Zwelethu Radebe
'To be the best, you have to surround yourself in an environment where the best are' - Zwelethu Radebe (Image supplied)

Up-and-coming filmmaker and commercials director Zwelethu Radebe has joined award-winning production house Egg Films, where he'll be working with producer Dumisani Mvumvu from their Johannesburg office.

"We have been looking for the right talent to add to our Johannesburg roster for nearly two years, so we are super excited to have Zwelethu join us," Egg Films' executive producer, Colin Howard, said in a statement last week.

Radebe spent much of his youth behind the lens, recreating his favourite film scenes with nothing but an 8mm camcorder, his BMX and his younger brother as the actor. By the time he was cast as a caricature of cricket legend Lance "Zulu" Klusener in a washing powder commercial, the film bug had its fangs in deep.

Consistently finishing top of his class at film school Afda, Radebe continued the trend at his first Loeries - South Africa's premium advertising awards - where, barely months after graduating, he won his first Loerie Award for an emotionally gripping Ster-Kinekor cinema spot titled "Thato".

 

 

Still just 27, Radebe has spent a busy last three years directing commercials full-time for both local and international agencies and clients, shooting in nine countries across Africa and Europe. Now, with Egg Films, he's looking forward to raising his game still further.

Egg Films was one of South Africa's most awarded production companies last year. At the 2016 Loeries, its directors took home three Golds, one Silver, one Bronze and two Craft Certificates.

"I've always loved Egg's work and have been inspired by directors like Terence Neale and Sunu," Radebe says. "That's the level of work that I want to do. To be the best, you have to surround yourself in an environment where the best are, so I'm looking forward to strengthening my craft here."

Radebe also has his eye on fiction filmmaking. His award-winning short film The Hajji (2012) screened at numerous film festivals at home and abroad, and his latest short, The Hangman - which he also wrote and directed - recently had its world premiere at Atlas Studios in Johannesburg, with close on 1 000 people turning up at the 250-seater venue.

Speaking about The Hangman in an interview on Vow FM last year, Radebe said: "For me it's important that we tell stories about our people, and that we tell them ourselves … because that's how you start to create an industry.

"At Tribal Media House where we shot the film, we shot it as a 100% black production. Right now, it isn't the case that we have a lot of young black production companies like Tribal Media House being able to create content that is completely 100% black-owned, so for me that is a future vision and hope, and this is why we're doing it, to show people that it can be done - and not only that it can be done, but that it has been done."

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission