Carbon Films

Carbon Films is a creatively obsessed production company representing award-winning directors. We love great ideas and have the experience and talent pool to bring them to life.

Cape Town

Directors: Bruno Bossi / Kevin Fitzgerald / Mzonke Maloney / Porteus Xandau
Executive Producer: Kirsten Clarence

Featured Work

Awarded by IDIDTHAT


Porteus Xandau | Carbon Films
Land Rover ‘Legacy in dust’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Tshepo Tumahole, Integrated CD at Joe Public United
March 2024

Tshepo’s comment: ‘You wouldn’t be wrong to assume that all car commercials are the same but it in this case you would. It’s revealed in the first 10 seconds what the ad is about but you still want to watch it until the end. The director managed to give such a great personality to the car. A gentle tale about an off road vehicle? It takes a special director.’


Bruno Bossi | Carbon Films
KFC ‘You Always Win’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Neo Mashigo, Chief Creative Officer at M&C Saatchi Group SA
November 2023

Neo’s comment: ‘I appreciated the unconventional approach to the story and how the director skillfully managed to keep it cohesive. The portrayal of the frantic Game Show world offers a visual feast. The character choices were particularly noteworthy, contributing to an intriguing world that highlights everyone as a winner. This is another example of craftsmanship where various departments, led by the director, excel in their delivery.’


Bruno Bossi | Carbon Films
KFC ‘Time Bomb’ & ‘Hostage’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Katlego Baaitse, Director at Spitfire Films
September 2023

Katlego’s comment: ‘A well-choreographed piece, with great comedic timing. Clearly a spot with many moving parts, sequenced very well by the director. The spot gives us a fun insight into the comedic sensibilities of East Asia.’


Mzonke Maloney | Carbon Films
Savanna ‘Savanna x Wanda’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Marcus Moshapalo, Executive Creative Director at VMLY&R
April 2023

Marcus’ comment: ‘I loved Savanna’s satirical take on a high fashion ad. The shots of the models in their bright outfits contrasted against a city underwater are gorgeous. Great choice of soundtrack aiding the narrative of the silly seriousness of the situation.’

AWARDED: BEST IN CRAFT (Direction Craft)

Mzonke Maloney | Carbon Films
Maglera Doe Boy ‘The Suns Song’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Thembalethu Msibi, ECD at BlackSwan
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Sam Coleman, Director at Patriot
March 2023

Thembalethu’s comment: ‘An elegantly constructed piece that I hope gets attention. The video captured and maintained my attention from beginning to end, with characters and places rarely given this kind of tenderness. Looks like a high-production documentary but feels like an intimate documentation of a familiar day.’

Sam’s comment: ‘This piece doesn’t beg to get noticed or shout with anything edgy, instead, it quietly gets under your skin. You’re generously invited into a world you know nothing about. And then asked to put all your expectations aside. In this way, it’s surprisingly affecting and confronting. An intimate, real, window into the world of the artist in his small hometown. A conversation between the director and the artist, spanning generations. From the street corner to the director’s grandmother’s house. And the layers of affection for the community in between. The visuals perfectly mirror the artist’s heart on his sleeve honest, raw, vocals, set to a jazzy R&B melodic poem and soulful bassline. This is a world we don’t see much in popular culture, and what a gift to see bits of the inner universe of an incredibly talented original musician, asking us to put all our preconceptions aside. Authentic storytelling like this is what we need to see more of.’

AWARDED: BEST IN CRAFT (Direction Craft)

Bruno Bossi | Carbon Films
KFC Box Meals Campaign ‘Run, Strike, Late’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Suhana Gordhan, ECD at Duke
April 2021

Suhana’s Comment: “The KFC Box Meals campaign is the kind of joy that demands repeat watching. The director could have overindulged here, milking performances and ‘hamming it up’. I like that restraint was applied and that the actors’ performances gave you just enough to want more. The food enjoyment is not hidden away and beautifully instigates the responses of the people caught in slow motion. Every choice was well considered – from art direction, to wardrobe, to music – resulting in the kind of effortless reward you want when watching a commercial.”

AWARDED: BEST IN CRAFT (Direction Craft)

Daniel Morcos | Carbon Films
‘Set Your Heart Free’ (Short Film)
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Chloe Coetsee, director at Darling Films
January 2021

Chloe’s Comment: “This spot makes you work for it, and I like that! In a spoon-fed commercial world it was great to get a sense of something before making sense of it. I love how the voice drifts through the contrasting visuals, creating a tension and offbeat pace. It’s evocative and playful and cool.”

AWARDED: BEST IN CRAFT (Direction Craft)

Porteus Xandau | Carbon Films
Polestar ’Sebastian Kienle’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Fausto Becatti, director at Bioscope Films
December 2020

Fausto’s Comment: “Besides having a really cool name, Porteus also appears to be deft with his craft. This film stood out to me because beyond being gorgeous to look at, with a beautifully crafted and deeply considered edit, I felt intrigued and drawn in by all the elements together. The treatment of the voice and the typographic, extra bits to convey his story, there’s a level of consistent consideration that keeps it interesting but not all over the place. A strong marriage of the human story with the design elements of the car. Bonus points for making the car look incredible too. ”

AWARDED: BEST IN CRAFT (Direction Craft)

Bruno Bossi | Carbon Films
Extreme Energy ‘Unstoppable’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge:  Lebogang Rasethaba, director at Egg Films/Arcade
November 2020

Lebogang’s Comment: “I have always been a fan of Bruno Bossi, firstly he has a really cool name and surname and it would be an affront to his ancestors if we didn’t see this name as often as possible. BRUNO BOSSI BRUNO BOSSI BRUNO BOSSI. But more than a cool cowboy with a fancy name he is a director who is full of surprises, has mad depth in his skills that are rooted in an understanding of the game 360. He has been around but he is still growing.”

