Ola! Films

Home to a robust roster of highly experienced directors and producers with distinct yet complementary strengths and passions, we create compelling content for every platform from traditional TVCs and documentaries to digital content, music videos and stills campaigns.

Cape Town & Johannesburg

Directors: Amy Allais / Cassandra Nunan / Chris Saunders / Meja Shoba / Ndumiso Sibanda
Executive Producer: Olivia Leitch

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Ola! Films is 51% black-owned and level 2 B-BBEE. The company was started around a dining room table ten years ago by Olivia Leitch and Amy Allais and has expanded to have offices in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. With Amy’s instinctive feel for performance, Meja’s stylish local narrative told through a global lens, and Chris’s eye for African visual storytelling, Ola! works as a collective and often brings the whole team on board to assist and create. In this way, everyone at Ola! is able to collaborate with one another, remaining relevant and keeping up with the trends, while staying grounded by a traditional work ethic and skills.

Ola! strives to keep repeat business strong and attract more international clients, to continue growing and nurturing young talent, to honour thoroughness, collaboration and communication and to keep the production process fun. Ola! Films has its values rooted in playfulness, fun, sincerity, and integrity. Ranging from working with giraffes and butterflies to planes and fireworks, Olivia insists that “Ola! is a fearless bunch who dream big and dare to fail”, Amy believes that “Ola! is a team of free-spirited people who enjoy making pretty pictures, and playing nicely together.” With all its facets and services, Ola! Films cannot help but be proud of the diverse scope of work created by their experienced team.

  • Ranked 5th Film Production Company by the Loeries in 2021
  • Numerous Gold Loeries
  • Gold Ciclope
  • Gold Pendoring
  • Finalists at Cannes
  • Featured on Shots

JOHANNESBURG OFFICE

115 7th Street,
Linden, Johannesburg

011 447 6370

Executive Producer: Olivia Leitch
082 331 4969
olivia@olafilms.tv

Talent

AMY ALLAIS | DIRECTOR

Amy’s vast experience, from epic choreographed dance spots, to comedy performance and an inadvertent focus on kids and babies, has taken her across the world and has contributed immensely to the diverse scope of work created by Ola to date. She is sought-after globally.

CHRIS SAUNDERS | DIRECTOR

Based in Paris but works locally in SA a lot. Zeitgeist cool, fashion edgy, connected, influential and sought-after.

MEJA SHOBA | DIRECTOR

Fulbright scholar, child exile returned – all about the narrative.

CASSANDRA NUNAN | DIRECTOR

Since joining Ola Films in 2016, she has worked directly under the likes of Amy Allais, Chris Saunders and Mfundo Mkhize who have all mentored her and helped her broaden and develop her skill set. Her #AllForMasks campaign was a finalist for The Loeries Awards 2020 and came third in integrated campaigns for Creative Circle 2021.

NDUMISO SIBANDA | DIRECTOR

Ndumiso is an ever-curious performance director who believes in magic. Being both a photographer and a filmmaker, he is self-described as “a director who shoots when no one’s looking”. Driven by rich, real characters, Ndumiso has shot projects in over 50 countries worldwide.

Awarded by IDIDTHAT

AWARDED: CRAFT MENTION (DIRECTION)
Ola! Films | Chris Saunders
Ackermans ‘Lingerie Campaign’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Vanessa Pearson, Founder and ECD at House of Brave
February 2019

Judges Comment: “Hello #girlsruntheworld. Hello ‘This-Is-Who-I-Am-And-I’m-Totally-Okay-With-It-Even-If-You-Aren’t’. Love the simplicity of the celebratory and free camera moves over the many varieties of the female form in this film. The director totally abandons lasciviousness and opts for sheer joy and playfulness between the subject matter and camera, and it works…made me want to dance with them. Fully dressed, of course.”

AWARDED: CRAFT MENTION (DIRECTION)
Ola! Films | Amy Allais
Original Swimming Party ‘Biggest Curse feat. Moonchild’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Nkanyezi Masango, Creative Director at King James Group
October 2017

Judges Comment: “This goes to both Jeremy de Tolly and Amy Allais. Biggest Curse is a killer song. Amy matched it with killer visuals. ‘Nuff said.”

AWARDED: CRAFT MENTION (DIRECTION)
Ola! Films | Co-directed by Amy Allais and Justice Mukheli
British American Tobacco ‘Keep It 100’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Roanna Williams, Executive Creative Director at Joe Public
September 2017

Judges Comment: “A shout-out to Amy and Justice from Ola! Films for their cinematic commercial of the gritty underworld of illicit cigarette trading in South Africa. It follows a package’s journey as it passes through various dodgy criminal hands, to finally being sold to and lit up by an innocent end consumer. With challenging restrictions around cigarettes advertising, Justice and Amy were still able to capture the storyline effectively. The combination of the POV style shots, fast-paced edit, soundtrack, performances and grade bring to our attention the harsh reality of what goes on behind the scenes of illegal trading.”

AWARDED: CRAFT MENTION (DIRECTION)
Ola! Films | Chris Saunders
Shout SA ‘Smile’
IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Michael Lees-Rolfe, Creative Director at FoxP2
September 2015

Judges Comment: “Smile from Chris Saunders for Shout SA is worth watching just to see Danny K in a teddy bear-laden coat and Derek Watts doing Yoga. Smooth editing and some fresh, playful styling make this feel good celeb-fest very watchable indeed. Tough to pull off and worthy of a special mention.”

Featured Work

Featured Stories

Director Meja Shoba tells it like it is

February 15th, 2022|

Captivated by South Africa’s creativity and fashion, director Meja Shoba brings a playful vibrancy and a keen eye for aesthetics to the Ola! Films roster. Wonderfully irreverent while determined to subvert stereotypes and challenge assumptions, Meja says ‘There is more to representation than showing a Gogo doing the washing.’

Featured Showcases

IDIDTHAT Craft Awards October

November 10th, 2022|

This month’s IDIDTHAT.co Craft Awards were judged by the superbly talented all-seeing all-knowing oracles that are Jacquie Mullany, Creative Director at HelloFCB+ and Grant De Sousa, Director at They. Congratulations to Slim from Darling Films for his skillfully crafty work on Chicken Licken *clapping wildly.

IDIDTHAT Craft Awards August 2022

September 7th, 2022|

This month's IDIDTHAT.co Craft Awards were judged by Ana Rocha, Executive Creative Director at VMLY&R and Amy Allais, Director and Co-Founder of Ola! Films. Congratulations to our esteemed Best in Crafters for August, the dashing Jason Fialkov from Groundglass and Fausto Becatti from Bioscope.

IDIDTHAT Craft Awards July 2022

August 5th, 2022|

This month's IDIDTHAT.co Craft Awards were judged by Group Executive Creative Director at King James Nkanyezi Masango and Director at Bioscope Films, Hylton Tannenbaum. Huge congrats to the super talented Cindy Lee and Zee Ntuli on sashaying away with July's Best in Craft, we are not worthy!

IDIDTHAT Presents ‘SHE DID THAT’ May 2022

May 24th, 2022|

SHE DID THAT is a female filmmakers showcase that shines a spotlight on the women in the South African production industry. Although we will only be featuring women and non-binary people, the goal is that it will encourage the inclusion of more underrepresented filmmakers across all production work created by South Africans. This month features Amy Allais from Ola! Films, Wandile Xaba from They, and Zee from Blacklist.