Fashion and film have always gone hand in hand. Whether it’s the elaborate costumes used in movies or the dapper tuxes and gorgeous gowns on the red carpet, the relationship between the two has been going strong for decades. So it only makes sense that the genre of fashion film emerged as both industries grew. For those of you who are not quite sure what a fashion film is, it is essentially brand videos that showcase collections in a very fashionable way.


Think about those high end fashion editorials you see in magazines, only it’s done in film form rather than just photography. It’s a different way to experience fashion, clothing or a brand and it’s on the rise in South Africa, largely thanks to the Mercedes Benz Bokeh Fashion Film Festival. This week, the V&A Waterfront will be hosting the third Bokeh Film Festival where you get to see the very best fashion film has to offer, both internationally and locally.

We caught up with the founder and managing director of Bokeh Film Festival, Adrian Lazarus, to find out more about the event and fashion film.


Where did your interest in fashion film begin?

As a producer of photographic stills on international fashion shoots in Cape Town, I was exposed to the most inspiring fashion and talent for many years. When I decided to start shooting video, it was at a time when a “Behind the Scenes” was the norm. Over the past 8 years it has developed into a more sought after genre and most photoshoots are now briefed with a video element. To be able to shoot around the world in beautiful locations is a dream career.

 Bokeh Fashion Film Week is now it’s third year, how has this event grown since its inception?

We have grown both in the entertainment provided, the total experience offered, the numbers of people who attend and the volume of press that’s created for the festival! This year we had over 500 submissions. The standard just gets better each year. We are firmly established on the South African Fashion and Film calendar as the event to be at. The Red Carpet evenings are fabulous and this years event will be the best yet!


 How has fashion film week up’ed its game from last year?

As I mentioned the submissions are up from last year, and by this I mean in numbers and in quality. The standard is so high – I am very proud of the offering this year.

 Since introducing Fashion Film week, how has fashion film grown locally? Are you seeing more of an interest in the field? 

Yes we are – the local films are great. There are a few exceptional local film makers out there, and their work is world class. One of them , Meja Shoba has produced two pieces we are showing and they have a very African feel  to them.

 How many submissions did you get this year, and how were films selected to be in the festival?

We had over 500 films submitted from 41 countries. Our office went through the films and sorted the good from the bad. Thereafter, by process of committee, the nominations and selections are chosen. The nominations are then sent to the judging panel of 20 jurors around the world. They vote and choose the winners.


 What makes a winning fashion film?

A film that has a compelling narrative, is short, is relevant and to the point will always be a great film. When you mix that with beautiful footage you have a winner!

 What are you most excited for people to see at this years event? 

We invested a lot of time in our fashion installations this year, as well as on the quality of the speakers attending. I am looking forward to Einat Dan doing her Make Up courses as well as the 3D printed clothing range from ModeClix in the UK. Also on the bill is Catherine Scorey, Head of Women’s wear at TED BAKER – should be very informative.

 What does fashion film week mean to you and to the industry?

I think that this festival offers filmmakers like myself a wonderful platform to show the world recent work, and also offers agencies and clients the opportunities to take in the best Fashion Films in the world. The increase in fashion films shot in South Africa will only mean more jobs and opportunities for young film makers and the businesses that feed into the genre. By having this global festival here keeps us current and on top of trends occurring out there.


When Friday 22 April 2016 at 10 am – 5 pm and Saturday 23 April at 10 am – 4:30 pm
Where Avenue Cape Town, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront (between the One & Only CT and Aquarium) (map)
Cost Free but registration is required at Eventbrite
Contact +27 82 973 4673, +27 82 824 4555, [email protected],

Photography courtesy Bokeh South African Fashion Film Festival 

Article written by

We love this place! Cape Town Etc features news, reviews, entertainment and lifestyle in the Mother City.