5 Minutes with… Sihle Hlophe

5 Minutes with… Sihle Hlophe

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

I’m a director/writer who has to produce from time to time. I’ve been in the industry for 11 years and I’ve written for popular TV shows such as “Lockdown”, “Scandal” and “Mutual Friends”. I’ve also written and directed two award-winning narrative short films that have been screened at over 40 film festivals around the world. Currently I’m involved in the development and production of a number of feature length projects.

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

Yes, I have just finished directing one of the DFA COVID-19 documentaries, “Lindela Under Lockdown”, a 7 minute character-driven documentary. Through a series of leaked voice notes and videos, we experience life under lockdown at Lindela Repatriation Centre. Lindela is South Africa’s largest facility for the holding of undocumented migrants.

What’s your best project/work to date?

There is some good to be derived from every project that I’ve worked on however there is a special place in my heart for the films that have allowed me to marry my two passions – filmmaking and social entrepreneurship.

Who or what inspires you?

People with unbreakable spirits inspire me. Stories inspire me. Nature inspires me.

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

I like to connect with my loved ones and engage in self care practises that allow me to replenish my body, mind and soul.

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?

Don’t attach your self worth to your work. Be kind to yourself; self care is key. Look for opportunities both locally and internationally. Move with the times – in my opinion, digital marketing and social entrepreneurship are the future. Chin up, you can’t wear your crown with your head down.