AFDA Johannesburg alumni Open Day Guest Speaker – Lemogang Tsipa
AFDA Live Performance alumnus Lemogang Tsipa acting career has skyrocketed after playing the incredibly important role of ‘Shaka’ in the MultiChoice and Bomb Productions 12 episode drama series “Shaka Ilembe”, which is currently screening on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161). The series has smashed all audience records for MultiChoice and received wide critical acclaim.
Lemogang stars alongside the “The River” actor Thembinkosi Mthembu who portrays King Dingiswayo with “Isibaya” leading lady Nomzamo Mbatha as Queen Nandi and “Uzalo” star Wiseman Mncube as King Zwide. Newcomer Nthando Zondi plays the younger Shaka.
Playing ‘Shaka’ is not only a career highlight for Lemogang but also the most detailed process he’s ever had to go through in terms of body transformation. He played both the younger and older version of the character, dropping to 68kg to capture teen Shaka. Then he had a month to gain the weight back and go up to 76kg. To achieve this his breakfast consisted of six eggs and two sausages, muesli, yogurt, and fruit. His lunch would include 500g rice and 250g chicken, and he’d have protein shakes all day.
In an interview with the Sowetan Lemogang explains the difficulty of playing ‘Shaka’. “The most difficult thing in playing ‘Shaka’ has been trying to find a balance between the harsh and tough mythological character that we know and the vulnerable human being behind that. Trying to play those two worlds and marry them without leaning too much into one [has been difficult].”
Lemogang graduated from AFDA Cape Town in the class of 2012 with a BA in Live Performance. In 2013 he was booked in his first international feature film, ‘Alien Outpost’, where he would play an American soldier in this futuristic action film. Shortly after his first shoot he decided to take the risk of perusing his career full time, and by the grace of God he has never had to look back.
Lemogang made his film debut in local film ‘Felix’ (2013) and his local television debut in ‘Forced love’ (2012-2016). His first major international supporting role was in, British thriller, ‘Eye in the sky’ (2015) where he played the role of ‘Matt Laver’ the Mission Intel Coordinator. In the same year he also landed another international supporting role alongside Sir. Kenneth Branagh in ‘Wallander’ (2015) in which he delivered a memorable and touching performance.
His body of work consists of ‘Alien outpost’ (2014), ‘Homeland’ (2014), ‘Traffic’ (2014), ‘The Golden Rule’ (2014), ‘Cape Town’ (2015), ‘The Book of Negroes’ (2015), ‘Lazy Suzan’ (2015), ‘Jamillah and Aladdin’ (2015), ‘Black Sails’ (2016), ‘Jab’ (2016), ‘Roots’ (2016), ‘Oasi’s (2017), ‘Amandla’ (2017), ‘The Number’ (2017) and ‘The Dark Tower’ (2017).
In 2017 Lemogang made his feature film debut lead role in, Craig Friemond’s, ‘Beyond The River’ where he plays Duma, a talented young man who feels trapped by his circumstances and finds himself on the wrong side of the law, he attempts to overcome his obstacles through his journey in the sport of canoeing.
Lemogang recently starred in the BBC/Netflix series, Troy- Fall of City and is currently a lead in the popular television series, ‘Isithembiso’.
AFDA Cape Town alumni Open Day Guest Speaker – Travis Taute
Travis is a writer, director and producer and co-founder of Gambit Films. He is a wildly ambitious storyteller. In 2014 he co-wrote and co-directed the short film “Nommer 37” with Nosipho Dumisa which premiered at the Silwerskermfees where it won the best director and best script awards. It would later also win the Best Short Film award at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA).
The last few years have seen Travis’ career sky rocket. In 2020 he wrote and directed the Netflix African original series “Blood & Water”. Since its premiere, “Blood & Water” has become a global success. The series is now in its third season.
In 2021 Travis’ debut film “Indemnity”, which Travis wrote and directed premiered in South Africa at the 10th annual kykNET Silwerskermfees, where the film received 12 nominations. “Indemnity” had its overseas premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Canada.
In March 2023 Travis’ latest work, the Netflix crime series, “Unseen” was released in over 190 countries. Travis and Daryne Joshua created the worldwide popular series with Travis also picking up the directing credit.
AFDA Durban Open Day Alumni Guest Speaker – Kofi Zwana
AFDA alumnus Kofi Zwana is an award winning filmmaker born in Zimbabwe. He then lived in South America for a while before settling down in South Africa where he pursued his film career at AFDA.
From the tender age of 21, Kofi began making his mark as a film maker and photographer in South Africa. Two months out of film school, Kofi won his first gold at the ISAA – International Sports Advertising Awards. Now with three silver Loeries, a Cannes Bronze Lion, Creative Circle first prize and multiple other awards under his belt, he is currently based out of Johannesburg directing commercials for the production company Hungry Films and working on TV, short film and his first feature fiction film.
His photography has been exhibited in France, London, America, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He has even been exhibited at Cannes in the famous photographer Ian Rankin’s project “The Big Book”. His work has also featured in campaigns for brands such as Heineken.
His documentary short “Unlearning Violence” was selected as part of the Encounters Film Festival 2013.
He is co-producer on the documentary feature film “The Sound of Masks” which is on Showmax and Amazon currently. He is currently in development with the documentary project “Stripped”, which is funded by the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa.
His short film “Ashes in the Earth” was selected as part of the Ster Kinekor Short Film Project screened in cinemas nationwide. He has also produced branded short films for Red Bull and for Nokia.
At the end of 2022, Kofi will direct his first feature film “Misfits” – hired to do the African version of the international franchise that can be found on Netflix.
He is also being funded by the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa to write his feature film, “The Woods”, based on a simple idea and a lot of hard work behind it.
Kofi’s extensive background as a writer, director, producer, assistant director, photographer, editor and sound designer make him an all-round filmmaker and he’s always looking for new projects to take on and new stories to tell.
AFDA Gqeberha Open Day Guest Speaker – Jordy Sank
Jordy is a two times SAFTA-winning South African Director, Screenwriter and Producer known for his feature documentary “I am Here” (2021), and Afrikaans short film “Leemtes en Leegheid” (2022). He was honoured with the Emerging Filmmaker Award at the South African Film and TV Awards (2022), given to one South African filmmaker making waves in the industry. He is a Durban Talents alumnus (2022) and winner of a Silver Screen Award at the Young Director Awards (2022) in Cannes. In 2021, he received 2 Best Director Awards from the Jozi Film Festival and Africa Human Rights Film Festival. Jordy is exceptionally passionate about pushing the envelope of South African storytelling and sharing these meaningful and impactful films with the world.
His debut feature documentary, “I am Here”, won Best South African Feature Documentary at the Durban International Film Festival in 2021, which made the film eligible for Oscar consideration. The film has won multiple international Audience Choice, Best Director awards and 3 sought-after South African Film and Television Awards in 2022. It has screened in cinemas in the United States, Australia and South Africa, with more territories releasing this year.
His short film “Leemtes en Leegheid” took home 3 prestigious awards at its world premiere at Silwerskermfees, including Best Short Film, Best Screenplay and the Audience Choice Award. Among other international awards, the short film won Best Artists’ Film at the Aesthetica Film Festival in the United Kingdom. With a project in development, he was chosen as 1 of 4 international projects to pitch as a part of La Petite Fabrique at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France.
Jordy is also the co-founder of the production company Sanktuary Films.