AFDA kick-started their new campus in Port Elizabeth on the 9th of February 2015 and currently attracts the interest of students from all corners of the world.
Port Elizabeth is known as the friendly city and is renowned for its pristine and accessible beaches, adventure sports and outdoor lifestyle. It boasts a strong cultural history, provides a student friendly environment with excellent accommodation and is a host to a large body of international visitors annually.
AFDA Courses currently on offer at the Port Elizabeth campus:
Port Elizabeth Prospectus 2016 |PDF| 2.88 MB
Accommodation lists will be provided on request. Please contact the Marketing Department or Student Affairs directly.
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As the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA), Bata Passchier has been involved in education for 15 years, and in the film industry for almost 30 years. He has been extensively involved in the design of the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum for AFDA, which has been fully accredited by all the relevant authorities including SAQA and the CHE.
Bata Passchier has also developed a system to assess entertainment products’ potential value, the EVAM (Entertainment Value Assessment Matrix) System. This system has been implemented by the South African Broadcasting Commission to assess and commission production pitches.
Master of Arts (UCT)
From the dusty mining town of Krugersdorp on the West Rand, Garth Holmes would gaze longingly at the bright lights ofJoburg as they twinkled in the distance. He moved there straight after school and qualified as a teacher, a career choice that forced him to work part-time at restaurants to make up for the shortfall in his salary. The experience gained there led him to start his own successful restaurant. His yearning to be part of the creative world, however, made him sell the business, a decision he calls “naïve and impetuous”, but it saw him team up with controversial writer-director Deon Opperman, with whom he co-wrote several successful plays.“For the first time I was recognised for my creative talents,” says Holmes.
It was then that he met Bata Passchier, his current business partner and CEO of AFDA, the film and acting school they launched in 1994, a time when the future of the country was uncertain and confidence was low.
AFDA’s origins lie in the failure of a private art school owned by a close friend of Holmes’s. “She was an amazing lecturer, but a terrible businesswoman,” says Holmes. “She taught me one of the most important lessons about owning a private university. It’s one hell of a responsibility; you have everyone’s hopes, futures and dreams locked up in the institution– so collect the fees or close.”
The bankrupt school, at which Holmes had lectured in design and film, provided him with his first six students. “I was down and out, but the Design Centre in Greenside took me and the students in. Armed with a rented TV, a VCR and free lectures provided by friends in the industry, I put the word out that the best film school in South Africa was open for business.”
Holmes and his partners soon realised that they needed premises if they wanted to develop a great university. They set up a campus in a derelict Lever Brothers warehouse in Milpark which cost them R6,00 a square metre. They now own it and it accommodates 650 students. Another 600-odd are at the Cape Town campus. The curriculum, and teaching and management systems were forged by Passchier. A student of martial arts and Japanese painting, he developed a passion for ancient training philosophy, theories and practice, before he turned to creating training videos for a number of bluechip companies. That’s where he was exposed to management methods that he would later fuse with the training theories of the ancients to develop AFDA’s systems.
The school was funded with student fees, and post-production facilities were provided by The Video Lab. Holmes says it was built on the generosity of many people who offered their services. “Three South Africans who were eking out an existence in Hollywood at the time, and a local IT entrepreneur, gave us the original R30 000. We used that, with an amortisation on renovations, to get us going.”
The first formal management controls were put in place in June 2003 by Passchier. “We had run the company without any real management structures until then,” Holmes recalls. “Each partner trusted that the other would fulfil their responsibilities, but this could only work while we were a small company.”
AFDA’s early challenges included opposition from within the industry, achieving accreditation and the ever-present threat of bankruptcy. “We had cash flow problems stemming from the fact that we had to constantly develop the school to deal with the demands of the marketplace. The early days were all about growth which meant more staff, more space, more equipment, more facilities – all of which had to be bought without any support from the state or any other resource.”
Ask Holmes what sets the school apart and he talks about contributing to building a sustainable and vibrant film industry. “We have always been convinced that we are making a difference and that we will leave a legacy of film practitioners, artists and performers who have genuine ability to excel and to help create a unique and inspirational cultural identity for all South Africans.”
The school’s achievements include winning an Oscar for best student film, having a film in the finals at Cannes 2006, making the feature film Soldiers of the Rock, and achieving Masters accreditation.
What AFDA’s success has proved, is the ongoing relevance of drama and film in education. “The nature of today’s consumers coupled with our technologically driven society has placed greater emphasis than ever before on the development of entertainment and media practitioners; they are responsible for reflecting society, creating meaning,and capturing the beauty of the human spirit.”
