About us

Award-winning multimedia NGO. Nation-changing media campaigns. Values-based films. Transforming community initiatives.

HEARTLINES has a heart for changing lives through media and starting values-based conversations that transform society. We believe in the power of story to touch hearts and in values that connect us to each other. The founder and CEO is Dr Garth Japhet, an Ashoka and World Economic Forum fellow, and also the founder of Soul City.

Our philosophy
Behaviour change is not an overnight thing. Our approach to addressing behavior change is taken from a values perspective. Whereas other initiatives tend to tackle behaviour change from a health, legal and human rights perspective, HEARTLINES challenges people irrespective of race, gender, age or religion to live out positive values in a way that will build people, families, communities and the nation.

The majority of South Africans already aspire to a set of good values which, if lived, would transform our country. HEARTLINES acknowledges God as the authority of all good values. These values form the basis of much of the teaching of our major faiths, to which over 80% of our population claims to belong. Unfortunately there is a big values-action gap. We aim to narrow this gap through facilitating a mass movement of ‘lived’ values to achieve a tipping point, and so transform our country.


HL info REDESIGN-01 final-01

Heartlines infographic


In 2006 we produced 8 values-based films which launched a national campaign, ‘8 Weeks. 8 Values. One National Conversation.’ These films went on to win numerous awards, including the Durban Film Festival and the Banff World Television Awards.



In 2009, we launched the campaign ‘6 Weeks of Values in Action‘. Our flagship was the series and later on the film
Hopeville, which won many awards including a Rose d’Or, two SAFTA awards and an international Emmy nomination.



In 2013 we brought you Nothing for Mahala: a film campaign that introduced the theme of Values and Money. Having done well in cinemas, the film has gone on to be a regular on all three SABC channels, and has reached almost 15 million people. Resources for businesses, churches, and youth encourage people to reflect on how their values and attitudes around money impact their lives and those around them.

We have subsequently, with the support of our funders, Nedbank and the John Templeton Foundation, rolled out the Values and Money campaign to communities countrywide, reaching over 165 000 people.


What We Do BTR


In 2016, Heartlines launched the “What’s Your Story?” campaign, with the film Beyond the River, giving the campaign a major boost when it released in cinemas in April 2017. After a successful run in cinemas nationwide, the film is now available on DSTV Box Office and on DVD.


To get the latest Heartlines news into your inbox