Welcome to Viva Pictures
Winner of Best Film of 2018 in Johannesburg
Neo Ntlatleng Producer / Director / Writer
An AFDA graduate in BA Motion Picture Medium, Neo Ntlatleng is a multi-talented storyteller who has honed his skills in writing, directing, producing and acting. Having majored in Directing and Screenwriting, Neo’s journey began at a young age when he enrolled at the National School of the Arts (NSA) in 2001.
Neo matriculated with full colours in Drama in 2005, and furthered his studies at AFDA, during which time he wrote and directed the short film THEMBALETHU: A South Africa past the brink, which screened at film festivals, including the 30th Durban International Film Festival in 2009. Since graduating with a BA in Motion Picture Medium in 2008, he has taken part in multiple projects. These projects include roles in some of South Africa’s most acclaimed television primetime shows, including his roles of Oratile in a political drama series 90 Plein Street, Kamo in the SABC 2 drama series Justice for All, the role of S’khalo in the Bomb Shelter Production’s popular SABC 1 Youth drama Zone 14, the role of Potlako in the Pan-African drama Jacob’s Cross, the lead role of OJ in Dv8 Film’s feature film State of Violence, the lead role of Sizo in SABC 1’s captivating social media Youth drama Mutual Friends, and in 2015 he was cast in the leading dual roles of Mothusi and Themba in Thåe Road, a Mzansi Magic telenovela set in modern-day South Africa as well as in 1950’s Sophiatown. In the show Neo plays Mothusi (an actor) in the present day, who plays the character Themba Mashinini in the past.
When Neo is not in front of the camera, he is behind it exploring his passion for directing. It is for this reason that he has directed a number of projects, including stand-alone episodes in e-TV’s Mzansi Love and Ekasi Stories series, namely PHD (Finding Arizona), Secret Marriage (Green Card) and Strooi Meisie. Other projects he has directed include the 3rd season of the Vuzu reality show Dineo’s Diary. This was followed up by his TV-Film debut as the director of Our House for Mzansi Magic. In 2017 Neo directed on the highly anticipated Nigerian TV drama Fifty, an Ebony Life TV spin-off of their såuccessful 2015 film. Neo is also the executive producer of Mi Kasi Su Kasi, a popular original format variety show on SABC1 that celebrates the diversity of South African Kasi’s (townships) by experiencing its youth culture and profiling its ground breakers. Mi Kasi Su Kasi won the Best Youth Programme award at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) in 2019.
His other accolades include award nominations of Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film at the SAFTAs and Best Promising Actor at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAAs) for his performance in the feature film State of Violence. Neo has been one of the esteemed panel of judges for the SAFTAs10, SAFTAs11, SAFTAs12 and SAFTAs13.
Shadi Chauke Executive Producer
Shadi Chauke is a qualified Chartered Accountant and an actress, voice artist, MC and presenter. As an Executive Producer at Viva Pictures, she brings with her, 17 years’ commercial experience. A true professional with an impeccable work ethic as an actress and voice artist, Shadi strives to stay true to every role she plays. She had a colourful upbringing, having lived as a young girl during the 80’s and 90’s in various parts of Gauteng, South Africa, including, a serene mining town in the West Rand, in a hotel building in Hillbrow, in the dusty streets in Soweto and in the leafy suburbs in Midrand. In her performances, she draws from her childhood experience of living in these varied environments to bring to life real and authentic stories. Growing up, she always dreamed to be an actress, but due to the financial struggles her family faced she decided to obtain a Commerce degree and go into a career that would provide financial security for her and her family.
Throughout her Commerce degree studies at Wits University and while working as a qualified Chartered Accountant in Corporate and subsequently as an Audit Partner at Deloitte, Shadi participated in the Dramatic Arts, attending Drama lessons part-time. After 13 years in the Corporate world, Shadi decided to pursue her acting career full-time. In 2015, she was accepted into a 6 – month acting programme with the Indigo View Advanced Actors Academy in which she learnt all aspects of performing facilitated by industry professionals including Christa Schamberger, Fiona Ramsey and Steven Feinstein. Since graduating from this programme, she has continued her training doing one-on-one acting and accent coaching with Voice-2-Act’s Penny Bramwell-Jones, and with seasoned actresses Dorothy Ann Gould, Pamela Nomvete and Patricia Boyer.
