Festival. Picture supplied
PEARL Thusi continues to cement her superstar status. The international actress and media personality was recently revealed as the first face of the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival, on at the V&A Waterfront from October 12 to 21.

Formerly known as the Cape Town and Winelands International Film Festival, the event is now in its 10th year, with this being the first year that organisers have appointed an ambassador.

In an interview with Weekend Argus Thusi said, “I am bringing some of the experience I got when I was abroad. I am bringing also the narrative of the African artist. ”

Organisers of the festival say the actress, who has made a name for herself in the hit US series Quantico, embodies the “upward trajectory” they foresee for the festival.

“I want to play a very strong role in making South African film and African film at large become part of the international landscape,” Thusi said.

“For me that is very important, it’s part of the legacy I want to leave and these are some of the first steps I am taking to build a stronger pillar towards that legacy,”

The festival is a collaborative effort in partnership with the City of Cape Town, Wesgro and the festival board.

Their aim is to create a festival that not only celebrates the art of film, but also presents an active trading platform for local and international film industry stakeholders.

Festival director Leo van der Merwe said while there had been a disappointing number of South African film entries, similar film festivals in South Africa should be concerned.

Comparing the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival to the Durban International Film Festival and the Joburg Film Festival, Van der Merwe said: “I don’t want to belittle the other film festivals but, once the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival has been on the ground it will blow them out of the ground. They will be astonished with what is happening here in Cape Town.”

He said the festival had received nine feature films, 11 documentaries and just over 30 short films to screen.

Meanwhile, organisers of Bokeh 2018 are gearing up for the next instalment of the International Fashion Film Festival.

Bokeh now incorporates a series of structured monthly showcase events across South Africa, leading up to the gala events in April 2018.

The mini- festivals promise to deliver interaction between industry insiders, invited guests, VIPs, film-makers, fashion designers, media and invited Bokeh fans.

The 10 planned hub events are all part of the lead-up to the grand finale in 2018, when two gala events will be hosted in Cape Town and Johannesburg, a week apart.

“The 101 event is to make us relevant the whole year around,” Adrian Lazarus, founder and managing director of the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South Africa International Fashion Film Festival, said.

“It’s not that we are not relevant, it’s just that I feel out of sight is out of mind. So by having smaller events more often we can get to more people and more people have the opportunity to engage with us,” Lazarus said.

Following this year’s date clash with the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town 2017, Lazarus said it was not fair to the public.

Day one of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town 2017 came to an abrupt end as shows were called off due to strong winds.

As a result, the fashion week rescheduled for the same weekend as Bokeh.

“As one of Mercedes-Benz’s big events of the year we had pre-booked our date probably six, seven months in advance just to make sure they are not launching any cars, we don’t clash with fashion week. It was really unfortunate that two weeks before our event fashion week got blown off the field at Camps Bay. The fact they they rescheduled on to our weekend, when I say it did not faze us, it did not faze us,” Lazarus said.

“People got to understand, when Bokeh comes to town it is so well liked, it is a cool platform - people really like it.

“We are always fresh and different I think we have a loyal following who look forward to Bokeh every year.

“The fact that fashion week would move and be on the same weekend as us, it wasn’t as much of a challenge for us as I believe it might have been them.

“We were full, people loved it. We had fashionistas, we were packed and we had 650 guests a night.”

Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South Africa International Fashion Film Festival is scheduled for April 6 and 7, 2018 in Cape Town, and April 13 and 14, 2018 in Johannesburg.