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KEN KIRSTEN (article first published : 2005-03-27)

Karen Ashwin, MD of The Event Production Company, is delighted to announce that acclaimed TV director Ken Kirsten will be relocating from the United States to join the group, serving to beef up the company’s production proficiency for live television broadcasts.

"This is an awesome coup for us as Ken’s creative flair and extensive experience in directing live television broadcasts complements The Event Production Company’s track record in live eventing perfectly. We’re set to make a formidable team," says Ashwin, who has made her mark as an entrepreneurial leader in South Africa’s eventing industry over the past 12 years.

Ken is no stranger to South African television audiences, having enjoyed an outstanding and celebrated career in local television spanning in excess of 30 years - producing, writing and directing since the medium first made its way on to our screens way back in 1974.

From programme series like Pop Shop, numerous big budget, one-off musical specials and coverage of live concerts for musicians like Crowded House and Shirley Bassey, Ken has worked on numerous music-related documentaries, glamour documentaries related to modelling (including a programme about South Africa’s golden girl Charlize Theron), as well as a host of dance dramas.

However, he’s probably most recognisable for the work he’s done (creating, designing and producing) in the arena of live special events, covering some of the most high profile cultural, glamour and sporting events in South African television history. From various Artes Awards ceremonies, Miss South Africa, Miss Universe and modelling pageants, to Rugby World Cup (1996) opening and closing ceremonies, the re-launch of the SABC, Africa Cup of Nations (1997) opening ceremony and more recently, the Victor Awards and Miss Teen South Africa pageants.

Based in Palm Springs, California since 2001, Ken has been working on a contract basis, producing commercials and infomercials for local, regional and cable stations in the US. As one of South Africa’s most talented exports, he’s also been asked to freelance as a director for special events in South Africa, including Mr South Africa, Miss South Africa, Miss Teen South Africa, the Sama Awards, Miss Mailaika and the South African Sport Awards.

In South Africa Ken holds the record for being nominated 20 times for the Artes Awards, winning on eight occasions. In the US, Ken has won four Telly Awards for commercials directed for the local/regional cable market, as well as an Addy award.




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