After months of preparation and fundraising, the Writers’ Guild of South Africa pulled off a prodigious event last night, 15 March 2014, at the Barnyard Theatre in Cresta, Johannesburg, when the inaugural WGSA Muse Awards honoured the best performance writers in South Africa for their film and TV scripts and stage plays.
“Finally there is an award which acknowledges the creators of local entertainment; the incredibly talented writers who take an idea and give it life, a face and a unique character, which is then brought to the screen by the actors, directors and producer,” said Harriet Meier, chairperson of WGSA. “It is an award by writers for writers and, judging by the emotion on display last night, it is long overdue.”
The design of the beautiful Muse Trophy and the Special Service Award started nearly a year ago, followed by a call for entries into the 6 categories of the inaugural WGSA Muse Awards in the last quarter of 2013.
Two sets of judges, both local and international, evaluated the submissions. The winners in five categories were announced last night at the WGSA Muse Awards Ceremony.
The winners are:
Best TV Comedy Script: Fidel Namisi, Tooth and Nails
Best TV Drama Script: Joshua Rous, High Rollers, Episode 101, “The Prodigal”
Best Stage Play Script:
Gisele Turner, eLimboland
Best Feature Script:
Shirley Johnston, Felix
Best Spec Script (unproduced work):
Kelsey Egan, The Chemist, a feature film
No winner was selected in the Documentary category.
All results were verified by WGSA Auditors, Bemont and Company and Pierre Bemont delivered the winners' envelopes to the presenters.
Writers’ Guild member and producer Richard H Nosworthy of Plum Productions headed an amazing team of musicians, vocalists and performers from the South African Guild of Actors (SAGA), to produce a show that struck just the right balance between glamour and intimacy and thoroughly entertained the audience.
Jack Devnarain (Rajesh in Isidingo) was the Master of Ceremonies and Pieter Albert Jordaan the Musical Director.
The show featured, amongst others, an originally composed song by WGSA Member Robin Sarembock, as well as song parodies and music from the nominated feature films.
WGSA would like to thank NFVF’s CEO, Zama Mkosi for delivering the keynote address and the representatives from the different broadcasters and the motion picture industry who presented the awards:
Verona Duwarkah, Head: Television, SABC
Ayanda Halimana, Commissioning editor at Mzansi Magic + Wethu
David Makubyane, Acting GM of Local Content for On Digital Media and StarSat
Paul Raleigh, Producer of the Oscar winning film “Tsotsi” and head of completion guarantors Hollard Film Guarantees
Nkateko Mabaso, General Manager of M-Net Local Channels
A big thank you also to our sponsors, without whom we could not have made this event possible:
M-NET, MictSeta, NFVF, GFC, Barnyard Theatre, Kohl Graphics, Plum Productions, Panavision, Budget Rent-a-Car and Van, and PUMA Video, CFC, Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking (Cape Town), and our media partners ScreenAfrica, Film and Event Media, and HashTag7.
Writers who are not yet members of WGSA are invited to join the guild and become eligible to submit their work for the next WGSA Muse Awards.
Producers who are interested in the nominated and award winning spec scripts are welcome to contact WGSA at firstname.lastname@example.org