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Diana Cilliers
Costume Design Award   
 

 
Diana Cilliers
Costume Designer
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
 
Diana's early love for costume design led her to major in Theatre Costume and Set Design at the University of Pretoria where she received a Bachelor Degree in 1977.

After graduation, Diana spent 5 years working on opera, drama and ballet productions at The Cape Performing Arts Board and the State Theatre in the company of very accomplished local and international costume designers including Peter Cazalet, Bruno Santini, Raymond Schoop and many others.

The Film Industry was a natural progression for Diana and in 1983 she began working on various TV film projects with acclaimed SA director Manie van Rensburg. Two productions, namely Verspeelde Lente and Anna, cemented her love for period costume and its ability to assist actors in creating characters.

She has designed the costumes for most of South African director Katinka Heyn's films including Paljas, Klara Viljee and a recently completed film on a significant period in the life of SA author Eugene Marais.

Over the years, Diana has designed costumes for more than one hundred feature films as well as numerous television productions and commercials. Her credits include the Oscar nominated film District 9 directed by Neil Blomkamp; Judge Dredd; the soon to be released Long Walk to Freedom starring Idris Elba and Naomi Harris; Boesman and Lena starring Danny Glover and Angela Basset; Bopha starring Danny Glover, Alfre Woodard and Malcolm Mc Dowell, directed by Morgan Freeman; Red Dust starring Hilary Swank and Chiwetel Eijiofor; Disgrace, based on the novel by Nobel Prize winning author JM Coetzee starring John Malkovich and Jessica Haines; Women in Love starring Rosamunde Pike and Joseph Mawle; and the recently completed BBC Film The Girl starring Sienna Miller, Toby Jones, Imelda Staunton and Penelope Wilton.

Diana was nominated for a Canadian Gemini for the award winning series Human Cargo in 2004 and won the SAFTA Golden Horn award for Best Costumes for the feature film Goodbye Bafana. In 2010 she was nominated a second time for the SAFTA Golden Horn Award for the film Themba. Amongst her recent credits as Costume Designer are the award winning films District 9 and Chronicle and the acclaimed BBC History Channel series America the Story of US. Most recently, she has received a 2013 Primetime Emmy nomination for her work on the HBO TV Film The Girl.

Diana owns Theatre and Film Costume Workshop, which she launched in Johannesburg in 1985 and relocated to Cape Town in 1992. This studio, where various talented artisans and crafts people join forces to create the costumes and characters for each film, is located Woodstock, Cape Town's artistic hub.

Throughout her career Diana has been passionate about creating very specific characters with the help of clothing, be it futuristic, period or contemporary. Paintings and the art world are often her inspiration for characters, and she has taken this passion further by enrolling in a Master of Fine Arts degree at UCT's Michaelis School of Fine Art. The subject of her thesis, The Emotional Language of Clothing, focuses on Africa and the Diaspora. After completing her Fine Art Masters in July 2014, Diana will pursue a PHD in the field.

For her mastery of the impact costume design imparts to a film's character development, as exhibited in Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom, Diana Cilliers has been selected by TheWIFTS Foundation to receive the 2013 Costume Design Award.






 
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