Alan Nathanson

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Alan Nathanson is a South African television director.


Alan Nathanson attended King Edward VII High School in Johannesburg and then went to the University of Cape Town to study architecture. During his third year he dropped out to go to England to enrol in the London Film School, where his tutor was the noted director Charles Crichton. He spent two years at the school and was then taken on by Jane Nussbaum to develop projects for her. Amongst freelance technical jobs was a stint on the BBC’s documentary series Tomorrow’s World. He worked as a scriptwriter for Granada Television and in January 1975 he returned to South Africa, accompanied by his German-born wife Dorothee Hicks (nee Keller) and her young son. The couple were divorced in 1980.

When, in 1976, television came to South Africa, the SABC employed him as one of the first regular drama directors. His earliest half-hour programmes were considered controversial by some bewildered viewers and his TV movie on Dr. James Barry received poor reviews from some critics, but Torn Allegiance (originally Sanna) (1984), though made for television, received a gala premiere at Sun City and made it to the Montreal World Film Festival. Playing with Fire (1986) seems to have been his last production for the SABC. Two of his television productions, The Honeybird and Claws, were based on stories by Stuart Cloete and Ducktails was scripted by Christopher Hope.


1976 – A Husband for Nancy (TV short), 1976 – Adrian’s Mother (TV short), 1976 – The Wonderful World of Dr. Monk (TV short), 1976 – Dr. James Barry (TV movie), 1977 – Excursion (TV movie), 1977 – Ducktails (TV movie), 1978 – Guests at the Villa Victoria (TV series), 1979 – Better the Devil You Know (TV movie), 1979 – The Chicken Run (TV movie), 1980 – Fever Ward (TV movie), 1981 – The Honeybird (TV movie), 1982 – Claws (TV movie), 1984 – Torn Allegiance, 1986 – Playing with Fire (TV movie).


Sunday Times, 19 September 1976 (and other issues)

Rand Daily Mail (various issues)

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