Since commencing her professional career as an actress, her experience includes: Her first international credit as Narrator in the award-winning documentary film, Have You Heard from Johannesburg, directed and produced by Emmy Award winner and American director – Connie Field. In this film, her full name of ‘Mmaboshadi’ Chauke is credited. Her versatility as an actress has seen her perform on Netflix’s first Original South African series, Shadow, as Lola, as a surgeon on Mzansi Magic’s SeTswana telenovela, The Throne, on SABC 3’s long-running soapie, Isidingo, as the confident Leano, on Mzansi Magic’s popular telenovela Ring of Lies I and II as a conniving imposter, Dineo, on Saints & Sinners III as a college dean, on SABC 1’s popular legal drama series Sokhulu and Partners III as a CCMA Commissioner and on eTV’s Drama series Ambitions, as a lawyer. She debuted her first Lead role in a theatre stage play Yourself or Someone Like You which played at PopArt Theatre. Shadi continues to show her versatility as an actress and is highly expected to be seen in more South African and International motion picture films, television series, stage plays and TV commercials.
Sekgametsi ‘Jac’ Mokoena Producer
Sekgametsi Mokoena, known as ‘Jac’ in the film and television industry, began her career in 2003 as PA and receptionist at Dv8 Films. She was Production secretary on the film, Max and Mona, which was produced by Dv8 Films. She worked closely
with Tendeka Matatu, Jeremy Nathan and Joel Phiri. Dv8 Films groomed her and made her Production Co-ordinator on the next film, The Flyer. She spent a year with Dv8 Films getting training in the Production department. She moved on to freelance with various production companies, holding different positions in the production department. She worked with Unplugged before taking a break from the film industry to explore online advertising. She joined Interface Media which is an online advertising agency in 2006 as Campaign Manager on various campaigns.
She returned to the film and television industry in 2007 working at Black Rage Productions as Production Manager on Street Journal. Sekgametsi has worked with notable production companies such as: The Bomb Shelter, Quizzical Pictures,
Diprente Films, Hadithi Media, Enigma Pictures, Figjam Entertainment, The What Box and Burnt Onion Productions. She’s worked on television dramas, full length feature films, reality TV shows, game shows, lifestyle shows, studio sitcoms and talk shows.
Sekgametsi was part of the producing team for the award-winning short film, Lace, which took part in the 48 Hour Film Project 2018 in Johannesburg. The film won 6 awards including Best Film, and represented Johannesburg, South Africa at the Filmapalooza International Awards Film Festival in Orlando, Florida USA in March 2019, where it competed with over 130 other films from around the world and won 2nd Place for Best Film, and won Best Actress and Best Writing. The short film has also been selected to screen at the Cannes International Film Festival 2019 at Cannes Short Film Corner.
In 2019, The What Box won a SAFTA for Best Youth Programme for the TV show Mi Kasi Su Kasi, where Jac was the producer of the show.
At the Johannesburg 48HFP awards held on the 21st of October 2018, the film won the following awards:
Best Film / Best Directing / Best Writing / Best Acting / Best Special Effects; and The Audience Award.
Over and above these notable awards, the film also received special mentions for: Best Cinematography; Best Editing; and Best Use of Prop (which for that year’s competition, was a shoe lace)
As winner of Best Film of 2018 in Johannesburg, Lace was then selected to screen at the 48HFP’s Filmapalooza International Awards Film Festival in Orlando, Florida, USA, held between 6 – 9 March 2019. At this prestigious award film festival, the film competed against over 100 short films which were Best film winners from around the world and placed 2nd place as the overall winner. In addition to this top award, the film won the Best Actress award for Enhle Mbali Maphumulo and Best Writing for the writing team.
Viva Pictures is currently developing several short films and television drama series for the South African market and the African diaspora.