Butterfly Founder Anna Telford says: ‘We cannot wait to reveal this gem to the world. Sandulela is so talented and she’s not afraid to discuss sensitive subjects that are long overdue in mainstream discourse. Today’s Advertising needs Asanda.’
Q: As a filmmaker what narratives are you most passionate about?
Sandulela: I love to play around in the sandbox and push some things out of it too. I try and take every project as an opportunity to pull inspiration from different places and apply a fresh approach. As a creative, I want to create the work that I needed to see when I was growing up, work that changes the status quo of what being black, woman, or queer is. Through my work, I think I’ve started to hone in on how this looks and feels. My favourite piece of work is a short film I did on female masturbation and pleasure. I also turned the Bible story of Moses into a science fiction drama about fertility rights and poverty. I want to be known for taking risks, but more importantly, for expanding the horizons of how our stories are represented on screen.
Meghan: No matter what brief comes in, I always interpret it in my own Meghan-way, bringing an approach of care and compassion, while making it exciting, contemporary and fun. I love commercial work that takes risks, pushes boundaries and challenges stereotypes – work that is bold, fearless and open to creating shifts and change in the South African advertising space.
I feel most fulfilled when I get to work on projects that entail spending time with my co-creators or subjects, engaging in conversations, looking at how we want to tell this story and why, and what impact we hope that the telling and sharing of the narrative will have. I think of pieces where I have done this before with Manilla Von Teez for Levi’s Pride, Caster Semenya for Nike Global, and a lot of the young artists and creatives I get to collaborate with for Adidas.
Q: What excites you about the South African advertising and creative industry?
Sandulela: Right now, this generation of creatives seems to be redefining what it means to be African and the kind of content that comes from our continent. It’s diverse, it’s punchy and it’s unapologetic, I love to see it. More so, there seems to be a sense of subversion that is happening in the work. Challenging traditional expectations, narratives and form.
Meghan: Everything. There’s a meteoric rise of young creatives in South Africa, all with extraordinary talent and who honour people and narratives through storytelling whether that be through film, fashion, music, art, etc. Our creatives are boundary-pushing and celebrating heterogeneity. Our country still holds a lot of trauma and it’s inspiring to see how individuals are using art forms to navigate this, to create spaces that are more accessible and inclusive, and pushing marginalized voices and narratives to the forefront. Having said this, we are still surrounded with systemic violence and challenges within the film industry, and have a long way to go.
Q: Why join Butterfly Films?
Meghan: I never planned to join Butterfly Films. I approached them for support on a music video and after that they approached me with a brief for a really cool YouTube campaign. Once we had collaborated on that project I just knew that I had found my film family. It was instantaneous. It’s hard to explain these connections sometimes – it just feels kindred, like it was always meant to be. Butterfly Films puts compassion, care, ethics and morals at the core of the way they run their business – they’ve got your back no matter what and will fight with you to create change in this industry, in addition to making beautiful bodies of work. Even when we’re not knee-deep in productions, we’ll be challenging one another in the office but also belly laughing until we cry. At the risk of tarnishing Butterfly’s professionalism, I feel like I’ve found my fellow weirdos. It’s a space that feels like home.
Sandulela:Although they are small, they are mighty. They also handle their directors with an individual and personal approach which I appreciate. They go the extra mile when it comes to their directors. It’s never a ‘No’, but ‘How can we make that happen?’ Not to mention that they are an eclectic group of people with lots of personality and ideas – its an inspiring space to be in as a creative.
Wanna (s)talk some more? Butterfly Films on IDIDTHAT and Company Website.