Since 1998, Little Minx has championed the careers of outstanding filmmakers who innovate with both creativity and intelligence. As a certified woman-owned production company, we have embraced diversity in our roster, crews, and staff for 25 years. This philosophy of inclusion is more than our mantra—it’s our mission. It’s the reason the company was founded, and it remains the most essential part of everything we do.
One of the most exciting young directors to emerge from the South African film scene, Thati Pele (that’s Thati with a silent “h,” people!) has made a name for herself with her refreshingly unique comedic sensibility. And we do mean unique…how many comedy directors out there can say they got their start working on a South Korean vampire horror movie (she played a nun in Park Chan-wook’s film Thirst, if you’re curious)? And, she also has a masters in applied mathematics.
Thati went on to receive a scholarship to study film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and soon thereafter she studied under Spike Lee after being awarded the prestigious Spike Lee grant. These experiences made her especially adept at eliciting great performances from her actors, and her skills did not go unnoticed. Her short film, Lerato, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in 2015 and won her the Best Director Award at the New York Fusion Film Festival. It also won her the New Talent prize at CICLOPE Africa 2019.
With chops like that, it was only matter of time until Hollywood came knocking. This past year, Thati has spent 266 days on Netflix sets directing for two different projects (top secret for now, but we’ll let you know, wink wink). She is also the only woman of color to serve as a judge for the AICP comedy category. Industry bonafides aside, Thati is also an incredibly principled artist. Like all of us at Little Minx, she is a passionate advocate of championing diversity on set, and she’s committed to working with diverse crews. This isn’t exactly an easy task in “an industry full of white dudes” (to quote ourselves), but luckily, we have the passion and the resources to support her in this inclusive vision.