Bianca (Schmitz) Vermooten is the co-founder of South African-based production company, Optical Films. Over her career as a film producer she has followed stories to different corners of the globe and created award-winning feature films, documentaries and narrative shorts. She has worked in collaboration with Tencent Pictures, Chuan Films and Xprize and her love for production has brought many local and international projects across her path. Her documentary, KUSASA won best feature documentary at several film festivals in 2020 and her latest short film #WeAreDyingHere will premiere at the Pan African Film Festival in early 2021. Originally a Drama major, Bianca is currently completing her MBA at the University of Oxford.
Marlon Parker is an advocate for using Technology for Social Good and holds a Masters in Information Technology. His passion for technology and community development has influenced his work and led to being the founder of the Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs) a global movement that have inspired replication of the model in 23 countries. He has been listed as one of the 100 World Class South Africans in 2013 and 2014, an alumni of President Obama’s Young African Leaders initiative in 2012, Invited Young Leader Alumni to the Council for the US and Italy and honorary faculty member of the International School of Digital Transformation. During 2014 is was also selected as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, Dangote Fellow and an Ashoka Fellow for his work in Social Entrepreneurship. He was the co-founder of Jamiix that was the backbone to one of the largest mobile chat counseling networks in the world with more than 4.5 million people being reached
since its inception. Marlon is also a co-founder of the Mxit Reach Trust that currently serves more than 2 million people through mobile technology and along with UNICEF launched the first virtual school in South Africa supporting more than 100,000 learners. He was the Lead SA Hero of 2015 and was listed by Quartz as one of the African Innovators of 2017. Marlon has done extensive work with companies such as Mozilla, BBC, UN Women, Google, World Bank and Accenture.
Shane Vermooten is an alumni of President Obama’s Young African Leaders initiative, Mandela Washington Fellow and a Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South African. He has filmed in 21 countries and as a director his work has won awards around the world, recently picking up an award of excellence from Impact Docs. He has also received silver and craft Loeries. His work won best narrative short at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and was nominated at the Black Reel Awards for outstanding foreign film. His short film Freedom Road was screened alongside William Kentridge’s work at the City Gallery in Wellington, New Zealand. Bypass, Shane's debut feature film, was theatrically released and received global distribution. His latest documentary Kusasa, tells the story of a young football team who embark on the adventure of a lifetime as they travel from the township streets of South Africa to the towering stadiums of Sweden to play in the world’s largest youth football tournament. Kusasa is currently on the festival circuit where it will be screening at Chagrin International Film Festival and Austin Film Festival in October and will have a theatrical release later this year in China.