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CineFam Women at DIFF 19


CineFAM South Africa Mentors – Top/Bottom L-R:


Frances-Anne Solomon
Frances-Anne Solomon is an award-winning filmmaker of Caribbean heritage and a writer, producer and director in film, TV, Radio and new media. She was born in England to Trinidadian parents and educated in Trinidad, Canada, England and France. She then went on to build a successful career over thirteen years in England with the BBC as a TV Drama Producer and Executive Producer. In 2000, she returned to Toronto where she continued to create, direct and produce her own projects. Frances-Anne is a graduate of the University of Toronto with postgraduate training at Bristol University, UK and the prestigious BBC Drama Directors Programme. She has lectured  in film studies at the University of the West Indies: St Augustine Campus (Trinidad) and Cave Hill Campus (Barbados). Her directing credits include A Winter Tale (2007), Peggy Su! (BBC Films, 1997); What My Mother Told Me (Channel 4 1995), and Bideshi (British Film Institute 1994); and documentaries Literature Alive: Series 1 & 2 (Bravo!/OMNI, 2006), Reunion (BBC2,1993), and I Is A Long Memoried Woman (Arts Council of England 1991). In 2001 she successfully launched the first CaribbeanTales project. Today, CaribbeanTales has grown into a group of companies – the CaribbeanTales Media Group — that produces, markets and sells Caribbean-themed audio-visual content across the globe.


Kethiwe Ncgobo 

Kethiwe has been in the Film and television industry for 30 years. She was managing her company Fuzebox from 1997-2004 and produced a number of critically acclaimed programmes and series, including a documentary Belonging (2004). Thetha Msawawa  39 eps(2000-2004), which won the UNICEF best children’s drama ward in 2001), Bubomi’ Sana (2004) a youth drama series. She was headhunted to be the first Head of Drama at the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Home Affairs was twice nominated for an International Emmy, and was nominated at the Banff world television festival award.  The Good Provider won the Banff World TV Festival:  Best Family and Youth Programme Award for.  When We Were Black  won  Best Drama TV/Film Award at the International TV Encounters Festival in Reims, France &. Stockvel V was nominated  for a Rose’dor  2008, it also received two awards at the South African Comedy awards . Since the inception of the SAFTA’s the majority of awards have been warded to SABC drama (57 in the first year and over 36  in the second year). She was key in ensuring that the  Sediba development programme was used as a tool by the SABC.  14 Series were produced using this tool and another 12 were developed. This programme along with other development iniatives, such as the Commandments changed the face of fiction production at the SABC and in South Africa generally.  Over 150 people were trained in Televsion script development during her tenure at the SABC In 2011 and she left the SABC. Since then she has been  creative producer on a low budget Feature film Gog’ Helen ,  Mrs Right Guy, and was released in 2012. She has since then produced  TV drama’s for Fuzebox productions,   Thola x 52 eps and Mfolozi  x 39 eps, Its Complicated  x 26 eps  & recently was creative producer on  feature film  Love Lives Here released in April  2019.


Mehernaz Lentin 
As Senior Director of CBC Films for Canada’s public broadcaster, Mehernaz Lentin is responsible for overseeing the funding and pre-licensing of Canadian features for broadcast and streaming on CBC platforms. An award-winning independent producer with over 20 years’ experience in the Canadian film and television industry, Lentin began her career at the Canadian Film Centre in 1990: working closely with Filmmakers in Residence, coordinating the Master Lecture Series and developing new programs to highlight the work of Canadian creators. Since then, she has worked with some of Canada’s leading filmmakers, with producing credits that include: Portrait of a Serial Monogamist (2015, Christina Zeidler and John Mitchell), Fall (2014, Terrance Odette), Invisible City (2009, Hubert Davis), Toxic Trespass (2007, Barri Cohen), and three Deepa Mehta features: Heaven on Earth (2008), The Republic of Love (2003) and Bollywood/Hollywood (2002). CBC Films encompasses the national public broadcaster’s continued investment in Canadian cinema and spans film initiatives including funding, pre-buys and acquisitions for CBC broadcast and streaming platforms. CBC Films funding supports the production of feature films led by female, LGBTQ, Indigenous and diverse filmmakers that reflect, represent, and reframe a range of perspectives through character-driven stories that are at the centre of the Canadian experience.


