Sunu Gonera
Sunu-gonera.jpg
BornSunu Gonera
EducationFalcon College, University of Cape Town
OccupationDirector
AgentNicole Clemens
Spouse(s)Renee Gonera

Sunu Gonera is a Zimbabwean film director and producer based in the United States of America. He is most known for directing the 2007 film Pride which starred Bernice Mac, Terrence Howard, Gary Sturgis, Tom Arnold and Kimberly Elise. He also directed some of the episodes of popular American crime drama television series Snowfall.

Background

Gonera grew up in Zimbabwe before moving to South Africa and then eventually the US.

He is married to Rene Gonera and together they have two children.[1] When his involvement in two production companies bombed, he and his family were forced to return to South Africa in 2013 and live in a one-room apartment. By 2018, his daughter had landed lead roles in two films. [2]

Education

He was awarded a partial sports scholarship by Falcon College in Zimbabwe. He had written over fifty-three admission letters to the college. While at Falcon, Sunu excelled in several sports including rugby, cricket, hockey and athletics.

Gonera was then awarded a scholarship to the University of Cape Town, where he completed a degree in Organizational Psychology.[3]


Career

Sunu was a banker before he left his career to start as a runner in the film industry. He worked his way up to directing TV commercials. In 2007 he directed a TV commercial for McDonald's.[4]


Before he to Hollywood to direct his first feature in 2006, Gonera made a 10-minute film titled Riding with Sugar. For years he tried to get financing for his full-length script. He eventually secured funding for his full-length script and Riding with Sugar premiered on Netflix on 27 November.[5] He also directed advertisements for Nike and Coca Cola.His short film Riding With Sugar made it to Cannes.[6]

Filmography

TV Series

  • 13 Reasons Why (2 episodes)

-College Interview (2020)

-Acceptance/Rejection (2020)

  • Snow Fall (3 episodes)

-Other Lives (2019)

-Aftermath (2018)

-The Day (2018)

  • Madam Secretary (3 episodes)

-North to the Future (2017)

-The Things We Get To Say (2018)

-Ready (2019)

  • The Rook (2 episodes)

- Chapter 6 (2019)

- Chapter 4 (2019)[7]

Movies

  • Riding with Sugar (2020)
  • Lion of Judah (producer) (2011)
  • Pride (2007)
  • An African Tale (producer) (announced) (2020)
  • Out on a Limb (co-producer) (2005)


He starred in the movie Country Of My Skull (2004) as Lionel. He wrote the soundtrack DARE TO DREAM on Pride.[8]

Awards

Caption text
Image Awards (NAACP) Rome Film Fest Locarno International Film Festival
Nominee-Image Award Winner- Alice in the City Prize Nominee- Golden Pardino for Leopards of Tomorrow
Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Theatrical or Television) Pride (2007) Consiglio dei Bambini Prize Pride (2007) For having shown that there is no difference between blacks and whites, men and women, and that commitment and teamwork enable all obstacles to be overcome in sport just as in life. Africa Competition

Riding with Sugar (2005)

Trivia

He was introduced to his manager Paul Nelson by actor Sammi Rotibi who was then shooting Lord Of War in South Africa with Nicolas Cage.

Hal Sadoff who Executive Produced Hotel Rwanda, introduced Sun to his agent Nicole Clemens. Clemens who was not accustomed to signing first-time Directors, saw Sunu's reel by mistake thinking it was a trailer for one of her Director clients. She was blown away by the reel and signed him immediately.[9]

References