WATCH: This short film captures SA heritage storytelling at its best

2017-09-08 13:30 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Picture: screencrab

Cape Town - With September celebrated as Heritage and Tourism Month, South African Tourism's new brand film captures a story of an inspiring, colourful and warm country at its best.

The 10-minute inspirational short film – directed by South African filmmaker, Teboho Mahlatsi alongside up and coming photographer and Instagram sensation, Hloni Coleman - was shot across South Africa and tells the story of Bheki, a young Mbhaco maker from rural Eastern Cape, who travels the country in search of inspiration for uMbhaco – a traditional Xhosa wedding gown, with a modern twist.

SEE: #SAHeritage: SA's diverse cultural traditions unpacked

Released fittingly on Friday, September 1, the start of Tourism Month on South African Tourism’s YouTube channel, the film showcases Bheki during his travels, where he meets people who welcome him with warm smiles while he samples all of what the many varied cultures have to offer.

While he comes across plenty of inspiration for his Mbhaco, he also meets a country teeming with an array of places to visit, unforgettable experiences and warm, culturally rooted people who leave an indelible impression on him.

Watch film below:

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According to Chief Marketing Officer of South African Tourism, Margie Whitehouse, this is the effect South Africa has on visitors.

"From the people that Bheki meets along his journey, to the sights and sounds he delights in whilst in cities or the wilderness, his journey mirrors that of every visitor who has come to South Africa and experiences our country in all of its glory.”  

“South Africa is in a prime position to grow the tourism sector through real inclusive growth, and catapult the country out of its economic slump. This is a sector that can grow and contribute substantially to inclusive growth through a showcase of heritage, art and culture – assets we already own.

"This is the industry that is most open to innovation making it a perfect environment for small business owners and entrepreneurs from all fields to succeed,” says Whitehouse.

During the making of the film, according to South African Tourism, the commitment was to nurture local talent by commissioning local film experts and thought leaders to bring the concept to life. 

Other local names who contributed was renowned South African fashion designer, Maria McCloy, local band, African Rhythm, Laduma Ngxokolo of MaXhosa designs and Black Motion who scored the music.

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Whitehouse say for a film about South Africa, especially one which is rooted in culture, it is best to bring people in whom can creatively execute the concept within the respectful parameters of our culture. 

"It was important for South African Tourism to allow South Africans to express their own interpretation of the country and to contribute to the varying narratives that encapsulate its unique qualities, to be to be viewed across the continent and the rest of the world,” says Whitehouse.  

'South Africans telling their own story of their country'

The film is now also available on digital and social media platforms as well as selected international television platforms.

To support the film elements, short and long form content pieces will be placed on the website to correlate with the film’s story line.

In the spirit of partnerships and collaborative efforts, the content will be available to aid members of the tourism trade to gain destination information along with a rich image bank for future use.