Top awarded South African director Jeana Theron, a filmmaker you’d go to war with

In the last three years alone Director Jeana Theron from Darling Films has been awarded a Gold Cannes Lion and two Loeries Grands Prix. We know right, where are the headlines?! Jeana’s quiet demeanour has perhaps masked her razor-sharp edge and ability to make even the most gruesome storytelling beautiful. In our opinion, this proven versatile contemporary filmmaker has been flying way too low under the radar. So, you probably haven’t thought of Jeana like this, but you really should…

First things first, Jeana X First for Women

Most of us have become accustomed to seeing high-end fashion or beauty spots from Jeana, so naturally, we didn’t immediately guess that she was behind First for Women’s monster of all monster’s campaign ‘16 Days of Activism – Shining a Light on Woman Abuse’. This grisly project led to the latest 2021 Bronze Clio and 2020 Loeries Grand Prix win for Jeana and we can see why. The 14 films were released from the 25th of November until the 11th of December 2019. The dates corresponded to Amnesty International’s drive against gender-based violence. Jeana and her team of mostly women shot every night for 16 days at the exact locations where either a woman was murdered, or where her body was found. A harrowing challenge that drove home how brutal and deadly violence against women is all around us.

Here are 2 films from the campaign. View the whole campaign here.

First For Women ’16 Days of Activism – Courtney’

First For Women ’16 Days of Activism – Uyinene’

Only someone like Jeana could have pulled off a campaign like First for Women, I can tell you that. She’s the director you want to go to war with. She will always deliver, no matter how challenging the task. She’s conceptual and collaborative, she has technical sensibility, a creative mind, and a visual eye you don’t often get to work with in this industry. And on top of that, she makes it look beautiful.’ – Darling Films Executive Producer, Melina McDonald.

Jeana is an aesthetician with an unrivalled contemporary artistic expression and edgy style, turning on that Jeana chic at the drop of a Gucci hat. A versatile director who values the idea, Jeana delivers beautifully crafted experimental visual narratives. It was only when we discovered that she is in fact a classically trained fine artist that we gained a bit more insight into what lies at the root of her visual storytelling abilities. Turning to commercials directing over 14 years ago Jeana is still synonymous with someone who has a cutting-edge artistic point of view. Darling Films Executive Producers, Lorraine Smit and Melina McDonald add: ‘Jeana can shoot a box and for some reason it will look amazing. You’ll think to yourself What did Jeana do with that box to make it look so amazing? It’s a very powerful skill.’ And Jeana really does make it look amazing, whether it’s a gritty fashion film or a more elegant visual piece, she brings it… 👀

But Jeana doesn’t just make visually striking work. Taking on incredibly complex and challenging projects like ‘First for Women’s 16 Days of Activism’ or her iconic pieces for ‘Joburg Ballet’, which saw her winning a Gold Cannes Lion and Loeries Grand Prix alongside every other award out there, just proves how incredibly versatile she is.




DSTV ‘MAN CAVE’ (Director’s Cut)



‘Jeana is a laser-focused director, tenacious and her work is always conceptually interesting. She keeps her eye completely on what she is trying to achieve, all the noise around her goes away when she works. Incredibly talented, incredibly hard working and has an incredible eye.’ Darling Films Executive Producer, Lorraine Smit

Contact Darling Films

View Darling on IDIDTHAT
Executive Producers: Lorraine Smit / Melina McDonald /

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