BEHIND THE SCENES
Here at Almost Famous, Irena’s the super glue that keeps it all together. She hails from afar. As far as Deutschland, to be precise, but to complicate matters even more, she’s actually Croatian. She was born and bred in a country that loves beer and bratwurst. Only to exchange it years later for a country that loves beer and boerewors. Go figure. Naturally, she fit in and today she’s as part of the South African landscape as Table Mountain and the mine dumps in Benoni.
Curious and intellectual (we sure know how to pick ‘em, right?), Irena studied marketing and business management in Germany. After a few years stuck in books and a 1 x cap and gown gained, she joined the local film industry in 2003. She spent two years in wardrobe and styling, working with the fabulously famous (at least in their own minds). But with an appetite for more, she got involved with cast direction in 2005 and quickly moved through the ranks.
How do you become the youngest freelance Casting Director after only one year in the field? By being Irena Simic, of course! Or you can work really hard and network like a rock star. She joined the Almost Famous team in 2006 and boy, are we glad she did. Irena’s casted for various international production houses and clients, including big names such as Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Siemens, MTV, Nivea and McDonald’s.
Donna left school with noble intentions. Her dream? To put the bad guys away. So she studied criminal justice. And then she got involved with the film industry. Now she helps cast bad guys for good roles. That’s almost the same, right? Before joining Almost Famous in 2011, Donna worked for Chameleon Casting Agency in Cape Town. With almost a decade of experience in booking characters for local and international shoots, she and Irena make a mean team. Like Batman and Robin. Or KFC Poppers and Mrs Ball’s. Donna is also the founder and director of Pasco NPO – a charity that focuses on supporting struggling homes in poor socio-economic communities in and around Cape Town. Ah bless!