Rehad Desai (Chairperson)
Rehad is a Cape Town-born filmmaker who returned from exile in 1990 and now lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. Rehad has a Masters in History and began making documentaries in 1998. He formed Uhuru Productions in 2003 and has been the driving force behind the company ever since. He is also the Chairperson of the Human Rights Media Trust, formed in 2004. Over the course of his time as a filmmaker, he has conceived and produced over 20 documentary films, many of which he has directed or co-directed. Six of these films have been feature length documentaries, produced with significant international participation and have received critical acclaim and wide festival take-up. Rehad is the fntinental Human Rights Film Festival.
Neil Brand (Deputy Chairperson)
Neil is an award-winning filmmaker and producer, comfortable working across genres, cultures and time zones. A founding partner of Fireworx Media, Neil has been at the forefront of content entrepreneurship and media advocacy in South Africa, producing hard-hitting fiction and non-fiction films and series, working in challenging spaces across Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Neil has produced around 10 feature documentaries exploring personal and political revolutions that have won dozens of awards globally. His most recent documentary (2018), Whispering Truth to Power won Special Jury Prize at Hot Docs International. He is a founding partner of Moon Valley Studios in Johannesburg and has just launched a new development company StoryScope with a focus on African stories for global markets.
Michael Auret (Secretary)
Michael Auret is currently a partner and managing Director of Spier Films, a Cape Town and London based production, financing and sales company that he took over at the end of 2007. Spier Films had previously been responsible for the Golden Bear winning “U-Carmen eKhayelitsha” (Berlin 2005) and “Son of Man” (Sundance 2006). Michael is responsible for the Spier Film Fund which has invested equity as well as gap finance and pre-sale loans in various films, and he has now established the Film and Television Finance Company which cashflows the DTI rebate for various productions. In 2012 he co-founded Etana Film Guarantors which he sold on to become Hollard Film Guarantors in 2014. Since 2009, Michael has financed and produced 18 films of which 14 were international co-productions.
Shelli Miller (Treasurer)
Shelli has 34 years experience in the Film and TV industry. She started her career in the 80’s shooting high-end TV commercials into this century. Since her departure from the commercial world she has produced/Line Produced music videos (John Legend), documentaries, reality shows, award winning dramas, telenovellas and some of the most popular daily soapies on Mzansi Magic. She also managed the M-Net Vuka Awards for a number of years. She has worked extensively in Africa and abroad on some of the most unique projects. Some of the projects she has worked on has made a great impact to the South African industry such as Zone 14, Jacobs Cross, iSibaya, Ayeye, Isithembiso to name a few. She is currently a producer at The Bomb Shelter where she has worked since 2006.
Rolie Nikiwe is the co-creator of Rhythm City; the creative director of the multi-award winning drama series: Intersexions: and has directed award winning productions such as A Place Called Home, The Lab, Hard Copy, TshaTsha and others. He also has 2 feature films under his belt: Inside Story and Nothing for Mahala and a tv-movie Rise. He also directed: Umtshato, a BrandedSoul co-production which went to scoop a SAFTA for best cinematography. He has also serves as a judge on a number of industry award events such as the SAFTAs, Emmys and consults on many other projects. He also serves as a guest lecturer at Big Fish School, a film industry institution, where he gets to engage with younger talent set to breakthrough in the industry.
Producer Kethiwe Ngcobo has been in the industry for 27 years. She ran her own company, Fuzebox, for several years and produced a number of critically acclaimed programmes and series, including the documentary Project 10: Belonging (2004), 39 episodes of Thetha Msawawa, which won the UNICEF best children’s drama award in 2001, and 13 episodes of youth drama series Bubomi’ Sana (2004). She was then appointed the first head of drama at the SABC, creating the strategy that changed the face of drama in South Africa. In 2011 Ngcobo left the SABC and became creative producer on satirical comedy feature Gog’ Helen. Next she produced two TV dramas for Fuzebox productions, Thola and Mfolozi Street. In 2015, through Fuzebox, she produced the relationship drama It’s Complicated for Mzansi Magic.
Katleho is an actor, producer and writer who is the co-owner of the production company Burnt Onion Productions with his brother Tshepo and sister Rethabile, who created and produced the SABC1 sitcoms My Perfect Family and Thuli noThulani, as well as the Vuzu mockumentary Check-Coast, among others. Other television series he has acted in include Scandal!, Check-Coast, Wild at Heart, Isidingo, Backstage and Kota Life Crisis. He also had a major recurring role as Detective Dlamini in the SABC3 comedy-drama series Bedford Wives. Films he has acted in include Blood and Oil, Mary and Martha, Iron Will, Finding Lenny and Journey is the Destination. Katleho has been a head writer on the “Lokshin Bioskop” productions Uyaphapha, Reflections, Check-Coast, 4 Hours, Kasi Superhero and Naledi, among others.
Rudi van As
Rudi returned to South Africa in 2008 after having spent 10 years abroad where he garnered an in-depth knowledge of production and international film & television finance. As MD of Film Afrika, and building on initiatives pioneered by the company in the local industry, Rudi has succeeded in furthering the reputation of the country as a premier destination for high-profile international long running television series. Through his expertise in working in collaboration with Government, Rudi has secured numerous international projects, which has resulted in phenomenal growth in the region, as well as invaluable employment & training opportunities within the local industry. Rudi continues to work tirelessly with Government to ensure the continuation of the DTI SA Film Incentives and thus keeping South Africa competitive as an industry player in the global market. As Chairperson of The SA F.I.L.M. Academy, Rudi has worked closely with the members to further the aims of the initiative in creating opportunities for SA film graduates to ensure their growth into positions as Heads of Departments.