25 April 2019, Alumni of the week
Multi award winning writer, director and AFDA alumnus Justin Head’s new film Black Out, starring fellow alumnus Leroy Gopal is due for release and coming to a cinema near you soon.
Justin’s career began in 2003, with his breakout short film, the supernatural thriller, Scarred Instinct. In that same year, he also directed two award-winning commercials, Child Soldier and Torture, for Amnesty International South Africa.
Justin’s debut feature film, Night Drive– South Africa's first action-horror – was written and directed for The Film Factory. The story deals with the highly controversial issue of ‘muti’ murders, a crime in which people's organs are harvested for witchcraft rituals. In the film, a group of tourists enjoying a night drive safari in the African Bush, are systematically hunted down by a gang of animal poachers who harvest human body parts for the black market.
Following Night Drive, he produced several documentary inserts for one of South Africa’s premium current affairs TV shows. One project took him right into the heart of a Rift Valley Fever Outbreak, which had claimed numerous lives as it rapidly swept across South Africa.
Justin's visual style caught the attention of extreme sports organizations. He was hired to write, direct, and edit MMA Africa Showdown, a high-octane series about the continent’s growing mixed martial arts community. He also directed promos for The Canopy Piloting World Cup – a dangerous low-altitude skydiving competition. In this high stakes event, also known as swooping, skydivers must fly across a lake at breakneck speeds, mere inches above the water's surface.
Justin then wrote, directed, edited and co-produced Making A Killing for A Breed Apart Pictures. It's an action-war film about an unhinged private military contractor, who turns against his own men to protect a suspected child soldier in the war-torn DRC.
Prior to starting Hammerhead Productions, Justin wrote a psychological thriller, Shadow Boxer, for A Breed Apart Pictures.
Check out his showreel:
AFDA is the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, and is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration certificate no. 2001/HE07/012.