As a UNISA undergraduate majoring in Psychology and Communications Bryony became interested in power dynamics in society and the potential of the media to contribute to social change and development. She began writing, and directing stage productions in 1999 and moved into filmmaking when she co-wrote and directed her first feature film with her husband Mark in 2005. Around this time the South African government identified the film industry as a key sector for economic growth and in 2006 Bryony formed a production company with the vision of building up a film and television industry starting with underdeveloped under-represented regions and communities.
She started the Nab’Ubomi Film Development Project in the same year. Project partners include the EC Department of Education, The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), and the SABC Department of Industry Development. Bryony has been invited to Germany, Norway, the UK and Spain to showcase the Nab’Ubomi project and films. She has done extensive networking with youth film projects overseas and in 2010, with support from the Nelson Mandela Bay Film and Music Office, she launched a pilot of the South African Youth International Film Festival (SAYIFF) and hopes to establish SAYIFF as an annual youth film event.
In 2011 Bryony received a scholarship from the NFVF to study a Masters in Media and International Development at the University of East Anglia (UEA). As part of her course she conducted research for the BBC Voices Children and Young People’s Film Festival with the goal of enabling them to improve the festival’s interaction with young people and schools. Her Master’s thesis looked at the role of media education in a developing film industry and focused on developing media literate engaged audiences. Her MA was awarded by the UEA in July 2013.
Bryony has directed and produced documentaries and television series for SABC. She is married to Mark and together they have four children and live in Cape Town, South Africa.
At Nab’Ubomi we call her “B” and you can follow Bryony on twitter @BryonyJoy