The 4th Annual Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South African International Fashion Film Festival – Adrian Lazarus On what Inspires Him.


The Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South African International Fashion Film Festival is one of the most creative and glamorous events in the world. In it’s 4th year the event promises to be bigger, better and ever the more Inspiring in the fashion films that the festival is based on.

We had an interview with Founder and Managing Director Adrian Lazarus on what this year’s event has to offer, advice to young filmmakers and why Bokeh is the Fashion event of the year.

adrian-lazarus-founder-managing-director-of-mercedes-benz-bokeh-sa-international-fashion-film-festivalThe Reel Nthabiseng: The prestigious Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South African International Fashion Film Festival will be taking place on the 7th and 8th April 2017. How does Cape Town add to the allure and attraction of the festival?

Adrian Lazarus: As a native Capetonian I am so proud of this city. I love showing our international guests the beauty and magic that surrounds Cape Town. By holding the Gala Event in Cape Town, I am able to not only show off the beauty, but because it’s my home, I am able to give the audience an amazing experience using local knowledge and connections. That said, it’s our intention to split the 2018 Gala Event between Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2018 and make the festival more accessible to the rest of South Africa!

TRN: I attended last year’s event for the first time, I must say it was such a lovely and memorable affair. I could feel and tell there was so much love and passion put into the glamorous event. It’s testament that creativity is limitless in fusing fashion and film through the fashion film festival. What are a few things you would like this year’s attendees to take away?

AL: As part of the Bokeh experience, it’s most important that when you leave, you are first and foremost INSPIRED! Inspired to create your own work, inspired to create beauty in your next project and to spread it with the world.

Secondly we hope to get our fans to collaborate. We try to get the youth to embrace the idea of working with many different like-minded creatives in various other disciplines. The more they mix and collaborate the more opportunity they will create for themselves.

And thirdly we hope that agencies and clients will see the medium of Fashion Film as an avenue to be exploring as they try to connect with consumers and fans of their brands. Marketing a brand has become more about experience and connection with the brand. It’s become less about the direct sale, and more of a way to share the essence and lifestyle of the brand.

TRN: The event is very inspiring, how are you inspired by the films?

AL: I am exposed to the over 500 submissions we get yearly and while some are clearly look books for a brand with very little imagination other than trying to get every garment shown in 90 seconds, many are very inspiring and deliver great narrative and superb visual imagery. Some are so good in fact, they make me want to sell my cameras and move to a sheep farm in the Karoo!

TRN: A piece of advice for future Fashion Film entrants?

AL: Keep it short (between 90 seconds and 3 minutes). Keep it beautiful, and make sure there is a narrative.Create small stories before you create the visual imagery. Collaborate with your peers and share ideas. Lastly if it’s going to be bad, make it so terrible that its never forgotten – some might even say its art!

TRN: This year the Film Festival will be hosted at the flagship Mercedes-Benz dealership in Century City, Cape Town. What can we expect this time around?

AL: Well apart from the Officially Selected and Nominated films, the Sold Out Master Classes and Exhibits from Fashion Revolution, Cape Town Fashion Council, Organic Canvass, Adobe, Einat Dan, Fashion designers from Bulgaria, Live Music and the beautiful Mercedes-Benz vehicles – we are also hosting Gothic Couture: the South African International Creative Make Up and Body Art Championship from mid day on Saturday the 8th April. Seating for the daytime conference is fully booked with only standing room available.

Entry to the festival is free. The night-time Gala Event and Award Show has been fully booked since January!image-for-the-gothic-couture-sa-international-creative-make-up-and-body-art-championships-by-einat-dan-and-josh-brandao


2016 Winner for best Directed short film Motheo Moeng. ‘INSPIRE’ is the word that represents this festival. Totally dig it.

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