Wednesday, August 25, 2021

WGSA Hot Minds and Cold Nights Head For Spring Fever


WGSA Online Classes
Special Offers On WGSA Membership Fees
Until End Of September 2021

The WGSA is offering an exciting online programme via Zoom to WGSA members free of charge, and to Non-Members at R50 per session!

Please RSVP below for the sessions you wish to attend in order to receive the Zoom Link, which will be sent to you 24 hours prior to the session.  Closing date for RSVP’s is at noon, two (2) days before the session. 

We have a 
SPECIAL OFFER for non-members that serves to counter the economic effect that Covid-19 and the lockdowns have on performance writers: 50% discount on membership fees until the end of September!

As a member you will have an opportunity to showcase your profile on our website, enter the WGSA Muse Awards and allow free access to our upcoming 
WGSA Indigenous Language Screenwriters Course in September, among other great benefits.

Full members:

Regular fee

Now only

Candidate members: Regular fee

Now only

Student members (with a valid student registration):
Regular fee

Now only

Corporate members:
Regular fee

Now only

When you click on JOIN you will learn more about the different types of membership, as well as see the other benefits of joining the guild and specials that guild members receive on products such as Final Draft screenwriting software, and IMDb Pro, etc.

If you have any questions, please send an email to




In her 20-year strong creative journey, Mmabatho has worked as a producer, broadcaster (SABC, Kwese TV, TopTV), development executive as well as a script consultant. Roles that have harnessed her love for story and helping writers find their voice as storytellers. Her catalogue of work, as a script consultant, ranges from novel adaptations to politically potent films brought to life through titles such KALUSHI: THE SOLOMON MAHLANGU STORY, and the sequel to HAPPINESS IS A FOUR LETTER WORD - HAPPINESS EVER AFTER.

Mmabatho’s creative flair has also been injected outside South Africa as a consultant on the award-winning Lesotho based film THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT'S A RESURRECTION (Venice Biennale College Cinema 2019, Visionary Award winner Sundance 2019).

In 2017 Mmabatho was invited to co-mentor in REALNESS, a Pan-African writing residency. Beyond Realness; she has mentored on the Canal+  Poland Series Lab (2021), The Philippines (Full Circle Lab 2019 and 2020), Maisha Producers Lab (Uganda 2019), Jumpstart PRODUIRE AU SUD (South Africa 2019 and 2020), For Film’s Sake- Attagirl Lab (Australia 2020), The Pro Series Lab (Kenya 2020), BoostNL (Netherlands Film Festival/IFFR 2020), Dramatic Producer’s Lab (Ethiopia 2019).

In addition to being a mentor, she has had the honour of being invited to participate in The Torino Script Lab (2018), EAVE (European Audio Visual Entrepreneurs 2020) and The Rotterdam Producer’s Lab (2020).


Julie Hall is a screenwriter, script consultant, lecturer and voice over artist. Julie worked as a broadcaster and copywriter before moving into TV scriptwriting in the late nineties. She spent five years on the scriptwriting team of GENERATIONS, then moved into script editing with stints on long-running series like BACKSTAGE and MUVHANGO.
In 2005 Julie was selected to participate in the year-long Sediba Feature Film Development Programme as a Script Editor. This was a career and life-changing move and Julie has continued with the Sediba programme ever since. Two consecutive years followed with the Sediba-SABC Development Programme which saw the development and production of high-end mini series.

In 2007, Julie ran an animation script development and training programme called APTI.

Julie continued writing, storylining, editing and headwriting for television on a variety of dramas and sitcoms. As headwriter she also oversaw the development of many made-for-TV films for Mzansi Magic’s Lokshin Bioscope, working with emerging writers. Most recently she was the headwriter for Season 2 of the highly popular TEMPY PUSHAS.

As a feature film writer, Julie has written the romantic-comedy, MY ZULU WEDDING, offbeat comedy-romance MAGIC & MINING, and has co-written psychological thriller THE DAM.

Julie is a mentor/facilitator for the NFVF’s Sediba-SPARK narrative screenwriting programme and is the current Discipline Chair of Screenwriting at AFDA Johannesburg. She consults as a script editor on a number of feature film projects, with a special interest in animated features. 


