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Shmerah Passchier

has worked in the film & television industry writing, directing & producing for MTV Base where she travelled to 10 African countries shooting the TV show titled Uncensored in Nigeria, Cameroon, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya, Botswana, Angola, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia.

Shmerah has directed Magazine TV & Reality TV shows & documentaries for SABC including Hybrid Living, The Cut, KADA! & Big Brother Africa for DSTV. Shmerah has directed several commercials and many music videos, and directed the documentary titled, Nelson Mandela & the End of Apartheid for the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.

Shmerah has shifted her focus towards Virtual Reality filmmaking, winning the Digital Lab Africa artist residency and grant funding to make two Virtual Reality films titled The Cosmic Egg, & The Eye of Rre Mutwa in 2020. Both films screened at the Virtual National Arts Festival in 2020 & at the RapidLion Film Festival & the FNB Art Fair in 2021. After further remastering the films in post-production, they will show at Fak’ugesi Digital Art Festival in Johannesburg & at Forum Creation Africa in Paris in 2023.

Shmerah holds a PhD in Virtual Reality at Wits,

an MFA in Film from AFDA

& an MA in Anthropology from Wits

+27 (0)780748537

Starring Patricia Boyer in The Eye of Rre Mutwa_©_ Shmerah Passchier 2020_2.JPG

Curriculum Vitae







Passchier, S. 2020. De Nollywood à Nollyworld : l’avenir de la distribution de contenu culturel en Afrique : Tournage d’un film sur les cyborgs en réalité virtuelle — Voices from the Global South. SCRIPT/Afrique du Sud, Cinéma et enjeux contemporains (Édité Professor Brigitte Gauthier, Université D’Evry, Paris France)

Passchier, S. 2020. La mise en place de l’afrocyborg au cinéma en réalité virtuelle à 360°.

SCRIPT/Afrique du Sud, Cinéma et enjeux contemporains. (Édité Professor Brigitte Gauthier, Université D’Evry, Paris France)


Passchier, S. 2021. The Portfolio: Virtual Reality Filmmaker Shelley Barry. Mail & Guardian online. [Available at:    barry/] [Last Accessed: 30-05-2023]


1.Shmerah has passed her PhD  at the University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Film & TV (2017 - 2023)  and is awaiting graduation in December 2023.

PhD Title:

Constructing the Afrocyborg in Virtual Reality 360 Cinema 

Cyborg scholarship underscores this research beginning with Donna Haraway’s 1985 A Cyborg Manifesto, which materialised at the apogee of the Third Industrial Revolution (3IR), a moment in human history, defined by the arrival of the domestic personal computer (PC) in the late twentieth century. The Afrocyborg constructs in both VR films, are designed to move the cyborg discourse forward from the Haraway-spawned school of Western science/fiction “cyborgology” (Hables Gray et al 1995) in the context of twentieth century 3IR; towards the new zeitgeist of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) exponential technologies, specifically VR, viewed through an African Science Fiction lens. The Afrocyborg asks how African wo/men might forge new connections, and forge a pro-Africa gaze in the medium of VR through Afro-feminist-techno-science solidarity, and the process of collaboration, in the exponential medium of VR.

2. Digital Lab Africa – Virtual Reality Master Class - INA Institut National de L'audiovisuel, Paris France in VR

- VR Post-Production training by Alexandre Regeffe –







3. Shmerah holds a Master of Arts (MA) in Anthropology University of Witwatersrand (2014) which focussed on the New Nollywood Filmmakers who are transforming Nollywood into a global transnational culture of award winning cinema. Shmerah flew to Lagos to interview the legendary Nigerian filmmakers Kunle Afolayan & Tunde Kelani in 2013. 


4. Shmerah holds a ​Master of Fine Art (MFA) in Motion Picture Medium from AFDA (2011) which focussed on making a Nollywood-style film in South Africa which she directed & produced. This juju-detective film was titled Mystery of The Stolen Voice about a wanna be pop star who turns to muthi to make her dreams come true. The film was shot in a week on a budget of R50, 000 & screened on Mzansi Magic DSTV for 2 years

Academic Conference Presentations               2018 – CARA, Johannesburg, SA – Towards Afrofuturist Women Filmmakers in Virtual Reality 360 Cinema Collaborating on the Integrated Circuit

2017 – CILECT Congress, Zurich, Switzerland – Afrofuturism in Virtual Reality 360 Cinema

2014 – IAMCR, Durban, SA – Lesson from New Nollywood

2013 – CARA, Cape Town, SA – How to Make A Nollywood Film  in South Africa – Lessons from Nollywood





Lecturing Film & Television:

Undergraduate & Postgraduate 2009 - 2023                   

Shmerah has been teaching at AFDA for 14 years. Her lectures include:

Film & Media theory & production across all disciplines: writing, directing, producing, cinematography, editing, sound design and production design. Virtual Reality 360 video theory & production, Nollywood Cinema, African Cinema, Screenwriting for Film & Television, Digital Cinematography, Post-Production for Television, Production Design, Aesthetics of Broadcast Design, Ethnography in Film & Television Research, Film Theory & Film Analysis. Shmerah has supervised 150 Honours degree students through academic essay writing on the AFDA Botswana campus. Shmerah has also taught Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in African Business Innovation for the AFDA BCOM degree.

This is a VR 360 video - use your mouse to drag video within the picture


2005: MoAD (Museum of the African Diaspora) – Nelson Mandela and the End of Apartheid :
Producion Co: Threshold Collective
A 10-minute documentary for permanent loop video installation in the MoAD Museum, San Francisco. Researched, written & directed by Shmerah Passchier


2008: SABC 3 - Hybrid Living
Production Co: Ochre Media:

an environmental awareness lifestyle & magazine TV show directed by Shmerah Passchier

2009: Hegemony – Experimental Film
Production Co: Tin Rage
An environmental awareness film written, directed & produced by Shmerah Passchier with additional shots & offline editing that
 explore the relationship between climate change, power relations &  the political notion of environmental hegemony

2008/2007: SABC 2 – KADA!

Production Co: WhatWeWant

Writer & Director for a muti-cultural Afrikaans entertainment music TV show

2020: Music in Africa & TEKA Virtual Reality Live Music Concert streamed on Facebook:
Featuring some of the most cutting-edge artists in South Africa currently including: Spoek Mathambo, Vukazithathe, Whitney, Laliboi, Batuk, Manyelo Dafro & Kojo Lion.    This live VR social distancing music event was a first in SA music history, conceptualised to meet the entertainment needs of youth in the time of global pandemic.

2020: Batuk Virtual Reality Music Video


Title: “Iyeza”

Featuring Mantaiga & Spoek Matambo

2020: Teaching & shooting
Virtual Reality with
1st Year Students at

AFDA Johannesburg

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