Prominent writers, media practitioners and the who's who of the South African film and television industry gathered at the Market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg on 11 February for the 4th edition of SA's premier scriptwriting competition, the WGSA Muse Awards.
Initiated by the Writers' Guild of South Africa in 2013, the WGSA Muse Awards recognise and celebrate the crucial role that performance writers in film, television, radio, stage and new media play in the country's entertainment industry.
This year, the Muse Awards boasted a record 11 award categories, including an award for Best Gauteng Writer, which was sponsored by the Gauteng Film Commission.
A record number of entries was received, including, for the first time, entries in Setswana and Sepedi.
The winners in the various categories were:
- Animation script - Paul Ian Johnson and Wayne Thornley for Savannah
- Documentary script - Uga Carlini for Alison
- TV Comedy / Sitcom script - Both Worlds Team (Karen Jeynes, Nkuli Sibeko, Chris McEvoy and Thierry Cassuto) for Puppet Nation Episode 133
- Produced TV Drama Script - Salah Sabiti for Ya Lla Season 1 Episode 10
- TV Drama Spec Script - Paul Ian Johnson for From The Files of S.I.U.
- TV Soaps / Telenovella Script - Steven Pillemer for Gold Diggers Season 1 Episode 155
- Stage Play Script - Callum Tilbury and Roland Perold for The Pitch
- Radio Drama Script - Paul Ian Johnson for Vigilante
- Short Film Script - Gavin Sher for Beast
- Feature Film Spec Script - Lesiba Thitshere Maphoso for Mr President (script in Sepedi)
- GFC's Top Gauteng Writer - Salah Sabiti for Ya Lla Season 1 Episode 10
Themed "Writers Uprising", the awards ceremony was hosted by popular actress, radio host and producer Dineo Lusenga, who emphasized the importance of performance writers standing up and fighting for their rights.
Gifted poet and singer Jessica Mbangeni provided the entertainment for the evening. For the first time, the ceremony also featured spoken word performances by Xabiso Vili, Ross Henshall and Sivan Raphaely.
A special service award was presented to Peter Michael Goldsmid, former WGSA Vice-chair: Legal Services, in acknowledgement of his outstanding service to the WGSA.
The WGSA Muse Awards ceremony was made possible by Gold Sponsor M-NET and Awards Sponsor the Gauteng Film Commission, along with the following other sponsors: KZN Film Commission, Veronica Stewart, Plum Media, University of Johannesburg and Passion Seed Communications. TicketStroom was the media partner for the event.
Source: staff reporter