Production Design/Set Decoration. Narrative work includes: Sri T-Series, Heart of the Hunter Netflix, Terra X ZDF, Cinderella Warner Bros, Knee Diep in die Warmwater SABC.

Career highlights include working for Oscar winner Colin Gibson, Bafta winner Darryl Hammer and SAFTA winners Fred Du Preez and Karel Flint.


Film campaign: Porsche, L'Oreal, Bosch, Whirlpool, Deichmann, Carrefour, Renault, et al.

Dr Who's "Rosa", won the Visionary Honours TV Show of the Year Award at the home of the BAFTAs, receiving praise for the authentic depiction of that historical era.

The Norwegian Int. Film Festival awarded the Next Nordic Generation Award to Homebound. Set Decorator with Finish Production design Heidi Jokinen.

NGO projects include production design for The Global Fund, set dressing for the Community Media Trust and as a board member for Cape Town Pride.

Multimedia Visual Art exhibitions include Circa Everard Read, Ebony Curated, Absa L'Atelier and Mandela Metropolitan.


Performance art collaborations with Elgin Rust at the AVA and Athi Patra-Ruga at the opening of the new Stevenson in Cape Town. 

As curator, installing the featured artist retrospective touring exhibition for the National Arts Festival, AVA and Joburg Art Fair were highlights.

At the Association for Visual Art he served as Treasurer, Curatorial and Exco Board member for four years.

As producer, working for the Tony Award winning Handspring puppet company, with the UK's National Theatre on West End, Broadway and on tour. Other collaborators included Neil Bartlett, Rae Smith and William Kentridge. 


In the five years, plays & exhibitions included Or You Could Kiss Me, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Ubu and the Truth Commission, Woyzeck on the Highveld & Il Ritorno d'Ulisse. From West End and Broadway to tours of the USA, UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, South Africa, France, Asia, Australasia. Most notably, the hit play WarHorse

Design collaborators have included Janni Younge, Luyanda Nogodlwana and Ncedile Daki.

A founding member of the Handspring Trust working towards the establishment of an annual puppetry parade and the department of Puppetry at the University of the Western Cape.

Artist and Production Designer James Nilsen-Misra

BA honours, Motion Picture Medium majoring in Production Design at AFDA, the South African School of Film and Drama.

BTech Fine Art, Majoring in painting, Illustration Design & Art History at the Nelson Mandela University. 

Based in Cape Town he has worked on projects in Johannesburg, Gqeberha, London, Los Angeles and New York.


What compelling and intriguing images; what thoughtful meditation. The writing of the notes is suggestive, poignant and tender. James Nilsen-Misra raises so many questions that are at the heart of current historiography: what kind of information ‘counts’ as historical truth, what do truths tell us about human mores, desires, subjectivities Professor Dr Jane Taylor - Andrew W Mellon Chair of Aesthetic Theory and Material Performance at the Centre for Humanities Research
I was deeply moved by the dark and sensitive engagement with Gandhi. James Nilsen- Misra has engaged with his subject with such deep research and empathy, and then captured and revealed Gandhi in sensitive, beautiful art works. It is a special privilege to learn about history and historical figures through works of art (Penny Siopis made me more aware of the plight of Sara Baartman) and I can pay James no greater compliment; I had no idea that Gandhi was a gay icon and of his relationship with Kallenbach, an architect known to me – thank you! Dr Marilyn Martin, Curator, Art & Architechure Historian &  Former Director of the Iziko South African National Galleryi
James Nilsen-Misra’s precise and beautifully executed diptych Nocturne #1 and #2 suggest an intense investigation into both serene reflections and melancholia. Indeed there is an ability in the pair of drawings to critically inform upon each other. As information is obscured in one example it is in turn highlighted in the other. This in turn reinforces the notions of the passage of time as the light source changes through the night. Emma Vandermerwe, Director Everard Read Gallery M.F.A Slade School of Fine Art. University College London
"a serene night scene by James Nilsen-Misra." Luan Nel, Director Nel Gallery
James Nilsen-Misra’s diptych, of Nocturne I and Nocturne II, is [the exhibition's] restrained and sophisticated high point. Both images have the same suburban interior as their subject but a slight change of light between the works connotes the silent passing of time.  They could be two frames lifted from film noir footage of the empty room. Fresh-cut flowers, an unplayed piano and empty chairs offer a quiet intermission from the day and respite for photosensitive art-viewers.  The drawings feel totally dormant and contained so that they can be looked at without being contaminated by one’s own clamouring thoughts. Nilsen-Misra’s technique is characterised by his disciplined tonal limitation. Isabella Kuijers, Arthrob writer, MA London Metropolitan University


Cape Town Nautilus Film Crew 

Chantel Pearce  

+27 21 510 4850

The Palms


Johannesburg CallaCrew 

Jan Bowden 

+27 10 493 4794

+27 11 465 8001  Dainfern Square Upper Level One

Broadacres Drive


Circa·Everard Read

Emma Vandermerwe 

+27 21 418 4527

3 Portswood Road

V&A Waterfront

Cape Town 

James Nilsen-Misra

+27 71 282 0833

By appointment:

Studio One

First Floor

405 Albert Road


productions & exhibitions

James Nilsen-Misra Production Design & Props Master CV 13 Nov Web.pdf