Best in Craft awarded to Art Director Louise Knepscheld and Director Slim from Darling Films

This month’s Craft Awards were judged by the distinguished Brendan Hoffmann, ECD at Joe Public Cape Town and the esteemed Ian Gabriel, Director at Giant Films Thank you sirs! Congratulations to Production Designer (or if you prefer, Art Director) Louise Knepscheld on her work for Kruger and Slim from Darling Films for his MTN spots. Well done you crafty beauties!

‘What are the Craft Awards?’ Every month we team up with ad industry leaders to award the finest in South African film and production craft across these different categories: Direction, Editing, Cinematography, Animation and VFX, Online, Original Sound, Sound Design and Final Mix. It’s just another way that we make it ridiculously easy to stay up-to-date with who’s doing the best work in the country. 

Kruger ‘Love is Messy’
Louise Knepscheld

Awarded by Brendan Hoffmann

Awarded by Ian Gabriel

‘This is a really authentic piece, and Louise’s art direction plays a big part in that. Every detail has been considered from the ink bleed on the hand-drawn heart at the beginning to the pigeons at the end but what I particularly like is how subtle and restrained the art direction is. Ads like these often end up looking like ads because we dress them up that way and this piece avoids that. Watch it a second time and you’ll notice how well the very many Kruger products have been added without becoming overbearing.’

– IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Brendan Hoffmann, ECD at Joe Public Cape Town

‘Louise brings all of her craft to bear to celebrate and create the spontaneous unexpected rhythms triggering the infuriating delightful unpredictable sense of passion unleashed in clumsy, crazy, outrageous, inspirational, hurtful, excruciating human fits and starts of messy love and life. Love it!’

– IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Ian Gabriel, Director at Giant Films


MTN ‘Rugby’ (Directors Cut) & ‘Silent Choir’
Darling Films | Slim

Awarded by Ian Gabriel

‘Together these commercials celebrate relationship, unity and overarching family between South Africa’s 60 million in a very physically powerful emotive way, with a significant evolution of meaning taking us from the inaugural, into the second spot. It’s a celebration delivered in the safe hands of a director and team who demonstrate total belief in the values of the message, utilizing powerful anthemic method, constant rhythm and simple storytelling aimed at harnessing the power of great voices and bodies unified in movement – in itself a time honoured South African tradition. The commercial anticipates what victory may taste like for the 60 million ‘siblings’ of our nation – should an unprecedented historic 4th Rugby World Cup win, be ours! Irresistibly anthemic and hypnotic, it’s the second iteration that stands out and gives meaning to the whole when the massed choir is joined by a powerful and poignant ‘silent’ layer, to commemorate the landmark real-life decision to recognize ‘Signing ‘as the twelfth legal official language of the South African Republic. The silent St Vincent School for the deaf signers, who sign and move in rhythmic syncopation and counterpoint with the powerful singing and motion of the voiced choir, offers a truly emotive, participatory experience for anyone who watches these commercials, elevating the possible transitory sporting hopes of a nation to a lasting special moment of historic representation and achievement for all South Africans. Congratulations Slim. In my view, these 2 commercials together make you the deserving winner of the Direction Craft Award for this month. Hats off as well to the choreographers (Eugene Baloyi and Zoyi Muendane) and choir leader (whose name I couldn’t establish) who joined you in putting this emotive and uplifting performance piece together!’

– IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Ian Gabriel, Director at Giant Films

SAB ‘Don’t Accept Whatever’
Spitfire Films | Katlego Baaitse

Awarded by Brendan Hoffmann

‘Katlego brought this story to life really well with great performances, comedic timing, clever titles and some interesting camera transitions. That ice skater gets me every time.’

– IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Brendan Hoffmann, ECD at Joe Public Cape Town

Ferrimed ‘She Taught Me’
Bioscope Films | Kyla Philander

Awarded by Ian Gabriel

‘Kyla Philander brings understated awareness and an easy cinematographic style to their piece for Ferrimed, weaving narrative and voice over together with effortless personal to camera performance that works to display unselfconscious intimacy and acceptance of women’s unique roles shared by women across multiple generations and life situations. Congrats Kyla, a Direction Craft Mention for you. ‘

– IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Ian Gabriel, Director at Giant Films

SA Tourism ‘The Best of Us’
Original music by Vusi Mahlasela
*Entered on behalf of Vusi by director AK at Spitfire Films

Awarded by Brendan Hoffmann

‘A nice piece of original music that works well with Siya’s VO read and carries the story with just the right balance of heartfelt and light-hearted.’

– IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Brendan Hoffmann, ECD at Joe Public Cape Town


Brendan Hoffmann, ECD at Joe Public Cape Town
Brendan believes strongly in the power of creativity and that great ideas grow brands and change lives. In 2020, he opened Joe Public Cape Town, now a 15-person agency servicing blue-chip clients like Uber Eats, Uber and Hansa Pilsener. His work has been awarded several times at Cannes and the other international and local award shows. But his greatest honour is nurturing and growing young creative talent.

Ian Gabriel, Director at Giant Films
Ian Gabriel is a South African director of colour whose extensive experience in film and theatre performance began at Dorkay House, Johannesburg’s famous anti-apartheid theatre venue. He has directed internationally awarded films including ‘Four Corners’ (the South African Official Submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards), the Netflix family crime series ‘Ludik’, starring Arnold Vosloo, reprising the director–actor relationship the two established when Ian directed the acclaimed film ‘Forgiveness’. In 2022 Ian collaborated with his son transgender writer/actor/director Gabe Gabriel on the family dramedy road movie ‘Runs in the Family’, due for release late 2023.  In 2023 Ian directed ‘Death of a Whistleblower’ – a true events thriller about the funding for profit of biological warfare in Africa and the Middle East. ‘Death of a Whistleblower’ has its world premiere at the 48th Toronto International Film Festival, September 2023 and is in Official Selection as a part of the world cinema Centerpiece Programme. Ian will follow this outing with a director collaboration between himself and Gabe Gabriel focusing on an apartheid-era/ Aids crisis ‘disco resistance’ heroine Granny Lee, based on a true story set in Joburg’s iconic Hillbrow high-rise area, where Ian grew up and spent his youth in the 70s and 80s.

All Craft Entries

7 Films | Gorgeous Bushman
Broke X Old Khaki
(Direction Craft)

Activ8 Brand Ingenuity | Lamar Bonhomme
South African Tourism ‘Ode to Africa’ (Director’s Cut)
(Direction Craft)

Spitfire | Katlego Baaitse
Chicken Licken ‘Jose Mazibuko – Free Kick’
(Direction Craft)

The Star Film Company | Matthys Boshoff
AIC ‘Hui Min’
(Direction Craft)

Howard Audio | Adam Howard
KFC Thailand ‘Rice Bowl’
(Original Music & Sound Design Craft)

Strangelove | Charmaine Greyling
Doritos ‘Astronaut’
(VFX Craft)