contact spling

The story so far…

Stephen Aspeling, better known as “Spling”, has been a film fanatic since he first watched the psychedelic elephant dance from Dumbo in the early ’80s and a movie critic since 2007.

Now a trusted independent South African movie authority, he’s turned a lifelong passion into a full-time pursuit: reviewing, writing, presenting, promoting, evaluating and adjudicating film for a host of websites, radio stations, magazines, newspapers, TV shows, festivals and events over the years.

The SPL!NG brand began its journey when Spling created a website in order to review a film a day for a year. This “blog” proved Spling’s undying passion for film and served as a calling card for his writing, leading to organic opportunities across other platforms, publishers and broadcasters.

A creative thinker and seasoned film critic with over 15 years experience, Spling’s keen insights have proven to be vital to screenwriters and directors who have come to trust his direct, detailed and valuable feedback and suggestions. Having been called on to “give notes”, was created in order to officially assist filmmakers in drafting or fine-tuning their scripts and films at any stage from inception to final cut.

You can find out more about Spling’s current or previous media affiliations and what’s been said about him below.

Email Spling | Commission SPL!NG | What’s been said about Spling…


Features: SPL!NG (owner/editor/movie critic) | Willow and Thatch (contributor)

Radio: Fine Music Radio – Talking Movies (weekly movie review show) | MFM 92.6 – Talking Movies (weekly movie review show) | CapeTalk/702 (interviewee)

Consultancy: (owner/script editor and reviewer)

Books: The Essence of Dreams: An Anthology of Film Reviews

Panels: El Gouna Film Festival 2023 (Juror – FIPRESCI) | AFDA Film School (judge/movie critic) | SAE Institute (judge/examiner) | AfterLife Film Festival (judge) | Film O’Clock International Film Festival (panelist)



Features: (weekly movie review, 14 years) | The Plum List (contributor/film critic) | Techsmart Mag (movie critic/contributor) | All4Women (movie critic) | CapeTownCreatives (weekly movie review) | Vibescout (weekly review) | DEOD TV (resident film critic/columnist) | The Herald/Weekend Post (movie critic)

Radio: 567 CapeTalk/Radio 702 (weekly movie review interview) | 2Oceansvibe Radio (movie review show) | 101.9 ChaiFM (weekly movie review interview) | UCT Radio (regular guest)

Events: Ster-Kinekor Movie Buffs (host) | Galileo Open Air Cinema (resident movie critic) | Bingeing with Spling (watch party host) | Empire Entertainment (screening host)

Panels: Encounters Documentary Film Festival (juror) | BBC Culture (100 Greatest Foreign-Language Films/100 Greatest Films Directed by Women) | 48 Hour Film Project (judge) | Adventure Film Challenge (judge)

Podcasts: The Three Wells of Screenwriting Podcast (podcast host) | Confessions of a Movie Critic (podcast) | Must Love Movies Podcast (podcast host)

Campaign: TNT Africa (film critic)


Television: eNCA with Jeremy Maggs (Oscars) | The Showbiz Report eTV (Blockbusters) | Hectic9 Nine SABC 2 (Box Office) | Cape Town TV (Box Office)

Radio: BBC5 Live (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) | BBC World Service | VOA Africa | East Coast Radio (Being a Film Critic)

Feature: LiveMag (Profile) | Fortress of Solitude (Profile)

Spling’s balanced perspective means that his taste in film caters for art house and commercial movies. Each movie is reviewed on its own merits, both in terms of entertainment and artistic appreciation.

Don’t WING it, SPL!NG it!

Get in touch if you’re looking to promote your film or brand through SPL!NG’s channels via custom social media campaigns or greater online presence.

SPL!NG can tailor an online campaign to help you reach and connect with a niche audience of movie lovers, whether you’re ramping up attendance for a local film release on a limited budget or planning on driving a more involved and intensive awareness campaign for your film or brand.

On his journey with Spling Movies CC, better known as “SPL!NG”, he’s garnered a wealth of experience, special insights and knowledge on the film world partnering with companies such as Ster-Kinekor, Times Media,, EDGE for Men, Longbeach Brewery and TNT Africa.

Leveraging SPL!NG’s niche following, brand reputation and affiliate network, these companies have been able to craft engaging marketing content, run promotional campaigns, activate film releases and facilitate movie events reaching up to 100,000 people per month via SPL!NG channels. Film schools like AFDA and SAE Institute have come to trust his reliable expertise, special skill set and unique position within the South African film industry.

With the continued support of 5k fans on Facebook, 1.9k followers on Twitter and a reach of up to half a million, SPL!NG has been able to generate great interaction levels and impressive measured results with a reach of up to 100,000 per month. Contact SPL!NG for our rate card.

Contact Spling

On a personal level, Spling has been commissioned to: host screenings, provide invaluable feedback on scripts, assess first drafts, write compelling expert synopsis copy, write opinion pieces, partner with brands, moderate interviews, serve as a resident film critic, host, judge, juror, panelist or guest speaker.

If you’re looking to enlist Spling’s specialised services, contact Spling directly on LinkedIn with your requirements (

What’s been said about Spling?

“Thought leader.” – AFDA, Africa’s leading Film, TV and Performance School

“Finally someone who’s opinion I can trust and learn from.” – Henk Pretorius, Director

“I look forward to Spling’s review… amazingly it all sounds so fresh and spontaneous.” – Fiona Chisholm, Columnist

“A lone voice in the South African film critic wilderness… the only considered, fiercely dedicated film critic left standing in a sea of blurbs and bought opinions.” – Gérard Rudolf Writer/Poet/Actor/Photographer

“Spling is my favourite film critic.” – Kevin Kriedemann, Writer/Publicist

“I am impressed with Spling’s ability to distill the essence of a film.” – Matthew Kalil, Author, The Three Wells of Screenwriting

“South Africa’s answer to Roger Ebert. His knowledge of film is encyclopaedic and his ability to analyse the aspirations of each filmmaker is perspicacious.” – Janet van Eeden, Screenwriter/Author/Playwright

“Icon.” – MFM, Stellenbosch University Campus Radio Station

“Spling is no doubt a national treasure… South Africa’s best movie critic.” – Angelique Pretorius, Actress/Filmmaker

“Spling knows his stuff and we trust his reviews.” – Mike Joubert, Editor

“Movie maven.” – ChaiFM, ChaiFM Radio Station

“Spling always has something intelligently relevant and current to say and covers the important independent films and filmmakers and not just the obvious blockbusters.” – Stelio Savante, Actor

“Wordsmith.” – Mark Jennings, Fine Music Radio

“Spling is a friendly fountain of film knowledge.” “Our generation’s Barry Ronge!” – Dylan & Simon, The Brothers Streep