Darling Films

Darling by name, Darlings by reputation.


Directors: Chloe Coetsee / Jeana Theron / Ross Garrett / Director Kit / Zee Ntuli / Louis Minnar / Graeme Carr / Slim / Gale Maimane
Producers: Lorraine Smit / Melina McDonald

Company Website

Well, Darling isn’t exactly the production house you might expect. Rather than a bunch of directors we like to think of ourselves as a group of photographers, chefs, writers, fashion mavens, documentarians, travellers, makers, critics, mothers, sisters, sons, daughters. It’s not only one thing that makes your Darling the one that leaves you both satisfied and wanting more. It’s the sum of all the different parts. So call us Darling. We’d love to chat, about anything really.


3rd Floor, 138 Jan Smuts Ave

+27 11 100 5700

Executive Producer | Lorraine Smit
+27 82 602 1094

Executive Producer | Melina McDonald
+27 83 326 2126

Awarded by iDidTht

Special Mention: Direction Craft – Zee Ntuli

Special Mention: Bonitas ‘Winning , Surviving and Family’
iDidTht Guest Judge: Graeme Jenner, ECD of King James Group JHB
Awarded: November 2019

Judges Comment: “I saw the running boy ad on TV, which is weird because who sees ads on TV anymore? Not me generally, it must have been half time during the rugby or something, but anyway, it stood out to me. I think it’s the simplicity, the commitment to getting it in (what is seemingly) one shot and the camera being really intimate with the characters in the scene that make it feel fresh and interesting. Sometimes less is more and that’s certainly the case here.”

Special Mention: Direction Craft – Zee Ntuli

Special Mention: MTN ‘Autograph’
iDidTht Guest Judge: Neo Mashigo, CCO at M&C Saatchi Abel Group
Awarded: September 2019

Judges Comment: “The rugby narrative is delivered in an unexpected yet impactful way that gives one ‘the feels’. I love how the director delivered the story of the lone rugby supporter in a family of soccer lovers. Zee got us to root for Die Bokke by drawing us closer to the trials of the lead and touching on our affinity for family bonds. Nice one Zee and team!”

Best of Reel: Direction Craft – Zee Ntuli

Best of Reel: #BlameNoMore A Call for Change
iDidTht Guest Judge: Nikki Taylor-Garrett, CD at TBWA Hunt Lascaris
Awarded: August 2019

Judges Comment: “The success of this film relied entirely on Zee Ntuli achieving perfect balance between keeping the story raw enough to do justice to the script and subject matter, but bearable enough to watch until the end. A heavy task handled delicately with thoughtful casting and direction, clever lighting and intuitive camera work from Tom Revington (DOP).”

Special Mention: Direction Craft – Ross Garrett

Special Mention: Joburg Ballet X Superbalist ‘Rehearsals for UNBOUND’
iDidTht Guest Judge: Ahmed Tilly, CCO at FCB Africa
Awarded: July 2019

Judges Comment: “A special mention for direction to Ross Garrett for “Joburg Ballet X Superbalist”. It’s not easy to capture the power of dance. Ross did it as artfully as the dancers captured the emotion of the subject matter. Great camera movement, simple and clean location, uncluttered yet so powerful. Well done Ross. These were beautiful to watch.”

Best of Reel: Direction Craft – Chloe Coetsee

Best of Reel: MTN ‘Springbok World Cup’
iDidTht Guest Judge: Claudi Potter, CD at Joe Public United
Awarded: June 2019

Judges Comment: “A supporter ad is bound to be a cheese fest, and can easily turn into something that feels more like shared shame, than shared pride. However, Chloe managed to keep the performances real and likeable, and the track is perfect. Getting sportsmen to act like real people also deserves a nod. Love the well-considered opening sequence as well.”

Special Mention: Direction Craft – Zee Ntuli

Special Mention: OUTsurance ‘The Calling; Linda’
iDidTht Guest Judge: Fran Luckin, CCO at Grey Africa
Awarded: May 2019

Judges Comment: “I love the treatment of the voice-over: the unscripted feel and performance give the ad an emotional depth. The hand-held camera, which restlessly alternates between close up intimacy and moving behind and around things, gives a real sense of how a child might experience the events of the story: fragmented, uncertain, but also at very close quarters. The grade and lighting give the visuals a rich cinematic moodiness, turning the humble setting of the home, the hospital and the shop into a theatre for tragedy and heartbreak”

Special Mention: Direction Craft – Gale Maimane

Special Mention: Edgars ‘Winter Blues’
iDidTht Guest Judge: Tseliso Rangaka, Executive Creative Director at Ogilvy Cape Town
Awarded: April 2019

Judges Comment: “I like the unusual storytelling here. The lead is believable and comfortably takes us through the offbeat edit. While one of the most interesting ad soundtracks I’ve heard in a while, weaves around what could have been just another clothing catalogue for Edgars.”

Special Mention: Direction Craft – Chloe Coetsee

Special Mention: Consol ‘City, Pool & Bar’
iDidTht Guest Judge: Vanessa Pearson, Founder and ECD at House of Brave
Awarded: February 2019

Judges Comment: “Chloe at her best having fun, fun, fun with tongue firmly in cheek. Liking the melodrama of these ever so simple spots. No dramatic sweeping or swooping of camera just wonderful direction of simple, single-minded performances. Nicely offset by the choice of music.”

