FORT believes in true integration: creative teams working in honest collaboration with its clients in dynamic design, development and production environments. So much so, in fact, that if having full in-house capability has made the hybrid model the heart and soul of the modern-day agency, FORT has made it an identity.
FORT was founded in 2006 by Shukri Toefy and Amr
Singh, in Cape Town, South Africa. Finding moments to meet clients between studying at the University of Cape Town, their presentations were often crafted on the busy trains into the city, and pitches rehearsed on their walks from the station to their meetings.
Tenacity would become a habit.
After returning home to South Africa from a film job in Ireland in early 2007, the company was officially incorporated in a small warehouse in Woodstock, Cape Town with no phone line or Internet.
It was named West Fort, after the street of its first office, but became affectionately known as The Fort by clients and suppliers who recognised it as a place that habitually nurtured and protected creativity.
In 2009, at the same time that West Fort moved from its small warehouse in Woodstock to new offices in Gardens in the city centre, its name was officially changed and its doors were formally opened as The Fort.
Today, The Fort is simply known as FORT and has a head office in Johannesburg, South Africa, and a global network which includes partners in in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire and Dubai.
Shukri Toefy is an entrepreneur, film producer, co-founder and CEO of FORT, currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa He is a graduate of the University of Cape Town with a degree in Law and Politics and is a pioneer in creating an in-sourcing structure for film, media and creative services in South Africa. As CEO of FORT, which has launched offices in Kenya and Nigeria, Shukri Toefy has developed a shared prosperity model in which one percent of the company is owned by FORT's sustainability arm Hold The Fort, and ten percent by its employees. Shukri is also founder of The Rainmakers Journal and narrator of the independent short film Unwritten: A Visual Journey of Nepal (2016), shot on location in the Kathmandu Valley under the FORT and Rainmakers Journal label. The film has won at the Amsterdam Film Festival and Hollywood International Documentary Awards (HIIDA), and earned official selections at the Balinale International Film Festival, Roma Cinema Doc, and Largo International Film Festival. Shukri serves on a number of boards, and has presented on a number of topics including, creative economies, entrepreneurship, content and storytelling. He is featured as part of Africa’s Under 40 CEOs, and has been a contributor to a number of publications: Marketing Week, The Sunday Times, Screen Africa, GQ, City Press and Fast Company among others, and has been named one of Fast Company's Most Productive People in 2016. www.shukritoefy.com
Co-founder of FORT, film director, director of photography and creative director, Amr Singh represents the emergence of a new, multi-disciplinary, creative. A graduate from the University of Cape Town with degrees in Anthropology, Media Studies and Film, Amr balances the fine blade between advertising and authentic storytelling. Having led teams both locally and abroad, Amr has crafted commercial work for brands such as Nike, MTV, Pepsi and ABinBev. As a filmmaker, Amr has worked with Universal Studios, directing Hollywood A-listers including Kevin Hart. Globally awarded, Amr’s work has been recognized in LA, Rome, London and Bali, and has won the SHOTS YDA Award at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity and the coveted Van Gough Award at the Amsterdam International Film Festival. Amr’s ability to transition between commanding international film crews from the directors’ chair to conceiving and conceptualising creative strategies in a boardroom is impressively smooth. With an astute understanding of contemporary storytelling in a period of technological disruption, Amr’s ability to craft compelling brand narratives has led to the emergence of FORT as one of the most exciting independently owned creative content networks on the African continent. Having built a successful creative business designed on a shared prosperity model, Amr brings a unique mix of insight, innovation and pragmatism to any table. www.amrsingh.com
Judy Huang is a chartered accountant, entrepreneur and fashion designer with her own menswear label, focused on custom tailoring for men. Drawing from a career spent working in finance for cutting-edge and coveted luxury fashion and skincare brands such as Louis Vuitton in London and Dermalogica in South Africa, Judy combines strong passions for business and the creative industry with a deep understanding of the finance sector, to bring financial perspective and strategic direction to FORT.
Craig February is a Film and Television graduate, former lecturer at CPUT, and head of production at FORT pushing boundaries in the pursuit of excellence. Having spent six years in corporate finance before cashing in his pension fund to pursue his passion for film, Craig's commitment to the craft has translated into a decade of experience and extensive knowledge in the production field, and is complimented by an understanding of the business landscape that brings stability, experience, and key decision-making to the FORT leadership team.
Marea Lewis is a business developer who blends creative insights with traditional business acumen, whether in leading FORT creative studio or helping SMEs build on their creative ideas. Following her studies, Marea completed several business courses and international trade programmes, yielding tangible results in brand building within the fashion industry. Pairing qualifications in marketing and visual communication with years of practical business development experience, Marea brings a practiced edge to the role of Strategic Business Manager within the creative studio and executive team at large.
Andrina Moodley is an experienced producer, filmmaker, youth worker, and head of content and operations at FORT. Having headed productions in diverse programming in various genres over the last eleven years, Andrina's impressive educational background, coupled with her passion for telling authentic African stories, training and development in the Media Industry and making a difference in the Arts, has seen her rise quickly through the ranks in the film and television world.