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ROBOT Signs Director Ayanda Duma


Ayanda has directed work for the likes of Nedbank, Cosmopolitan and Standard Bank

ROBOT Signs Director Ayanda Duma

ROBOT has announced the signing of emerging director Ayanda Duma.

Ayanda's commercial experience includes working for companies like 7 Films, Giant and Blacklist, having directed for brands like Nedbank, Cosmopolitan, Standard Bank. More recently, Ayanda has merged her directing experience with her music expertise to direct episodic content for Boiler Room & Ballantines' True Music series across the continent, in Johannesburg and Kenya, namely.  

Ayanda comments: "I am excited to be elevating my commercial directing craft with a company that has its finger on the pulse, like Robot. I consider myself a multi-disciplinary artist; my creative explorations include music production, acting, directing and writing and since joining Robot I can say that I'm finally in a space that celebrates all of this."  

Managing director Callan Paul comments: "Ayanda is a power house of tenacity and drive. She hit the ground running since joining us and has taken complete control of her growth plan. Her ambitious nature and total vibe is an absolute pleasure to work with. WATCH. THIS. SPACE."

Ayanda describes herself: "I consider myself an emerging director, though I feel I have been able to create a substantial and diverse work history, considering where I fall in my career timeline. 

"I’ll start at the beginning: Prior to starting film school, I explored a career in modelling, which led me to a short course in photography at Vega. While doing this I landed my first commercial acting job for a Nivea commercial. This was my first time on a film set and a confirmation of the space I wanted to continue to explore and occupy. In 2016, I started my film degree an City Varsity, which saw me fully immersing myself into the film industry. While learning the trade I assisted award-winning artist Candice Breitz on TLDR, a documentary project centralising  SWEAT and the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa. By the time I had started film school, I was extremely clear on the fact that radical intersectional politics would be the driver of my film projects (whether overtly, thematically or sub-textually).

"In my second year, I made my first comedy film, titled Booked, which may be one of my favourite film projects to date. I entered a competition called the Horizon Award, which I was shortlisted for, which resulted in both my film and I being invited to the Festival du Cannes 2018. I was the first person to achieve this sort of accolade in my film school’s history. The invitation came with an all-expenses paid trip to the festival in May, as well as a three week internship at Hyde Park Entertainment, facilitated by the organisation behind the Horizon Award, The Creative Mind Group. 

"Upon returning to film school and my third and final year, I began a directing mentorship under local production company, 7 Films. While finishing my third year and working at 7 Films, I had the opportunity to direct my first ad for Cosmopolitan. The company also fully funded my final year film, Love In Loop. Later that year, I directed another commercial under the mentorship of the late director and visionary, Siphiwe ‘SJ’ Myeza, for Nedbank. After completing these projects, I focused on my thesis and graduation, and left City Varsity with the Shooting Star Award and back to back Best Director Awards for all my years there.

"After graduation, I went on to explore creative research at Giant Films, supporting and learning from the well renowned directors on their roster, learning and honing the skill of creatively and conceptually putting a treatment together. In between Giant Films and working on my own projects / commercial signing, I directed a music video for Dumama & Kechou with Mushroom Hour. I was a finalist for the Bokeh Mercedes Benz Fashion Film Festival where I contributed a short experimental project.  I also worked as a cast & extras coordinator for an international series created for Amazon Prime called The Power, with Emmy award-winning director, Reed Morano. Thereafter, I created some audiovisual art projects / videos, supporting WhatIfTheWorld Gallery’s video artists with some of their film projects. 

"Shortly after (mid-lockdown), I signed with a brand new production company, Blacklist Films. While at Blacklist, I directed 8 films for the Western Cape Government for 16 Days of Activism against GBV, 3 spots for PayFast in a Youth Month campaign and 3 spots for a Standard Bank Ucount Rewards Campaign. 

"In addition to this commercial work, I conceptualised, recorded, performed and edited a video artwork for Oyoun Kultur Akademie in Berlin, as a contribution to their exhibition, Embodied Temporalities, in March 2021. Lastly, I decided to create a drag character during lockdown, who I produce beats and rap as, called YANDU. In April of this year, I launched my first music video under this name, which was spotlighted on the Orms Presents platform."

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ROBOT, Fri, 22 Apr 2022 09:38:38 GMT