Zwelethu Radebe directs Batik Success

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Egg Films’ Zwelethu Radebe directed Batik Success, M&C Saatchi Africa’s new ad for Mutzig beer.

The spot tells the story of the rise of a fashion designer, Pascal, from the perspective of his best friend. “I really fell in love with the poetry of having Pascal’s story told through the perspective of his long-time friend,” says Radebe. “There’s an honesty that comes with a witnessed journey, that’s different from a subjective personal experience.”

Radebe used a three-act structure of setup, conflict and resolution, similar to the technique used in his short film, The Hangman, which won 10 international awards last year. “Story is king for me,” says Radebe. “It was the key ingredient in making a compelling and memorable film that evoked an emotional response from the audience.” The ad’s pace comes both from the camera itself and a slow-building track from Simon Ringrose (Sibot).

Currently screening in Cote d’Ivoire, Congo, the DRC and Rwanda, Batik Success was conceptualised by creative director Ashley Bacon and art director Paddy Pearson, with Keren van Staden as client service and Tenille Abrahams producing for M&C Saatchi Africa.

Batik Success describes a Mutzig moment as ‘when the best of the best comes together in life.’ By that definition, Radebe had his own Mutzig moment on set, working with a dream crew in DOP Fabian Vettiger, art director William Boyes, stylist Richard de Jager, and editor Stephen du Plessis.

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