Nurtured African filmmakers shine

2015 Loeries® Creative Week™

10 SA Loeries 10 SA Loeries group

To further inspire new thinking and effectiveness in the communications industry, Unilever South Africa, associate sponsor of the 2015 Loeries® Creative Week™ since 2013, hosted an informal VIP Networking Brunch on Saturday, 15 August at California Dreaming Restaurant on Durban’s beachfront.

As part of the Loeries® The Fast Moving Consumer Goods Company showcased the work of four directors from the Academy for African Filmmakers (AAF) that were announced as winners at this year’s Cannes in June.

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

According to Edelman’s Brandshare report, 87 percent of respondents around the world want a ‘meaningful relationship’ with brands that communicate in a unique way that creates a connection.

This is one of the reasons why 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. Through this strategic partnership and Unilever’s brands with a purpose, the African filmmaking industry will be revolutionised, elevating the level of creativity while empowering and developing the continent’s budding filmmakers.

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 to hone 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.

“We are extremely proud of the outstanding work that these aspiring African filmmakers have created with our brands. It is evident that the purpose of the Academy is being fulfilled and will continue to do so,” said Justin Apsey, Unilever South Africa’s Vice President, Brand Building: Home and Surface Care.

The Academy was launched in August 2014 through the Unilever Foundry platform, in partnership with MOFILM. Over 300 applications for attendance to the seminars, 160 grant applications and 50 competition entries were received. “This shows the level of the continent’s hunger for development in the filmmaking industry. Our marketing approach, which stands on three pillars – put people first, build brand love and ‘unlock the magic’ – strives to feed this hunger,” added Apsey.

From the various applicants, between the ages of 16 and 30, there were 47 grant beneficiaries; various winners and one bursary recipient from each participating country.

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)

The 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)

Project 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).

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

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

The scholarships were received by Nobulali Kama (South Africa); Chloe Gencga (Kenya) and Orosun Olanrewaju Elijah (Nigeria) were each awarded a scholarship to further their studies in filmmaking.

At the brunch, Apsey confirmed that; “We believe brands can change the world, and should change it – for the better - but we also believe creativity and innovation are essential to this industry to ensure success. Creativity and effectiveness are not mutually exclusive, and ‘real’ work can be creative while remaining effective.”

The Unilever Foundry is currently reviewing proposals for the AAF second year and is looking at possible partnerships to further the AAF’s success in developing aspiring African filmmakers. “Our brands strive to inspire effective creative communication, which is why we saw fit to showcase the work of the nurtured AAF directors to industry leaders. We promised to put their work on global scale; a promise which has been fulfilled,” added Justin.

For more information about the AAF –

View the 4 winning AAF Films below:


She Who Dares by Jonathan Sidego


Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner by David Franciscus


Fingerprints by Fabian Vettiger

Project Sunlight:

Thato’s Dream by Daniel Effiong

About Unilever South Africa

Unilever South Africa (Pty Ltd) is one of the largest FMCG companies in South Africa. The Company is over 100 years old, with brands like Sunlight, OMO, Lux, Knorr, Vaseline, Shield, Sunsilk, Flora etc. that are household names throughout the country. Unilever South Africa has over 3000 employees based across two offices and five manufacturing locations in South Africa. It is rated as one of South Africa’s best employers. For more information visit –

Barry Dijoe External and Media Relations Manager

031 570 247 or 072 633 7248

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