Aadil Dhalech



I am the son of a Thai mother and an Indian father. Born in South Africa, I grew up in a small mining town in rural Kwazulu Natal called Newcastle. It wasn’t an easy childhood to say the least, growing up a mix-race kid in apartheid, and early post-apartheid South Africa. Movies became my escape. They were my safe space, and as an outsider it was somewhere I felt like I could belong. And it’s for this reason that I was drawn to filmmaking. I loved the idea of being able to tell stories that people could escape to. 

Unfortunately, it took me a while to get on that path. When I left school I started studying medicine at university, but broke my parents’ hearts by dropping out in my second year on account of too much drinking and too little studying. I went on to get a degree in Clinical Psychology however, only to break my parent’s heart again and enrol to do a post-graduate diploma in Copywriting and Advertising at the AAA School of Advertising in Johannesburg.  

I then spent 10years working as a creative in top tier agencies like JWT, Y&R, Ireland/Davenport, and BBDO, where I racked up a number of local and international awards (Loeries, Cannes, and D&AD). 

I left agency life in 2015 to finally pursue my lifelong dream of directing. An itch that started the first time I watched Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third kind. I joined  award-winning commercials production company Patriot Films in 2018 where honed my skills and developed a unique cinematic visual style, and a knack for performance. I have produced some amazing work, for some pretty amazing brands and musicians, a few shorts, and have won a couple of awards for a couple of them along the way. 

I feel the time is right for me to step up into features. 

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