Rehad Desai (Co-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 founder director of the Tri Continental Human Rights Film Festival.
Dr Lwazi Manzi (Co-chairperson)
Lwazi has enjoyed a relatively prolific career in her short five years of existence in the film industry. As with many filmmakers she ‘found’ herself in the industry by default and executive produced Of Good Report, a multi-award-winning cult classic. She has since formed a joint venture with Spier Films called Mercurial Pictures and continues as executive producer with 5 credits to date. Her passion for the proliferation and sustainability of the South African Film Industry led her to conceptualise and execute CineCulture, a multi-format experiential platform that tackles the gaps in the value chain which hinder film industry growth. She was also a founding board member of SWIFT, a women in film advocacy entity. Lwazi’s leadership and passion for the industry culminated in being awarded a Special Discretionary Simon Sabela Award by MEC Sihle Zikalala for outstanding contribution to the film industry, particularly in KwaZulu Natal.
Over the last 30 years Carolyn has produced a number of award winning television drama series, feature length documentaries, South Africa’s first reality TV show, plus produced Cinema and Television Commercials. She recently completed her feature film, THE NUMBER, directed by Khalo Matabane and premiered in Toronto in September at TIFF 2017. She was head of the Newtown Film and Television School (1992-1995) and Manager of Television training at SABC (1995 – 2000) and as a producer she has created and produced numerous youth reality shows for loveLIfe and Broadcast HIV Africa that promote critical thinking amongst youth for South African and Pan-African audiences. She served as a council member on the inaugural South African National, Film and Video Foundation from 1999 -2002 (NFVF) and SASFED representative on the MAPP SETA from 2010/2011.
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
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.
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.
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.