The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is offering free part-time training to writers wanting to become screenwriters and develop their feature film concepts. The closing date for applications is 23 January 2013.


This programme, pitched at master's level, is aimed at writers and script editors or development executives who have foundational experience and knowledge of the principles of moving-image storytelling.

Candidates must be able to demonstrate an understanding of the balance between craft, creativity, marketability and originality that indicates they are ready to work with development professionals at a high level of ability and deliver a cinematic third-draft script and selling document that will lead to interest for further development and potential production.

Shortlisted candidates will first be required to attend a five-day concept development lab scheduled for early 2013. This workshop will help those shortlisted to build stronger pitches and increase their chances of being chosen to take part in the Sediba Masters Screenwriter's Training Programme.

Those finally selected for this intensive programme will be required to team up with a trainee script editor to develop engaging concepts with wide audience appeal. The programme is part time and runs for 12 months, with one workshop every month, held over weekends.

Workshops will be held in Johannesburg. Travel and accommodation for those based outside Gauteng will be arranged and paid for by the NFVF.

To qualify for selection, candidates must be South African citizens or have permanent residency or have refugee status, and be over 21 years of age.

They must also have either:

•been commissioned to write scripts for TV dramas or have produced or directed a TV drama series;

•written, produced or directed an award-winning short film

•had a feature film previously produced that was not theatrically successful; or

•completed the Sediba Spar' programme or another recognised screenwriting programme

Candidates and their projects must also:

•have an original voice;

•be clear on their presumed audience, whether for the art house or mainstream;

•pass the cultural test for South African films, or offer attractive options for co-production with one of South Africa's co-production treaty countries;

•demonstrate that they are used to exercising personal responsibility and taking initiative when circumstances require;

•have good communication and organisation skills;

•have a good degree of self-confidence while being able to take criticism constructively;

•enjoy engaging in collaborative relationships; and

•be available to attend the five-day concept-development workshop. Dates will be announced in due course.

How to apply for the programme

Note: Only emailed applications will be accepted. Faxed applications will not be accepted.

1.A completed application form

2.A detailed curriculum vitae

3.A one page outline (pitch document) of your film. You may submit up to three original concepts. Please use the template supplied on the website

To download the application form, visit

To view one page outline with guiding notes on screenwriting, visit

To view the background information on the Sediba Masters Programme, visit

Applications should be submitted to Pretty Mthiyane via email on For more information contact Khulekani Shandu, NFVF Communications & Public Affairs Coordinator, on 011 483 0880 or 073 765 5673, or email