AWARDED: CRAFT BEST (Direction Craft)

Jason Fialkov | Carbon Films
City of Cape Town ’16 Days of Activism’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Ryan McManus, Regional CCO at VMLY&R South Africa
December 2019

Judges Comment: “I have to give this to Jason Fialkov for a beautifully directed set of 3 short ads. The performances that make these films are so subtle and nuanced, very well directed, and excellently and simply told. It’s the restraint that makes these films work, which I think can be one of the hardest things for a director to do, particularly when tackling a difficult subject. The kids are completely believable in their roles and the casting and performances are fantastic. The films feel like a moment from a feature film rather than a ‘commercial’, and it leaves the viewer with a powerful truth and importantly, an immediate behavior that can be changed. I like that they inspire action instead of just awareness. Congrats to Jason the team who put this together.”


Rob Smith | Carbon Films
Jeremy Loops ‘What Would I Know’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Ryan McManus, Regional CCO at VMLY&R South Africa
December 2019

Judges Comment: “Rob Smiths film for Jeremy Loops is super original, somewhat strange but engaging piece. It’s one of those fun films that you want to watch and is a good bit of entertainment and an original angle, treatment and story.”


Rob Smith | Carbon Films
PhFat ‘Catherine’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Fran Luckin, CCO at Grey Africa
May 2019

Judges Comment: “This one starts with a boy and a girl on a hill and ends with a haunting. I liked the visual intrigue of the seemingly natural changes of sky and light behind the characters as the camera moved around them. It was visually mesmerising but also made me feel like there was more going on here than was evident at first. Deceptively simple.”


Rob Smith | Carbon Films
‘Sea Bones’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Nathan Reddy, Chairman & Founder of Grid WorldWide
January 2019

Judges Comment: “The ability to hold attention in a very distracted world is epic. Weird yet compelling. Here the craft is more about the tension of the character.”


Bruno Bossi | Carbon Films
Volkswagen Amarok ‘Stuntman’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Bridget Johnson
May 2017

Judges Comment: “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.”


Bruno Bossi | Carbon Films
DebtBusters ‘Numbers’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Mike Barnwell, Executive Creative Director at FCB Cape Town
February 2017

Judges Comment: “The first is Bruno Bossi’s Debt Busters spot. I think this ad is the perfect blend of tight editing, great sound design and well composed cinematography. But it all would have fallen horribly flat without the very believable performance of the lead character. Bruno does a brilliant job portraying the inner torment this man is going through as he progressively gets himself deeper and deeper into debt. By the end of the ad you have so much empathy for the poor fellow that you desperately want to try help him out yourself. And all of this achieved in a mere 40 seconds. Not easy. Unless of course you’re Bruno Bossi.”


Bruno Bossi | Carbon Films
Nederburg ‘Story’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Lucas van Vuuren, Creative Director at The Jupiter Drawing Room
February 2016

Judges Comment: “The visuals are artful and drive the emotion of the ad, the sound design works so well. This is a visually rich ad that made me want to open a bottle of wine.”

IDIDTHAT Featured Stories 

He’s raw, he’s real, he’s Carbon Films’ new director, Christian Mangachena

February 12th, 2024|Comments Off on He’s raw, he’s real, he’s Carbon Films’ new director, Christian Mangachena

Carbon Films has announced that multitalented director Christian Mangachena has joined their roster. Christian brings a distinctive visual style to advertising that feels unfamiliar, raw and real. As a director with a background in cinematography and editing, Christian uses camera angles, locations, textures and colour palettes to take a deep dive into culture that feels unconventional and refreshing. Christian brings something that we don’t think we’ve seen before and with the production chops of Carbon, we can’t wait to see more.

Carbon Films joins global network of 20 production houses, introducing Supercluster

August 15th, 2023|Comments Off on Carbon Films joins global network of 20 production houses, introducing Supercluster

Carbon Films is representing our country as the only South African production company selected to join the ranks of Supercluster, a global collective of 20 production houses in 20 countries across 6 continents. This alignment positions Carbon at the forefront of a partnership fuelled by artistic exchange, shared resources and collaboration on a global scale. The move also gets our local industry sitting right next to the rest of the world, proving again that we can be big players in the global field.

IDIDTHAT Craft Awards March 2023

April 6th, 2023|Comments Off on IDIDTHAT Craft Awards March 2023

Here are the results for this month's Craft Awards. Thank you to our most esteemed judges, Thembalethu Msibi, ECD at BlackSwan and Sam Coleman, Director at Patriot for lending us your expertise this month. Congratulations to Mzonke Maloney and the team at Carbon Films for taking home Best in Craft for March.