Blog entries by NadiaC

AFDA Johannesburg alumni, Tristan Holmes, began his career in front of the camera at the tender age of 12. After six years as a television presenter, he enrolled at AFDA Johannesburg where he graduated top of his class with a BA honours in Motion Picture Medium. His films made during this time were widely applauded garnering awards all across the world. “Elalini”, his post graduate short won amongst others a Student Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film in 2006.

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.

For the last few years Tristan has focused on applying his craft to commercials. Once again success has not be hard to come by. Through his own boutique production house The Star Film Co. he has made powerful brand commercials for the likes of Visa, Coca Cola, Tusker, Vodacom, Legit, ANC and SAB. With a distinctive visual style, passionate intensity, relentlessness and unrivaled dedication Tristan has risen to the top of the commercial stable in South Africa at the tender age of 32.

Now turning his eye to films Tristan hopes to apply the same passion and sensitivity to a personal story loosely based on his own upbringing, “The Hidden Garden”.

Tristan’s Company Profile:

Star Films, founded in 2003, operates with our primary focus being based on the
visual medium of film and commercial production. The company is managed and
co-owned by 2 AFDA alumni, Adam Thal and Tristan Holmes.

Star Films is a youthful company that is at the forefront of the industry. As
Executive Producer, Adam Thal manages the day to day running of the company
and representing some of the hottest commercial directors on the market.
Tristan Holmes, Student Oscar Winner and winner of multiple advertising and craft
awards, takes the reigns as Creative Director.

We have distinguished ourselves through our own brand of integrity and
innovative thinking to find feasible application in our productions. We believe in
focus and when we tackle a project we do it with excellence.

Star Films’ clientele is made up of mainly advertising agencies around the world,
through which we have done amazing work for blue chip companies such as
Diagio, Coca Cola, Visa, Absa Bank, South African Breweries, McDonalds, Vodacom
and many more.
With over 12 years of industry experience, and an amazing work ethic, Star is now
considered one of the leaders in the production industry of Southern Africa.

See more here:

The Star Film Company
The South African short film “The Suit”, written and directed by AFDA Johannesburg alumni Jarryd Coetsee and boasting 32 AFDA alumni and students on the crew, will be shown to audiences in Paris, Brussels, Rome, Lisbon, Luxembourg, Athens, Madrid, Stockholm and Vienna.

It will also screen in 24 different cities and towns across France, as part of one of the most prestigious film festivals in Europe, La Collection du Panorama des Nuits en Or (The Collection of the Panorama of the Golden Nights) which runs from the 30th May 2017 – 15th June 2017. The film will also be screened at a gala evening attended by France’s leading film-makers and actors, hosted by UNESCO in Paris.

The César Award is widely considered to be the highest honour for film in France, the French equivalent of the Oscars in the United States and the BAFTAs in the United Kingdom. Every year, the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma (Academy of Cinema Arts and Techniques), the organization that gives out the César Award, holds a film festival called Le Panorama des Nuits en Or (The Panorama of the Golden Nights) which comprises all the short films from around the world that received awards from their national cinema academies during the past year.

From the Panorama, the Comité Exploitants Court Métrage de l’Académie (the Academy’s Short Film Committee) selects a shortlist consisting of the winner of the César du Meilleur Film de Court Métrage (the César Award for Best Live Action Short Film), the winner of the César du Meilleur Film d’Animation – Court Métrage (the César Award for Best Animated Short Film) and a selection of short films from around the world. This latter shortlist is known as La Collection (The Collection). The Collection will be presented in 24 cinemas in different cities and towns across France from the 30th May 2017 – 3rd June 2017. “The Suit” has been selected for the Panorama and the Collection.

The Academy invites all the directors of the Panorama to attend a ten day trip (Le Tour – The Tour) to Europe in some of the capitals that project the Panorama. Each session will be followed by a Q&A with the film-makers. The Tour will end in Paris with the glitzy Nuits en Or Gala Dinner to be held at UNESCO on Monday, 12th June 2017, attended by France’s film stars and leading film-makers.

Director Jarryd Coetsee says: “On receiving the news, I spent several hours reeling from the pleasant surprise. I think it’s phenomenal and truly a great privilege that our film will be shown in the birthplace of cinema and across most of Europe. This is a considerable milestone for Mandala Films and a fantastic achievement for our cast and crew. I can’t wait to share Can Themba’s consequential story with audiences abroad.”

“The Suit” was produced by Luke Sharland of Mandala Films in association with the National Film and Video Foundation and a partnership with AFDA. The story is set in 1950s Sophiatown and focuses on the deteriorating marriage of a lawyer named Philemon (played by Atandwa Kani) who is cuckolded by his lonely wife Matilda (Phuthi Nakene). Philemon forces Matilda to treat her lover’s suit as if it were a person, with tragic consequences. John Kani delivers a masterful cameo performance as the township gossip, Mr. Maphikela, who reveals the affair to Philemon. The film was shot in historic locations in Sophiatown.

