Zackie Achmat – Director

Zachie AchmatAchmat’s political activism began at age 14 during the 1976 Soweto student revolt. Between 1977 and 1980, he was imprisoned five times. An activist in ANC and UDF aligned community organisations until 1994, Zackie remains a critical ANC supporter. He lives with openly with HIV and joined the AIDS Law Project in 1994. Among the organisations he has founded are: National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality (now the Equality Project); the Treatment Action Campaign; and the Social Justice Coalition. He is currently the Director of the Centre for Law and Social Justice. He has received numerous South African and international awards for his activist work. His film biography includes Gay Life is Best (1992), Die duiwel maak my hart so seer (1993), Skerpioen onder die klip (1996) and Law and Freedom (2005).


Jacque Oldfield and Adelheid Reinecke – Co-Directors, Co-scriptwriters

Jacque Oldield and Adelheid ReineckJacque Oldfield graduated from AFDA film as a director/script writer in 2003 and moved into television. She started freelancing as a music video director in 2005.

Adelheid Reinecke graduated from Pretoria University Drama School as an actress and director in 2008 and went into marketing.

The first met in 2005, and realising that they had similar tastes and vision set about creating an underground cult film community, called Shoot to Kill, with artists and performers who skills were underutilised. They espouse guerrilla style filmmaking – no budgets, free of commercial control, pulling favours to make it all happen.


Faith Trimel – Writer, Director, Producer, Actor

Faith TrimelTrimel is a writer, director, producer, accomplished musician, published writer, and actress. Born into an environment that ‘allowed little room for self-expression’ Trimel literally wrote herself out of it and into the world of theatre and filmmaking, and spent many years as an actor in commercials and independent productions. Her debut film, Black Aura on an Angel, screened at festivals to critical acclaim. Currently she studies at The Brian Reise Acting Studios and the renowned iO West Theater (formerly Improv Olympics). Faith is a fitness buff who rides motorbikes and horses, climbs, dives (sky and scuba) and glides.

Blanca Avalos – Actor

Blanca AvalosAvalos is a professional actor working in film television, print, and runway. Notable roles include national commercials for Silestone and Radio Shack. She has done print work for Sprint, Kaiser Permanente, Mitsubishi, and America Online, as well as a host of regional industrials. Blanca was featured in the 2003 Black Entertainment Premier Magazine and showcased on the runway for Goldwell, Platinum Motors (“Du” Burns Arena), Xavier International Furriers, and the BRE Music Industry Conference and Festival. She currently studies and works with renowned New York-based author of Transformational Acting, Sande Shurin.


John Greyson – Director

John GreysonCanadian Greyson is a critically acclaimed film/video artist and film director and has probably won more Berlin International Film Festival Teddy Awards (the crown of queer awards internationally) than any other filmmaker. His works include: Proteus (2003), the first South African gay feature, co-directed by Jack Lewis; The Law of Enclosures (2000); Un©ut (1997); Lilies (1996); Zero Patience (1993); The Making of Monsters (1991); and Urinal (1988). He co-edited Queer Looks, a critical anthology on gay/lesbian film and video (Routledge, 1993), is the author of Urinal and Other Stories (Power Plant/Art Metropole, 1993), and has published essays and artists pieces in Alphabet City, Public, FUSE, and twelve critical anthologies. An associate professor in film production at York University, he was awarded the Toronto Arts Award for Film/Video, 2000, and the Bell Canada Video Art Award in 2007.


Robert Silke – Writer, Director, Producer

Robert SilkeCapetonian Silke is Design Director at Louis Karol, South Africa’s largest firm of architects. His award-winning built work, and social commentary, is published in blue-chip design journals Wallpaper*, ARCHIS and OneSmallSeed. His first film, Die Pienk Gevaar, screened at OIA in 2002 and was accorded must-see status at New York’s Mix NYC experimental film festival in the same year. The Satyr of Springbok Heights is Silke’s first long film and embodies his life-long preoccupation with architecture, urbanism and its profoundly-underestimated effect on the lives of ordinary people.


Simon Pearce – Director

Simon PearcePearce, who began playing with cameras sine he was 13, elected to work his way up through the industry rather than go to film school. He has worked in all spheres – sound, locations, camera, and editing – on corporate and music videos, broadcast commercials, live theatre and concerts, features, shorts, television dramas, natural history programmes and documentaries, among them the feature Casino Royale (video assist) and the BBC TV drama series Larkrise to Candleford (camera department). He continues to work on his own material and has made 7 short films. Shank is his debut as a director of a feature film and he will reunite with Christian Martin and partners to make Alpha-Male, to be shot later this year.

