Moonyeenn Lee is synonymous with the South African film industry.
She started the MLA Casting Agency in 1974 and has worked with some of South Africa's most iconic actors.
She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and has been awarded a number of lifetime achievement awards.
The leading casting director in Africa joined Lee Kasumba on the Azania Mosaka Show to share her journey.
My mother was an actress so I first went on a stage when I was four years old, so I grew up around actors and theatre. In those days we didn't have television, it was only when I was sent to school in England that I was able to start watching television.— Moonyeenn Lee, Owner - MLA Casting Agency
There is a magic about when the lights go down in a theatre, whether it's for a play or a film, it's just a magic.— Moonyeenn Lee, Owner - MLA Casting Agency
Speaking about the craft of acting and her talent searches over the years, Lee says she has been privileged to work with some good local talent but that South Africa's film landscape needs some change.
I believe people are born actors, I don't think it is something you can learn. I think you can develop your craft and that is also difficult to do.— Moonyeenn Lee, Owner - MLA Casting Agency
I just think that here, we don't seem to have an identity, everybody is trying to make American films all the time.— Moonyeenn Lee, MLA Casting Agency - Owner
There is so much talent that is not American, it's African and it's extraordinary so when you get an opportunity to work on all the different films that are local and South African, then you have an opportunity to show the extraordinary talent that we have. But if you try and take that talent and ask those actors to be American, you have lost before you start.— Moonyeenn Lee, MLA Casting Agency - Owner
Click on the link below hear her story....
This article first appeared on 702 : [LISTEN] Lee Kasumba in conversation with Moonyeenn Lee