Mandela International Film Festival to Drive Economy and Tourism in Eastern Cape
The Mandela International Film Festival set to take place in the Nelson Mandela Bay area in December 2015 will focus the world's film industry in South Africa and attract global interest, not just for the film industry, but also as a major tourism destination.
The festival will run from December 3rd - 12th 2015 and has already elicited excitement among stakeholders including Mandela International Film Festival Global Ambassador Dr. Maya Angelou; organizers of the Tribeca Film Festival; Byron Lewis, founder of Uniworld Group; and Producer David Selvan who has produced top grossing films with actors Tom Cruise and Danny Glover. The Nelson Mandela Bay area of the Eastern Cape offers not only an exceptional venue for the film industry but is also is part of a massive investment promotion strategy that includes a range of initiatives from infrastructure to manufacturing, tourism and agriculture.
"The time has come for...the Eastern Cape Province to showcase its capability of being the host of The Mandela International Film Festival and to be the film making destination of choice in South Africa", says Vuyo Zitumane, Chairperson of the Board, Adventure Province, Eastern Cape, Parks & Tourism Agency. "We have a diversity of unique and very beautiful attractions...ideal for filmmaking".
Tourism is a crucial part in helping strong economic growth in the Nelson Mandela Bay area and there has been a steady growth in the industry in terms of both local and international visitors, resulting in an average annual increase of approximately 10%.
Nelson Mandela Bay is gateway to the country's Sunshine Coast to its south and the Wild Coast to the north, offering an opportunity for attendees to see one of the gems of the South African coastline. This is 'Big Seven' country, where the great white shark and seasonal southern right whale may be viewed offshore and buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino may be enjoyed from the comfort of a luxury safari tour.
Nelson Mandela Bay is home to the world's highest commercial bridge bungee jump and the Otter Trail, while the Sundays River Valley is home to the world-famous Greater Addo Elephant National Park, a 120 000 hectare marine reserve and the Shamwari Game Reserve.
There is no shortage of accommodation in the area ranging from campsites, simple B&B's, safari camps, and boutique hotels to ultimate luxury resorts. The tourism infrastructure is well established and Nelson Mandela Bay Area is a mecca for adventure seekers. Quad biking over sand dunes, rubber ducking, jet-skiing, canoeing, surfing, paragliding, power-boating and shark cage diving to watch spectacular Great Whites close up are just a taste of what's available.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and its partners have committed to achieve and maintain an economic growth rate of between 3.5% to 8% per annum to obtain an annual job growth of 3.5% in order to cut the current unemployment by half; and to reduce, by 60%, the number of households living below the poverty line. The investment that The Nelson Mandela Film Festival will attract will undoubtedly help the region boost its economic progress.
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Source: Digital Journal - 29 April, 2014