What to expect at Garden Route Film Festival 

Cornelle Carstens, Deon Lensing, Karen Grey
Published: August 2nd, 2023

What to expect at the 5th Garden Route Film Festival taking place 3 – 6 August 2023

Venue The Diaz Hotel, Mossel Bay

Plett Tourism is a proud member of the Garden Route Film Commission (GRFC) and is pleased to support the Garden Route International Film Festival (GRIFF).  Plettenberg Bay has hosted a number of film and television crews and the festival aims to promote awareness of the destination for location shoots in addition to upskilling local businesses to provide services to the film industry while on location.

Have you always been interested in learning more about the film industry? Have you always dreamed of working in the film industry, whether as an actor, stuntman/woman, cameraman/woman, location scout, director, producer, or screenwriter or are you interested in film tourism, working with drones or the art department?

Then the Garden Route International Film Festival is for you!

This annual celebration of creative expression, education, new technologies and media in the film industry is not to be missed! What’s even more exciting is that many of these workshops can be found are FREE and ticketed events are affordable, giving everyone the opportunity to learn and discover what’s going on behind the scenes of film and film tourism, as well as the opportunity to educate themselves and reach for the stars!


With representatives from over 30 countries, GRIFF supports emerging and established filmmakers worldwide and encourages community participation and learning through innovation.

The live event includes workshops and seminars, as well as many opportunities to meet and share, while the online option provides access to some podcasts and seminars, as well as streaming video.

The youth programme, industry programme and workshops are mostly free, and guest speakers include a number of experts and enthusiasts from South Africa and overseas. We are super excited to be having the award-nominated Hollywood actor Hakeem Kae-Kazim attending GRIFF this year.

Picture: Supplied Hollywood Actor Hakeem Kae-Kazim attending GRIFF this year.
Picture: Supplied Hollywood Actor Hakeem Kae-Kazim attending GRIFF this year.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn from these film industry trailblazers.


Industry Programme

Guest speakers include:

  • Lala Tuku – Sabc Head of Local Productions Video Entertainment
  • Desiree Tan – Commissioning Editor – Premium Channels M-Net
  • Quentin Krog – Commissioning Editor | Premium Channels – Scripted Content | M-Net
  • Brent Leo- Smith – CEO & Co-Founder of Painted Dog Tv Topic: The Benefits of Virtual Travel in Tourism and Conservation.
  • Dominic Taylor – Associate Director – Ginkgo Agency and Beautiful News
  • James Byrne – Co-Founding Director | International Tourism Film Festival Africa Topic for Industry Program: Film Tourism / Content Creation on The Run
  • Janet Pillai – CEO Multilayer Trade Corporation Topic: Tourism and Film.
  • Azania Muendane – Founder | Locations Africa Topic: Marketing Locations
  • Jp Lieveaux – Professional Location Scout Marketing and Promotions Manager |
  • Loren Pavitt – Capenature Topic: Natural Cinematic Wonders: Exploring Capenature’s Stunning Locations
  • Maggie Mutangiri – CEO & Founder of Travel Africa Network
  • Monica Rorvik Head: Film and Media Promotion Unit – Wesgro
  • Patrick Walton – Chairman – Garden Route Film Commission the Garden Route – Endless Possibilities
  • Sphesihle Dlamini – Location and Facilities Specialist
  • Operations & Strategy / Public Officer – Writer’s Guild of South Africa
  • Thea Aboud – Publicity Manager | Freelance Ernst Swart Topic: PR Is a Thinking Game!
  • Lisa Mini – Project Manager – Film and Media Production Unit | Wesgro Founding Owner – Towerkop Creations
  • Uga Carlini – Topic: Through the Lens: Unveiling Heroines – A Candid Journey into The World of Female Driven Filmmaking.
  • Doné Louw Manager – Nmb Convention Bureau Manager | Edta
  • Topic: Nelson Mandela Bay Locations – Something New
  • Songezo Boyisi – Investment Specialist – Eastern Cape Development Corporation Topic: How to Access Eastern Cape Film Investment Fund
  • Elani Pretorius -Director and Coach – Ace Models Mosselbay & George
  • Nerusha Maharaj-Sadapal – City Producer – 48 Hour Film Project

