By: Paballo Mosiane, The Follow Through Online Magazine
Even though the Arts & Culture industry in South Africa is one of the fastest growing industries in the country at the moment, many local artists still find it difficult to captivate and connect with the audience. Home-grown films in indigenous languages are rare to find and are seldom given a platform for exhibition. The vision of the Zulu Film & Food Arts Festival was to introduce original films that represent indigenous culture and languages to a wider audience.
The two-day event was hosted at the Wits Theatre and The Bioscope at the Maboneng Precinct in downtown Johannesburg on the 6th and 7th of December. Project Coordinator, Khosi Zulu, describes it as a“platform to communicate the news that these films exist. We hope that through this, a thriving industry will be created where the demand for local language films will be met by a supply of quality films produced locally.”
Hostesses clad in traditional Zulu outfits, trays and trays of traditional food and home-made African beer, added to the look and feel of the event. Guests were treated to isicathamiya music and dance on the opening night as well. The film festival was a celebration, amongst other things, of the heritage and cultural-diversity that is often forgotten and overlooked, especially a big city like Johannesburg.
More than ten short films, varying in genre, were exhibited over the two days, including the official first screening of the suspense-drama film, Sho’t Left about a cash heist involving a taxi owner of the same name. Stars from the film were available for taking pictures with fans and autograph-signing after the event.
The event was a huge success and promises to bring more local flavour in the years to come.