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We create media campaigns that have a tangible impact. We weave compelling narratives based on lived experiences in order to increase awareness, promote advocacy and inspire positive social change. We help governments, companies, grassroots activists and philanthropic foundations mobilise and scale important impact programmes.


We believe that for success in any sector to be achieved, an example of someone’s story of resilience against all odds should be shared. People respond to behavioural change messaging when they can relate to the story. Strategic media interventions can influence positive behavioural change when it comes to the most important issues we are all facing today. That’s why we have dedicated ourselves to help amplify examples set by people who are exceptional.


We know a one-size-fits-all approach to storytelling does not work. We conduct extensive research and pre-production so that we can get to the heart of every issue and develop the greatest story possible. All shoots are meticulously pre-planned, but we are also adept at adjusting to unforeseen circumstances once on the ground. We select top-notch people and gear for our productions, our systems are upgraded continuously and on par with the best in the world. Our cinematographers, editors and animators are industry specialists with many awards between them.


Anywhere. From the concrete jungle to desert mountains, we have scaled them all with our cameras. We have worked across five continents, in 20 languages and we are eager to do more.

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Meet The Team

Rowan Pybus

Rowan Pybus is an impact campaign specialist. His work for the last 20 years has been focused on social and environmental development. He founded Makhulu Media in 2005 to create film stories that matter and is the Co-Founder of Sunshine Cinema. In the course of his career, he has won awards from the UN Forum on Forests, National Geographic, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, and is a Salzburg Global Fellow.

Sydelle Willow Smith

Sydelle Willow Smith is a storyteller and co-founder of Sunshine Cinema. She is a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity with Colombia University and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Smith holds a Masters of Social Science in African Studies from The University of Oxford focusing on media advocacy training with youth social movements. She is passionate about audience engagement and experimenting with modes of public participation. It is within the context of public participation that she has drawn together her interests in media, anthropology, and socio-political interventions. Since 2017 Sunshine Cinema has trained 80 young media entrepreneurs in impact facilitation screening techniques, video and photography gig work entrepreneurial activities, and screened an array of award winning African films to 500 000 + rural Southern African Audiences.

Shanna Freedman

An award-winning producer, Shanna brings unflappable competence and a wealth of valuable experience to the table of any production. Organization is an art form, after all, and Shanna is a creative master of her craft. Able to stretch a budget, handle logistics, effortlessly put people at ease, manage a team of brilliant individuals and provide creative input, it’s the reward that pushes her to aim for perfection.

Kamvelihle Stemela

Kamvelihle Stemela is a young and passionate filmmaker. Originally from East London in the Eastern Cape, she moved to Cape Town to pursue her interests in Film at the University of Cape Town. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree specialising in Screen Production and an Honours Degree in Film Theory and Practice. Her love for storytelling comes from her fascination with people and the experiences that make them who they are. Nothing is more important to her than her family, her love for dogs, and cricket come in a close second and third.