Maganthrie Pillay comes from Chatsworth, Durban. A descendant of indentured labourers, her mother was a dressmaker and her father worked in a factory. Maganthrie has worked across, theatre television, features, film festivals and film training and has directed over 40 documentaries independently for SA Broadcasters, UN Agencies and Universities and was a Senior Researcher and writer on the SABCs first Commissioning Procedures in 1995. Maganthrie became the first black woman to direct a feature film in South Africa, 34 South in 2005 (Premiered at Pan African Film Festival in LA); worked as Episode Director on the acclaimed reality show Imagine Afrika, and has a permanent video installation at The Slave Lodge. To add to this, she was a writer on the acclaimed series Molo Fish, the Johannesburg Co-ordinator of Out in Africa, the first Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in South Africa and Festival Director of the first South African International Film Festival in 2000. A founding member of the Black Film and Video Makers Association, Maganthrie also sits on the board of SWIFT(Sisters Working in Film & Television South Africa).

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