Fashion and Film: Centre stage for Cape Town

image from Idrian Lazarus 'Steam 1886'

image from Idrian Lazarus ‘Steam 1886″

The inaugural Mercedes-Benz Bokeh International Fashion Film Festival is set to reach African shores next month and Cape Town’s fashion-conscious crowd, film-makers and designers are in for a style infused three-day extravaganza.

Pioneered by the likes of fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, British
fashion photographer David Simms and film-maker and fashion photographer Bruce Weber, the festival is set to showcase the best of local film and fashion. The festival will be a first for the
continent, coinciding with the city’s appointment as World Design Capital 2014.

A similar event on a smaller scale will be held in Joburg this year.
During the three days, June 5-7, there will networking opportunities,
pop-up shops, inspiring talks and discussions by industry experts
ranging from advertising agencies to leading fashion designers such as David Tlale, Thula Sindi and Selfi. The designers will be showing their distinctive collections in motion pictures.

Picture by Ian Landsberg

Adrian Lazarus Picture by Ian Landsberg

Festival producer and film-maker Adrian Lazarus, pictured top, says the festival, targeting film and fashion students, as well as local and international industry experts, is set to position Cape Town as a fashion film capital with cities such as Berlin, New York and Madrid.

“Cape Town is the perfect city to host Africa’s first Fashion Film Festival as the city is already a hub for fashion shoots and a prime location for international film crews.”

“We also have a wealth of local talent in both fashion and film andthe festival is the opportunity to marry these two,” says Lazarus.

Fashion films are fast gaining popularity around the world with top fashion houses such as Chanel, Prada, Gucci and Givenchy using them to give their audiences insight into their creative processes.

Lazarus explains that fashion films are about two to three minutes long and are aimed at “enhancing the asset of the brand, where the audience gets to connect with the designer on an emotional level,
giving personal relevance to the brand”.
Most fashion films are then aired on social media networks, such as YouTube.
“People enjoy seeing something different. With fashion films you are not paying for advertising flighting times which can be  expensive.”

Lazarus is creator of the short fashion film ‘Steam 1886’ that won
Best Art Direction at the International Fashion Film Awards in Los Angeles; the Best Fashion Award in Miami, Florida; as well as The
Most Beautiful Object in South Africa award at the 2014 Design

Film-makers and directors are competing for the Mercedes-Benz
Award and have had to produce films of about 10 to 15 minutes that
best capture the essence of the iconic Mercedes-Benz through the
theme of Stories in a Mercedes- Benz. They had to capture themes of fashion, beauty, chic brands and products, lifestyle and trends. Their final products must feature day-in the-life-of style documentaries; behind-the-scenes on the set of top
fashion shoots; street-style coverage and look-book collections.

The winning film-maker will take about R52 000 in cash.
Lazarus says they’ve received about 11 000 entries from across the world, 10 percent of which are from South Africa. “Anyone can do a fashion film as long as they have a camera and a laptop,” he says.

The festival, to be held at the Crossley & Webb automotive showrooms in Wembley Square, is free and will be divided into day and night programmes. About 200 films will be screened during the day.
Invitations for film fashion submissions close today.
Fifty-two films will be shortlisted by a judging panel that includes film directors, fashion magazine editors, designers, stylists, fashion bloggers, brand managers and art directors.
The winning film will compete in the International Fashion Film
Awards in Hollywood in July and be screened at the Afrovibes Festival in the Netherlands this year.

This story was first published in the Cape Argus on the 1st of May 2014.

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