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[Loeries 2015] Unilever South Africa puts African filmmakers in the spotlight

Unilever South Africa hosted its annual informal networking brunch as associate sponsor of the 2015 Loeries® Creative Week™ since 2013, this time around on Saturday, 15 August at California Dreaming Restaurant on Durban's beachfront.

It wasn't all handshakes and handrolls as the FMCG company used the brunch to showcase the work of four directors from the Academy for African Filmmakers (AAF), announced as winners at this year's Cannes in June.

Some of the 2015 South African AAF winners in attendance at the networking brunch were Jonathan Sidego (Lux: She Who Dares); Daniel Effiong (Project Sunlight: Thato's Dream); Fabian Vettinger and Jackie Stone (Sunlight: Fingerprints); and David Franciscus (Aromat: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner).

Unilever partnered with MOFILM, to launch the AAF to assist African talent to develop their storytelling and pitching skills, while working on real, live, Unilever briefs with the possibility of having their work broadcast. During December 2014, the then aspiring African young filmmakers participated in a series of seminars and an intensive three-day training course with sessions that took place in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

Femi Odugbemi, Akin Omotoso and Jahmil X. T. Qubeka - experts in filmmaking and tutors at the Academy - assisted the budding filmmakers in honing their theoretical and practical skills. As part of the course, the participants created a campaign for Unilever's brands in a competition format. The winning ads were announced at this year's Cannes.

The Unilever brunch at California Dreaming. © Gallo
The Unilever brunch at California Dreaming. © Gallo

The winners for their work on the Lux brand, all of whom are from South Africa and their work can be seen on digital platforms and on TV, are the following:

  • Jonathan Sidego (She Who Dares)
  • Fabian Vettiger (Within Me)
  • Rainn Vlietnam (Ngozi Yakupendeza - Beautiful Skin)

he South Africans also scooped all three prizes for the Aromat brand - the winners are:

  • David Franciscus (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner)
  • Pieter Lombaard (Quake or Shake)
  • Hisham Samie (Morning Glory)

roject Sunlight (Unilever brightFuture) winners are:

  • Nigerian, Daniel Effiong (Thato's Dream),
  • South African, Tarha McKenzie (Little Changes for a Greater Impact)
  • Nigerian, Taiwo Badejo (The 50k Project).

he winners for the Sunlight brand category are also all South African:

  • Fabian Vettiger (Fingerprints)
  • Zwelethu Radebe (Homecoming)
  • Illyze Myburgh (Sunlight Moments)

he scholarships were awarded to Nobulali Kama (South Africa), Chloe Gencga (Kenya) and Orosun Olanrewaju Elijah (Nigeria), to further their studies in filmmaking.

For more information about the AAF, visit https://foundry.unilever.com/welcome and view the four winning AAF Films by clicking on the links below:

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