Partnership and personal relationships are at the heart of all that we do. At MLA, we believe in exclusive representation. We believe in partnering with our actors to help facilitate their growth and to guide and support their personal and professional vision.
We pride ourselves in the relationships we have built over decades with industry specialists such as casting directors, producers, writers and directors, to ensure that we find the right actor for the right role.
Moonyeenn Lee started MLA in 1974 and dedicated her life to finding, representing and promoting South African actors locally as well as internationally. She was a fierce defender of the performing arts and built many careers that are household names, too many to mention. She became one of the most influential industry captains of her time.
Moonyeenn was also one of the most prolific South African casting directors. Amongst her many accolades, Moonyeenn cast for films such as Blood Diamond, Disgrace, Life Above All, Hotel Rwanda, Black Panther, It’s not a Burial, it’s a Resurrection, the foreign-language Oscar winner, Tsotsi and Oscar nominated Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, amongst others.
She was the first South African to be made a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Television Academy.
Moonyeenn passed away on the 18th of July 2020 at the age of 76.
Continuing The Legacy
Moonyeenn left MLA to her daughter Cindy Lee and her daughter-in-law, Nina Morris Lee.
Cindy Lee is a television and commercials director. Before becoming a director, Cindy spent 12 years as an award-winning copywriter, boasting a string of awards with a Cannes Gold, Silver and Bronze Lion and Loerie Grand Prix topping the list. In 2004 she transitioned from writing commercials to directing them and has had a prolific career making some of South Africa's favourite commercials.
In 2014 she wrote a short screenplay entitled "HORN" about the horrors of Rhino poaching that won at the New York Picture Start Film Festival.
Cindy continues to direct and is working on an eight part tv series, shooting in early 2021.
Nina Morris Lee has taken over the reins at MLA. Nina comes from a strong creative, business and strategic background. Her reputation as one of South Africa’s leading, most respected advertising and marketing professionals precedes her. With over three decades in the advertising industry and running her own agency; she was instrumental in building some of South Africa’s most successful brands. Amongst them; Discovery, Wimpy, Southern Sun, Debonairs Pizza and launching kulula.com (South Africa’s first low fare airline) to name but a few.
In 2014 after selling her advertising agency, Nina moved to the NGO sector using her unique set of skills to create and manage the marketing department at the Anova Health Institute. Nina was responsible for launching wethebrave.co.za for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and managing the programme for five years.
Moonyeenn and Nina weren’t just family, they were friends. They spent many nights over the past 13 years discussing and debating the pros and cons of the industry, critting films, breaking down performances and scripts and plotting the future of MLA.
For Moonyeenn, Nina was always part of the future of MLA.