EXCLUSIVE | Globally-Acclaimed Actress Nambitha Ben-Mazwi Hosts the Cultural Connections Sessions at the 3rd Annual Essence Film Festival

3 JULY 2024 (South Africa) – Renowned South African actress Nambitha Ben-Mazwi has been chosen as the distinguished host for the Cultural Connections Saturday sessions at the 2024 Essence Film Festival, part of the prestigious ESSENCE Festival of Culture® (EFOC) in New Orleans, Louisiana. Scheduled to take place from 5-7 July, 2024, at the New Orleans Convention Center, the festival presented by Coca-Cola, is the world’s largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience and the largest celebration of global Black culture regularly convening more than 530,000 people annually. The Essence Film Festival launched in 2022.

Essence Film Festival celebrates content from Black America and the entire African diaspora with a mix of screenings, panel discussions, networking sessions and more. The film festival’s Cultural Connections activation features content, executives, screenings and invited officials from countries all over the world including Africa, the Caribbean, South America, Canada, and the U.K. This initiative was created with the goal of disrupting Hollywood’s use of the term “global”, which often excludes these territories. Cultural Connections will intentionally bring opportunities for co-production, alternative financing, creative collaborations, and content partnerships. These sessions are integral to ESSENCE’s mission of expanding opportunities and visibility for diverse voices in the entertainment industry.

“I am deeply honored to represent South Africa and the broader African diaspora as the official host for the Cultural Connections sessions at the Essence Film Festival,” said Nambitha Ben-Mazwi. “This platform is not only a celebration of our cultural heritage but also a critical space for forging new paths in global storytelling and collaboration.”

As the host of the Cultural Connections Saturday sessions, Ben-Mazwi will address invited guests and festival goers on opening day with Welcome Remarks, where she will provide personal perspective on the global opportunities available for actors, producers and creatives alike.

Ben-Mazwi will also participate in Essence’s “Hollywood House x EFOC” on Friday, 5 July as a mentor in “Laser Networking-The Actor’s Den”, where attendees will have the opportunity to have brief, targeted business chats with industry insiders.

This is an exciting time for Ben-Mazwi, following the successful launch of Netflix’s Savage Beauty Season 2 last week, where she stars as a lead cast member, and amidst the growing acclaim of Showmax Original EMPINI, in which she holds the lead role. Her dynamic talent is positioning her as a prominent voice and ambassador for South African talent on the global stage.

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