Egg Films’ Zwelethu Radebe directed The Independent State of Nandi, a choose-your-own-ending series of short films brought to Twitter from inside the all-new Ford Fiesta. Released every Monday and Thursday over four weeks across June and July 2018, the eight shorts captured Twitter’s imagination, with the first episode getting over 14 000 votes, 350 retweets, and nearly 2000 Likes, and the finale being watched over 230 000 times, generating nearly 150 comments.
Agency GTB Johannesburg approached Egg with the idea for a series that allowed the audience to drive the story by voting at the end of each episode on which way the characters should go.
Zwelethu worked with The River screenwriter Nelisa Ngcobo and the agency’s creative team of Nico Botha, Neil Lindsay, Sophia Basckin, and Candice Mcleroth to craft the different storylines around Nandi (Lebo Borole), who is taking her new Fiesta on its first long-distance trip, from Johannesburg to Amanzimtoti for her sister’s wedding. She’s bringing along her Sotho boyfriend Sechaba (Marcus Mabusela) with the hopes of introducing him slowly to her traditional Zulu family.
Zwelethu and DOP Ofentse Mwase shot 14 epilogues for the first seven episodes, to cater for the different voting outcomes. William Kalmer edited all eight shorts at Post Modern.
Twitter gets a bad rap for bringing out people’s worst sides, but Ford Fiesta drivers seem to be a nicer bunch, voting to give Nandi’s sister her say rather than cutting her off; to answer rather than screen calls from her mother; and to help a Gogo who didn’t entirely deserve it.
“This feels like the future of advertising,” says Egg Films’ executive producer Colin Howard. “Where storytelling isn’t limited to 30-second TV commercials and the audience can be involved more than ever before.”
About Zwelethu Radebe
Zwelethu spent much of his youth behind the lens, recreating his favourite film scenes with nothing but an 8mm camcorder, his BMX and his younger brother as the actor. By the time he was cast as a caricature of cricket legend Lance ‘Zulu’ Klusener in a washing powder commercial, the film bug had its fangs in deep.
Zwelethu finished top of his class throughout film school, winning numerous awards and the bursaries he needed to fund his studies. The trend continued at his first Loeries, where, just months after graduating, he won a Student Silver for Ster-Kinekor Thato.
Still in his twenties, Zwelethu has spent a busy last four years directing commercials full-time for both local and international agencies and clients, shooting in nine countries across Africa and Europe. In 2017, he won a Silver Apex Award for Creative Effectiveness for Strongbow, while his short film The Hangman has won Best Foreign Film at the Oscar-qualifying LA Shorts Fest, Best South African Short Film at the Durban, Jozi and Shnit film festivals, and Best African Short Film at Zanzibar International Film Festival, among other accolades. He was included in Mail and Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans feature in 2018.
See more of Zweli’s work here.
About Egg Films
The top-ranked production company at the 2017 Loerie Awards, Egg Films represents directors Brent Harris, Dani Hynes, Kyle Lewis, Lebogang Rasethaba, Slim, Sunu and Zwelethu Radebe. We do TV ads, music videos, short films and other things too. For more information, visit https://eggfilms.tv/.