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Our Team. 

Bianca Schmitz
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Bianca Vermooten is the co-founder of South African-based production company, Optical Films. In 2021, she graduated with an MBA from the University of Oxford. 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 secured Chinese co-production deals for two recent projects: KUSASA & The Heart of Cape Town (2022), scheduled for release in China. 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. Bianca previously worked for Advantage Entertainment, providing production services for several projects with A-list talent and budgets between $5 - $15million, films include Redeeming Love (Universal), Holiday in the Wild (Netflix) and Samson (Universal).

Marlon Parker
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Marlon Parker is the founder of 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
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Shane Vermooten is an alumni of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative 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. His latest short film #WeAreDyingHere, with executive producer Siya Kolisi, is a first-of-its-kind project; a fusion of spoken word, music and visual metaphor that weaves a powerful story of the war that rages against women’s bodies. Shane’s latest documentary project commissioned for Chinese television is a retelling of the historic events that lead to the world’s first heart transplant. His documentary Kusasa was selected as the only South African film to form part of a BRICS co-production, executive produced by China’s acclaimed Lu Chuan and Tencent Pictures. Kusasa won best documentary feature at Chagrin International Film Festival as well as SCAD Savannah Film Festival and was selected as part of the marquee selection at Austin Film Festival. Bypass, Shane's debut feature film, was theatrically released and received global distribution. In 2015, his short film Freedom Road was screened alongside William Kentridge’s work at the City Gallery in Wellington, New Zealand. Shane began his career in South Africa and now resides in London.

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