Louis Neethling is well known in this country as a director of award-winning dramas, however he has also made a host of other programmes in his career, and one of his documentaries will be shown here on the BSL Zone next week.

South Africa: Strong Deaf Women, made in 2011, looks at the situation for Deaf women in the country, and interviews some of the most prominent female members of the Deaf community.

Louis tells us more below...

How did making the film come about?

I had worked with L'oeil et la main before and they asked me to share any ideas for programmes that I might have with them.

I was attending WFD in Durban, South Africa and so I thought about the opportunity to make some programmes in my home country.

What was it like filming in South Africa? What were the people like?

The people in South Africa are friendly, welcoming and open to filming about different cultures and languages.

It's a country with 11 official languages and many more are spoken - communication between people whether in Sign Language or a spoken language is celebrated.

What was Sandrine like to work with?

Sandrine Herman is wonderful: she's creative, talented, friendly and a total professional.

Sandrine connected with everyone she met in South Africa - a natural communicator.

What was did you think of the Deaf women featured in the film?

I know the women in the film and I'm lucky to count most of them as my friends. They're inspirational because they've never let being a deaf woman stop them in doing anything.

These women grew up in apartheid times and have witnessed horrors on a daily basis.

Some of them still face the threat of domestic violence in the areas that they live and they all face the barrier of having few interpreters and access to many areas of life.

People who use sign language in the UK don't realise how fortunate they are compared to deaf people in Africa.

However, this doesn't deter the women from achieving great things and passing that on to the next generation of deaf South African women.

How proud of the film are you?

I'm proud of all of the films I have made for L'oeil et la main.

Watch South Africa: Strong Deaf Women here on the BSL Zone and on TV from 8am on Monday.