The winners of the eighth annual Adventure Film Challenge (AFC) have just been announced. The challenge asks aspiring and professional filmmakers across the nation to get creative, capture their most epic adventure moments and submit their films for the chance to shine on a global stage.
With the beautiful South African landscape as the backdrop, local filmmakers are encouraged to take to the skies, seas, streets, mountains or terrains for the chance to showcase their talents alongside other international adventure filmmakers at the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival, one of the largest mountain festivals in the world.
Odile Hufkie, marketing manager of Cape Union Mart, says, “South Africans have proven to be a resilient bunch, while the beauty of our country cannot be overstated enough. At Cape Union Mart, we are passionate about the outdoors and nurturing up-and-coming talent in South Africa. This makes the AFC the perfect opportunity to get local filmmakers recognised to a wider audience and show off our incredible country as a top adventure destination.”
Taking place on 4 and 5 November 2021, the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival will be screened virtually, giving adventure enthusiasts the opportunity to watch the official screening from the comfort of their homes. “Cape Union Mart is bringing the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival to South Africa for the 17th year,” says Hufkie.
“The festival attracts some of the world’s best filmmakers and accomplished outdoor heroes to celebrate adventure, the environment, mountain culture and the outdoors through film. This exposure and recognition help South African filmmakers get their message across, share their stories and have their voices heard.”
Inspired by South Africa
For this opportunity to be showcased on a global stage, local filmmakers, adventurers, and athletes were encouraged to capture and celebrate the country’s thriving outdoor culture as well as the spirit of adventure in two categories - Aspiring and Professional.
Luke Apteker, a self-proclaimed ‘thirty-something-year-old-fish-for-brains filmmaker”, raced into first place in the Professional Category for ‘Bring It’, a hilarious spin on pizza delivery in Cape Town. Apteker credits the hard work of pizza delivery guys during lockdown as the inspiration for his film.
He says, “During the lockdown, I spent my days watching Friends reruns, doing puzzles and eating excessive amounts of pizza. I couldn’t help but think that pizza delivery guys deserve more credit. I called up my friends at Butterfly Films, as well as SA’s most talented man on two wheels, Theo Erlangsen, and Bring It was born. The next week we were running around with cameras and bikes to create something unapologetically silly in the hopes of delivering smiles at a time when they were most needed.”
An adventure enthusiast by nature, Apteker enjoys everything from mountain climbing to mountain biking and taking solo trips on the back of his motorcycle. “The allure of the outdoors and adventure gets me excited. The rush of doing something that scares me is what inspires and drives me to be better and do more.”
Zandile Ndhlovu, scooped the top spot in the Aspiring category with ‘A World Unimagined’. It tells the inspiring story of growing up from Ndhlovu’s point of view. “My story morphs across different cultures, but the opening scene is incredibly important as it reveals my tradition and where I have found a home in ways unimaginable. My journey embraces breaking past all the fears I’ve ever known to find a place to exist in this world.”
She continues, “I want to inspire people to do the unthinkable and just dive in, whether into literal water or metaphorically. I also wanted to create the needed representation for ocean preservation while actively seeking to expand the idea of who an explorer or adventurer is, not only as a woman but as a black woman.”
For the winning entry, Apteker received R10,000 as well as Cape Union Mart K-Way gear to the value of R5,000, with Ndhlovu walking away with R5,000 worth of K-Way gear for her Aspiring entry.
This year’s submissions were judged on storyline, creativity, originality, visual composition and technical execution, along with editing, sound, music and overall impression. Hufkie had only good things to say about this year’s submissions. “They were incredible. We were amazed by the ingenuity and creativity of our South African talent and are so inspired by what they achieved. The independent judging panel was blown away by the calibre of entries. They should all be proud of themselves.”