RESPECT for SA director

Nadia chats to SA born director Liesl Tommy about her feature film debut, ‘RESPECT'.

South African born director Liesl Tommy has made her feature film debut with ‘RESPECT’, an Aretha Franklin biopic starring Jennifer Hudson as the “Queen of Soul”.

The cast also includes Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, and Mary J. Blige.

Tommy was born in Cape Town during apartheid, and moved to the US with her family when she was 15. She went on to become an award-winning international theatre, film, and television director. Tommy became the first woman of colour to ever be nominated for a Tony award for Best Direction of a Play in 2016 for Broadway's ‘Eclipsed’ by Danai Gurira, starring Lupita Nyong’o, and earned another five nominations for the play.

She is also on board to direct ‘Born a Crime’, based on Trevor Noah's best-selling memoir.

5Drive’s Nadia Romanos spoke to Tommy about how she felt about tackling such a big project for her first feature film, growing up in apartheid South Africa, and her advice to other young directors.

RESPECT releases in SA cinemas on 13 August.

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