Neiloe spent 7 years working in the production and development department of the National Film and Video Foundation. She spearheaded the documentary program at the foundation as a manager. She also sat on the panel of various festivals and evaluation panels. Whitehead was part of the Eurodoc International program in 2011. Part of her duties at the foundation included overseeing TV formats, development and production content both fiction and non-fiction.

She has experience in commissioning content, curating and managing project budgets. She graduated from Rhodes University with a BJourn and majored in political science. She has since done post graduate work at the Witwatersrand University and the University of Cape Town. She worked with Fireworx media as a development executive. She worked as a project manager on an incubation project for the Association of Transformation in Film and Television from 2015 till the end of 2016.

Whitehead has worked with various funds, film festivals, television broadcasters both locally and internationally and has sat on various evaluation panels for funding. She is currently working as a freelance writer (SIGNAL HIGH, uBETTINA WHETHU), script editor, evaluation expert and creative producer. She is co-owner of Black Seed Film Hub, a black female led production company. The Hub is running a 2021 digital content creation program. She has script edited on a number of feature films, short films and documentaries. She is currently in pre-production for her first short film, LEFUMA & PHEELLO.


Veteran Producer-Directo-Writer,  Richard, has shot, directed, produced or written more than one thousand hours of programming for both South African and International broadcast television. His experience in genre is wide and varied, and includes Drama, Comedy, Documentary, Variety, Sport, Travel, soft News and Magazine, and Children’s Programmes.

He has worked extensively in Broadcast Television, Feature Films and on stage. His work has been nominated for, and won, awards both locally and internationally. Richard is the recipient of two Writers Guild of South Africa Muse awards, and from time to time provides legal guidance to both private individuals and the WGSA Council and its’ members. He also works as a consultant to both production companies and individuals in the film and television industry. Over the years he has served on many industry representative bodies including the DAFTA, the IPO,  the WGSA and the NFVF Council. He is proud to say that his latest project is the performance writer’s incubator: The Scribe Writers Room. A  project designed for both aspirant and experienced writers. 



Five emerging writers are invited to share their experiences of unfair payments, which is then discussed by the group and input given by the panel of professionals.
During the final 30 minutes, Peter Goldsmid will advise on what clauses are crucial to have in screenwriting contracts and why.



Cati Weinek

Cati has raised finance for both fiction and documentary films, such THE LETTER READER (2019), THE TOKOLOSHE (2018), and MRS RIGHT GUY (2016). Career highlights other than producing beautifully crafted feature films, includes engaging with the Writers Guild of America, and the international affiliation to bring South African writers into the fold, conducting over 100 interviews for her Memory Box initiative (2003) at the biggest Soweto hospital supporting HIV positive South Africans before the roll out of ARVs; her anti-nuclear documentary, URANIUM ROAD (2009),  which changed nuclear policy in SA; raising slate feature film funding from the National Film and Video Foundation, creating the National Film and Video Foundation’s ground-breaking Sediba script development programme, producing 26 episodes of the last season of SOUL CITY, raising finance for 3 D feature length animation film with presales across Europe and being a parent to two born free babies.

Dr. Eubulus Timothy

Among other things, Dr Eubulus Timothy is an award winning writer, director and producer of film and television, founding chair of the Cape Film Commission, served two terms as vice chairperson of Writer’s Guild Of South Africa and chaired the judging of the Best Screenplay and Best Feature Film for the SAFTA’s and for the Oscars Foreign film for South Africa.  He wrote and directed the highly acclaimed feature film, DEEP END. 

During lockdown, Eubulus interpreted and directed VIVALDI'S SPRING IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 for Baroque 2000. 
In South Africa he directed the feature film OTHELLO and numerous short films,  and produced Cape Night Live, which introduced Mark Lottering to South African television audiences.  Eubulus directed numerous dramas for the SABC. He started a Performance School in Cape Town with pass students including South African Idol Heinz Winckler and actress Kim Engelbrecht.  Produced and directed major events for South African Embassies and Commissions around the world including the TSOTSI Pre-Oscar Party at The Beverley Hilton in Beverly Hills.  
Harley-Merrill Screenwriting Award - Hollywood  
Simon Sabela Film and TV Award - Best Picture 
Simon Sabela Film and TV Award - Best Director  
South African International Film Awards - Best Screenplay 


Peter Goldsmid

Following degrees in Politics from Wits and Oxford and a B.A. (Photographic Arts) from the Polytechnic of Central London, Peter entered the industry as a film editor, but soon went on to produce and direct, first as an employee of SABC TV and thereafter through his own company, Southern Exposure.  

