Luiz DeBarros is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, photographer, designer and creative director.

He is a respected, multi-talented creative, working both in the entertainment and marketing fields, with considerable experience across multiple media; including film, television, internet, print and other platforms.


  • Graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with an Honours Degree in Drama and Film. Has undergraduate majors in Psychology and English (1990 - 1995).
  • Edited various independent “zines”, including Lolita 17 and New Edge, while at University.
  • Worked as a freelance writer and televison director.
  • Co-founded Underdog Productions in 1993, in the role of creative director.
  • With Underdog, wrote, directed and produced many of the company’s award-winning short films, documentaries and corporate films.
  • As creative director, designed, copywrote and oversaw most of the company’s web, print and interactive projects for a wide range of clients.
  • Luiz now works on a freelance and consultancy basis as a writer, copywriter and designer.
  • Luiz is also publisher and editor of and publisher of
  • He has been interviewed a number of times on television and profiled by publications such as Maverick magazine, the Mail & Guardian, Marketing Mix and The Pink Tongue.
  • In 2009 he was honoured as one of the "300 Young South Africans you have to take to lunch" by the Mail & Guardian.


  • In 2004 executive-produced and directed two television documentaries, Flush (SABC 3) and Two Moms (SABC 2).
  • Conceived, executive-produced and wrote the hit late-night television series Below the Belt. He was key in its highly successful marketing campaign (SABC 3 - 2002 / 2003).
  • Over the years, developed a network of contacts in the television and film industry in South Africa and around the world (UK, Canada) including broadcasters, distributors and producers.
  • He has developed an excellent understanding of television commissioning and distribution norms and procedures in South Africa and internationally.
  • Was an on-air judge for the 2002 Quickies television reality show broadcast on SABC 3.
  • Wrote, directed and drove the marketing strategy for the two-part documentary By Night, which was a ratings success on SABC 3 in November 2002.
  • Wrote and directed the acclaimed, award-winning documentary Metamorphosis: The Remarkable Journey of Granny Lee. Screened at festivals across the world and broadcast in Canada, it was chosen as one of the two best television films produced in South Africa in 2000 by the international Input Television Conference.
  • Received three Avanti Awards for Death (a two-part, two-hour documentary series broadcast on SABC 3, which he directed, co-edited and wrote), including a Gold Award in the documentary category (1998).
  • Was awarded scriptwriting and production grants by the Department of Arts and Culture to develop the feature film Pressure (1997 / 1998).
  • His short film Hot Legs was selected for screening at festivals such as the Austin Film Festival (USA) and Mix Brazil. He was flown to London by the British Council to attend the British Short Film Festival (1996)
  • Worked as a freelance director / writer for One Step Beyond (1996) and Health Files.
  • Other short films / documentaries he has directed include Clubbing, Different Strokes and Pretty Boys.


  • As creative director at Underdog, Luiz produced, wrote and directed corporate and television films for clients such as: Blue Ribbon TV campaign, 21st Century Funerals infomercial, Lovelife fund-raising films (director / scriptwriter), Nelson Mandela Human Rights Award video, Excitement Stores TV campaign and the 2005 and 2006 Shoprite Checkers / SABC 2 Woman of the Year TV promos and inserts (in positions including director and writer).
  • In 2005, 2006 and 2007 he wrote the insert and nominee profile scripts for the Community Builder of the Year Awards.
  • Luiz has written the 2006, 2007 and 2008Shoprite Checkers / SABC 2 Woman of the Year Televeision promos and inserts.
  • In 2010 Luiz wrote and produced a 10 minute corporate film for OUT LGBT Well-being


  • Luiz has overseen design, production and strategy work for a number of notable clients over the years, in media such as print, internet and multimedia:
    Hollard Insurance, loveLife, CTI, Rand Show, SABC, Endemol, M-Net, DetNet, Pride 2003, Deloitte and Touche, Sasol Polymers and MTN Business Masterminds.
  • Luiz has also produced freelance print and web design projects for various clients including Pirelli, Business Day and the Johannesburg 2010 Gay Games Bid.
  • In 2005 his photographs were published in Design Times / Itch Monthly, JHB Live and the Mail and Guardian newspaper.
  • He was a movie reviewer on the Tuesday Night Show on Radio 2000 in 2005 for three months before the show was cancelled.
  • In 2004 he launched his solo photography exhibition on the Internet, entitled Digitalizm, to critical acclaim, receiving considerable media attention.
  • In 2003 he was a Loerie Finalist: Digital Website Content Driven for
  • Consulted for loveLife on editorial, marketing and interactive elements for the 2002 teen reality TV series S’camto GroundBreakers.
  • In 2001 Luiz was Head of Interactive Content Editorial for the first Big Brother South Africa (responsible for all content across internet, telephony and interactive TV platforms) as well as Taskmaster for the series. Luiz was also Executive Producer for Big Brother South Africa 2’s interactive platforms, overseeing a team of 20. Through Underdog he also consulted on Big Brother Africa.
  • Visited Big Brother 'houses' in the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal to research the interactive and production requirments of the show.
  • In 2001 Luiz received an Avanti Silver Award for his design of the Comfort Creations website.


  • Contracted through Praekelt since 2011, Luiz has been writing website and other online copy for Telkom Mobile, the South African mobile service provider.
  • Aside from his considerable copywriting and scriptwriting experience, Luiz has written feature articles for a variety of publications including: SL Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, Big Screen, Film and TV Production Review (UK), Outright, New Edge, Screen Africa, Futurniture (Sweden),, the S.A Film Website and JHB Live.
  • Has interviewed personalities as varied as supreme court of appeals judge Edwin Cameron, Dion Chang, Nicole Fox and Olympic gold medallist Ryk Neethling.
  • Created and is editor of - South Africa’s premier gay lifestyle website. Commissions features, devises marketing and sales strategies for the portal, and manages relationships with various partners.


  • Luiz is a founding board member of the Joburg Pride Festival and served on the board from 2006 - 2010.
  • In 2005 he Served as co-chair of the Johannesburg 2010 Gay Games Bid Marketing and Publicity Committee, overseeing the bid presentation video and working with the City of Johannesburg and other partners. The city was chosen as the runner up against Paris and cologne.
  • Was co-chair of SASWA, the largest body representing writers in the film, television, theatre and radio fields in 2002/2003. (Also Vice-Chair for 2001/2002.) Engaged in developmental / training initiatives, lobbying of government bodies and driving the adoption of internationally competitive terms of trade in the industry.
  • Luiz mentored aspirant director Andile Genge during the production of the critically acclaimed documentary Two Moms in 2004.
  • Through Underdog, assisted mentoring of young Vuka! PSA filmmakers in 2003 and 2004, including Fanney Tsimong, who won the “Raw Talent” Vuka! Award in 2003.
  • Founded and edited the South African Film Website, which provided filmmakers with training resources, information and news (1997 - 2004).