Hello Circus

We are a collective of independent directors. We are a talent agency. We give our clients freedom to choose and collaborate with us according to budget and needs. We give directors freedom to pursue their creative ambitions.


Directors:  Gilli Apter / Kenny Mumba / Lamar Bonhomme / Mark Middlewick / Michael Rodrigues / Thina Zibi / Zandi Tisani
Director’s Agents: Vanessa Borthwick / Unathi Mdiya



Gilli’s great passion and forte lie in all things funny, but her strength is in making you feel something. She has a no-nonsense approach and loves collaborating with a creative team. Her philosophy is to let the idea lead and to use every tool and bit of craft to serve that vision or story. View Work


Kenny has worked with brands like Vice, Walh South Africa, Vodafone (UK, Uganda, Zambia and Cameroon), Airtel (Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania). He is known for his edge in his brilliant storytelling techniques and his emphasis on performance to help brands reach their customers in the most authentic way. View Work


With a background in theatre, anything slightly comedic that Lamar directs ends up being a live-action comic book inspired by either The Jetsons or The Flintstones. And when he isn’t carting an Alexa Mini around in the bush trying to find a tree to shoot the sun through, he’s navigating dingy buildings in the city chasing down textured backgrounds and avoiding the stench of urine. View Work


Brands across the globe have given Mark money to make them funny adverts. He’s known for dry grounded comedy and drawing out memorable performances from actors thanks to his manipulative Machiavellian techniques. Mark’s debut short film “Security” was made as part of the Focus Features Africa First Program, while his film “The Mascot” starred Oscar award-winner Adrien Brody. View Work


After returning from London with a Masters Degree in Film in 2016, Michael has used the past few years in South Africa to passionately hone his artistic voice as an award-winning director. He infuses personal experiences with his signature dreamy touch to create visual stories brimming with romance and specificity. View Work


Thina’s films “Tjuele” and “Bakhona”, received the rode reel cinematography award as well as art direction award. She has just completed post-production on her short film titled “Bompi” and is currently in post-production on her 3-part mini web series funded by the international Black Women Disrupt initiative, as well as in development phase for her documentary on Healers in South Africa. View Work

Awarded by IDIDTHAT

IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Justice Mukheli, Director at Romance

IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Jabulani Sigege, Executive Creative Director at Machine_

Hello Circus | Thina Zibi
Department of Education ‘Raising Better Men’
June 2022

Justice’s comment: ‘This is such an important piece of work. I really love that the story was told with sensitivity and heart. It does not feel like an ad, which makes it much stronger. Beautiful work Thina!’

Jabulani’s comment: ‘A beautifully earnest piece of storytelling. No gimmicks. Just a scenario that everyone can recognise and talks to what makes us abantu (human) – empathy. It doesn’t try to overexplain with words (considering it’s for government) but shows rather, how teaching boys to be empathetic from a young age will make them better men. More of this for South Africa please.’

Hello Circus | Mark Middlewick
Abu Dhabi Tourism ‘Visit Abu Dhabi – The Time Is Now’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Mark Ash, Senior Editor at LUDUS Post Productions
December 2021

Mark’s comment: ‘Mark Middlewick’s treatment makes this advert shine. The concept is well executed and puts a new spin on the regular tourism commercial. We often see all the same major tourism hotspots in what can end up looking like a montage of stock footage, even when shot beautifully. This is why it’s difficult to pull off a TVC like this, as they often end up looking just like the last one. This take on conventional tourism communication makes it far more tangible and accessible for people. The use of devices to introduce the city of Abu Dhabi is a clever way to show the beauty of the locations without making it just another “experience the beauty of…” In addition to this, the fact that all the upfront shots are locked off and the characters are centered, really drives home the noticeable difference between the first and second chapters. This juxtaposition of the mundanity of everyday life to the excitement of traveling abroad works well. The use of the airplane, as like the TV device and cellphone, cleverly transports the characters to the exciting world that is Abu Dhabi. I’m sold. ‘

Featured Stories

Paving her own path, director Zandi Tisani launches as an Independent Director

July 24th, 2023|Comments Off on Paving her own path, director Zandi Tisani launches as an Independent Director

Director Zandi Tisani’s move to independence signifies a transformative milestone in her career. While staying true to the fundamentals she embraces as a director – a passion for pop culture, a keen eye for the latest trends, and an affinity for performance-driven work and strong visuals – she has now taken a deliberate step towards prioritising her trajectory as director. This choice opens up fresh and exciting opportunities for creatives to collaborate with her.

Meet Director Thina Zibi from Hello Circus

July 6th, 2022|Comments Off on Meet Director Thina Zibi from Hello Circus

‘I sometimes wish I had left the ad agency world sooner, but when I look back I realise I was always working toward becoming a director. Everything I have done and achieved has led up to this moment. Even though technically speaking I have only been directing for a few years, for me, it’s been over a decade in the making.’ Says Art Director turned Filmmaker Thina Zibi.

Hello Circus, a talent agency and new home for independent freelance directors

August 10th, 2021|Comments Off on Hello Circus, a talent agency and new home for independent freelance directors

Hello Circus represents freelance and independent directors who are already established or new to the industry. Choosing a far more fluid and flexible approach over the traditional production model, this talent agency connects directors directly with agencies and brands to create a more integrated transparent process. Wanna join the Circus?