Awards include Vita Awards for Best Feature Best Screenwriting (for THE ROAD TO MECCA) a film also nominated for Best Direction. In 2016, my screenplay of THE LOVE SONGS OF NATHAN J SWIRKSY won the WGSA Muse Award for best unproduced fiction feature script. 
Peter is drawn to stories with a human rights theme. He has written, directed and produced more than 70 hours of prime time television for SABC TV and have written and directed a documentary and dramas for other African countries. His SABC work includes four seasons of a human rights legal drama series, JUSTICE FOR ALL, a sitcom and a drama miniseries on forced removals, RIEMVASMAAK,  that won SAFTA awards for Production, Directing and Scriptwriting.   

Training and mentoring have always been an adjunct to his work. He has run training courses for the SABC (studio direction) and the WGSA. He teaches screenwriting and television writing at AFDA Film School (Cape Town). 

He has been a judge for the SAFTAs and Muse Awards and was on a panel that selected the South African feature for the Oscars.  Along with Richard Nosworthy, he holds the legal portfolio of the WGSA. 

His company has recently provided the NFVF with an Advanced Course for Screenwriters & Script Editors.  

Peter says, "I know what it’s like to be a writer for hire: I’ve written and/or storylined for shows like SCANDAL, Z'BONDIWE, RING OF LIES and END GAME. Writing can be a lonely business."


Torchwood is a literary agency for film and television representing screenwriters, directors and producers worldwide. With roots in London and Dublin and offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town Torchwood offers their clients unparalleled access to the global screen industries. Managing Partners Aoife Lennon-Ritchie and David Kayser have a combined twenty years’ experience representing above-the-line talent negotiating and advocating on behalf of their list of emerging and established talent. Torchwood fiercely believes in the power of storytelling and the importance of empowering creatives to do what they do best by nurturing and protecting careers.

As well as working with her Torchwood film and television talent, Aoife runs the Lennon-Ritchie agency which represents authors internationally and sells film rights and international publishing rights on behalf of South African and overseas publishing houses including Penguin Random House South Africa, Pan Macmillan South Africa, Quivertree Publications South Africa and Duck Creek Press New Zealand. With an acute focus on under-represented voices and stories, Aoife is committed to motivating and advocating for the best possible deal for her clients.

David Kayser is a literary agent based in Johannesburg South Africa. He spent the best part of the last decade in London at Casarotto Ramsay & Associates Ltd, one of the world’s leading creative agencies, representing both emerging and internationally acclaimed writers, directors and Heads of Department across film, television & theatre. He launched Torchwood Literary & Scouting with partner Aoife Lennon-Ritchie in 2020 and together they have a growing list of writers/directors/producers and script editors across South Africa, the continent and beyond. David is proud to have nurtured and advised talent both in-house and at festivals and organisations such as London’s BFI Flare Festival, BFI S.O.U.L, BAFTA Guru, The Cape Town International Film Market & Festival, pan-African screenwriting residency the Realness Institute and the UK’s leading film schools including the NFTS. David studied at Rhodes University and The Oxford School of Drama, was mentored by industry stalwart Rachel Holroyd and has worked alongside multiple Academy nominated and BAFTA winning writers and directors.


Phathu Makwarela is an award-winniing South African producer, and content creator, a.k.a. a showrunner.

Originally his parents wished for him to pursue a career as an engineer and he completed a motor mechanics course and passed.

But fortunately for us, "he begged his uncle to assist him in persuading his parents to let him pursue a career in television."

He now co-owns Tshedza Pictures, with Gwydion Beynon. The company’s best work includes the creation of 1Magic’s telenovela, THE RIVER, the brainchild of the young creative writer, which won 11 Golden Horns at the 14th SAFTAs and received an International Emmy Award nomination.

