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Theatre

Mama At Artscape Theatre

Chenal Kock in association with Vulture Productions and the Artscape Theatre Centre invites you to experience Mama at the Artscape Arena from 10 to 13 April 2019. Mama is a character-piece directed by Jeremeo Le Cordeur, showcased through poetry and physical theatre, choreographed by Alfonzo Freemantle and Yaseen Manuel, that focuses on the Afrikaaps dialect.

The character communicates through body language accompanied by musical performance poetry and spoken word by the “mixed but not fixed” creative artist, who portrays the character as a vessel to confront reality. The work fuses Mama’s physical confidence with Chenal’s vocal confidence in order to freely express herself. Her stories confront issues such as rebirth, language, cultural and self-exploration, freedom of expression and the state of being.

The production was adapted for the stage when Chenal and Jeremeo were selected to represent the Artscape Theatre Centre at a program called EVS (European Volunteer service), based in Liverpool in the UK. One of their tasks was to create a short piece that represented their country. “Chenal is passionate about physical theatre and poetry and I am a visual person who is passionate about directing and producing” says Jeremeo. “We tapped into our different art forms – and with our powers combined – Mama was born.”

Chenal explains: “This story is Important because it is based on my life experiences as an artist and woman of colour. I believe that the stories and poems explored within Mama are relatable. It comes from my experiences, from a place of authenticity and my sense of truth and that is something no one can take away from you, your story. “

The production showcased a 30 minute extract at the very first Fringe festival within the Woordfees program, in Stellenbosch. ”The Woordfees Fringe experience allowed us to experiment with our concept and ideas, it was the first opportunity to bring our script to life.” Says Chenal. “The experimental platform allowed our project to grow and be improved upon, and the location was also significant, because Stellenbosch is one of the 3 primary locations in the story.”

Tickets cost R45 per person and are available at Computicket. Click here for more information about the production and the artists involved.

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Film

‘Love Lives Here’ Movie To Celebrate Its Film Location In Durban

Highly anticipated South African rom-com, Love Lives Here, will host two premieres, including a premiere in Durban, to celebrate the beautiful province of Kwa-Zulu Natal, the location where the movie was filmed.

‘The rom-com features a star-studded cast, with actress Thando Thabethe as its lead, alongside Lungile Radu, Zola Nombona, Sihle Ndaba, Nomalanga Shozi and Nyokabi Gethaiga, Motlatsi Mafatshe as well as KZN’s shining stars, Nomalanga Shozi, Nkanyiso Bhengu, and Andile Gumbi.

Set in KZN, the film tells the story of Zinhle Malinga (Thando Thabethe), a jaded romantic, who’s quests for that picture-perfect prince charming have left her disillusioned about the idea of true love. Like most successful young women, Zinhle is ready to settle down but is yet to find a man who wants the same thing and has resigned to putting her search for love on hold. When she meets Nathi Shange (Lungile Radu) everything changes, and she sets out to get a commitment from him in the form of a ring. But Nathi has sworn off marriage, and this brings Zinhle to the beginning of her journey to understanding the true meaning of love and ultimately finding the love she deserves.

The movie also explores many themes including money and relationships, sexuality, self-love, friendship and family!

“We wanted to showcase parts of South Africa that are seldom explored, and the picturesque locations that KZN offers felt like the right space and back drop to tell this authentic South African love story,” says the film’s executive producer, Dumi Gumbi.

The movie will have a premiere in Johannesburg on the 28th of March, followed by a premiere in Durban on the 4th of April, the night before the movie can be watched at cinemas across South Africa on 5th of April 2019!

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Film

SA Women Make Their Mark In Internationally Acclaimed Short Film ‘Escala’

As we affirm women across the globe honouring International Women’s Day last Friday (8 March), we applaud the team who birthed Escala – a carefully-crafted US-made short film which boasts a 100% female crew … (and five South Africans!) and has been officially selected for six international film festivals since its world premiere in July last year.

