The Loeries Brand South Africa Young Creatives Award honours two outstanding storytellers

Kirstin Uken, designer at Sunshinegun, and David Franciscus, founder and producer/director of Protagonist Films, were awarded the Brand South Africa Young Creatives Award during the first night of the 40th Loerie Awards, held at the Durban ICC on Friday 17 August. The award, sponsored by Brand South Africa, recognises the creative performance of individuals aged 27 or younger. Each winner receives a Gold Loerie and US$5,000. 

Loeries CEO, Andrew Human, who believes the future of the creative economy is inextricably linked to the young talent of today, said the high standard of creativity in their work had stood out from the other candidates.

“Both Kirstin and David have wonderful talent and I hope this award encourages them to continue to do great work,” said Human.

Sithembile Ntombela, General Manager of marketing at Brand South Africa added that “If you want to see the possibilities of a nation, check its youth creativity and innovation ability.”

Uken stood out from her first year to her last as a student of Information Design at the University of Pretoria. She won a Top Achiever Award every year, including Top Overall Achiever in her penultimate year, and graduated top of her class.

Bronwen Rautenbach, Creative Director at Sunshinegun, first came across Kristin when marking final year student portfolios for Pretoria University. “Her work and the polish of her portfolio stood head and shoulders above the rest. I have had few portfolios cross my desk, before or since, that have had the same magnetism,” said Rautenbach.

Sunshinegun snapped her up, and in 2014 she started as a junior designer, promoted to mid-weight in 2017. According to Rautenbach, “She immediately made her presence felt in a good way, not something I can say for the average junior. She has had a crucial and very significant hand in the crafting of the new Nando’s Global Visual Identity which was awarded a Loeries Grand Prix in 2016, as well as Gold and Craft awards for illustration.”

If you’ve seen the remarkable short film, ‘Teach a Man to Fish’ you know the work of Franciscus. It drew wide acclaim outside South Africa.

Franciscus was always passionate about film and achieved his national diploma in film and video technology from Cape Peninsula University of Technology. While studying, he freelanced as a PA and worked his way up to production co-ordinator and casting director to gain experience in the film industry. He then went to the US where he received an Associate Degree in film studies from Madison College, Wisconsin. He returned to a position as Senior Researcher and Assistant Director at Velocity Films.

It wasn’t long before Franciscus’s inner entrepreneur came to the fore and he founded several tech start-ups, which he grew to success before exiting. Inevitably, he started his own film production company in 2015, Protagonist Films. His company now has three partners and six employees with an annual turnover of almost R5M. He has won a Loerie for an Aromat commercial he directed, and he has also won a Cannes Lion.

Our past Young Creative Award winners

2017
Karmen Wessels, copywriter,  Native VML Cape Town

Thabang Tipi Manyelo,copywriter, FCB Africa

2016
Amori Brits, Head of Design, Shift Joe Public
Katie Mylrea, Art Director, Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town

2015
Melusi Mhlungu, Copywriter, Ogilvy Johannesburg
Safaraaz Sindhi, Copywriter, Network BBDO

2014
Matthew Pullen, Art Director, Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town
Freda Raubenheimer, Art Director, Joe Public

2013
Natalie Rose, Copywriter, TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris
Kate Desmarais, Copywriter, Ogivly Cape Town

2012
Jaco Burger, Partner & Designer, Ateljee
Jared Osmond, Copywriter, Net#work BBDO

2011
Sophia Strydom, Designer, Joe Public
Kenneth van Reenen, Copywriter, MetropolitanRepublic

2010
Mbuso Ndlovu, Art Director, MetropolitanRepublic    
Reijer van der Vlugt, Art Director, FoxP2

2009
Joanne van der Linde, Art Director, Net#Work BBDO  
Sanjiv Mistry, Copywriter, Ogilvy

2008  
Simone Rossum, Graphic Designer, Joe Public
Darren Cronje, Art Director, Net#Work BBDO 

2007
Reggie Makhetha, Art Director, Net#Work BBDO