South African Filmmaker

In the Pipeline

We’re busy, busy, with the feature film Lolly (written Lev David & John Barker and directed by John), about infamous South African businessman, "The King of Teaze" Lolly Jackson, who was gunned down 2010. The movie is in production, as well as the series. The script for the movie, Lolly, has been chosen for the IFP in New York in September 2017.

Also underway are feature films The Umbrella Men, Kalah Black and Burning Man as well as the GAG series.


We follow comedian John Vlismas, a world-weary iconoclast, as he machetes his way through life. Cue comedy clubs, cooked punters, corporate functions, inept managers, crooked agents, annoying radio DJ's, unflattering television appearances and a throng of deranged comedians. A fast-paced melange of instability.

John is part owner of a small comedy club (The Orbit in Braamfontein) and talent management agency, GAG, he runs with his level-headed business partner Gugu Mabusa (Talitha Ndima) and his spectacularly inept agent & lawyer Freddy Mathetwa. (Tony Miyambo). And young, up and coming comedian Loy (Loyiso Madinga).

John is constantly at work setting up new gigs, collaborating with comedians, putting out and starting fires. All the while burdened with a long list of aversions, the corporate world sets his teeth on constant edge with its relentless attempts at branding and owning him. In fact, there's very little that doesn't irritate him about modernity.

His nemesis Jason Goliath (The Goliath Brothers) have set up shop in his hood pushing him to breaking point.

Each self-contained episode hinges on a guest comedian (1st ep Trevor Gumbi), their story overlapping and intertwining with John and the daily running of the club.

We have shot a pilot and would love the opportunity to pitch the series to you and present some scenes from the pilot.

We will be featuring comedians such as, Kagiso Lediga, Loyiso Gola, Joey Rasdien, Conrad Koch, Casper De Vries, Riaad Moosa .... to name a few


Abomama - John is directing this series

Four religious women, who try to turn tragedy into something positive, get sucked into the world of crime and violence when they are forced to turn their Stokvel into a money-laundering scheme. Bound as friends by having survived the hell of everyday life together, they outwit and outplay the biggest devils of Kathorus with their ingenuity, bravery, adaptability and of course prayer.

Completed Projects

Wonder Boy for President  This movie features many of Barker's collaborators from Bunny Chow, and it has been brought to light through the Dog Pack collective; which includes Saki Bergh, Kagiso Lediga, Dave Kibuuka, Leanne Kumalo, Joey Rasdien and Zeno Petersen. 

And as you can see from the images, it's all very serious. Not a satirical- tongue-in-cheek or a hint of a mockumenary anywhere. Wonder Boy - the man we all need to speak to... The film is now finished and was well received by all audiences across South Africa and the DVD is for sale.


Looking for the vision of a director with the creativity of a writer and the balls of a producer? Contact us to set up brainstorms, scripts, networking with SA's finest, writing up a storm and directing your project to success.

Media / Admin:



Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP): Script selected for the feature film, Lolly (written Lev David & John Barker and directed by John).

Jozi Film Festival: Wonder Boy for President won the audience award.

John has won 2 x SAFTA's and nominated for 4 (all for Directing).

Bunny Chow: Opening Film at Sithengi (Gala Event) and selected for the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Tiger Awards, AFI Fest, the Raindance Film Festival, Sydney International Film Festival, the San Francisco Film Festival  and the Toronto International Film Festival, as well as being picked up by MTV Europe, distributed in Europe by Dogwoof, and Global Lens in North America.

L’Atalier Festival de Cannes 2009: Script for Umbrella Men

Sithengi: Most Promising Director

“Storytelling is important. I enjoy the collaborative aspect and process of film making. I love that it requires so many talented people from different departments and all walks of life, coming together to make an idea work. I also love being on set.” John Barker, Writer & Director.