Born: ?, Durban, South Africa. Came to Canada in 1988.

Education: Pretoria School of Art and Design [Graphic Design;1974-76]; Pretoria Film School [1977-78].

Career: Became c.asst. Was staff doc ph at the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Made numerous doc's for the political underground during Apartheid in South Africa.

Ph commercials dir by David Tennant, Zac Math [for AT&T], Dale Heslip [for Labatt], Ray Dillman [for Kellogg's], Bob Gaffney, David Wellington [for Carlsberg], David Steinberg, Thed Lenssen [for GMC], Brian Lee Hughes [for Cadbury, McDonald's], Tim Godsall [for Canadian Film Centre], a.o.

Directed commercials for Lexus, a.o.

Awards [selection]: 'Clio' Cinematography Award [1998] for Continental Tires commercial; 'Gemini' Award [1998] & CSC Award [1998] for 'Six Gestures'; CSC Fritz Spiess Award for Commercial Cinematography [1999] for 'Literacy'; 'Gemini' Award nom [2000] for 'Dead Aviators'; CSC 'Dramatic Short' Award [2001] & SASC Visible Spectrum Award 'Silver Certificate Drama' [2003] for 'This Might Be Good'; CSC Award nom [2001] for 'Camera'; CSC Fritz Spiess Award for Commercial Cinematography [2003] & SASC 'Visible Spectrum Trophy' [2003] for commercial 'GMC'; CSC TV Drama Award nom [2005] for 'The Winning Season'.

André Pienaar: 'I started the journal programs, and then the documentaries and then the dramas. I had a good couple of years just putting film through cameras, shooting all sorts of things, from an interview with a state president or the prime minister, or thousands of feet underground in a gold mine, or shooting some alternative theatre. You name it - from the national plowing championships to the wildlife cook-in, a big competition in the veldt cooking up crocodile steaks and puff adder and rhino. I learned to respond to different sorts of things. I found that when I started shooting drama, I had already been there, done that. They would say "We're going to shoot a simulated mining scene," or "We're going to shoot a bush fire at night." Nothing would throw me. It was great training.

I was always fairly politically aware, as a white South African. I felt a degree of responsibility for our country's situation. Even getting my education was a privilege, largely subsidized by the government. There was no such thing for black people at that time. I felt a responsibility. I felt that advertising seemed inappropriate to a largely dispossessed community, which is having trouble just putting bread on plates. The whole consumerism thing seemed to not be a very African or South African thing. So I shot political documentaries, and that was my payback - my way of keeping my head straight. It was also a way of helping these people who had no real mouthpiece in this country to get their voice heard overseas, internationally.

It was harder back in the 1980s and early '90s for a commercial guy to break into the world of mainstream cinema. I had always intended to use commercial work as a way to polish my craft so that I could actually enter that world. What I really wanted to shoot was art films. All the sort of films that I loved and identified with and wanted to shoot myself were mostly European films - like Ingmar Bergman films that Sven Nykvist was shooting, and the French New Wave and some of the other Germans. I loved Wim Wenders. Those were my formative years and those were the people that were influencing me. Commercials seemed to detain me, and it's a good living and lifestyle. I think it's changed now. I love the way cinema has gone. There are so many more styles these days in cinema than there used to be, and I think it's all because of that. Ground is broken in music videos, and then in commercials they're made more formal. Then you take from commercial experience and bring it into the feature world.' [From the KODAK Canada OnFilm website.]



Torn Allegiance [Alan Nathanson] c; addph: Digby Young


Two Weeks in Paradise [Gray Hofmeyer] tvm; cph: Roy McGregor


Back on the Frontier [Francis Gerard] tv-doc/90m; for ITV/Thames-tv series 'Viewpoint '86'


The Moment of Truth [Francis Gerard] tv-doc/50m; for BBC1-tv series 'Everyman'


The Cry of Reason: Beyers Naudé - An Afrikaner Speaks Out [Robert Bilheimer & Kevin Harris] 16mm/c; doc/58m; cph: Ron Mix, Dewald Aukema & Peter Tischauser


Have You Seen DRUM Recently? [Jürgen Schadeberg] b&w-c; doc/77m; cph: Tony Mander & Ivar Rushevic


The Road to Mecca [Athol Fugard & Peter Goldsmid] c


Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach [ep/53m 'Bach Cello Suite #6: Six Gestures' dir by Patricia Rozema] 6-part mus perf series/s16, 1998; other ph: Mark Willis, Alain Dostie, a.o.; filmed June 1994-July 1997


The Sadness of Sex [Rupert Wainwright] c


Titanic - Great Adventures of the Twentieth Century [Christopher Rowley] b&w-c/V; doc/51m52s; cph: James Gardner; prod for Discovery Channel


Dead Aviators/Restless Spirits [David Wellington] tvm; 2uc: Robbi Hinds


A Slight Case of Murder/A Travesty [Steven Schachter] tvm; 2uc: Phil Oetiker


Happy Days [Patricia Rozema] tvm; ep series 'Beckett on Film'


This Might Be Good [Patricia Rozema] b&w; short/6m; also seg of 'Preludes' (75m); prod for the Toronto IFF


Camera [David Cronenberg] dv+35mm-to-35mm/c; short/6m; also seg of 'Preludes' (75m); prod for the Toronto IFF


Come l'America/Almost America [Andrea & Antonio Frazzi] tvm


The Truth About the Head [Dale Heslip] c; short/12m


Rolling Stones - Tip of the Tongue [prod by Rolling Stones] DVD/c; behind-the-scenes doc/51m; 2uc (Toronto) (as Andree Pienaar); ph: Seamus McGarvey


The Winning Season [John Kent Harrison] tvm


How She Move/Steps [Ian Iqbal Rashid] s16-35bu/c


Beneath the River [Brian Strine] c