Film & Media
Monate Casting Directors & Services
In 2019, actor and producer Mvelisi Mvandaba combined his love of the entertainment industry and business acumen to open Monate Casting Directors, South Africa’s first 100% black and youth-run casting studio.
Since then, Mvandaba, 28, has cast various projects for the local and international markets, seeing thousands of talented people find the right project. He has worked with some of the biggest networks and channels across the globe, including Netflix, NBCUniversal, DreamWorks Animation and Showmax.
His passion, however, lies in independent scripts and working with young directors to bring their visions to life. Independent projects he has cast have gone on to have successful premiers at the Durban International Film Festival, Sundance, African Film Festival New York and more.
Mvelisi believes in equal opportunity casting and challenges the gender and racial norms that are typically assigned to characters. He would like to effect change in an industry that is “still dominated by outdated practices which lean into bias. I want every young black child to see the work I do and see that it’s possible to break through and be a star in this field.”
When he was cast in his first feature film, Mvelisi realised that “being successful was not only achievable in the stereotypical fields of law and medicine. Being creative and following your dreams was a possibility.”
BA, Theatre and Performance, University of Cape Town (incomplete)
- Loeries, Bronze Craft Award.
- The casting director for the first live-action original for NBC Universal and DreamWorks Africa.
When I was cast in my first feature film and realised that being successful was not only achievable in the stereotypical fields of law and medicine. Being creative and following your dreams was a possibility.
Take your time and pay your dues. Being open to learning from others will help inform the type of work and person you eventually want to be. Don’t rush down a path you think will get you the end result the fastest — be open to continually learning and adapt your thought process.
A country that is proud of its heritage and the journeys we have gone through.