Sunday 22 February 2015

Mercedes-Benz BOKEH Fashion Film Festival - Cape Town, South Africa

Hi Guys,

The Fashion Film is the hottest new marketing genre pioneered by fashion icons such as Carl Lagerfeld, Bruce Webber and David Simms. It is fast gaining traction with top fashion houses, brand and sponsors as a way of exposing their brand and new ranges to a global audience while encouraging the viewer to engage with the DNA behind the fashion label.

Founder of Africa’s Bokeh Fashion Film Festival, Adrian Lazarus has made his initial dream a reality. His first festival which was held in Cape Town last year proved to be a resounding success resulting in international acclaim and a massive submission of new entrants eager to gain access to this dynamic showcasing platform. The audience connects with the film on an emotional level, giving personal relevance to the brand and deepening the level of engagement, and it is for this reason that Mercedes-Benz has again aligned itself with the event.

“Mercedes-Benz lays great importance on the support of local and international fashion platforms and the promotion of young designers. We support various initiatives in the fashion world and we are always looking forward to seeing the latest collections from all the exciting young and established designers showing at our Fashion Weeks. As our involvement with fashion is a central component of our lifestyle marketing activities, the Mercedes-Benz brand partnership with the Bokeh Fashion Film Festival plays an important role in highlighting our presence in the world of fashion and film. Fashion and automobiles are actually quite closely linked and design and image are pivotal to the success of both automobile and fashion brands.  Our customers are highly fashionable and their automobiles are an extension of their lifestyle,” says Selvin Govender, Marketing Director, Mercedes-Benz Cars.

As the creative hub of sub Saharan Africa, Cape Town is the perfect city to host Africa's Mercedes-Benz Bokeh Fashion Film Festival. The city is already a top destination for fashion shoots and a prime location for international film crews with a wealth of local talent in both the fashion and film industries. This event provides the opportunity to align these two thriving industries in the city.

Lazarus comments, “We have now created an annual event that holds its own on the international fashion film festival calendar alongside the La Jolla, Madrid, Miami, San Francisco and Berlin Fashion Film Festivals. The festivals provide a platform for both local and international up and coming talent to showcase their films on the same stage as established international brands like Chanel, Prada, Dior, Gucci, Yves St Laurent and Givenchy who have all embraced the genre and have had tremendous success with their films going viral on the internet. We have been inviting International and local film submissions and look forward to what can only be yet again an incredible platform to showcase these focused masterpieces. Films need to be edited to between 1 and 15 minutes and span the themes of fashion, beauty, chic brands and products, lifestyle and current trends.”

An international panel of experts from both the fashion and film industries will judge the submissions; these judges comprise film directors, fashion magazine editors, designers, stylists, fashion bloggers, brand managers and art directors. They will each bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise from their respective fields, ensuring all the stringent criteria are met in the judging process. The winning films in each category will then be showcased over the two Red Carpet ”Oscar Style” screenings on 27th  and 28th  March.

A pop-up retail space, this year offers the fashionistas the opportunity to purchase garments as well as meet the local and International designers personally. “Fashions films create a narrative that captures the ethos of the brands identity.” Bryan Ramkilawan: CEO Cape Town Fashion Council (CTFC). The CTFC Designer Pop-Up, which will be located in the library of the 15 on Orange Hotel, will be open from 12h00 – 17h00 and 18h00 – 20h00 on both the 27th and 28th of March.

This year the thriving festival will be held at the trendy 5 star African Pride Hotel – 15 on Orange Hotel in the heart of the Cape Town CBD. 15 on Orange is renowned for being home to international business travelers, film industry moguls and international models, with Group Marketing Manager Nicholas Barenblatt commenting, “African Pride is an urban lifestyle brand which engages with a target market ranging from millennial’s to ‘forever young’ baby boomers.  The brand has always been known for its experiential, energetic brand experience which is expressed through the service culture that the staff deliver, the food and beverage concepts, the creativity of the physical design and the social happenings that occur within the hotel spaces.  We therefore have an appreciation for the elements such as Fashion, Film, Creativity, Lifestyle and Social happenings which is expressed and celebrated by the Fashion Film Festival; hence this having good alignment with our brand.”   

“With Hisense cutting edge technology and fashionability, Bokeh Fashion Film Festival was the perfect visual platform to collaborate with. Especially with our ultra-high definition TV’s and tablets that enable 4k playback, it made perfect sense to align ourselves with this collection showcase, where fashion meets film.”
Hisense Brand Manager: Ryan Curling.

Other prestigious, high-end sponsors include global fashion news leaders – Fashion-One TV, MAC cosmetics, GHD Hair Care, Sunglass Hut and premium drinks brand - RGBC. Craig Dore’ Marketing Director RGBC comments, ”There is good synergy and alignment between the progressive art of Bokeh films and our really great brand portfolio of premium and deluxe spirits. We strive to be innovative with our marketing to ensure our brands remain relevant with consumers but we also need to engage them in non-traditional marketing channels, like at Mercedes-Benz Bokeh Fashion Film Festival”.

This festival will have a positive and far-reaching legacy. It will once again be a spectacular showcase for the South African fashion and film industries, exposing both to an international market, putting them front and center on the world stage of this emerging genre. Local and international up and coming filmmakers will receive tremendous exposure both in traditional media and on social media platforms as the hype around the festival gains digital traction. For more information on the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh Fashion Film Festival go to:

Awards: The highlight of the three-day festival will be the “Oscar Style” Award ceremony. Of all the films submitted five will be nominated in each category. The categories being:
Best Hair + Make Up
Best Fashion
Best Cinematography – this year sponsored by Sunglass Hut
Best Music
Best Art Direction
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Director
Best Picture
Mercedes-Benz Star Award - Mercedes Benz, will be hosting their own special category, with details being announced on our website in the upcoming days. The winner of this category receives a cash award of US$10 000-00 from Mercedes-Benz. Selected VIP guests and celebrities have been dressed by Jenni Button and Hilton Weiner of The Platinum Group for the red carpet event.

Looking forward to the event whenever it happens in Johannesburg as launch event happened in Cape Town and I was not a part of the same. 

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