Chris Saunders is a South African photographer and filmmaker based in Paris. He started out in fashion, editorial and commercial photography before venturing into documentary projects that illuminate Africa’s sub cultures through his optimistic, vivid lens. Saunders has contributed to titles including Dazed&Confused, GQ, Vice, The Fader, the Observer and The New York Times.
He has worked with leading agencies such as Ogilvy and Saatchi and with brands including Adidas, Bloomingdale’s and Red Bull. Saunders’ collaborations with musicians and artists span such diverse talents as Alicia Keys, Kudzanai Chiurai, Godfried Donkor and OKZharp!, with whom he created the British Council-funded film Ghost Diamond. He’s also participated in prestigious group shows at Vitra Design Museum (Basel), the Victoria & Albert museum (London) and Goodman Gallery (Johannesburg). What unifies much of Saunders’ output is its empowering exploration of social diversity in the contemporary African city. His portraiture celebrates individuality and zooms in on those influencers who creatively construct their own cultural identities.
This approach has fed his examination of Pantsula, South Africa’s predominant township dance form and lifestyle. With a body of work spanning five years, Saunders hosts a solo show at UCLA Fowler in February 2017 alongside the publication of a special edition Pantsula book. In France, Saunders is signed to Art Bridge, a division of Quad Productions, and is represented by stills agency La Belle Façon. In South Africa, he is represented by Lampost for stills and Ola! Films for video direction and in the US, he is represented by Believe Media. More recently, Saunders has directed a music video for Rudimental and Major Lazor feat. Anne-Marie and Mr. Eazi.
© Ola! Films 2020