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NN shoots XT2 Oliver Barnett.jpg

I'm a documentary filmmaker, stills photographer, lecturer and mentor.  

I studied Journalism and Media as well as an Honors degree in Psychology in the politically heated 1980s at Rhodes University,  was active in anti-apartheid student organizations and edited the student newspaper.


Initially my career started in print media, working for newspapers and magazines in both South Africa, London and Hong Kong.


I started the production company See Thru Media in 1993 and soon found my way into factual television, producing, directing, shooting and editing documentaries and awareness raising films for NGOs and educational institutions as well as feature length broadcast films.

I moved into fiction filmmaking for a time, attending the prestigious Binger Film Institute in Amsterdam with a feature film script as writer/director for 6 months as well as being selected for the 10 commandments feature film collaboration between the Binger, the National Film and Video Foundation and the SABC.  I also attended the first Berlin Talent Campus. 

Photo:  Oliver Barnett

South Africa's TV, documentary and filmmaking industries were in formation and I got involved starting with the Film and Allied Workers Organization (FAWO).  For many years I taught film production to women in developing countries especially during my four years as the Vice President of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television. I was also a board member of Women In Film and Television SA.    For 6 years, I ran the documentary filmmaking course at City Varsity and guest lecture at CPUT and Big Fish.  

The last few years I've concentrated on stills photography.  My work has been published in books, magazines and on websites and educational media.  I've had work shown in many group exhibitions in Cape Town and at Somerset House in London as part of being short listed for the Zeiss Photography Award with the series Place Of Water

I was shortlisted for the Hopper Art Prize and in 2020 was selected to take part in the Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Talent Exchange program, was part of that group exhibition at Everard Read Circa Gallery and had work auctioned by Strauss and Co.  


  • Selected for RMB TALENT UNLOCKED 2021, on exhib at Everard Read Circa Gallery  & work auctioned by Strauss & Co. 

  • Hopper Art Prize, shortlisted for A Place of Water series, 2020

  • Zeiss Photography Award 2017 - Shortlisted, part of exhibition in Somerset House, London

  • The Binger Film Institute (Amsterdam) Attended as writer/director for 6 months

  • 10 Commandments Feature Film series (Binger, NFVF & SABC)  Selected, as writer/director 

  • Social Justice in Media Award (SIMA) for From The Same Soil

  • OXFAM Award Best Woman Director for Simon & I with Bev Ditsie, screened on BBC Storyville

  • Encounters Documentary Festival & Out In Africa Film Festival Opening Night Films for A Family Affair and Simon & I

  • International Association of Women in Radio & TV Vice-President for two terms

  • Women in Film & TV South Africa Board Member 

  • 1st Berlin Talent Campus

Graduating from The Binger Film Institute,  Amsterdam.

Spike Lee at the first Berlin Talent Campus

Film & Allied Workers Organisation (FAWO)

From Left Tsepho Ranto, Karen Thorne,

Steven Markovitz, Zayd Minty, Tessa Dugmore,

Nicky Newman, Chuck Scott, Dumi Ngubane


  • B Journalism and Media Studies – Rhodes University (1986 – 1988)

  • Honors Degree in Psychology – Rhodes University (1989)

  • Scholarship to the Binger Film Institute  in Amsterdam, Writing & Directing, 

  • Attended the first Berlin Talent Campus – Germany

  • Photography Masterclass with Jodi Bieber as part of CT Month of Photography

  • Photography Masterclass with Jenny Altshuler, Director of Month of Photography

  • Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) TALENT UNLOCKED program for 2021


  • Zeiss Photography Award 2017 - Shortlisted.  Exhibition at Somerset House in London with World Photography Organization

  • Photo part of Insurgent Citizens: Reflections on protest in democratic SA by the Nelson Mandela Foundation 2019

  • 2nd place, cash prize in TBM Media photography competition on Aging – 2012


  • International Museum of Women – USA – Book and Web exhibition “Imagining Ourselves”

  • Book covers – various

  • Agance France Press – photo editor – Hong Kong

  • Exhibition: How Safe Sex can be good sex

  • Various publications

  • Month of People’s Photography – Cape Town, x 2 exhibitions

  • Behind The Scenes on TV Series The Mating Game & Old Mutual commercial

  • Judge for Wiki Loves Africa competition 2021 and 2023


  • Simon & I (Prod, Cam, Dir) 52 mins – on HIV activists Simon Nkoli & Bev Ditsie. Received 2 awards and screened at over 45 film festivals and was broadcast in approximately 10 countries.

