AFDA, the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, which opens its third campus in South Africa, in Glen Anil in Durban in January 2013, has announced the appointment of some of its core senior staff.
Heading up the Live Performance School is the respected, multi-talented award-winning playwright, director and actor Rajesh Gopie. His counterpart in the Film School is award-winning, film director and producer Richard Green. Janet van Eeden, also an award-winning scriptwriter and educator has been appointed Head of Academic coursework and assessment.
The Dean of the Durban Campus is experienced producer and film-maker Franco Human, who currently the head of the producing department of AFDA Cape Town and the Undergraduate course director.
“Accepting this position as head of live performance is a bold step for me.” says Rajesh Gopie, whose professional career up until now has been as a “sole agent” in the tough world of live performance, “But this heralds an exciting new phase in my life and I am looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead and growing a new generation of live performance practitioners.”
Richard Green, the Durban-based director/producer, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the mix. Green has a string of well-known films to his name including Spud, District 9, Otelo Burning with his most recent being assistant director on Anant Singh’s Long Walk to Freedom, which is currently in post-production.
Janet Van Eeden, who is currently doing her PHD in English at UKZN, has written 12 screenplays and 6 stage plays. In 2011 she won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award for the northern/southern regions as a Columnist for The Sunday Independent. Van Eeden, like the founding members of AFDA Garth Holmes and Bata Passchier, believes that the story/ narrative is everything to the success of making films.
Franco Human, is excited about the possibilities the new school will offer students and the film and theatre industry in Durban. Human, who has been with AFDA for 10 years, started at the Johannesburg school as production co-ordinator and later took up a position as a junior lecturer in the producing department before moving to Cape Town. He has produced many short films, theatre musical productions, a celebrity campaign for M-Net and the SABC, a television series for CTV and an Afrikaans horror feature film as part of his Masters of Fine Art degree (which played to rave reviews), to name a few. He has worked with the lifestyle show “Expresso” on SABC 3 and you may just recognise him as “the guy in the green shorts” doing Zumba and has other funky moves.
Other core staff include junior lecturers Damien Tomaselli and Stuart Strydom. Tomaselli, has an Honours degree in Media and Communication Studies and Dramatic Performance and has worked as a performer, editor and producer across both theatre and film genres. Strydom graduated cum laude from the Durban University of Technology with a Bachelor of Technology (Video) and has extensive experience in video and sound editing.
The Production Design Lecturer is Sam Kelly, who worked for UK’s Channel 4 and BBC for a decade before running her own production company in Cape Town for four years. She now resides in Durban where she says she realized that the art department is her passion as her main interest lies within character analysis and how that gets interpreted into film.
The Co-ordinator and Administrative Assistant post will be held by Jessica Singh, who has a BA Degree in Communication Science & English and is currently studying towards her Honours in Communication Science.
“We are really pleased with the strong core staff contingent we have appointed.” says Chairman of AFDA, Garth Holmes. “All these positions have been filled with people who have both academic and practical industry experience on many levels, and we trust that they will bring a dynamic and hands-on approach to the learning processes at the school. Students can always draw their information from a myriad sources, but being taught and guided by people who have worked in their respective fields, adds a richness to the experience of learning that no book or website can match.”
The school’s academic year starts on February 4th, 2013. For more information about AFDA contact Milena Gevers on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 031 569 2252.