South African casting director Moonyeenn Lee has died from complications caused by the coronavirus.

LEGENDARY director and casting director Moonyeenn Lee has died from complications caused by coronavirus.

Lee died on Saturday morning at the age of 76.

She managed the casting of films such as Oscar-winning, Tsotsi, Oscar-nominated, Long Walk to Freedom, Hotel Rwanda and many other internationally recognised films.

She was also the first South African member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which votes for the Oscars and the Television Academy, which votes for the Emmys.

Her career spans 47 years.

In 2017, she was awarded the Lionel Ngakane Lifetime Achievement Award from the South African Film and Television Awards.

South African actors have taken to social media to pay tribute to her.

On Sunday Moonyeenn Lee Associates said on its Facebook page: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of the legendary South African casting director and agent, Moonyeenn Lee.”

In 2003, Moonyeenn was nominated to the national executive committee of the Independent Producer’s Organisation (IPO) and the Film Board of Create South Africa. 

In the same year, she formed Khulisa Productions to make South African films. The company later created its first film, Promised Land.

“Moonyeenn’s passion for South African stories and local talent was well known. Over the years, she would travel around the world introducing producers and directors to South African actors. She would always do everything in her power to convince them to rather cast local actors over foreign actors. Her dedication eventually paid off as many international productions trusted her to cast locally,” the statement reads.

(Compiled by Inside Politics staff)


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