Three South African women have been instrumental in the creation of Escala: editor Eileen de Klerk, co-writer Tammy-Anne Fortuin and sound designer and music editor Reanne de Klerk. Escala is a multi-award-winning short film featuring SA actor Nick Boraine.

Last week, Escala was announced as an official finalist for the Utah Film Festival which means that it is a nominee in at least one award category. Categories were announced on Saturday 9 March, and the film has nominees in two categories: Best Score (Miriam Mayer) and Best Editing (Eileen de Klerk). The festival awards will take place in Utah on 6 April and the team will be attending the festival.

Escala has been screened to rousing public and critical acclaim at five leading industry showcases thus far. It had its world-wide premiere at the LA Shorts International Film Festival in July last year which ranks among the most prestigious and largest international short film festivals in the world.

In September it was screened at the Tops Shorts International Film Festival. At the festival, the film walked away with three accolades: Eileen de Klerk was winner of the award for Best Editing, Reanne de Klerk won Honorable Mention for sound design. Winning the Inspiring Woman in a Film category was Jy Prishkulnik, who played Amalia in the film.

The year wrapped up in California with an official entry to the Culver City Film Festival in December. So far this year, Escala was screened at the World-Wide Women’s Film Festival in February in Arizona as part of the official selection. The film returned to Arizona to be screened at the Sedona International Film Festival last month. Next up is the Utah Film Festival scheduled for early April.

Escala tells the story of Amalia, a teenage violinist torn between tolerating the inappropriate advances from her music instructor and winning the competition of a lifetime to change the future for her and her father. It features South Africa’s Nick Boraine as Dereck; James C Burns as Gustav and Jy Prishkulnik as Amalia.

“The film is only 16 minutes long – so every frame, every gesture, every nuance counts. Oftentimes it is more of a challenge and far more intense to communicate a story in a few minutes, rather than the more typical format of a full-length movie or series,” considers editor Eileen de Klerk.

“Being part of this amazing production has been the most astonishing journey,” “The critical acclaim has been extraordinary, hugely affirming and quite unexpected,” she adds.

Reanne de Klerk concurs. “For us as South Africans working really hard to develop careers in the hugely competitive American film market, we are especially chuffed to have our film, and in particular our individual contributions to the film, being so affirmed by the global film industry.”

“It is reassuring that South Africans – and in particular South African women – can find their place in the global marketplace. Our experience and journey in South Africa have set us up to allow us to do what we love with like-minded creatives who have amazing skills, tenacity, vision and commitment to make great work.”

Durban-born Reanne has been playing music since the age of five. She has performed with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra; Night of 100 Stars; KickstArt’s productions of Cabaret and Chicago, Platform Jazz, and Pastiche Jazz Orchestra. Now based in LA she is a composer, sound designer, music editor and assistant editor for features, short films and TV series and is currently working on the Warner Bros Studios Lot. Reanne is also currently working on a solo album with South African composer Anthony Costandius – once the album is recorded, she will premiere the album with a concert tour throughout South Africa.

Eileen is originally from Pretoria, moved to Cape Town in 2005 and is a former teacher for special needs children. She moved to Los Angeles in 2016 and has worked as a script supervisor and editor on film projects in South Africa and the States. She has worked on documentaries, shorts, features, music videos and series. She has also just edited a short film, LA Hustle, for one of six up-and-coming female directors who were chosen for the AWD (Alliance of Women Directors) Shoot-Em Up Film Series, with director Charissa Sanjarernsuithikul

The feedback from Escala has been amazing: “Escala is a disturbing and absorbing film that pulls you in with fantastic editing and sound design. Every moment is precisely paced in a very cinematic way. The sound is elegant and ethereal, bringing to life Amalia’s moving story,” said Doobie White, Editor: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Polar.

“Escala is unquestionably an award-winning masterpiece. I never thought that a fifteen-minute short film could make such an emotional impact on me… This short film is a must-see for all.” Utah Film Festival.

