Julie Frederikse is a producer and writer with experience in feature film, short film, television and radio, as well as an author and journalist. She is currently developing and co-writing a feature film, Hhola Hhola, with director Madoda Ncayiyana.
A founding director of Vuleka Productions, she co-produced and co-wrote Izulu Lami (My Secret Sky), directed and co-written by Ncayiyana. Awarded the Dikalo Best Feature Film prize at the Cannes Pan African Film Festival, it won awards for best feature film at festivals in India, Italy, Spain and Zanzibar. Izulu Lami was inspired by the short film by Ncayiyana which she co-wrote and produced for Steps for the Future, The Sky in Her Eyes (2003), which won the Cannes Film Festival’s Djibril Diop Mambety Prize for Best African Short Film, part of Critics’ Choice Week.
Frederikse is the author of nine books, including None But Ourselves: Masses vs Media in the Making of Zimbabwe (Penguin US, Heinemann UK, Ravan SA), South Africa: A Different Kind of War (Beacon Press US, James Currey UK, Ravan SA), The Unbreakable Thread: Non-racialism in South Africa (Zed Books UK, Indiana University Press US, Ravan SA) and All Schools for All Children (Oxford University Press SA). She wrote biographies for the series, They Fought For Freedom: Life Stories of Southern African Leaders (Maskew Miller Longman SA). Her books have been nominated for the M-Net Prize, CNA Literary Award and the Sunday Times Alan Paton Book Award. Primary source material used in her research is housed as “The Julie Frederikse Collection” at the South African History Archive, and at the Mayibuye Centre of the Robben Island Museum. She co-founded the Popular History Trust documentation centre in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Her fiction works include The Diary Without a Key which was named South Africa’s Children’s Book of the Year and The Diary That Got Me In Trouble (Heinemann SA). She served as secretary of the Zimbabwe Writers Union and was a founding member of Zimbabwe Women Writers. Her radio play, The People’s Voice, won First Prize in the Soundscapes national radio drama competition and was produced and broadcast on SAfm starring Sello-Maake ka-Ncube, Tyelele Motshabi, Dambisa Kente and Peter Sepuma.
Frederikse has produced children’s programming, including the radio and outreach components of the first Takalani Sesame series with the US Sesame Workshop. She has produced drama mini-series, short films, documentaries and children’s programming for South African televison, and programming for South African NGOs, government departments and foundations, as well as TV and radio commercials. She has produced video and promotional campaigns for international bodies including the European Union, the United Nations, Planned Parenthood International, Ford Foundation, Amnesty International, Firelight Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. She has served on juries of the Durban International Film Festival.
Frederikse began her career in radio and has hosted radio talk shows on SAfm and Capital Radio. She served as southern Africa correspondent for US Public Broadcasting’s National Public Radio and has reported for BBC Africa, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Radio Nederland, based in Johannesburg and Harare. She won the prestigious duPont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism and was named New York City Press Club Cub Reporter of the Year. She has worked in online media for the largest website aggregating news and information on Africa, www.allafrica.com.
Frederikse has a BA in Communications from Cornell University and studied Documentary Filmmaking at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She did the South African AVEA producing course and the National Film and Video Foundation’s Sediba Advanced International Producers course. She speaks, reads and writes Zulu, Afrikaans and French, and is fluent in Dutch.