5 minutes with… Charl-Johan Lingenfelder

5 minutes with… Charl-Johan Lingenfelder

Tell us about yourself – who are you and what do you do?

My name is Charl-Johan Lingenfelder and I am a theatre and film composer, who has dabbled in writing and directing for screen as well.

What are you currently up to? Are there any exciting projects ongoing?

I am currently working on an international 8-part series as well as composing and workshopping the sound and score for a stage adaptation of Damon Galgut’s Booker Prize novel- The Promise. It is opening in October in South Africa after which it will head abroad. I have 3 feature films premiering at Silwerskerm Festival in August and am part of the team behind Netflix’s Runs In The Family– a feature currently doing the international festival circuit.

What’s your best project/work to date?

I co-wrote the feature film Kanarie with director Christiaan Olwagen which won the SAFTA Award for Best Screenplay and was also nominated for Best International Feature at the GLAAD Awards. I wrote and directed the feature film A Christmas Chorus for MNet which received a SAFTA nomination for Best Made for TV Film. In the world of theatre i am super proud of the revival production of Todd Matshikisa’s King Kong- the Musical, for which I was Musical Supervisor and composed all the new material and for which I received both the Naledi and Fleur du Cap Awards.

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by people who approach their work and lives from unusual angles- people who avoid being copycats but would rather risk and fail in their than be mediocre.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do?

I love traveling and reading. My guilty pleasure is gaming.

Finally, what tips or advice could you give to other documentary creatives, just starting out or to the most experienced creatives needing a bit of encouragement?

I am not an experienced documentary filmmaker (hence me joining the DFA), but I suppose all the arts share the same highs and lows. I have no advice as I am constantly in need of it for myself (lol), but one thing I believe in is constantly reminding yourself of your passions and making sure you stay true to who you are. It is very easy to become overwhelmed by all the noise out there and feel that your work has no value in comparison to other creatives’ work. But remember everyone has to start somewhere. And your crazy idea which has no bearing on what is popular on television or the movies at the moment, just might be the next big thing that everyone else is going to copycat!