KZN South Coast set to enjoy non-stop film screenings and workshops at the 9th Ugu Film Festival

The much-anticipated 9th Ugu Film Festival, running in Port Shepstone from 23 to 26 September 2021, will feature dynamic local and international film screenings, talks and industry-driven workshops that give filmmakers and artists a platform to showcase their talent.


“The KZN South Coast has long been a key destination for local and international film production companies in search of natural assets and a hospital work environment,” explained Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT). “We’re excited to, once again, play host to the Ugu Film Festival which brings the film industry’s best talent to the region, and highlights why this continues to be a leading location for production companies.”


The 2021 Ugu Film Festival


Hosted by Zindela Pictures and supported by the National Film and Video Foundation (The NFVF), Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT), Saigon Cowboys Pictures, GS Bookings and Aroma Pictures, this year’s Ugu Film Festival will be a hybrid model with both a physical event and online version available. Organisers can accommodate a limited number of in-person attendees alongside its online format, in line with Covid-19 regulations.


“We remain grateful for the support from both the festival audiences and our partner stakeholders that constantly ensure that every year we host a festival that not only entertains its audiences through the screening of films, but uplifts and educates its audiences,” said Senzo Zindela, CEO at Zindela Pictures.

“This year we decided to use the hybrid model, as we believe that job creation should always be a part of the film value chain. With us being at a venue, we aim to give our youth the opportunity to experience and be physically involved in the hosting of the festival.”


The festival will feature talks that include, among others, script-writing, film regulation, policy and law industry, film financing, film production and distribution, as well as the art of film development and film funding. These will be offered by industry professionals including National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) representatives, internationally-acclaimed directors and producers, as well as representatives from the local Ray Nkonyeni Municipality. There will also be some significant feature films screened, including:


·         The Hell City directed by Tebogo Mmela and starring Patrick Shai (opening film)

·         Besekgreti directed by Siyabonga Zulu (closing film)

·         Anger Origin directed by Raphael Chilis Mhlongo

·         Minenhle directed by Happiness Mpase

·         uKhumbuzile directed by Sanele Ndlovu

·         Illusion directed by Sylvain Boayaga (Cameron)

·         Nyara directed by Ram Ally K, Cece Mlay (Tanzania)

·         After the Night with Valerie directed by Alex Garnett (United States)

·         Everything is False by Jean-Marie Villeneuve (France)


The KZN South Coast as a film destination


In addition to the annual Ugu Film Festival, the KZN South Coast attracts leading production companies, among them international film crews that visit every year to film the planet’s greatest biomass migration, the Sardine Run.


More recently, the KZN South Coast was chosen by Brandgen production company as the location for the filming of Season 2 of SABC 3’s, The Longest Date, in March this year. The popular reality television series follows the stories of 16 single South Africans as they embark on extreme adventures in this ultimate blind date. The featured filming included Lake Eland Game Reserve, Oribi Gorge Wild 5 Extreme Adventures, KwaXolo Caves, Aliwal Shoal, and Protea Banks, among others.


Tourists are even being given the chance to enjoy an authentic ‘The Longest Date’ experience through USCT’s exclusive hospitality package which visits these magnificent KZN South Coast locations (available at


The KZN South Coast remains a leading film destination for a number of reasons:


·   Ideal climate: Uninterrupted filming with year-round warm weather and sunshine.


·   Diverse aquatic locations: Two Marine Protected Areas at Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks, waterfalls, tidal pools, rivers, estuaries, lakes and dams.


·   Unique cultural attractions: KwaXolo Caves, Isivivane seNkosi uShaka, the KwaNzimakwe Multi-Trails, and Ntelezi Msani Heritage Site; the world’s smallest desert – Red Desert; age-old lighthouses and a shipwreck sites.


·  Diverse landscape: Indigenous coastal forests, Blue Flag beaches, 11 golf courses, nature and game reserves, parks, cliffs, gorges and valleys.


·  Wildlife: The Sardine Run and whale migration, bird and wildlife at game and nature reserves.

·  Ease of operations: Film-friendly municipal by-laws.


·     Ease of accessibility: The on-site Margate Airport, King Shaka Airport in nearby Durban and direct access to the N2.


·   Great accommodation: Everything from the budget-friendly self-catering units through to five-star resorts.


·   A proven track record: Filmmakers include Discovery, National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild, as well as feature filmmakers and television crews.


To discover more about the KZN South Coast, download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores, or visit Alternatively, visit the ‘South Coast Tourism’ Facebook page, or follow @infosouthcoast on Twitter.


To register and confirm attendance to the Ugu Film Festival, email to [email protected] and [email protected]. For more information, follow the ‘Ugu Film Festival’ Facebook or visit