Youth Programme

Picture: Grenwille Jae Jantjies a young man from the small town of Heidelberg in the Western Cape whose life completely transformed when he attended just one workshop
Picture: Grenwille Jae Jantjies, a young man from the small town of Heidelberg in the Western Cape, whose life completely transformed when he attended just one workshop
  • It’s Time to Make Your Dream Come True with This Year’s Youth Programme!
  • Learn The Skills to Make You Employable in The Global Film & Television Industry.
  • Our Practical Approach Will Prepare You for The Rigors of The Industry and Challenge You to Go Out to Create.

Drone workshop

CEO & Film Producer | Skypixels


Topic: Drones: Revolutionizing Industries and Capturing Unique Perspectives

Postproduction for film

Director and Owner – Little Brother Media Productions


Summary: In this session, Petri gives participants in the youth program an introduction to POSTPRODUCTION.

Stunts – Sword Fighting for the Movies


FOUNDER – istunt Academy

Summary: Basic course on sword fighting for action sequences in films.

Acting for the camera


Soap Actor / Acting Coach

Studying film at afda


COO – AFDA (The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance)

Introduction to Scriptwriting

Part-time Trainer | Writers Guild of South Africa


Summary: In this workshop session students will get a crash course in scriptwriting while writing their own short script.

Critical Industry Skills and Job Opportunities

Industry Training and Development Manager – NFVF


Summary: A discussion on critical skills to learn for success in the film job market.

Creative film making

Director – Garden Route Film Commission


Summary: Over the course of the GRIFF, 10 selected candidates from age groups 16 to 20 with different backgrounds and NO EXPERIENCE will form experimental film crews.

The Fundamentals of Storytelling

Director and Owner – Lwazi Duma Entertainment


Introduction to Digital Filmmaking

Operations Manager – Panavision South Africa


Movie showings

The Garden Route International Film Festival will include top-notch movies in a variety of genres, supplying pure fun for moviegoers.

There is something for everyone, including documentaries, dramas, experimental, feature films, music, sci-fi, short, and student films.  Do a movie marathon after buying a day pass for as little as R75. Please share your favourite movies with us, as they could win at The Garden Route International Film Festival.

Check the schedule of the tickets.

Green Carpet Occasions

For the opening and closing nights of The Garden Route International Film Festival, walk the green carpet. It’s time to get fancy and mingle.

Dress is Black Tie, and the ticket price includes admission to the movie and wine tasting on the opening or closing nights.



“Ag pleez Deddy won’t you take us to the drive-in”.

Join us at the Drive-In at Diaz Beach for the following movies. Entry is R100 per car.

  • Ticket to Paradise
  • Marry Me
  • Puss in Boots
  • RIPD 2: Rise of the Dammed

Dates and times are available on our website programme at www.gardenrouteinternationalfestival.com.

Themed Evenings

We have the following themed evenings that are not to be missed.

Music of the Movies

Music of the Movies Quiz with prizes to be won!

Join us for film, A Star is Born, preceded by a Wine tasting and “Music of the Movies” featuring a selection of songs from classic movies. Enjoy some of the most beautiful songs ever written for film, performed acoustically to please your appreciative ear.

Denim and Diamonds

Dress up according to the theme – there is a prize for best dressed.

Join us for the screening of a cult classic, Footloose, preceded by a wine tasting and local acoustic artist Marius de Bruin performing some of Niel Diamond’s most classic hits.

Platters can be ordered in advance from Diaz Hotel by emailing Ann gm@bahiableu.co.za.

Virtual Garden Route International Film Festival

Are you not in the Garden Route area? No problem as The Garden Route International Film Festival even has a virtual movie pass giving you access to watch all the movies from the comfort of your home for the duration of the festival.

It’s almost time for Lights, Camera, and Action, so we hope to see you there.

Go to www.gardenrouteinternationalfestival.com for more information and to sign up or buy your tickets. For more information, contact Belinda at admin@knysnafestivals.co.za  074 456 2253.

Article featured image: From left to right: Cornelle Carstens, Deon Lensing, Karen Grey