Directors Biography

Helena Kingwill grew up on a farm in the Karoo and attended an all girls boarding school in Grahamstown. (D.S.G.) In her gap year she worked at two London theatres (The Westminster and the Piccadilly front of house) and a Swiss theatre in Montreux (back stage.)  She also had the opportunity to work on a BBC Channel 4 production in Paris (Directors PA – Gerald Fox.)  She attended Cape Town Film and Television school (John Hill) in 1990 for a year, specializing in Script Writing. In 1991, she took the opportunity to work on her first feature film The Road to Mecca (Featuring Athol Fugard, Yvonne Bryceland and Kathy Bates.  The experience inspired her to attend drama school.  She did a Performance Diploma at Theatre school the following year.  Then returned to her home town of Nieu Bethesda to set up a festival and a community arts project. (1993) She also did a course in English Literature by correspondence the same year. (UNISA). She published her writing (poetry and articles) in a National arts Magazine (Get The Funk Out) then traveled to England to research a book.  When she returned, she began writing for The Big Issue Cape Town.  In 1998-she crossed into TV again while continuing to freelance as feature writer for magazines.   She Learned skills as an apprentice co-director for Griffin films (Jemima and Tim Spring and Simon Damaste) but mainly as a researcher and script writer for three different Educational TV series ( broadcast on SABC).  In 2001 a proposal she wrote (based on a Big Issue article she had researched) won her a place at Encounters Documentary Laboratory which was the start of her journey to producing, directing researching and presenting her first feature documentary: Buried in Earthskin.  This was completed in 2009.  While waiting for funding for this project,  she moved to Johannesburg, worked on other documentaries and environmental projects (“The Air We Breathe” and “Black Man -White Woman” with Hand Held Films) and became a regular feature writer for Your Pregnancy Magazine.  She also gave birth to two babies 21 months apart, got married and moved back to Cape Town.  In 2009  after the completion of her documentary “Buried in Earthskin,” she began work as a free-lance researcher for Cooked in Africa Films. (Justin Bonnello).

  She has since completed “The Fisher Stories- Life in the Time of Climate Change,” (Masifundisi Trust)  and researched a 13 part series on sustainable agriculture for Cooked in Africa Films. (Cooked 5 -Living Free.)  In 2012-13 she worked on a documentary series for the same company on the subject of marine resources. (Moving Sushi.) She also writes feature articles for magazines and is working on documentary proposals.  See her blog:” Earthnotes for Hope”  for further enlightenment.

More detail on Helena can be found on this online C.V.


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