Jason Xenopoulos

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Jason Xenopoulos () is an award-winning film director, writer and producer.


Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, he grew up with a successful businessman for a father. Determined to follow a different path by becoming a filmmaker, he spent four years studying film and television at New York University and returned to South Africa. However, finding it almost impossible to secure funding for hiss first script, he packed the script away and became an internet entrepreneur, co-founding VWV Interactive, one of South Africa's first internet businesses. The business was an unexpected success and within 18 months, part of it was sold to Primedia, where Jason went on to become Chief Executive.

In the following year he launched and listed Metropolis Transactive and became the youngest Chief Executive of a JSE-listed company, with shares quadrupling in value over night. However, Metropolis went bust eventually and he returned to his original passion for a while, making the critically acclaimed film Promised Land and thereafter pursuing a film career for the next 10 years.

Ever restless, his passion soon led to the merger between three specialist agencies — a convergence of advertising, entertainment, digital and traditional — and giving birth to NATIVE in 2010, a company that rapidly grew to be Africa's leading digital marketing agency and was later acquired by VML. would become part of the VMLY&R network and was named Entertainment Agency of the Year at Cannes.

Native eventually acquired by VML and in 2018, he was promoted to chief creative officer of VML EMEA. Soon after, he moved to New York to lead the newly formed VMLY&R office there, later becoming CEO of VMLY&R New York and CCO of VMLY&R North America. In 2021 he became global chief creative officer across WPP’s work with Ford, while continuing in his role as VMLY&R’s North America co-chief creative officer.

Among his many creative awards, Jason was named "All Africa Entrepreneur of the Year" by [CNBC]] and "Entrepreneur of the Year" by the SA Jewish Report.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

His love of the medium has led him to continue working in film industry as writer, producer and director. Among his achievements here have been:

He wrote and directed Promised Land (2002) and directed Critical Assignment (2002).

Critical Assignment was selected as the Opening Night Screening at the 11th New York African Film Festival and went on to win the Jury Award at the Hollywood Black Film Festival and the award for Best West African Picture at the Screen National Film & TV Awards in London.

He was a second unit director for the TV film Sword of Xanten (2004), Les deux mondes (2007), Doomsday (2008) and the Tony Mitchell film Flood (2008) and in 2020 was executive producer for the video short Marchosias.





Tim Nudd. 2020. "2 Minutes With … Jason Xenopoulos, CCO of VMLY&R North America His creative journey from South Africa to NYC". 3 June, 2020.[1]

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