Honours for rising Durban film-maker

Lisa-Marie Pyanee, was awarded upcoming filmmaker at the Durban Tourism Business Awards.

Lisa-Marie Pyanee, was awarded upcoming filmmaker at the Durban Tourism Business Awards.

Published Jun 24, 2024


Durban film producer and television editor Lisa-Marie Pyanee has won the upcoming film-maker award at the Durban Tourism Business Awards.

The awards took place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre last week. The event recognises and honours outstanding businesses and individuals in the tourism industry to advance their products, services and establishments.

Pyanee’s company, Arthouse Pictures, scooped the Upcoming Filmmaker award for their work showcasing Durban as a film destination of choice.

The winners for exceptional achievement that recognises tourism products and businesses that have done exceptionally well were multi-award-winning Grammy award recipients Ladysmith Black Mambazo, (Creative Industry), Mojo’s Shisanyama (Hospitality), Cabana Beach Resort (Investment), Umgababa-based Coastal Lounge (Rural Investment and Township Economy Development) and Grand Bali Resort (Product Owners with Disabilities).

Lisa-Marie Pyanee.

Pyanee, 32, said being nominated and winning the award for upcoming film-maker was humbling.

“I never anticipated this level of recognition, and it feels surreal and deeply gratifying,” Pyanee said.

“It’s an honour that inspires me to continue working hard and striving to enhance my craft. I’m truly grateful for the recognition and support from Durban Tourism and the eThekwini Municipality.

“Being recognised is both exhilarating and encouraging. It feels wonderful to know that others see value in my work and believe in my potential. This recognition boosts my confidence and fuels my desire to push boundaries and explore new creative territories.

“It’s also a reminder of the immense support and encouragement I’ve received from family, friends, mentors, and everyone who has been part of my journey,” said Pyanee, whose journey into filmmaking was fuelled by a passion for storytelling and visual art.

Pyanee, who works predominantly behind the scenes as an editor and producer, has worked on a variety of productions, including as an assistant television editor on e.tv’s Imbewu: The Seed and Mzansi Magic’s Sibongile & The Dlaminis, edited the culinary television series Love At First Bite, produced and edited the comedy series The Final Line and produced the film Cotton Dreams in 2023.

Cotton Dreams, my debut film, funded by KZN Film, marked a significant milestone in my career. Directed by the acclaimed Darrell James Roodt, the film delves into the theme of pursuing one’s dreams despite societal and familial pressures.

“It portrays a narrative of empowerment, resilience and the bravery to defy conventions and live authentically. The script, written by my mother, Shireen Pyanee, aims to shed light on the challenges faced by women and inspire others to recognise their own potential and inner strength.

Cotton Dreams was the project that earned me the nomination for the Upcoming Filmmaker award, and it holds a special place in my heart,” said Pyanee.

She said there was something incredibly powerful about how films could transport one to different worlds and evoke a wide range of emotions.

“I’m a dreamer at heart, and filmmaking allows me to transform those dreams into something tangible. I opted for producing instead of directing because I thrive in managing the diverse elements of a project, ensuring its success, and I find immense fulfilment in bringing together various creative talents to achieve a common goal,” she said.

Sunday Tribune