“A powerful and important film that violates the senses and one’s sense of self. Poignant, gripping, escalatory,” Charissa Sanjarernsuithikul, Director: LA Hustle, Playing it Straight.

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Film

‘Long Shot’ Starring Charlize Theron & Seth Rogen In SA Cinemas 24 May 2019

LONG SHOT (previously titled “Flarsky”) is the new laugh-out-loud comedy starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen – scheduled for release in South African cinemas on 24 May 2019.

Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is one of the most influential women in the world. Smart, sophisticated, and accomplished, she’s a powerhouse diplomat with a talent for…well, mostly everything. Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is a gifted and free-spirited journalist with an affinity for trouble. The two have nothing in common, except that she was his babysitter and first crush. When Fred unexpectedly reconnects with Charlotte, he charms her with his self-deprecating humour and his memories of her youthful idealism. As she prepares to make a run for the Presidency, Charlotte impulsively hires Fred as her speechwriter, much to the dismay of her trusted advisors. A fish out of water on Charlotte’s elite team, Fred is unprepared for her glamorous lifestyle in the limelight. However, sparks fly as their unmistakable chemistry leads to a round-the-world romance and a series of unexpected and dangerous incidents.

From the celebrated team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, creators of outrageous comedy hits, including THIS IS THE END, KNOCKED UP and NEIGHBORS – LONG SHOT also features O’Shea Jackson Jr., Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, Ravi Patel and Alexander Skarsgård. The film was directed by Jonathan Levine. Screenplay by Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah. Story by Dan Sterling.

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Film

Meet Ticky And Baboo – The Little Kings Of Mulberry Street

Once in a lifetime comes a story of true greatness such as the epic tale of Baboo and his best friend Ticky. That story is ‘Kings of Mulberry Street’, the new feature film written and directed by acclaimed director and producer Judy Naidoo.

Feisty Ticky (Aaqil Hoosen) is the archetypal Indian artful dodger – cheeky and daring with a streetwise swagger and little respect for rules. He escapes the realities of his 80s Sugarhill District existence by living in a Bollywood dream world where he’s an unbeatable action hero. Rooftops are his kingdom.

When chubby, timid Baboo (Shaan Nathoo) moves into the neighbourhood with his snooty, academic dad, Ticky thinks he’s the biggest loser he’s ever seen – but soon the two boys are drawn together by the shared threat of local bully and crime boss, Raja.

Aaqil Hoosen and Shaan Nathoo

These two nine-year-old misfits decide to rid their community of the evil Raja. Their plan –emulate the antics and mannerisms of Ticky’s Bollywood heroes. The battle between escapism and harsh reality is not even remotely matched, yet these heroes share a loyalty so special that they can conquer all. In the sugar cane fields of KZN, and the poor but vibrant and bustling streets (and rooftops) of Sugarhill District, the two unlikely comrades learn about life and overcoming obstacles, prejudices and their own deepest fears in this charming and hilarious adventure.

“We had an extensive casting search for both the child actors as well as the adults,” says Naidoo. “I was hands-on throughout the process. We found the Baboo character quite early in the casting process. However, we couldn’t find Ticky. We had to go to public schools in KZN and we found him after a really long process and many call-backs. I’m delighted that Aaqil happens to be from my home town, Verulam.”

Delving deeper into the characters of the delightful boys, Naidoo explains that Ticky Chetty’s petty criminal, father expects his son will follow his lead. Ticky’s mother’s incessant panic and his bizarre granny all give the young boy good reason to do what he does best – ignore reality and escape into fantasy.

“Ticky has a knack for switching roles in the blink of the eye and without a hint of irony. He looks upon Baboo as a ‘case’, a rescue mission. His motive: he needs a partner to bring down the man who has enslaved his dad. Of course, Ticky believes he himself is a true Bollywood-style hero.”

