Phumi is a South African writer/director based in Los Angeles. She is passionate about redeeming the African and feminine identity through cinema. She enjoys exploring the female gaze's influence on telling intimate, human stories of ordinary heroes and women..
Phumi’s short films have played at international film festivals including Telluride Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, and the American Black Film Festival. Phumi’s short film, Lakutshon’ Ilanga (When The Sun Sets), won a gold medal at the 2021 Student Academy Awards, won the 2021 HBO Short Film Competition, and was nominated for the 2021 Student BAFTA Awards. It is currently shortlisted in the Live Action Short Film category of the 94th Academy Awards..
Phumi's upcoming project, Why The Cattle Wait, was selected for the 2021 Berlinale Talents Durban program, and the 2021 Tribeca Chanel 'Through Her Lens' Women's Filmmaker Program.
Phumi completed her MFA in Film Directing at Dodge College at Chapman University. She freelances as a strategist at Statement Films, a company that incubates African women content creators. Phumi previously worked as a junior producer at a boutique film production company in South Africa where a show she co-created was commissioned by the SABC, the national broadcaster.
Phumi uses her skills from her background in investment banking at Goldman Sachs in London and management consulting at McKinsey & Company towards film financing and strategy.