Dr Gerda Dullaart wrote her Ph D thesis on tertiary education in post-apartheid South Africa, with specific focus on training narrative for employability in creative industries. Her interest in education for creative industries was also pursued in her M Phil in Higher Education Studies at UCT. After writing for various news media, she joined AFDA in 2003, where her passion for narrative education was rewarded when AFDA students write winning screenplays, like SAFTA awards for Agter the Berge and Sindiswa.
PHD University of Kwa Zulu Natal
Christopher John was born in Zimbabwe and is currently President of the Afda Council. He has extensive experience working as an actor, teacher, and director with important Western and African theatre companies. He has also worked in the corporate sector both as a Senior Manager and as a Consultant to top-teams in the areas of Management training and development. He studied acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama and under the name Christopher Hurst worked as a professional actor in Britain; working with the Royal Shakespeare Company, in the West End, and on Broadway; In 1986, he returned to Zimbabwe and worked in the townships of Bulawayo with Cont Mhlanga at Amakhosi Productions playing in Mhlanga’s Workshop Negative and teaching acting. He also worked with ex-combatants making plays at Simukai Collective Farming Co-operative. The Tabex Encyclopaedia Zimbabwe credits him with making an important contribution to the debates about decolonizing theatre in Zimbabwe in the 1980s. He worked for the Anglo American group companies, OTD (Organisational management and development). (Pvt) Ltd and Border Timbers Limited from 1981 to 1996
In 1997 he moved to South Africa to lecture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, there he ran projects in Bhambayi in Inanda using theatre and video to help heal a community torn apart by political violence and for twelve years led a Prison Theatre project at Westville Correctional Facility in Durban. He has worked for Mbongeni Ngema’s Committed Artists as an actor and teacher appearing in 1906: Bhambatha the Freedom Fighter and Lion of the East. In 2013 he directed Mbongeni Ngema in his return to the stage in The Zulu, which successfully played at the Market Theatre and toured the region. In 2008 he was a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at California State University Polytechnic, Pomona. He has a Doctoral degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
BCom Accountancy (PU for CHE), CIMA (London)
Rudolph Coetzer is a Chartered Global Management Accountant accredited by both the South African Chartered Instituted of Management Accountants and the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. He has been Chief Financial Officer for the AFDA group for over 12 years. His financial management skills have been applied in various industries where strategic objectives must be aligned to resources and to values, but his passion is for creative education, which lead him to AFDA. As CFO he has contributed leadership and resource development to AFDA campus life.
Master of Arts (with distinction) University of the Witwatersrand
Anton Basson completed his Master's degree in narrative theory at the University of the Witwatersrand and subsequently lectured at Wits, Vista University and the Rand Afrikaans University (currently the Soweto and Bunting Road campuses of the University of Johannesburg). His endeavors in the arts include published short stories, plays at festivals and recorded rock albums. He joined AFDA in 2002 in the Screenwriting Department. He subsequently filled the positions of Learning Manager and Postgraduate Principal for the Johannesburg and Cape Town campuses before heading up the Curriculum Development Department. He is currently the Academic Standards Manager.
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BA Honours: Afrikaans-Nederlands
Denise Roodt is the Acting Dean and Registrar of the Port Elizabeth campus of AFDA School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, having been instrumental in bringing this award-winning higher education institution to the Eastern Cape.
Denise also owns The Media Workshop, an MICT-Seta accredited Film and Television Production and Journalism Training Provider, Media Business Incubator and Production Company.
Before starting her own business, Ms Roodt was the co-ordinator of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Journalism programme and the deputy programme leader of the Bachelor of Arts in Media, Communication and Culture. Before joining academic, Ms Roodt was a senior Television News reporter with the SABC, covering news and current affairs both nationally and internationally.
In 2014, The Media Workshop won the Sanlam MDDA Award for Best Educational Television Production.
Between 2010 and 2013, the company also published a Xhosa community newspaper, Zithethele, which won numerous Sanlam MDDA Community Media Awards between 2010 and 2013, including Best Grassroots publication, Best front pages and Best Investigative Reporting.
In 2012, Ms Roodt was a finalist in Regional Business Women of the Year awards: Social Entrepreneurship (Eastern Cape).
B Tech: Multimedia
Marius Roodt lectures in Cinematography, Sound Design, Data Management and Editing. He is also Head of Operations at the PE Campus. He started his career in the media industry more than 30 years ago. He worked on various newspapers as a photographer and reporter before joining the SABC in 1989 as a video editor and news cameraman. He covered news events and produced magazine programmes all over Africa and Europe. He left the SABC in 1998 and joined the then PE Technikon’s journalism department, where he lectured in Television and Sound production. In 2008 Marius and his wife, Denise, started The Media Workshop, an MICT Seta accredited training provider.