In real life, Aaqil loves watching his favourite series ‘Naruto’, playing fetch with his dog and mastering chess with his little sister Naajiya. He is drawn to the ocean and is fascinated by sea creatures. He hopes to become a marine biologist one day. He also has a keen interest in archaeology, and likes to study things from the past. He hopes this will take him to different continents when he’s a little older.

“Harold Singh, nicknamed Baboo, is a plump, nerdy nine-year-old,” Naidoo says. “He wishes he could go through most social situations being invisible. Incredibly smart, he can spell almost any word in the English dictionary but is clueless about survival on the streets. He has no stomach for anything physical and panics at the first sign of risk. After experiencing a life-altering setback, his father moves them to his late grandmother’s house on Mulberry Street. Moving into his late grandmother’s place on Mulberry Street is both a curse and blessing for young Baboo. The former because, as Ticky points out, Baboo hasn’t got a clue about how to be an Indian.

Shaan Nathoo, who plays this charming young fellow, is 9 years old. He loves drawing comics, animals, playing with Lego, cycling and having imaginary nerf gun wars with his friends.

Catch ‘Kings of Mulberry Street’ in cinemas on 28 June 2019

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Uncategorized

Debut Romance Novel By Mokopi Shale

Melodi Publishing announces the release of their debut novel by Mokopi Shale in the romance category Before There Was Us.

The novel tells the story Didintle “Didi” Sechele who grew up watching with awe the love her parents had for each other. This leads to her to becoming a well-known and loved author of the quintessential South African romance. Didi is a true romantic who has spent her life looking for her own Mr. Right, and the novel chronicles the humorous and often tragic journey that she goes through trying to find her true and lasting love.

The novel presents a compelling and complex journey to finding true love in a time of the hookup and throw away love culture. With an unexpected twist at the end of the book, it sets the scene beautifully for the feature film Love Lives Here, starring Thando Thabethe, which is opening at the Box office on the 05th April 2019. Like the film, the novel explores the themes of money, relationships, self-love, family, and of course sex and sexuality!

The author Mokopi Shale is quickly becoming known as the Queen of Romance, having published three romance novels in the past, with Before There Was us being her fourth. When asked about the novel she had this to say, “Like real-life human beings, all the characters we see on our screens have a back story, have a past, have reasons why they act the way they do. Before There Was Us, is a labour of love both literally and metaphorically because I took the backstory of Zinhle Malinga, who was originally called Didi Sechele, and turned it into a romance novel. Basically, all I wanted was to document a journey to self-love that asks for no permissions to do what needs to be done in order to find happiness”.

Melodi Publishing is a start-up publishing house that aims to partner with aspiring and established authors who do not want to deal with the stress involved in getting their book to distribution but rather to focus on telling their stories. The main focus of the company is to invite writers of English as well as indigenous South African languages to partner with Melodi in telling authentic South African stories.

“I have lived a million lifetimes in the books I have read and I want Melodi book readers to experience the same while also having the opportunity to engage in dialogue about their experience” Gao Mothogae, MD. Melodi Publishing is also looking, through their indigenous language written books, to create and bring back a passion for these languages and the shared history they hold as part of the rebirth of South African black communities.

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Film

South African Film ‘Buddha In Africa’ To Have Its World Premiere At Hot Docs, Canada

The much-anticipated feature documentary, Buddha in Africa by South African filmmaker, Nicole Schafer, has been selected for its World Premiere at the 2019 Hot Docs Canadian International Festival (April 25 –May 5). The film will be presented in competition in the International Spectrum programme. The winner of the Hot Docs Best International Feature Documentary Award will qualify for consideration for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Exterior of the Buddhist temple in Malawi.

Buddha in Africa follows the personal story of a teenager growing up in a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Malawi and the challenges he faces between his African roots and Chinese upbringing. Against the backdrop of China’s global rise, the film provides a unique insight into Chinese soft power in Africa.

