Best of Reel for Direction Craft awarded to ‘Salt’ by Dirk Van Niekerk at 7Films.

The SA Film Reel awards the very best in craft by production companies in South Africa. This month we asked Bridget Johnson to select her standouts. Congratulations to all the winners.


BEST OF REEL: Surf Shack ‘Salt’
Dirk van Niekerk | 7Films (Direction Craft)


SPECIAL MENTION: Volkswagen Amarok ‘Stuntman’
Carbon Films | Bruno Bossi (Direction Craft)

SPECIAL MENTION: Kit Kat ‘Katapult’
Your Girlfriend | Trevor Clarence (Direction Craft)
*Produced by Revolver

Bomb Commercials | Tebza
(Direction Craft)

Bomb Commercials | Tebza
(Direction Craft)

Judges Comments by Bridget Johnson

BEST OF REEL: Surf Shack ‘Dead Fish Eyes’ by Dirk van Niekerk of 7Films – Direction Craft

When a piece of film is good I like to try work out what it is, specifically, that draws me in.  Is it the words in a great script that make me watch more, or the beautiful, uncomfortable images that make me listen to the words? When I can’t decide I know it’s a goody. In this case everything comes together beautifully. From the raw narration to the combination of long, composed shots and fluid observational moments, all suspended in a meticulously paced edit and beautifully crafted soundtrack. I like that the visual interpretation of the script is not as literal as it might have been. It’s also deliciously textural and kind of awful at the same time. The end sequence of the little boy in the surf at sunrise is sublime.  Besides feeling like you’re on the surfboard with him, the ending delivers the perfect redemptive note to the story. Always good. Well done Dirk Van Niekerk, 7Films, and all involved.  Jealous!

SPECIAL MENTION: Volkswagen Amarok ‘Stuntman’ by Bruno Bossi at Carbon Films – Direction Craft

Special props to Bruno Bossi for his slick epic, Stuntman, for VW Amarok.  In this spot he manages to combine explosions, stunts, death-drop cliffs, a high-speed chase, a moving pantechnicon, base jumping and a super shiny Amarok, all with his signature polish.

SPECIAL MENTION: Kit Kat ‘Katapult’ by Trevor Clarence at Your Girlfriend – Direction Craft

In an industry obsessed with montage ads and lofty manifesto VO’s, it’s great to see a pure comedy spot again.  This one is well put together with nice casting and performances, and well-selected cut-aways that push the humour. I love the carving maiden who serves absolutely no purpose in the story except maybe to highlight its ridiculousness. The spot made me smile, old-school like.

SPECIAL MENTION: DSTV ‘uMama’ and ‘Magubane’ by Tebza at Bomb Commercials – Direction Craft

Honourable readers, treat yourself to these two crowd pleasers from Tebza at Bomb.  Great casting, on-point shot selection and nice production values.

About Our Judge

iDidTht Guest Judge: Bridget Johnson

Bridget joined the ad industry almost 2 decades ago when O&M visited her university and saved her from a career in law. She was lucky enough to spend her early career in the company of some of the finest talent our industry has ever produced. At agencies like Net#work BBDO and TBWA Gavin Reddy she enjoyed early successes on accounts like Opel, YFM, Nissan and The Apartheid Museum, and learned the value of nicotine, tequila and working with people better than oneself.  It was at Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg, however, where she worked for 10 years, that her career really took off. Working on beautiful brands like KFC, Coca-Cola, Audi, SAB, Exclusive Books, The Topsy Foundation and many more, Bridget won multiple awards across all the major shows:  Cannes, Clios, One Show, D&AD, Loeries and Apex, scooping one of only two Cannes Golds for film ever awarded to a South African agency. More recently she headed up the creative on Vodacom for two years, delivering record campaigns and some of SA’s best-loved work (Millward Brown). She spent a year as Creative Partner (Johannesburg) at M&C Saatchi Abel in 2016, producing work, most notably, for Nando’s, Nedbank, AVI and #MillionComforts. Bridget represented South Africa as a judge at Cannes Lions in 2014, at the Dubai Lynx Awards in 2013 and at local awards shows many times. After almost 20 years wrestling brand challenges among the nutters, narcissists and geniuses of this business she’s ultimately decided that it’s still the most fun you can have (legally) in a job. Secretly, she still harbours a desire to change the world.

All Film Reel Entries

0307 Films | Kim Geldenhuys
Castle ‘Headbangers’
(Direction Craft)

0307 Films | Kim Geldenhuys
Castle ‘Marco Polo’
(Direction Craft)

0307 Films | Kim Geldenhuys
Castle ‘Jousting’
(Direction Craft)

7Films | Lourens van Rensburg
Slow-Mag ‘Slow-Mag Omnipresent’
(Direction Craft)

Arcade Content | Zandi Tisani
Standard Bank ‘Make One Day #Today’
(Direction Craft)

Bomb Commercials | Tebza
Ricoffy ‘Matric Results’
(Direction Craft)

inc | Jabu Nadia Newman
Flagstone ‘The Writer’
(Direction Craft)

inc | Jabu Nadia Newman
Flagstone ‘The Musician’
(Direction Craft)

Upstairs Ludus
Ultra Mel ‘Ja Neh’
(Edit, Grade & VFX)

Upstairs Ludus
Weylandts ‘Taste Never Goes Out Of Style’
(Edit, VFX & Grade)

Your Girlfriend | Morgan Dingle
Toyota ‘Ouma Goodness’
(Editing Craft)

Howard Audio | Adam Howard
Standard Bank ‘What’s Your Next?’
(Original Music Composition)

Howard Audio | Adam Howard
SA Tourism ‘African Travel Indaba’
(Original Music Composition & Final Mix)

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