Hear from Oscar-winner Tristan Holmes at AFDA Open Day

Apr 1, 2022 | Alumni, Awards, Events, News

AFDA Johannesburg alumnus Tristan Holmes is a fiercely hardworking award-winning film, commercial & music video director that applies every part of himself to every image he creates. There is sweat, there is blood, there is [producer’s] tears, there is passion, there is ultimate craft. This is a director who gives his all, that makes you give your all, all for love of making films.

Tristan began his career in front of the camera at the tender age of 12. After six years as a KTV television presenter, he enrolled at AFDA Johannesburg  where he graduated top of his class with a BA honours in Motion Picture Medium in 2005. His films made during this time were widely applauded garnering awards all across the world. “Elalini”, his postgraduate short film won a string of local and international festival awards, including the most prestigious one of all: The Student Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006, the only South African entry to claim this honour. Tristan was also Shortlisted for Best Director at the Cannes Lions.

In 2008 Tristan completed a six-part drama series for MNET called “Innocent Times” before embarking on a career in music video production. It did not take long for Tristan to establish himself as one of the best music video directors in South Africa winning several awards and many nominations for work done for Evermore, Asa, Winterstasie, Locnville and The Frown.

Tristan then focused on applying his craft to commercials and joined fellow AFDA alumni Adam Thal’s production company Star Films as a partner and creative director. At star Tristan has made powerful brand commercials for the likes of Visa, Coca Cola, Tusker, Vodacom, ANC and SAB.

Five years ago Tristan decided to pursue his film career abroad in Los Angeles where he directs commercials and films for Doomsday Entertainment (US), and Anorak (EU). He often returns to South Africa to shoot commercials for Star Films (ZA).


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