The project received the IDFA Most Promising Documentary Award when it was first pitched at the Durban FilmMart in 2011 and has since been awarded funding from several international funds including the IDFA Bertha Europe Fund in the Netherlands, Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Doc Fund and the Alter Cine Foundation in Canada, Chicken & Egg Pictures in New York, the South African National Film and Video Foundation and the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission.

In 2018, Buddha in Africa was selected to participate in the Cape Town International Film Festival and Market Works-in-Progress lab. It received the highest award, combining two weeks of Online by Monk and two weeks of Grading at Priest Post with the following motivation: “For its unique subject and its meticulous patient development, for the crossroad of important themes, and for the different worlds that have overlapped and met in tangible captivating characters, the jury chose to give the combined two prizes to the very promising Malawi set film project Buddha in Africa by Nicole Shafer.”

The film is an international co-production between Thinking Strings Media in South Africa and Momento Film in Sweden. Renowned Paris-based company CAT & Docs will be representing the film internationally. AfriDocs is the African broadcast partner.

Protagonist in the film Buddha in Africa, Enock Alu and his kung fu coach from China.

“When I first came across this story, I was struck by how this orphanage was strangely reminiscent of the Christian missions during the colonial era;” says writer and director Nicole Schafer, “Only here African children have Chinese names and instead of learning about the West, they were learning about Chinese culture and history. I felt the orphanage would be the perfect metaphor to explore not only the impact of Chinese involvement in Africa, but also as a mirror for the legacy of Western colonialism that still exists on the African continent.”

“Buddha in Africa offers a new and unexpected insight into China’s presence in Africa through the lens of the Buddhist temple Amitofo Care Centre in Malawi,” explains co-producer, David Herdies of Momento Film. “It’s an interesting way to look at this new type of colonisation that is going on, but in a non-judgmental and human way.”

The film will screen at the following dates and times at Hot Docs:

  • Saturday, April 27, 6pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
  • Monday, April 29, 1pm, SCOTIA 8
  • Sun, May 5, 10:15 AM, Scotiabank Theatre
Categories
Film

Cardi B, Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer, Julia Stiles, Mercedes Ruehl Board STXFilms ‘Hustlers’

Mette Towley and Trace Lysette are in negotiations to join the cast starring Constance Wu & Jennifer Lopez

Principal photography to commence on March 22, 2019 in NYC

STXfilms, a division of Robert Simonds’ global, next-generation media company STX Entertainment, today announced a star-studded lineup for the upcoming HUSTLERS starring Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians) and Jennifer Lopez (Second Act, Maid in Manhattan). Music superstar Cardi B, Lili Reinhart (Riverdale), Keke Palmer (Scream Queens), Julia Stiles (Silver Linings Playbook) and Mercedes Ruehl (Broadway’s Torch Song) have all come aboard the film, which was written and will be directed by Lorene Scafaria (‘The Meddler,’ Seeking a Friend for the End of the World). Mette Towley (Cats) and Trace Lysette (Transparent) are also in negotiations to join the film.

HUSTLERS, which is inspired by a viral 2016 New York Magazine article, follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients. The film begins shooting on March 22, 2019 in NYC.

“We could not have asked for a more exciting or talented lineup of performers to join our cast,” said Adam Fogelson, Chairman of STXfilms. “STX is thrilled to reunite with Jennifer, Elaine and Benny to bring this unexpected, entertaining and often shocking story to the big screen for audiences worldwide.”

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this dynamic group of women,” said Scafaria. “We’re grateful to have assembled such a powerhouse cast and can’t wait to start filming at the end of the week.”

STXfilms is producing HUSTLERS alongside Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina, who previously collaborated with the studio on the 2018 romantic-comedy Second Act, as well as Adam McKay, Will Ferrell and Jessica Elbaum for Gloria Sanchez Productions. Kate Vorhoff and Catherine Hagedorn are overseeing the film’s production for the studio. STXinternational is handling international distribution and distributing directly in the U.K. and Ireland.

