Aspiring filmmakers have until 22 June 2012 to enter the South Africa’s Next Top Filmmaker competition, now in its third year, a project that gives new talent the chance to break into TV broadcasting production, with the winner earning a paid one-year internship.

Sponsored by three South African TV production companies – Curious Pictures (Rhythm City, The Lab, Intersexions, Hopeville), Endemol (Isidingo, Survivor: Maldives, Big Brother Africa Six) and Ochre Media (Scandal, Takalani Sesame, Relate) – the competition gives young filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their skills to the wider TV community, experience the reality of creating a broadcast-standard production under the mentorship of industry experts, and compete for the chance to win the internship at one of South Africa’s top production houses.

The competition is held in conjunction with General Post, an agency that supplies clients with staff for digital media and post-production projects.

General Post's MD, Kirsty Galliard, said the competition has been growing each year. "You will never be rich as a filmmaker in this country, but if you're passionate about the industry and you enter and win such a competition, you're definitely made."

Important dates

Interested people are advised to attend a workshop on Saturday 26 May 2012 at Afda in Johannesburg from 08h30 to 15h30. The workshop is highly recommended but not compulsory. No film or broadcast experience is needed, but it is essential to RSVP to Attendance is limited to the first 100 entrants who RSVP.

Once all the entries have been received, the panel will whittle them down to about 15 entries. Budding filmmakers will be expected to pitch their script ideas on 2 July 2012. Following that, the judges will again cut down the list to three finalists, to be announced on 7 July 2012. The finalists will then be expected to produce their films, with the mentoring of the production companies.

The competition will culminate in a gala event on 11 October 2012 at which the finalists' films will be screened and a winner announced. The winner will receive a paid one-year internship at one of the partnering production companies.

To apply, visit the General Post website. The closing date for applications is 22 June 2012.

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