Chisanga Kabinga

Chisanga Kabinga is a Zambian born producer-writer-director living in South Africa, who began her television writing career in 2003 working on South Africa’s top performing soap, GENERATIONS and soon branched into writing for other formats, including John Hopkins/USAID funded educational dramas like TSHA TSHA, SOUL CITY, and the ground breaking Peabody Award winning INTERSEXIONS, for which she was also nominated for a South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA). Chisanga has worked on several top grossing South African and Zambian dramas and soaps as storyliner, script editor, script consultant and head writer for shows such as SOUL BUDDYZ, A PLACE CALLED HOME (both of which Chisanga also directed on as well as THE MATING GAME), NJILA, FEVER, MUVHANGO and 2021’s breakout THE ESTATE for Clive Morris Productions and SABC3. Together with Linda Bere Chisanga co-created, co-wrote and co-produced KOWETHU, a 13 part drama series that aired on SABC 1 in 2014 and has recently completed script editing on KINGS OF JOBURG Season 2 for Netflix. Chisanga’s extensive TV development work has taught her the power of television in shifting both perceptions and culture through compelling and entertaining drama. She continues to work as a writer, director and independent producer in Zambia and South Africa and under her company 20 Feet Tall, she has developed two Zambian television series for the Southern African regional channel, Zambezi Magic.

 

Represented by David Kayser

Karen Jeynes

Karen Jeynes has worked extensively as a writer and director for stage and screen, and is perhaps best known for her work with Both Worlds as the head writer for ZANEWS: PUPPET NATION (winner of 29 SAFTAs including Best TV Comedy 6 years in a row, Best Comedy Writing, two WGSA awards for Best TV Comedy, and two time International Emmy Nominee for Best TV Comedy). She is head writer, director, and producer of RECIPES FOR LOVE AND MURDER, a drama series produced by Mnet and Acorn/AMC, as well as THE MORNING AFTER in development for Showmax. Other productions she has developed and overseen are POINT OF ORDER (SAFTA winner for Best Game Show in 2017), COMEDY CENTRAL NEWS, and PARLEMENT PARLEMENT (SAFTA nominee for Best Game Show in 2019). Karen has worked with Pixel Perfect, writing Bioskop movies for Mzansi Magic – INGOZI LO THANDO, UMHLOLOKAZI, UKUPHILA KABILI and LAND OF MILK AND HONEY. She served as head writer for 90 PLEIN STREET season 5 for SABC, as well as writing for shows like VAYA MZANSI and MOFEREFERE LENYALONG as well as work in children’s television writing such as THABANG THABONG and SUPASTRIKAS.

Karen also has extensive theatre writing experience. Her plays include the multi award-winning EVERYBODY ELSE (IS F*CKING PERFECT) (Best Comedy 2005), KISS KISS, I’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING, and LAYING BLAME (translated into 7 languages), as well as VASLAV, nominated for 3 Fleur du Cap Awards. She’s part of How Now Brown Cow’s inaugural Writer’s Collective for 2021.

She is in demand as a script consultant and advisor, working with local and international production companies and individual writers. She worked with Kyknet as a mentor on their GRAPKAS project, is a juror for the International Emmys’ Peter Ustinov Award, and is an evaluator for the KZN Film Commission. Her satirical self-help book THE KAREN BOOK OF RULES, co-authored with Karin Schimke, was published in 2020 by Tafelberg, and her co-authored book FLOW: THE BOOK ABOUT MENSTRUATION was published by NB publishers in 2021. She has MA in Writing for the Screen from Falmouth University.

You can find her on twitter @karenjeynes.

Represented by Aoife Lennon-Ritchie and David Kayser

Victoria Thomas

Victoria trained as a lawyer before moving into producing, specialising in international co-productions between Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is now focused on developing work as a Writer/Director and recently completed her debut film The Birthday Party backed by the BFI, Screen Scotland and First Flights and as a Producer/Director on Season 1 of the Untitled African Queens series exec produced by Jada Pinkett Smith for Netflix. She is a regular speaker/moderator of panels at major film festivals and on the jury for the BIFA’s and the Athena List. She sits on the board of Film Africa and the steering committee for ARTEF (The Anti-Racism Taskforce for European Film). She is an alumnus of Filmonomics, Jihlava’s Emerging Producers Program, Berlinale Talents, EAVE, IFP, The AttaGirl Lab and the UK’s National Film and Television School. She is a voting member of BAFTA Scotland and BAFTA UK. Victoria has been selected to develop an original project with Statement Films and Topic as part of their inaugural African Women writers initiative. Her debut feature film is currently financing and is aiming for a Q1 2023 shoot with producer Cati Weineck.

