New Land Rover explores Africa with the Holgates

(Father and son explorers The Holgates use Land Rover to drive Africa)

Agency Spark44 South Africa and SoloUnion recently debuted a new web spot for the 2020 Land Rover Defender, featuring modern-day explorers and Land Rover ambassadors Kingsley and Ross Holgate.

Through their Kingsley Holgate Foundation, the father-son duo adventure across the wilds of Africa and beyond for humanitarian initiatives, such as malaria prevention, water purification, and Rite to Sight spectacles for the poor-sighted.

Directed by Linda Notelovitz of LifeDesign, “Father and Son” launched on September 10th. 

Set to Kingsley Holgate’s soulful narration, the film recounts the many journeys he has taken with his son, Ross. As he reflects and passes on the wisdom he has gained from a life of exploration, we see the beautiful bond between father and son.

Playing into themes of legacy, heritage, and evolution, a poetic connection to the Land Rover Defender emerges: just as the Holgate’s aspire for what is good to live on in the new, so does the 2020 Defender with its enhanced quality, capability, and comfort.  Watch the almost 2-minute effort below:

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“Relaunching a globally celebrated motoring icon doesn’t come around every day – and certainly not during a global pandemic,” says Nicky Scheublé, Managing Director at Spark44 South Africa. “It was important for us to not only tell the story of what the Defender is capable of, but also how it can have a meaningful impact on the lives it encounters, as with Kingsley and Ross Holgate, who are no strangers to the Defender, the most capable off-road SUV in the world.” 

Behind the Scenes

The new Defender honors 70 years of iconic Land Rover design, innovation, and rugged solidity while thoroughly remaining an off-road SUV for the 21st century. In carrying that heritage into a new era, Spark44 and Rob Mc Lennan, Creative Lead at SoloUnion conceived the spot to welcome new adventurists to be a part of it, while encouraging die-hard Defender fans to embrace the next generation of the Defender. 

“Kingsley and Ross Holgate’s connection to Africa and the memories they share exploring it has not only shaped who they are individually, but also their relationship with each other,” says Notelovitz. “So this film was all about welcoming viewers to experience the power of exploration and discovery through their story – and how the new Land Rover Defender will afford them future adventures with boundless possibilities.” 

Linda Notelovitz

Notelovitz created the visual atmosphere of the spot with a focus on creating a sense of anticipation, excitement, and a strong connection to the local relevance of The Holgate Foundation’s mission.

She achieved this in the cinematography with shots of the Defender navigating the majestic African landscape; while subtle visual cues – water ripples, bouncing stones, and shifting sands – pre-empt the vehicle’s experience of the environment, as if the terrain is eagerly anticipating its connection with the new Defender. 

The sound design echoes the environment with the same subtlety to reinforce the sense of anticipation as we gently hear the Defender emerge before seeing it. 

Expressing the narrative device of the father-son relationship, Notelovitz leaned into shots reflecting the lighter side of their shared moments – laughter, small touches, and hand gestures – with an allowance for the subtle personality traits of the father and son to shine through. 

Notelovitz worked closely with Peter Mostert of New York City-based edit house Hooligan to weave the visual elements into a cinematic narrative. 

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“I believe that if you create the right emotional environment for making films collaboratively, it imbues itself in the filmmaking process, until it becomes a truly ‘feeling’ experience for the crew and the spectator alike,” concludes Notelovitz. “This is my purpose as a filmmaker and as a human being. To this end, it was a joy bringing this film to fruition in an emotive and meaningful way with Land Rover, Spark44, SoloUnion and all of the co-creators involved.”


CLIENT: Jaguar Land Rover South Africa

AGENCY: SPARK44ZA & Rob Mc Lennan of SoloUnion


  • Director: Linda Notelovitz
  • Dir Asst: Giovanna Winetzki
  • Producer: Chris Briggs
  • Cinematographer: Miles Goodall

EDIT: Hooligan NYC

Editor: Peter Mostert

POST: Ludus, South Africa

Colorist: Michele Wilson

Online Artist: Simone De Ruyck

SOUND FINISH CO: Sterling Sound, South Africa 

SOUND DESIGN & MIX: Sean Williams

SOURCE: Spark44