Cardi B is represented by CAA; Reinhart is represented by UTA and Anonymous Content; Palmer is represented by 3 Arts, UTA and Cari Davine at Hertz Lichtenstein & Young; Stiles is represented by Untitled Entertainment, The Gersh Agency and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern; and Ruehl is represented by Sue Leibman/Barking Dog Entertainment and Peikoff-Mahan Law Offices. Towley is represented by 3 Arts and WME and Lysette is represented by ICM Partners and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano.

Wu is represented by UTA, Principal Entertainment LA and Hansen Jacobson. Lopez is represented by CAA, The Medina Co. and Hirsch Wallerstein. Scafaria is represented by UTA.

HUSTLERS is currently set for release in South Africa on the 6th of December 2019.

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online

Five Reasons To Binge ‘My Brilliant Friend’

My Brilliant Friend, the captivating drama series based on Elena Ferrante’s bestselling Neapolitan Novels, is now streaming on Showmax.

Here are five reasons to add the hit Italian series to your watchlist:

It’s about a 60-year friendship

My Brilliant Friend is the story of Elena ‘Lenù’ Greco and Raffaella ‘Lila’ Cerullo, who begin a lifelong friendship in their first year of school in Naples. The first season follows them from six years old to around 16.

“A story of a friendship is a story that everyone understands,” says Saverio Costanzo, the multi-award-winning director and co-writer of My Brilliant Friend. “It’s even more moving and emotional than a love story.”

Friendships are notoriously more complicated than romances. “Lila has this wild brilliance and she’s always pushing Elena out into the wider world,” says executive producer Jennifer Schuur (a producer on Hannibal and a writer on Big Love). “It’s not always just fun and laughter. There’s actually competition and rivalry.”

It’s based on one of the most popular novels of this decade

Elena Ferrante’s four Neapolitan Novels – My Brilliant Friend (2012), The Story Of A New Name (2013), Those Who Leave And Those Who Stay (2014), and The Story Of The Lost Child (2015) – have been literary sensations, selling over 10m copies and seeing Ferrante named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2016 – despite being a pseudonym who never does public interviews.

The Story Of The Lost Child was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize and won a Gold Independent Publisher Book award in 2016. “Ferrante’s novel is like an addiction,” says Costanzo. “Once you start reading, you cannot stop.”

The performances are bellissimo

The producers auditioned almost 9 000 children in Southern Italy looking for the child leads, finally settling on Elisa del Genio and Ludovica Nasti as the young Elena and Lila, and Margherita Mazzuco and Gaia Girace as their teenage selves.

None of them had any professional acting experience but the extensive casting process paid off: as the Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus puts it, “My Brilliant Friend is an expansive epic that gleans rapturous beauty from the most desolate of circumstances, but it is the intimacy between the central duo – and the remarkable performances that bring them to life – that audiences will remember most vividly.”

It’s a different side of Italy

My Brilliant Friend is set in post-World War II Naples, but it’s far from the postcard view of Italy we’re accustomed to. “They are kids coming from the Rione, a suburb of Naples full of new houses built in the middle of nothing,” says Constanza. “So it’s a very different perception from what we know about Naples.”

“This neighbourhood shapes the way they see the world,” says Schuur. “It is violent, rough, and scary at times.”

It’s also “deeply patriarchal,” she adds, set during a time when “women were expected to hew to those basic roles: you will be a mother, a wife, and a housekeeper.” Much of the story is about the friends’ desire to go to school and change their place in society – or as Schuur puts it, their “unwillingness to be treated the way at that time men were allowed to treat women.”

It’s been renewed for a second season after rave reviews

Halfway through its first season, HBO announced they were renewing My Brilliant Friend for another season, which will be based on the second book of the series, The Story Of A New Name. No real surprise there, since My Brilliant Friend currently has a 94% critics rating and 93% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, having featured in Best Of 2018 lists in the likes of The Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone, Time, Vox and The Wall Street Journal.