 

Represented by Aoife Lennon-Ritchie and David Kayser

Meg Rickards

Meg began her longform career with the feature documentary (co-directed with Bert Haitsma) 1994: the bloody miracle (2014). This much talked-about documentary, which counts down to South Africa’s first democratic elections, was broadcast multiple times by eNCA and eTV as well as by the Netherlands’ national broadcaster VPRO. It won the Audience Award at the Durban International Film Festival and the Writers’ Guild award for Best Documentary Script. The film opened the Nobel Peace Laureate Youth Summit as well as the Watch Africa Festival in Wales, and showed in several UK cities as part of the Freedom Tour. Her debut fiction feature, Tess, was released theatrically in South Africa in February 2017 and won a number of awards, including the Best South African Film Award at the Durban International Film Festival. It screened at the BRICS International Film Festival in New Delhi, and at the Brussels and Gothenburg International Film Festivals to name a few. Meg’s most recent film Kaalgat Karel, a romantic comedy which Meg also co-wrote and produced with Paul Egan, was released in cinemas in 2021 and is currently playing on DSTV Box Office and Showmax. The film has been selected for a number of international film festivals including the Phoenix International Genre Film Festival in the US and Boden International Film Festival in Sweden. The film won Best Film awards at the Poor Life Choices Comedy Film Festival in Los Angeles, the Gelos Comedy Film Festival in Moscow, the Lit Laughs Festival in the UK, as well as Best Feature Screenplay at Writers Guild of South Africa Muse Awards. Concurrent to shooting Kaalgat Karel, Meg helped to run a training programme for young filmmakers in the Eastern Cape where the film shot. In 2021 I Meg also directed Atlantis, a television feature produced by Known Entertainment Associates and Moonlighting Films for eTV’s streaming platform eVOD. It remains to date the most streamed film on that platform. Meg is currently in development on several original and adapted films and TV ideas with producers at home and in the UK. She holds a PHD in Film Studies, has taught extensively at the University of Cape Town, the University of the Western Cape, SAE, the Forward Fund Academy and ACT.

 

Represented by David Kayser

Thati Pele

Born and raised in Johannesburg, Thati Pele is a statistician turned film director. Her work is inspired by her upbringing. She interrogates intimate relationships in an aim to give room to reflect on gender, social norms, politics and the unflappable optimism of the human condition. Thati won a scholarship to study her masters in filmmaking at New York University (N.Y.U.) where she won the prestigious Spike Lee grant. She went on to complete a competitive production rotation at Universal Studios Los Angeles. Thati made the short film, LERATO, which premiered at S.X.S.W. Film Festival, won her the Best Director Award at the New York Fusion Film Festival as well as the New Talent prize at CICLOPE Africa 2019. She has written and produced short films that have travelled to festivals and channels including Tribeca and HBO. Now back in South Africa, Thati directs award winning commercials and hit streaming shows for Netflix including episodes on the second and third seasons of BLOOD & WATER. Her latest for the streamer, SAVAGE BEAUTY, bows 12 May. Thati is in development of her first feature film the wonderfully dark comedy drama BRACE YOURSELF which was invited to the Realness 2020 lab and the 2021 Locarno Directors Lab in Switzerland. Together with producer Cait Pansegrouw Thati is a participant of Statement Films / Topic’s inaugural African women storyteller’s scheme.

 

Represented by David Kayser

Brett Michael Innes

Brett Michael Innes is an alum of the Oscar-winning South African film school AFDA, on a scholarship from the National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF). His debut as writer/director/producer Sink premiered In Competition at the Atlanta Film Festival in 2016 and has been heralded by local critics as a ‘breakout film that sets a new standard for South African cinema’. This saw him win the SAFTA for Best Film and Best Screenplay as well as Best Edit with co-editor Nicolas Costaras. His second feature, an adaptation of the iconic novel, Fiela Se Kind, premiered In Competition at Tallinn Black Nights and was awarded the SAFTA for Best Film and Best Screenplay in 2020. It has also been nominated for Best Film in an African Language at the 2020 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA). Five Tiger, a short that he produced and edited, was official selection at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival while his third feature, the mockumentary comedy Daryn’s Gym, was selected for IFFR 2022. He is currently in development on several original film and television projects and financing a handful of features.

