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