MAYENZEKE BAZA is the director of international relations at ATFT and looks after the South African missions to international markets and festivals. He fosters relationships with the festival and market directors, as well as distributors, broadcasters and other buyers that have an interest in African content and can be of benefit to ATFT members.
While recently being nominated to the Nelson mandela Bay business chambers top 40 under 40, he grew up looking after his grandfather’s sheep in a rural area of the Eastern Cape of South Africa and now runs a successful production company in Nelson Mandela Bay. After studying engineering, then working in a chocolate factory and consulting for many government agencies, he discovered a passion for the film industry through acting. Having starred in a romantic comedy, he established Mandela Bay Pictures where he pioneered an innovative film-making competition for school pupils throughout the province. Mayenzeke has also mentored many young black aspiring filmmakers who are now making their way in the film and TV industry. In 2008, Mayenzeke won a pitching competition hosted by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, taking the top prize for a course in documentary filmmaking as a Thomson Foundation Fellow in Wales. Here he made his first documentary film for Channel 4 in the UK, ‘The Smuggler I Met in Cardiff.’ Since then Mayenzeke’s career has rocketed into the international arena. He has worked alongside producer Brian Woods who has won many BAFTA and Emmy awards. Mayenzeke directed and produced documentaries for SABC, as well as for Al-Jazeera, with titles such as Chieftaincy and Ndiyindoda. Mayenzeke is also an ex board member of the Documentary Film Makers Association of South Africa and a c0-founder of ATFT (Association for Transformation in Film & Television) championing the development of a more equitable industry. He is currently developing a slate of documentary, factual and feature films with a range of domestic and international co-production partners. He is one of life’s doers. Through Mandela Bay Pictures and *ATFT* his work stretches innovation in both production and distribution across South Africa, the continent, and the wider world. From TV, to Cinema and new mobile content he is a man with a finger in many pies.