Special Mention: Direction Craft – Chloe Coetsee

Special Mention: Nando’s ‘You People’
iDidTht Guest Judge: Juliet Honey, Creative Director at Net#work BBDO
Awarded: December 2018

Judges Comment: “Another Nandos’ ad that makes us take a good, long laugh at ourselves. Great casting, timing and performance keep it extra spicey.”

Best of Reel: Direction Craft – Zee Ntuli

BEST OF REEL: MTN ‘The Steve Tshwete Story’
iDidTht Guest Judge: Bridget Johnson, Consulting Executive Creative Director at WICK
Awarded: September 2018

Judges Comment: “Congrats to Zee Ntuli from Darling Films for MTN ‘The Steve Tshwete Story’. This is a really compelling piece of film. It draws you in with those beautiful, evocative early morning shots on the way to Robben Island and then holds your attention with a combination of interesting framing, considered sound design, edit and a restrained script. Really, really nicely done.”

Best of Reel: Direction Craft – Ross Garrett

BEST OF REEL: MTN ‘MTN Sounds The Call: The Os du Randt Story’
iDidTht Guest Judge: Kabelo Moshapalo, Executive Creative Director, TBWA\ Johannesburg
Awarded: August 2018

Judges Comment: “It’s tough having to talk up a project that you have close ties to, but this piece is truly epic. A larger than life story brought to life in the most fitting and meaningful way. A raw and gritty emotional journey of a legend being reborn told through captivating visual metaphors and moving sound design. An old story retold in a way that appeals to a new, younger audience.”

Special Mention: Direction Craft – Jeana Theron

MTN ‘The Laurie Kay Story’
iDidTht Guest Judge: Molefi Thulo, Creative Director at Ogilvy Johannesburg
Awarded: July 2018

Judges Comment: “Last, but certainly not least a shout-out to Jeana for bringing this story to life. South Africans never tire of talking about this particular Rugby World Cup, and this commercial definitely evokes those memories, only here it’s told from the point of view of the pilot who flew a 747 over the stadium. Clever twists in the storytelling and an interesting visual treatment.”

Special Mention: Direction Craft – Ross Garrett

Joburg Ballet ‘#BiteSizeBallet No.2’
iDidTht Guest Judge: Roanna Williams, Executive Creative Director at Joe Public
Awarded: September 2017

Judges Comment: “So, I’m going to be honest. When I viewed this ad, my first reaction was WTF. Then I walked away and got distracted but not for long as the ad kept popping back into my head. I am not a ballet fan at all. But what this piece did do was make me think of ballet, something I have not done in years. So, on second viewing, although it did not have me doing pirouettes or grand jetè’s, it did change my perception of the Joburg ballet. By using popular newsworthy events with an edgy soundtrack and creating bite-sized ballet stints out of them, makes this dance style more contemporary and accessible to ballet philistines like me. I look forward to more palatable #bitesizeballet.

Special Mention: Direction Craft – Chloe Coetsee

SABC TV Licences ‘Island’
iDidTht Guest Judge: Jonathan Beggs, Chief Creative Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi
Awarded: December 2015

Judges Comment: “Darling’s Chloe Coetzee directs a quirky spot for SABC TV Licences – with fantastic casting, awkward performances and daft production design….which all adds up to a director that really cares about the details.

Special Mention: Direction Craft – Ross Garrett

Ithuba Holdings Lotto ‘Dream Census’
iDidTht Guest Judge: Michael Lees-Rolfe, Creative Director at FoxP2
Awarded: September 2015

Judges Comment: “What could so easily have been a dull and familiar spot, this piece entitled ‘Dream Census’ feels intriguing and human thanks to beautifully observed portraiture from Ross Garret and the Darling Films team, and for navigating this tricky subject matter so elegantly, the team deserve a special mention.

Company Portfolio

iDidTht Editorial

Gale Maimane is now ‘Director Darling’ Official

October 30th, 2019|Comments Off on Gale Maimane is now ‘Director Darling’ Official

Director Gale Maimane’s great eye and raw approach to storytelling have seen her leap from researcher to director. This shouldn't come as a surprise as she’s already been in demand as a director for quite some time and has a substantial reel to prove it. We go behind her WhatsApp Memoji to find out how this rising star is making her unique voice heard.

No she’s not the Makeup Artist! She’s Director Kit from Darling Films

September 7th, 2018|Comments Off on No she’s not the Makeup Artist! She’s Director Kit from Darling Films

We met up with Director Kit to talk about becoming a darling at Darling Films, representation (or lack thereof) of women in the industry, her badass background as a child TV star and why she’s had to say goodbye to her real name, Keitumetse Qhali.

Darling Films’ Breaking Ballet on Pointe at Cannes 2018

July 2nd, 2018|Comments Off on Darling Films’ Breaking Ballet on Pointe at Cannes 2018

‘It’s Friday night, let’s hit the ballet’ - said no one under the age of 50 ever! Until now. We talk to Darling Films about winning big at Cannes Lions and creating Five! … Six! … Seven! … Eight #BreakingBallet videos. 😜