Christian Martin – Co-writer, Producer

Christian MartinIn the past 15 years Martin has developed studio projects and produced films in the UK, South Africa and the USA, working with talent such as Mick Jagger, Ian McKellen, Alex Winter and Teri Hatcher. Widely distributed, his films have received critical notices at festivals including Cannes Director’s Fortnight and Un Certain Regard. With experience in development, production, post-production, financing and distribution, Christian consults with new film makers, and with partner Darren Flaxstone, eschews run of the mill coming out stories, opting rather for gritty drama. Their second feature Release, which they will be co-directing, goes into production in August 2009. Martin runs his own company, Parasol Pictures that includes a small post production facility, creating on a microcosmic scale a vertically integrated structure allowing projects to flow from conception to completion and beyond.


Makgano Mamabolo & Lodi Matsetela – Writers, Producers

Mak graduated in 2001 as a Bachelor of Live Performance (AFDA) and has worked as a professional actress for the past 8 years. She also has a career as a producer and director (Vicious Delicious), a conceptualist (Jacob’s Cross, Home Affairs, Mazinyo dot Q and Stokve) and a scriptwriter for, among other programmes, Rhythm City.

Lodi graduated from the AAA school of Advertising, and began as a copywriter for Net#work BBDO. She quit advertising for scriptwriting and her credits include Fela’s TV, Home Affairs, The LAB, Rhythm City, Gugu and Andile, Hard Copy, A Place Called Home and City Ses’la. Her poetry is included in the anthology Peo Tsa Rona, and her short film BFF (writer, co-producer, director) premiered OIA in 2008.

Together they run Puo Pha Production, are the creative spark and drive behind the Society series (writers, creative producers) which is now in production for the 2nd and 3rd series.


Lucía Puenzo – Director

Lucía PuenzoBorn in Buenos Aires in 1976, Puenzo is published autor, scriptwriter and award winning film director. Her novels El Nińo Pez (2004), 9 minutos(2005), La Maldición de Jacinta Pichimahuida (2007) and La furia de la langosta (2009) have been published in France, Spain, Germany, Italy, USA and Brazil. XXY, her debut feature, has garnered 22 awards at Festivals in France, Spain, Mexico, Thailand, the UK, Greece, Canada, Slovenia, Cuba, India, Brazil and the USA. She is the author of some 18 film scripts, all of which have been made into films, the last 6 all in 2009, in Argentina, Mexico, Spain and the USA. The Fish Child (El Nińo Pez), based on her own novel, made its debut at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival.

Inès Efron – Actor

Inès EfronEfron has worked with many acclaimed Argentine directors. Her debut film role was in the award winning film Glue, director Alexis Dos Santos’ wonderful debut feature which screened at OIA in 2007. Since then she has taken lead roles in XXY, The Empty Nest (dir. Daniel Burman), Lovely Loneliness (dir. Victoria Galardi & Martin Carranza) and The Woman Without a Head (dir. Lucrecia Martel) among others. For her role as Alex in XXY she has received many awards both in Argentina and at international film festivals, among them the Argentine Film Academy Award, the 48th Cartagena Film Festival Best Film Actress award, and has recently received the Face of Argentine Cinema award at the Pantalla Pinamar Film Festival.


Fanney Tsimong – Director, and Nhlanhla Ndaba – Producer

Nhlanhla NdabaFanney TsimongBoth Tsimong and Ndaba have extensive experience in the entertainment industry. Fanney began as a dancer / choreographer and worked with Brenda Fassie and Janet Jackson. Ndaba began producing and directing on Miss Gay Soweto and Miss Confidence South Africa. Their film industry experience began with Out In Africa and both took part in the filmmaking workshops – producing and directing short films.
They have since made Black Beulahs (short documentary) and Intimate Connexionz (a 13 part talk show hosted by Somizi), and were creative script consultants on After Nine. Tsimong was a Berlinale Teddy Award jurist and both have been guests at the Mix Festival in Brazil, where they presented Black Beulahs.


Ofentse Gcwabe – Director

Ofentse Gcwabe

Gcwabe was raised in the cultural mix of strong Christian and indigenous Xhosa traditional belief systems. Upon matriculating she began a course in Business Studies but dropped it to take up Film and Video Technology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and is now in her second year.


Shelley Barry – Director

Shelley Barry

Barry was awarded a full scholarship from the Ford Foundation to study towards her Master of Fine Arts in Film in the United States. Her films have since won several international awards and screened at major festivals and events around the world. Television acquisition includes MTV, DUTV and WYBE in the U.S. She runs twospinningwheels productions and is currently Head of Programming at Cape Town TV (CTV).


Beverley Gurwicz – Director

Bev Gurwicz

Though formally trained in Performance and Theatre in Education, Gurwicz has spent the last 25 years dealing in real estate. The urge to be creative, to write, direct and produce, resulted in her first short film Jacaranda Sunrise which was co-written by Nellie Nxumalo.


John Trengrove – Director

John Trengrove

Trengove was so inspired by the fierce black trannies he met on the streets of New York while living there, he made Say Hi to Bangkok. Back home, he recently directed the acclaimed miniseries Hopeville, and is currently developing a queer coming-of-age feature film set in Beaufort West.