You shouldn’t need more reasons to binge My Brilliant Friend but we should add that it was nominated as Best Drama Series at the 2019 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards; is being produced by Wildside (The Young Pope) and executive produced by Oscar-winner Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty), among others; and features gorgeous cinematography from Fabio Cianchetti (The Tiger and The Snow) as well as a typically delicate score from Emmy-nominee Max Richter (Taboo, Waltz with Bashir).

Binge My Brilliant Friend on Showmax: www.showmax.com/eng/tvseries/phmlrvhu-my-brilliant-friend

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Workshops

Marriott Hotels Brings TED Fellows Salon To The Mother City Inspiring “Vibrant Innovation”

Meaningful conversations spark creative thinking at the Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers

Marriott Hotels (www.MarriottHotels.com) in partnership with TED, hosted its first TED Fellows Salon in Cape Town, South Africa, sparking conversations around Africa’s beauty, rich heritage and innovative spirit. Held at the Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers, renowned TED Fellows, Kenyan musician Bill Sellanga and South African conservation biologist Steve Boyes, led the innovative and thought-provoking discussion providing guests the opportunity to engage and be inspired.

“At Marriott Hotels, everything we do is guided by our belief that travel expands the mind and triggers new and creative ways of thinking,” said Sandra Schulze-Potgieter, Vice President Premium & Select Brands, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “Our partnership with TED brings together creative energy and distinct aesthetic. In recent years, Cape Town has shifted its focus to making the city more sustainable, encouraging citizens to innovate while maintaining its rich heritage. Hosting our first TED Fellows Salon at Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers is an opportunity for us to spark intellectual conversations and inspire new perspectives for our guests.”

The speakers at this Marriott Hotels TED Salon represent some of the brightest thinkers of their generation who are working towards making positive, meaningful and lasting change in their communities. Steve Boyes explores, protects and restores some of the most remote wildernesses in Africa, including the threatened Okavango Delta, one of our last remaining fresh watersheds. Working with the Angolan government, Boyes recently established two of the largest protected areas in Sub-Saharan Africa amounting to twice the size of England. A trained ornithologist, he is the Executive Director of the Wild Bird Trust and a Fellow at the National Geographic Society.

Sharing the spotlight with Boyes was TED fellow Bill “Blinky” Sellanga. A prolific Kenyan producer and musician, Sellanga is the frontman of musical collective Just A Band, which mixes genres like hip-hop, electronica and funk to make music for popular radio and to give voice to the Kenyan youth. He recently released his first solo album, Everyone’s Just Winging It and Other Fly Tales, weaving African rhythms together with electronic cuts, hip-hop and funk for a unique-brand of “African cool.”

Held at the Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers, the event was attended by thought leaders, innovators, members of the recently launched travel platform, Marriott Bonvoy and media. Overlooking the Grand Canal in Century City, Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers formed the perfect backdrop for the Cape Town edition of the TED Fellows Salon. Whether you admire the view of Table Mountain from the exquisite outdoor swimming pool or settle down after a busy day in a guest room with sleek furnishings and ultra-soft, plush bedding, a stay at the Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers promises to be a journey that inspires brilliance.

The ongoing global partnership between Marriott Hotels and TED is now in its third year, following its launch in 2016, and has been expanded to include more exciting and innovative programming at Marriott Hotels in key destinations worldwide. Marriott Hotels is a brand that’s geared towards a new generation of travelers, who continuously seek fresh inspirations and creative ideas during their own life-changing journeys around the world.

The Cape Town edition is the third TED Fellows Salon to be held within Middle East and Africa with two previous ones being held at Cairo and Abu Dhabi. TED Salons have been hosted in several Marriott Hotels globally, including Bengaluru, Bangkok, London, and Athens. Marriott Hotels also has an Instagram story series, #MarriottHotelsxTEDFellows, which offers viewers original, inspiring content and an inside look at their favorite idea engine. To watch the series, follow @marriotthotels on Instagram and stay tuned for content throughout the year.

For more information, please visit tedtalksmarriott.com.