“The Suit” won the Golden Horn for Best Short Film at the South African Film and Television Awards (or SAFTAs) in March. “The Suit” also won the Best Short Film competition of the Scotland African Film Festival, held in Edinburgh and Glasgow, in November, the Audience Award of the Cape Town leg of the Swiss Shnit International Short Film Festival and it will compete for the Golden Young African Filmmaker’s Award after showing in nineteen different Belgian cities as part of the Leuven African Film Festival in April 2017.

“The Suit” was selected for two Oscar-qualifying film festivals: Urbanworld in New York City, and the Pan-African Film Festival in Los Angeles where it was given a Special Jury Mention. “The Suit” also received a Special Jury Mention at the Zanzibar International Film Festival and it opened the Mauritius International Short Film Festival. “The Suit” will show in New York City at the prestigious Schomburg Center’s Best of the Fests and the New Voices, Black Cinema Film Festival both in New York City also in April 2017. The film was well-received at the Toronto Black Film Festival and the Vancouver South African Film Festival in Canada, as well as the Red Bull Amaphiko Film Festival in Soweto earlier this year.

Congratulations to all AFDA alumni and students on The Suit Crew.
AFDA Johannesburg 2016 3rd year graduate film “Sicela Amanzi” has walked off with the Best Short Film award (Ministers Award, Ministry of Enviroment); in the Save the Earth! Competition category at the Short Shorts Film Festival in Tokyo, Japan.

AFDA 1.png
"Sicela Amanzi”

This Japan born, Academy Awards® accredited festival is one of the largest film festivals in Asia. The festival was started by actor Tetsuya Bessho, a native of Japan and SAG member, as he wanted to introduce Japanese audiences to short films, which were a format that many people in Japan were unfamiliar with. The first festival was held in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo in 1999, and 6 short films made by George Lucas, known best for the “Star Wars” franchise, when he was a student were screened. Since then we have received an annual letter of support from the director.

In 2001 the festival became known officially as Short Shorts Film Festival (SSFF), and in 2004 was accredited as a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards ®. This means that the winner of the festival Grand Prix is eligible to be nominated in one of the short film categories of the Academy Awards ® the following year, offering a bridge between Japan and the Oscars so that young talents may realize their dreams.

Furthermore, Short Shorts Film Festival Asia (SSFF ASIA) was established with support from Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 2004, to introduce new Asian video culture and nurture young filmmaking talents from the region. To this day, the two festivals are held together as Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia. Aside from the 3 Official Competitions, there are categories and programs compiled around “music,” “environment” and “CG animation” related shorts.

The short film specialist theater Brillia Short Shorts Theater was established in the Minatomirai area of Yokohama in 2008. Also acting as one of the festival venues, the theater has welcomed over 300,000 audience members to date. Whilst the festival expands its activities in Japan in order to spread the word of short film, it will also continue to support young creators and provide a springboard into the world of film.

Congratulations to the cast & crew!!! - for more information on the Short Shorts Film Festival Asia. - See more details on our website.
AFDA offers students studying abroad a unique, affordable and educational opportunity to discover Southern Africa and its diverse population, world renowned heritage sites, cosmopolitan cities and specialist higher education. AFDA International students currently comprise 10 – 20% of the total student population and enjoy the benefits of malaria-free campus locations in terms of world-class facilities, Southern Africa’s natural beauty and wildlife, favourable exchange rates as well as our historical reflections. AFDA campuses are located in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Botswana.

Regarding the above picture:

10 Good reasons to study at the Cape Town campus:
  1. AFDA Cape Town is situated in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. [Voted by NY Times as the Number 7 destination to visit]
  2. Cape Town offers an incredible lifestyle with its beaches, mountains, nature reserves, golf courses, trails and first world infrastructure. [3 world heritage sites]
  3. Cape Town has a strong art, design, music and fashion scene. [Design capital of the world 2014]
  4. Cape Town is a preferred international destination for feature film, television series and commercial production. [Safe House, Dominion, Homeland, Judge Dredd and others]
  5. AFDA Cape Town graduates have contributed significantly to the growth of local feature films & commercials [Windpomp, Pad Na Jou Hart, Hollywood in my Huis]
  6. AFDA Cape Town has a diverse student body. Up to 20% of the student body is made up of international students.
  7. Excellent value for money - The South African exchange rate favors most international students.
  8. AFDA Cape Town has some of the top lecturers in the country and utilizes the exact curriculum and learning systems that has proved to be highly successful at its JHB campus.
  9. AFDA Cape Town facilities and equipment have year for year parity with Johannesburg campus.
  10. People create industries - Industries do not create people.
Please feel free to visit for more information.

Thank you for reading.