Amid pandemic gloom, an event that celebrates creativity, positivity and further intensifies the desire to explore the world in the post-COVID phase. The 2021 award ceremony of International Tourism Film Festival Africa (ITFFA) organised at the Labia Theatre in Gardens, Cape Town, on May 28 2021, was a splendid affair.
“With 865 entries from 97 countries, of which a quarter were African, the competition was fierce. As COVID-19 caused numerous logistical challenges it made sense to combine the Afro-centric version of our event with the International one this year,” says Caroline Ungersbock, co-founder and director of the ITFFA.
The German production “White Angels of Camargue – Europe’s Last Cowboys”, produced by Dennis Schmelz, was elected by the International Jury as the GRAND PRIX DOC ITFFA 2021. The film presents the exuberant beauty of the Camargue delta, a region in the South of France where cowboys and wild white horses live in perfect harmony with the nature that surrounds them.
In the African Competition, the commercial “Because South Africa”, produced by the WWP Group for South African Tourism, was distinguished with the GRAND PRIX AFRICA ITFFA 2021. With vibrant images and a strong message, the film reinforces a feeling of unity and hope for a near future when people will be able to experience again all that South Africa has to offer.
In the International Competition, “Seek Different”, produced by KWP! and Zoom Film TV for Tourism Northern Territory, brilliantly achieved its second consecutive Grand Prix at the CIFFT Circuit, being chosen as the GRAND PRIX ITFFA 2021. The film, which also won the Diamond Award in The Golden City Gate (ITB) 2021, inspires domestic travellers to experience the region’s uniqueness.
Countries including Australia, Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Malawi, Mexico, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, and many more are amongst this year winners. The two-day ITFFA 2021 festival kicked off with a series of educational and thought-provoking Masterclasses at the V&A Waterfront on Thursday 27 May, facilitated by noteworthy industry experts and top content creators.
The entries were evaluated by International Jury, which brought together renowned professionals from audio-visual Production, marketing, and tourism fields. As president of the Jury is FC Hamman, an award-winning Director of Cinematography and Drone Specialist who has worked for the biggest brands in the film and television industry such as Universal, Disney, the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and Netflix, among others.
In addition to the closing ceremony, the festival program included an insightful master class hosted by FC Hamman, Senzelwe Mthembu, Neo Mokuene and Refiloe Chakela-Gava, dedicated to tourism promotion through video.
James Byrne, co-director of the ITFFA added, “Tourism is a topic that is possibly the best suited for video marketing, as its very essence is about visual storytelling. Our objective for this year in particular was to carry a message of hope and encouragement during a time when it is so needed”.
The ITFFA, founded in 2019, is hosted in cooperation with the International Tourism Film Festivals Committee (CIFFT). CIFFT’s partnership with the ITFFA is their first official backing of such an event on the African continent; their core mission since 1989 has been to reward excellence in travel video marketing by encouraging tourism destinations to achieve the excellence in promoting their products, services, and locations through digital storytelling.
Says Alexander V. Kammel, CIFFT Director, “More than 3500 films compete each year for the title of the World’s Best Tourism Films. African countries are underrepresented. It is time to show that Africa is full of talented men and women to be presented to the global creative community. This is why CIFFT strongly supports the ITFFA initiative.”
“Lifetree Marketing & Media and Durban TV were instrumental partners in making this event the success that it was,” said both festival directors. A special mention of thanks to our jurors, as well as other partners and sponsors, BRICS TV, TV BRICS International Media Network, African Tourism Board, Africa Bran Summit, Wesgro, the National Film & Video Foundation of South Africa (NFVF), Cape Cobra Hire, the V&A Waterfront, The Peninsula Hotel, Blomendahl Winery & Distillery, Durbanville Hills, De Grendel Wines and Wonderland Villas.