Other Phathu Makwarela shows under Tshedza Pictures are:

  • LEGACY, a new M-Net telenovela that premiered in September 2020
  • THE REPUBLIC on Mzansi Magic
  • IGAZI GIYANI: LAND OF BLOOD, a Xitsonga series on SABC2
  • THE QUEEN on Mzansi Magic
  • GOMORA on Mzansi Magic

Remember to RSVP before noon, two days prior to the event.

Non-members: please make a payment to our bank account and upload the proof of payment on the RSVP form
WGSA Banking Details
FNB Business Account
Branch No: 250655  / Randparkridge
Account No: 62886952467
REFERENCE:  Please use "PDP / your name and surname"

The WGSA recognizes the dire impact of Covid-19 on our film, television and theatre industry and values all frontline health workers as well as those in our industry that continue to go to work to bring us news and entertainment.  For your COVID-19 Vaccine Registration go to:

Thursday, August 12, 2021

WGSA Indigenous Screenwriting Programme


The WGSA Presents:
Indigenous Screenwriters Programme

The Writers Guild of South Africa (WGSA) in collaboration with the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC) has developed an indigenous screenwriting programme for emerging screenwriters, which has been translated into all South African official languages.
The programme will cover the following main areas:
  • Screenwriting is a Job.
  • Script.
  • Story.
  • Structure.
The course is very practical and the intended outcome is that each participant will complete a short film script over the two and a half day course.
The course is FREE to WGSA members. If you are not yet a member, you can apply below by clicking on the JOIN US button. The WGSA is offering a special 50% discount on membership fees during August and September 2021!

Please, feel free to email your enquiries to:

Light refreshments will be provided for the half day, and refreshments and lunch for the 2 full day classes.

You need to book your place as soon as possible because only 10 seats per group is allowed as per COVID regulations, which will be strictly adhered to.

The WGSA recognizes the dire impact of Covid-19 on our film, television and theatre industry and values all frontline health workers as well as those in our industry that continue to go to work to bring us news and entertainment.  For your COVID-19 Vaccine Registration go to:

This week at SAGA!

JOIN us tomorrow as we discuss the methods around selling your acting as a business!

How can you expect to separate the actor from the work that they do?

We all know as actors that it is incredibly difficult to separate ourselves from the finances of our industry. After all, we ARE the product. This is where acting as a business comes in. We need to be able to find the balance between our passion and the remuneration that we get for it. This is challenging.
Our facilitators, Sibulele Gcilitshana and Francis Chouler will share with you the secrets that they have picked up over their careers to find the best way to create a profitable business as actors.

Most actors start out in this business because of an undeniable passion. BUT after a while, we need to learn how to maintain this passionate lifestyle with a secure financial foundation. This is after all how we fit into an economy.
BUT from contracts and agents to film, television, stage, and voice-over work, it becomes more challenging to keep up plugged into our business.
This is what we will explore in tomorrow’s workshop, how to set yourself up for business success in a personal career.
Date: FRIDAY 13th August 2021
Time: 16:00 to 18:00
Place: sign up with the zoom link HERE


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

#NFVFCelebratesHER this Women's Month

This Women’s Month is like no other at the NFVF.
Celebrating the amazing work that women do in the local film & video industry, the NFVF is hosting the Female Film Showcase; exhibiting the films that were born from the Female Filmmaker Project (also known as the Female Slate). 
The Showcase is an initiative to showcase the amazing films created by young women from disadvantaged backgrounds, who worked collaboratively with experienced female film producer, Tshego Khanyile of Zinc Pictures.

All the films are funded by the NFVF. 11 films will be shown over 4 days on the NFVF YouTube Page.
Films will be available
23 August – 26 August 2021
LIVE Q&A Session with filmmakers
27 August 2021 
14:00 – 16:00
on our YOUTUBE page

A big THANK YOU goes to the team at Zinc Pictures for ensuring the successful execution of the project. 
Grab your popcorn and your drink, and enjoy great local content in the comfort of your own home.
Be inspired by films created by young South African talent. 

Join the conversation on social media & celebrate the amazing women you love in the industry.

