October 6, 2023

Female Filmmaker Friday features Suzanne Du Toit

Life is a story. So, in its simplest form, what inspires me the most is simply
existing in this world.
The opportunity to tell narratives that resonate with the masses but are still
meaningful are the stories I wish to tell, and I think that’s what drives a lot of my
filmmaking ideas. As a Creative Director in Advertising, I’m as hands-on as I was
when I first started as a junior copywriter more than 20 years ago, hopefully,
those in my circles have taken this on. For me creating a solely independent film,
is a revolutionary act. I think many people dream of making a film but never
actually make it because they fear the labour and time that goes into it. For the
two film projects I’m currently working on, I’ve done everything from the ground
up, from raising all the funding through all its stages, to the writing, directing, and
producing, as well as the sourcing of the right resources whether it’s team
members or equipment, it’s challenging for anyone who’s doing it, so they should
consider themselves as revolutionaries.
Comedy is one of my first loves, shows like Veep and 30 Rock have always been
up there on my repeat watchlist. Stand-up comedy is also my weakness due to
my extensive writing background as a Copywriter in advertising, I have a huge
appreciation for the medium as an art form. A couple of years ago I was
accepted into a 6-month screenplay programme hosted by the National Video
Foundation called the Sediba Sparks Programme. The programme sparked my
blog called Who’s Laughing Now? The blog then became a research tool and
further allowed me to make connections within the local comedy scene. I’m
happy to say that I’ve completed the development of the screenplay through the
NFVF and am holding my thumbs that it will go into production soon.
The film industry is a man’s world, it’s great to know there are organizations that
provide support for female filmmakers such as SWIFT, we need all the support
we can get. I like the networking events, access to information is a great barrier
in this environment, and although on the surface events might seem frivolous, the
long-term benefits of networking are tremendous, you never know whom you
might meet to help you further your project or point you in the right direction.
I wouldn’t say I have a muse, some of us just get to work then the muse appears
in that way. There are different things that I like, and I find gripping for different
reasons, I am loving Awkwafina’s TV series. Besides the show being amusing
and fresh, she has multiple roles on the project including executive producer and
co-writer and her voice shines through. She’s also a rapper and a comedian,
she’s not just an actress, I love seeing that in artists. I am currently working on a
music documentary & I can’t wait to share that with everyone