Friday, November 28, 2014

International judges for WGSA Muse Awards

With the deadline for entries for the 2nd WGSA Muse Awards around the corner, the Guild is extremely proud to announce that this year they have managed to secure five international judges for the final round of script evaluations. Together with a team of local experts which include writers, actors, directors, producers and industry critics, the international judges will select the nominees and final winners in their assigned categories.

“Last year we had two international judges – writer/producer and industry guru Larry Brody from the USA, and Thomas McLaughlin, the chairman of the Writers’ Guild of Ireland,” says Harriet Meier, chairperson of the Writers’ Guild of South Africa. “This year, during the AGM of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds and the subsequent World Conference of Screenwriters in Warsaw, Poland, Thomas raved about how much fun he had with the evaluations and that he wanted to be part of it again this year. As word spread, people started approaching us, which was really incredible.”

“There are some really big hitters amongst this year’s judges,” says Harriet. “Not only do they give the WGSA Muse Awards the credibility it deserves, but they also help to get our writers and our stories out there into the world.”

Apart from the WGSA Muse Awards, which will culminate in a spectacular prize giving ceremony in March next year, the Guild is also taking 16 writers from all over South Africa to NATPE in Miami, Florida, in January 2015, where they will pitch their stories to industry executives from around the world.

The following international judges have been confirmed for the 2014 WGSA Muse Awards:

Thomas McLaughlin – Ireland - Sitcom, radio drama, stage plays
Thomas was born in Belfast and studied acting at the Portland (Oregon) Conservatory Theatre. He is a prolific and award winning playwright with titles like Peasants” (Strathclyde Theatre, 1987, winner of a Bass Ireland Bursary), The Frontline Café (Belfast, Charabanc Theatre Company, 1991), Greatest Hits (Project Theatre, 1994, published in Greatest Hits, Dublin, New Island Press) and Iron May Sparkle (Charabanc Theatre Company, and London, Drill Hall, 1994) to his name. His radio plays include Fingertips (RTÉ and WDR, Germany, and 1990, Prix Futura winner for best new radio drama, 1991). He has written sketches and sitcom for television and is one of the principal writers of RTÉs long-running soap opera Fair City. He is the Chairman of the Writers’ Guild of Ireland.

Andrew S Walsh - UK – Animation
Andrew S. Walsh is an award-winning writer/director with credits across film, television, theatre, radio, animation and videogames. A man of many job titles, he has appeared as writer, director, speech designer, narrative designer, narrative producer, story consultant, script editor, motion capture director, camera director, voice director, story producer, story liner and story editor. To date he has worked on more than sixty videogames including Fable Legends, Prince of Persia, Harry Potter, Risen, XCom, Dirk Dagger and the Fallen Idol, Medieval II: Total War, SOCOM, LEGO City: Undercover, X3 Reunion, and the new Need for Speed : Most Wanted. He won the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Videogames Award for Prince of Persia in 2009 and is the Treasurer of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain.

Lisa Holdsworth – UK – Drama
Lisa Holdsworth is originally from Leeds and has worked in television since she graduated. Lisa’s first commission was an episode of Fat Friends, which she devised herself and was shortlisted for a Best New Writer BAFTA. Since then, she has written an original play for Radio 4 and spent three years on the Emmerdale writing team. She left to write for the third series of the BBC’s police drama New Tricks and has contributed to the show ever since. She has also written on four series of Waterloo Road including a feature length series opener. She wrote two of the final series of Robin Hood, including the largely discussed ORIGINS episode. 

Julian Friedmann – UK – Drama
Julian Friedmann was born in South Africa in 1944 and moved to London in 1961. He is an agent who represents both book and script writers across a broad range of subjects and formats. He started as an editor for two academic publishers in the early 1970s before setting up his own publishing company. He set up a literary agency in 1976, later merging with Carole Blake to establish Blake Friedmann. He has lectured all over the world on the business of scriptwriting and has published a book called How To Make Money Scriptwriting. He edited two volumes called Writing Long-running Television Series and created Europe’s leading scriptwriting magazine ScriptWriter, which became He is also co-author of The Insider’s Guide to Writing for Television.
He helped design PILOTS (an EU Media initiative to develop long-running television series) and the MA in Television Scriptwriting at De Montfort University. In addition to being an agent, he also works as an Executive producer.

Carl Gottlieb – USA – Feature Film
Carl Gottlieb is best known as the co-writer of one of cinema's most beloved blockbusters, Jaws (1975). He also acted in the film as newspaperman Meadows, and co-wrote the first two sequels. His book on the making of JAWS, 'The Jaws Log' has been described by Bryan Singer as 'a little movie bible'. Carl's background is in comedy, and outside the Jaws series he wrote the comedies Which Way is Up (1977), The Jerk (1979), Caveman (1981) and Doctor Detroit (1983), the last two he also directed. He began writing comedy for TV, contributing to The Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and The Odd Couple. Gottlieb also co-wrote David Crosby’s two autobiographies, 1989's Long Time Gone and 2006's Since Then. He has been WGA-West Secretary-Treasurer since September 2011.

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