For more information, contact Lerato Mokopanele Lerato Mokopanele, Marketing Officer


Mmapula Ngwako, a 35 years old conformist widow still in mourning. Mmapula and DD’s aspiration for their only son Neo is for him to get the best education, and ultimately a better life. They therefore register him in one of the private schools. The big plan gets tested when MamaDDD’s mother imposes her cultural rules that come with culturally mourning one’s husband on Mmapula. She seizes control of Mmapula’s life, plans and belongings.

Nothing Imaan does is good enough for her mother in law. Imman and her husband, Rashid are continually pressured by Suraya to have a child. Rashid reminds his mother that children were never in the couples’ plan. Imaan hides her longing for her baby. Suraya notices this and uses it to force the young couple into parenthood, she manipulates Imaan and fakes a heart attack. Meanwhile, Rashid hides a dark secret of infertility.

Luthando is a 17-year-old girl who struggles with connecting with her autocratic father, who has changed her life her completely, taking her away from everyday life and imprisoning her inside the house she once considered a home but sees as prison now. Luthando blames him for the death of her mother through suicide. When Luthando starts having schizophrenic episodes, she decides on hiding them from her father, out of fear that she’ll end up just like her mother...depressed and dead. 

Moshidi’s life that seems picture-perfect is disrupted by the unexpected return of her secret child Masello who has been in prison for accidentally killing her mother’s lover; the man who impregnated her and the child Tshidi is now living with the mother. Masello wants her child back and Moshidi is trying to keep Masello away from her child and keep this secret from her fiancĂ© Phineas so that he can marry her. Masello arrives at Moshidi’s door after she was released on parole and demands her child. 

Imran Khan (23) is from a middle-class Muslim family in Mahikeng; NW. He lost his mother when he was only 14 and his brother when he was 18. His father forced him to do a degree in Business Management and he just completed his studies recently. Abdul owns a fairly small appliance store in town and he wants his son to take over the family business because he wants to retire early due to ill-health (heart disease). Imran’s heart is not in business but fashion designing. 

Pending a move overseas with the woman who raised her and her mother’s ex employer, Lisa, Busi’s visa gets denied and she is forced to move back to Alexander Township to live with her domestic worker mother, Pretty. Busi who is accustomed to a westernised and privileged life with Lisa, has a hard time accepting her changed circumstances and the implications that these have on her self-conception. 

Puleng invites Mmuso into the house for a cup of tea before he goes to work. As Mmuso and Lebo go into the home, Lebo appears down the corridor, holding the baby’s clothes and commenting on how the baby has grown. Puleng and Mmuso share a look and Puleng goes to make Mmuso tea. When Puleng returns, Lebo suddenly says that she can hear the baby cry, but there is no baby crying.

Dikeledi, a young woman who finds purpose and happiness as a cuddle partner to the lonely and misunderstood, lies about her career to her father to keep him “happy”. When he discovers the truth about her profession he gives her an ultimatum to either quit this “disgraceful” vocation, which has given her more happiness and purpose than she has ever known, or leave her father’s house and risk the end of their relationship.
Lusaka Solomon’s world is disrupted by the school’s principle informing her about, rape allegation brought against her teenage son, Sipho. Lusaka confronts Sipho, who vehemently denies the allegations, after seeing the fear in her son’s eyes, she chooses to believe him. Adding to her load Tsietsi after finding out about the allegations makes it clear there is no way, he is willing to lose the tender after all the work, time and money they’ve put into making the business a success.
In the small-town summer of 2002, twelve-year- old Nina wakes to the sound of daily domestic arguments, the surprise visit of her first period and the unnerving thud heard from the army base at noon each day. Nina fleetingly finds an antidote to her growing sense of abandonment through her companionship with her trusty goldfish, Lucy, and her rapport with the newcomer in the neighbourhood; Andrea. Nina befriends 10yr-old Andrea and decides to take her under her wing. Though Nina tries to safeguard Andrea from her unstable father, she soon discovers that perhaps she filled her childhood summer with a task that’s too great to handle.

uXolile is a township story about a begrudging daughter, an upcoming actress who has come to help her sick dying mother. With the fear of her past coming out to public with her new role, she would have to confront issues from the past buried deep in order to save her mother from addiction and herself.