  • From the Same Soil (Dir) – 26 min – LGBTI refugees in SA. Scalabrini/STEPS, Amnesty International. Winner of the Ethos award, Social Impact Media Award (SIMA) 2015

  • Architecture of Fear (Prod, Cam, Dir and Editor) 52 mins – SABC 3 – on crime and architecture in Jhb

  • World Birth Day (Camera) – DOP for SA Section for New York Times/Granada Television for Discovery Channel

  • Family Affair (Prod, Editor) 52 mins – SABC – on Blondie Makhene and his family (opening night film at Encounters International Documentary Film Festival in CT and Jhb)

  • As Large As Life (Prod, Cam, Dir) 26 mins –relationships between portrayal of women in the media and eating disorders (shown at various educational institutions and film festivals)

  • Whole World Comes Out To Play (Prod, Cam and Dir) 26 mins – SABC 1 on street theatre and performance art

  • Across The Line (Cam, Dir) 52 mins – SABC 3 – on interracial adoption (nominated for an AVANTI Award) Prod: DO Productions

  • The Junk Art Family (Prod, Dir) 28 mins – CCTV (Chinese Central TV) – on people who make art from rubbish. 

  • Mixing It Up (Prod, Dir, Cam, Editing) – 28 min – CCTV (Chinese Central TV) on adoption in South Africa.


  • Lebone – Women on the Move – Producer: Karin Vundla

  • Mochochonono – adult education – Prod: WITS TV

  • Money – personal finance – Prod: African Business Channel (ABC)

  • Headwrap – youth arts collaboration programme – Prod: Plexus Films

  • What’s Your Story – youth heritage – Prod: Pitch Black Films


  • UCT Lung Institute –Primary Health Care Nursing – 28 mins

  • Encounters Schools Programme: workshops on HIV/AIDS, race and gender using film and media with schoolchildren – 40 minutes

  • International Association of Women in Radio and TV (IAWRT) – 20 minutes

  • Third World Bunfight (theatre group) – 40 minutes

  • Out The Box (events management) – 15 minutes

  • Visual Arts and Crafts Academy (VACA) – using arts education for disabled kids – 20 mins

  • War Against Malnutrition and TB (WARMTH) – 20 mins

  • Pieter Dirk Uys – Evita turns 70! (for fundraiser for Darling) – 15 mins

  • IFESH – Development Banking – 20 mins

  • Alcohol Awareness Week – Jhb City Council – 5 mins

  • Kagiso: Levels of Services, Municipal Services x 2 (40 mins each)

  • Drumawe: drumming as therapy for deaf children – 20 mins

  • Thembaletu: Disabled school in Gugulethu

  • Baphumelele: Orphanage for affected and infected children

  • Sivuyile – 25 mins on the school for physically and mentally disabled children at Stikland Mental Hospital in Cape Town.

  • Lufthansa: GlobalTeleSales corporate film – 6 mins

  • Housing Development Agency: Pipeline Project and Emergency Housing


  • Best Women Director – Oxfam award – Vue de Afrique (Canada)  (Simon & I)

  • Honourable Mention Banff Television Foundation (Simon & I)

  • Simon & I nominated for Dave and Tom excellence Award – San Francisco

  • Simon & I Second place in the Audience Awards at the Encounters International Documentary Film Festival in South Africa

  • Across The Line – Nominated for an AVANTI award


  • Zeiss Photography Award 2017 - Shortlisted.  Exhibition at Somerset House in London with World Photography Organization


  • Article in Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equality: Post-Beijing – The Media

  • Article on Broadcasting in Hong Kong – International Broadcasting Asia

  • Two chapters in Voices & Visions: Audio-visual media in the new South Africa: The Independent Production Sector and Training for the Audio-Visual Sector in South Africa.

  • Two chapters on Youth and Children’s Broadcasting – academic book

  • Big Screen – New York Film Festival

  • Working with digital cameras – IAWRT website and training manua


  • Making of Cosmic Africa (Director, Camera, Editor) 25 mins – MNET – behind the scenes on Cosmic Africa

  • A World Unseen – 20 mins, Behind The Scenes documentary for DO Productions (Camera, Editor)

  • I Can’t Think Straight –20 mins, Behind The Scenes documentary for Enlightenment Pictures (Editor)

  • Lost City Raiders– (Camera) – Behind The Scenes – DO Productions.

  • Themba – (Camera) – Behind The Scenes – DO Productions.


  • Short film shortlisted for Channel 4’s Short & Curlies competition

  • Producer of Dead Famous, short film funded by NFVF

  • Attended the Binger Film Institute in Amsterdam with a feature film script for the Writing and Directing five month course

  • Attended the first Talent Campus in Berlin for one week of lectures, seminars, workshops and screenings.


  • Women in Film and Television (WIFT) – Board member 

  • International Association of Women in Radio and TV (IAWRT) Board Member and Vice-President

  • Documentary Filmmakers Association

  • Electronic Media in Education (EME)


  • Lecturer for documentary for City Varsity, four years.

  • Lecturer at Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking

  • Guest lecturer at CPUT

  • Guest lecturer at Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography

  • In Our Own Voices: working with young girls making documentaries on sexual violence – both technical production and story-telling

  • For many years, through the International Association of Women in Radio and TV (IAWRT) I ran workshops with women in developing countries on camera and editing skills – Zimbabwe, Philippines, India, South Africa, Ghana etc.

  • Various NGO workshops and seminars

  • Participated in many panel discussions during Film Festivals and Markets over a 20 year period

  • Designed and wrote online documentary filmmaking course for City Varsity

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