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Lucky the Movie 2012

Directed by Avie Luthra

Director of Photography - Willie Nel

DOP Willie Nel


Willie Nel studied at the South-African Film and Drama Academy (AFDA) and finished his four-year honors degree in 2003 at the top of his class.  He has shot over 200 music videos and more than 100 commercial films and numerous TV commercials, TV dramas and feature films. 

He has been the Director of Photography for the films: HOPEVILLE (2010), WHITE WEDDING (2009), LAND OF THIRST (2008 - TV Movie), CROSSROADS (2006 - TV Movie) and the short films: SUPERHERO (2009), SIBAHLE (2006) and KOFIFI (2004). Willie is currently working on a new Bioskope film called "Sleepers Wake" with director Barry Berk.

Willie Nel is passionate about film making, and has a unique approach to storytelling.  With an abundance of creative energy and unlimited passion, he has certainly made his mark on the South-African film industry as an innovative and respected D.O.P.

“I loved working with Avie. He is a fantastic collaborator and a brilliant storyteller”, Nel says.  “We looked at tons of visual references together and worked on the shot list until the very last minute, but when we began principle photography we left the list at the door, and followed our instincts. I found this to be a very enriching and creative process”.

Nel continues:  “The visual approach for LUCKY relied on creating a sense of freedom between the characters and the camera.  We shot most of the film with a hand-held feel, which was a huge challenge but allowed for a great amount of immediacy.  It gave the film a strong sense of reality and authenticity.  We wanted to strike a balance between documenting the story moments, and creating an intimate connection with our characters”.

Currently, Willie resides in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Learn more about Willie Nel

Willie Nel on IMDB