Nicole Mendes 

Nicole Mendes has spent the past decade working in Scripted Content at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. As Executive in Charge of Production for CBC Drama, she oversees projects in both production and development for dramatic one-hour series, limited series, miniseries, movies of the week, and specials. She currently oversees Canada’s number one drama, Murdoch Mysteries, the acclaimed series, Anne With an “E,” a co-venture between CBC and Netflix, as well as recently announced Canada/New Zealand co-production, The Sounds with Shaftesbury and South Pacific Pictures. Nicole has also served on multiple juries and sat on various industry panels for organizations such as TIFF, WGC, DGC, and WIFT-T. She also serves on committees for POV 3 rd Street and BIPOC TV & Film, organisations that aim to increase inclusion and representation in the industry.



CineFAM South Africa Participants – Top/Bottom L-R:


Bridget Pickering
Project Name – Life after Death
Bridget has been working in television, media and film for over twenty years and has produced some of the highest rated shows on South African television such as U Gugu no Andile, Monna wa Minno, Usindiso, Dreamworld , End Game and Sticks and Stones. Most recently she has completed production on a 156 Episode Telenovella for SABC, Keeping Score. In 2004 she was the South African Co producer on the Oscar nominated HOTEL RWANDA. In 2003 she started Luna Films with Neil Brandt, a production company based in Johannesburg. She is currently a Co Owner and Director of Fireworxmedia, which is one of the most Awarded Companies in South Africa. Through both companies she has produced over ten television dramas and three feature films. She is a Co Producer of the feature film TASTE OF RAIN which was shown at the Durban International Film Festival in 2012 and screened on the cable network, MNET. Her most recent production is the feature film, The Chemo Club a comedy heist film which will be released in July 2018. Bridget spent the Summer of 2014 as a guest of the Producers Guild of America through its Diversity Programme and at Revelations Entertainment developing her feature project, THE NIGHT OUTSIDE which starts Principal Photography in August 2018. She has been at the forefront of acquiring and creating the vision for Moon Valley Studios, a female driven Studio initiative to set up a creative filmmaker’s hub and think tank for African filmmakers.


Sylvia Vollenhoven
Project Name – Buckingham Palace
Professor of Practice, Humanities Faculty: University of Johannesburg 
• Winner Mbokodo Award for Literature for her creative non fiction novel The
Keeper of the Kumm
• Shortlisted SA Literary Award
• Long Listed Alan Paton Award
• Nominee 2016 SA Film & TV Awards for Best Director & Best Documentary
• Winner of the inaugural Adelaide Tambo Award for Human Rights in the Arts
• Winner of the Nordic Publicistklubben Prize for Journalism
• Knight International Journalism Fellow
• Selection Panel: SA National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF)
• Founder of VIA – Vision in Africa, a media organisation, that specialises in filmmaking, creative writing and cross platform story telling A writer, award-winning journalist, playwright and filmmaker. In 2019
appointed the University of Johannesburg’s first ever Professor of Practice.Commissioned by the Volksoperahuis of Amsterdam to write Krotoa Eva van de Kaap , a play that premiered in the Netherlands to standing ovations before a sold-out run in South Africa in 2019. Her seminal dance drama about Khoisan identity, The Keeper of the Kumm (based on the novel of the same name), opened on the main programme at the National Arts Festival (NAF). A play she co-authored, My Word, Redesigning Buckingham Palace , was chosen for a run on London’s West End and for the main programme at the NAF. The Main Festival also selected another of her plays, Cold Case – Revisiting Dulcie September. The latter won both the inaugural Adelaide Tambo Award for Human Rights in the Arts as well as a Standard Bank Audience Award. SA Producer for the BBC mini- series Mandela the Living Legend . Chair of the 2018 & 2019 Alan Paton Literary Award Jury. Guest Lecturer at the University of the Free State, the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University. Member of the International Emmy Awards 2018 Jury. Led media projects for the UK’s Thomson Foundation in association with Oxford University as well as Cardiff University. Her feature documentary film Jozi Gold (co Director & SA Producer) has been chosen for a special screening on World Environment Day 2019 to launch the 21st Encounters Film Festival (SA). 


