Emerging Director Hloni from Spitfire on your radar and ready to fly

Director Malehlohonolo Ntsooa, better known around Spitfire as Hloni, has very quickly, with the power production support of Spitfire and Executive Producer Liesl Lategan, built an impressive showreel featuring sports, food, music, comedy, finance and visual effects-heavy spots. We found out how this young determined talent rose up in the ranks of a top production company.

In 2020, after graduating from AFDA and determined to realise her dream of becoming a director, Hloni took on the role of intern at Spitfire. It wasn’t long and she was promoted to Production Assistant, then Marketing Co-Ordinator, Casting Co-ordinator and then Trainee Director. Executive Producer Liesl Lategan says: ‘Hloni is excellent with people, especially her cast. She’s excellent at making people feel calm and because she handled so many castings during her time here, including casting contracts, she gained invaluable experience working with performers. She is able to disarm people and get the most out of them from a performance point of view.’ Hloni adds: ‘Gathering different skills from production to marketing to casting throughout my time here and then linking them all together to become a better storyteller has been really rewarding. I have learnt so much from the team here, especially my mentors, directors AK and Katlego (Baaitse) and also director JT, who so often assists me with producing and sharing music for my work.’

Hloni has built a diverse reel in a short amount of time, something reflective of a filmmaker with a hunger for storytelling. Her very first solo directing job proved to be a really cool campaign of shorts for MTV Base, with animation and post handled by the team at Omni Creative. The work went on to win at the Promax Awards, BOOM

Amongst other work Hloni also collaborated with her mentor, Spitfire director AK, to co-direct two spots for FNB and Grid agency. Hloni says: ‘I learned so much from AK. He’s very particular and very clear on what he wants in terms of storytelling. He taught me a lot about how to handle technical challenges and it was also a big realisation that experience goes a really long way in this industry, which is why I can’t stop learning.’

Ahmed Tilly, Founder of Number 10 – A Creative Consultancy, collaborated with Hloni on her work for Lenovo, Ahmed says of the young director: ‘Hloni is a giant of a director in waiting. She is a pleasure to work with, as much for me as it is for the talent she works with. She gets great performances out of people. Hloni’s passion matches her ability; both gigantic. Keep an eye on this director.’




MTV Base

During the time Hloni was moving through the ranks at a Sonic The Hedgehog speed, she was accepted to New York Film Academy – LA for their post-graduate programme. Due to financial constraints, Hloni couldn’t jump at the opportunity, which might have turned out to be a good thing for now. ‘Hloni has thrown herself into this world, gaining real-world practical filmmaking experience and it’s really paying off. She has an incredible attitude, so talented and such a passion for filmmaking. She’s a light, focused, and she’s got a really good showreel to back her up and of course a powerful production company behind her. She’s ready to go.’ Liesl Lategan, Spitfire Executive Producer.

Wanna (s)talk some more? Check out Spitfire IDIDTHAT profile or company website or Liesl@Spitfire.tv

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Executive Producer: Liesl Lategan

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Produced by the IDIDTHAT Content Studio – Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder

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