 

Represented by David Kayser

Jaco Bouwer

Since graduating with a Masters from Stellenbosch University in 2001, Jaco has created work that resists convention and easy categorisation. He’s equally at home in theatre, dance, site-specific performance and installation art, video and animation and film. Jaco was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artists award for Drama in 2008 and has won various other awards over the years including winning best director three years in a row at the Fleur du Cap awards. Jaco’s debut feature film Gaia, an eco-horror, has sold to multiple territories by XYZ Films including the US (Bleecker Street) and the UK (Altitude) and currently forms part of Hulu’s Huluween event. Before this Jaco directed multiple television series and made-for-tv films including 13 episode series Die Spreeus in 2019 which was nominated for Best Directing and Best TV Drama at the 2020 SAFTAs, Rage (Showmax single film, 2020) and all five episodes of 4 Mure (KykNet 2021) which he edited as well. His most recent short This Country is Lonely premiered at IFFR 2019. Jaco’s work combines the personal and the political with introspective enquiry and a radical formalism which seeks to critique controversial subjects without any attempt to solve the issues they raise. Jaco is currently shooting his adaptation of Reza de Wet’s stageplay Breathing In with producer Jorrie van der Walt for Kaapland Films. Next up Jaco is to helm all 10 episodes of an original series for Joachim Landau of Paris based Empriente Digitale and Canal+/M-Net.

 

Represented by David Kayser

Voline Ogutu

Voline Ogutu is a Keynan painter, screenwriter and director. She has written for several local TV series including Sumu La Penzi, Jane And Abel, Fihi, Sunrise, Waliobaki, Keru, and How To Find A Husband amongst others. Voline’s also created and written two M-Net movies; Orphan and Hosptial which are available on Showmax Kenya. She has written and directed award winning short films, Seed and Viral and has written and directed horror feature film, The Witch From Chaka, which is currently in postproduction. Voline has a handful of projects in development including TV series Dilemma which was selected for the Durban Talents 2020. She is currently writing on Netflix’s first African animated series Mama K’s Team 4 and two comedy series for Showmax; NJORO WA Uba and Varshita.

 

Represented by Aoife Lennon-Ritchie

Matthew Jankes

Johannesburg native Matthew earned his stripes lensing music videos, commercials and TV drama across the African continent. In 2009 Focus Features financed Matthew’s short film Umkhungo as part of their Africa First programme and the film went on to screen internationally and win a SAFTA amongst several other awards. Matthew went on to study at the NFTS in London and graduated in 2015 with his film Brothers (d. Thordur Palsson). On home turf Matthew has been writing and directing South African television, including the TV adaptation of the 2013 critically acclaimed iNumberNumber for SA cabler/SVODs Mzansi Magic and Showmax, as well as working across commercials and promos under the banner Johnny Gun Films. His latest short film Axis Mundi starring Deon Lotz and co-written and co-directed with Sean Steinberg won best director and best SA short at the 2019 Jozi Film awards. Matthew and Sean are currently co-writing an 8-part series for Canal+. Matthew’s fascinated with raw, complex and deeply blemished characters and drawn towards crime dramas, thrillers and political intrigues.

Represented by David Kayser

Jozua Malherbe

Jozua’s debut as feature director was the gothic Afrikaans film Wolwedans in die Skemer in 2011. The film achieved massive returns at the South African box office and was one of the top ten pictures of the year. Jozua followed up with a series of television dramas for which he won every directing award in South Africa, including the ATKV Media Veertjie for Donkerland, an epic drama that recounts the story of a farm and its owners from 1838 to 1996. He also won SAFTA awards for Swartwater, Bloedbroers and High Rollers. Jozua earned a total of 22 nominations at the 2014 SAFTAs for his television work and won the following year for Bloedbroers. In 2019 Jozua wrote on the MNET/HBO/ZDF copro Trackers, based on Deon Meyer’s bestselling novel. He was also the second unit director for the series where he worked with renowned cinematographer Ivan Strasburg and essentially shot the equivalent of an ep. His second feature film, Griekwastad, starring Arnold Vosloo and Alex van Dyk was released in May 2020. This true crime picture was Jozua’s debut as a features DOP and is currently available on African streamer Showmax. Earlier this year the film secured a whopping 7 SAFTA nominations and won two; Best Film and Best Director. Jozua directed and shot all five episodes of Mnet’s mystery thriller Slot (TX January 2021) and two episodes of the psychological thriller Lioness, also for Mnet (TX February 2021). Joz’s feature film Beurtkrag (which he also co-wrote) for producer Danie Bester and KykNet premiered at Silwerskermfees 2022 and new heist action/thriller for Netflix which Joz directed the opening block drops on the streamer later this year. It will be the streamer’s biggest budget local production to date. Joz directs commercials under the banner 7 Films and has several projects across film and television in development including a five part TV adaptation for Expanded Media/LookOut Point and BBC Studios/M-Net which he will direct all five eps.

Represented by David Kayser