Rea Moeti
Project Name – Esidimeni
Reabetswe Moeti is a SAFTA winning writer and director from Johannesburg, South Africa. She’s currently a showrunner on a new Showmax original comedy series that she created.  She has experience as a comedy and drama head writer and as a director. Rea holds a Masters Degree from the acclaimed National Film And Television  School in the UK and has work experience as a writer and director in the film and television industry in both South Africa and London. Her passion and flair for cool and unique storytelling sets her apart as a contemporary film and TV creative. Rea aspires to make magical realism influenced films and television shows which explore the quirky and magical side of contemporary culture and particularly African cultures, stories which explore and amalgamate ancient African ideals and evolving global lifestyles, like her first short film “The Virgin Vegan” about a Butcher’s daughter  who returns to her township home with her Cambridge MBA and is expected to run the family butchery which funded her studies, but she’s a VEGAN; second award winning short film Mma Moeketsi is about the true story of a woman who loses her son at the Marikana miner's strike in 2012 where 34 miners in South Africa were gunned down by the police during a strike.  


Ayanda Halimana
Project Name – One day in June
Ayanda trained as Script Editor in “After nine” – SABC 1 Mini-Series through Sediba. She worked in the SABC Content Hub Drama department since December 2006. She started as an Intern and grew from “Intern” to Acting Head of Genre during her time at the SABC. In 2013 moved to M-Net, A Pay-TV platform where she worked as a Commissioning Editor. For three months after resignation, Ayanda worked as a Story Development Consultant for the channel on their key Telenovelas. She was Creative Producer in the Female Filmaker slate – 2016. Ayanda also Mentors & Trains for KZNFC FITI Program as well as NFVF Spark. She currently works as a Head Writer / Script Editor /Script Writer for features and most recently Creative producer for Dramas.  



Mariette Monpierre

Project Name – CaribbeanGirl NYC

From the beaches of Guadeloupe to the heart of Paris to the bright lights of the Big Apple, Mariette Monpierre always saw her life through lenses. Growing up in the belly of Paris, films fascinated her. She completed her Masters Degree in media & languages at the Sorbonne University and Smith College in Massachusetts and moved to Manhattan to follow her dream of becoming a filmmaker. She began her career as a producer at BBDO NY, one of the world’s leading advertising agencies where she produced commercials for Pepsi Cola, Visa, Campbell’s, Pizza Hut, Gillette and FedEx. Directing opened up a new dimension to her work. She shapes the message, controls the content & masters the look. Knowledge is Power (1997) was commissioned by the New York City Health Department to raise HIV/AIDS awareness. In 2002, Sweet Mickey for President? won best documentary at the Reel Sister Film Festival in NY. Her short film Rendez-Vous (2002) was nominated for the Djibril Diop Mambéty Award in partnership with the Directors Fortnight in Cannes. The film experienced a successful run in several major international film festivals and she travelled the world with it. Mariette Monpierre signed her first feature length film in 2011, Elza (Le Bonheur d’Elza).


Reem Morsi
Project Name – Fish

Reem Morsi had a career of professional scuba diving, human rights till becoming a writer/director. Morsi’s film credits include “Their Feast” (Cannes Short Film Corner, TIFF, BBC, Cine Sud), “Nostalgia” (WIFT 2015), among others. Morsi is a CFC Directors’ Lab alumna 2015 and her CFC short “The Door” screened at notable festivals, including Whistler Film Festival & Yorkton Film Festival (for which it was nominated for Best Drama 2017). Morsi received a scriptwriting grant for her feature film “Bootleg” by the San Francisco Film Society, March 2016. Morsi’s short film based on her feature screened at International Festivals, including winning best Canadian short at the London Worldwide Comedy Festival. Morsi won first place for “Show & Tell” at the WIFT/BravoFact pitch competition 2016 and the film was nominated for the Golden Sheaf Award for Best Short Subject and Best Emerging Filmmaker at the Yorkton Film Festival, 2017. Morsi participated at the 2012 Berlinale Talent Campus, 2016 TIFF Talent Lab and Women in the Director’s Chair. Morsi’s short films scripts Lipstick, Check Point & Mango were named finalists for Robert Bosch Film Fund in 2013, 2014 and 2015 (affiliated with the Berlin Film Festival). Reem also won the Telefilm Canada New Voices Award at the Toronto Screenwriters Conference, April 2017.



Patricia Bebia-Mawa

Project Name – Finding Zendaya

Patricia Bebia-Mawa is the Host and Producer of Planet Africa Television, a weekly television series that is broadcast across Canada on OMNI TV, and is syndicated to Europe and Africa. She is also the Managing Editor of Planet Africa Magazine, a publication circulated within Canada and the United States. In addition, Patricia serves as Producer of Arise on CTS Television and Destiny Television on Grace TV. Prior to coming to Canada, Patricia was the Host of Lunch Date, a daily talk show, and Thinking About You on DBN Television in Lagos, Nigeria.

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