Robert Haxton is a contemporary director and performer currently based in Port Elizabeth. He completed his BA in Drama and English in 2007, Honours in 2008 and obtained his Masters in Directing, all at the distinguished Rhodes University Drama Department. He has worked, performed for and directed a vast number of works for the National Arts Festival (NAF). NAF productions include dancing in Alan Parker’s Attic Stories for the First Physical Student Company, the musical direction for Ubom! Eastern Cape Theatre Company’s revival of Triplets of Tantyi as well as Wesley Dientje’s Hamlet Machine. Robert is the founder and Artistic Director of The Runaway Bunni Collective which boasts an array of his critically acclaimed directorial and design features including Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Wit (2008), Martin Sherman’s classic Comic Thriller Cracks (2009), Martin Sherman’s Bent (2009), Emma Lungiswa De Wet’s Passages (2013) and his original works Rubber (2010) and Dogyard (2012). In 2012 Robert directed Genna Gardini’s Wintersweet which won the Collective their first Standard Bank Encore Ovation Award. From 2011 through 2013, he worked as a Marketing, Financial and Administrative Manager for both Ubom! Eastern Cape Drama Company and Rhodes University Drama Department as well as headlining and teaching a facilitation course. From 2014 – 2015 Robert performed in the Artscape produced Chomi written by Pfarelo Nemakonde and directed by Motlatji Ditodi as well as lecturing part time for City Varsity.
MA (Media Studies)
Melissa Evans holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies and Contemporary Culture, and a Master of Arts degree in Contemporary / Film Studies (both from NMMU). She focused specifically on film theory and research in her final year of study, in particular feminist representations in the film.
Previously, Melissa worked as a producer for the Eastern Cape’s local television station Bay TV, creating and overseeing a daily children’s program, whilst also receiving television production training from The Media Workshop. In addition to lecturing at AFDA, Melissa also oversees marketing and social media for a local Port Elizabeth boutique.
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MASTER OF ARTS IN FINE ARTS (MFA): RHODES UNIVERSITY
Mark Wilby has worked in various capacities in the South African film industry since the nineteen-eighties.
As a production designer, he has worked on domestic (SABC, MWEB) and foreign (BBC, Channel4, Canal+) television productions, and designed numerous local and international features such as Krakatoa, Red Dust, and Mandela’s Gun. He has twice received the MNET-VITA Award for production design.
As a director, two early drama films Astor Mansions and Half-an-Hour were award-winners on the Weekly Mail Film Festival. Relocation to the Karoo in the mid-nineties prompted the pursuit of documentary film as a medium for social and environmental change.
Amidst these occupations, Mark has also practiced consistently as a conceptual artist. A personal research interest is in the expanding potential for hybrid forms of storytelling that embrace multiple media platforms. Solo and collaborative projects emerging from this practice have been exhibited locally and abroad.
Mark Wilby is attracted to the vision of the AFDA campus in Port Elizabeth – that of establishing itself as the cornerstone of a burgeoning industry in the Eastern Cape.
Profile: I studied Textile Design and Technology at NMMU for four years and qualified with a Baccalaureus Technollogiae. In the past 5 years, I have interned at a Media company in Cape Town and worked my way up quickly, being promoted to Decor Assistant, Senior Assistant and further promoted to Junior Decor Editor. I have also interned at a textile company, an interior company, a distributing company and a media house. I have taken part in competitions and fashion shows through the Textile and Fashion Department in Port Elizabeth. In the Sustainable Special Interest Group Competition I came in the top five with my designs and in the Society of Dyers and Colourists Competition in Hong Kong I took first place. When working as a senior decor stylist at Highbury Safika Media in Cape Town and won Rookie of the Year 2014 Award.
B Tech degree in Photography
Simon Pienaar is an international award winning photographer with over 12 years of experience in providing film and digital photographic processes. He specialises in photographic image manipulations with a detailed knowledge of lighting, location, studio and photographic technologies.
Simon has a B Tech degree in Photography at the NMMU and is currently completing his Masters degree.
“Simon Pienaar is a multi-skilled and energetic problem solver in the fields of photography, image manipulation, product strategies and brand consulting.” – Toni van Eeden (Red brick media, Canada)
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Nuala Jansen has spent many years working in Higher Education in various roles including International marketing. She has vast experience working closely with International students and developing accredited Customized Short Programmes.
Nuala is currently Marketing Officer for the Eastern Cape and surrounding areas.
Bachelor of Art (AAA School of Advertising)
Degree in BComm, Law 2008 (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
Rhodes University Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) FET (Specialising in Dance Studies and Creati