Twelve young South Africans have been selected to participate in a continental first Scriptwriting Incubator to find the next generation of storytellers.
Starting in February, the full-time MultiChoice Talent Factory South Africa (MTFza) Scriptwriting Incubator will host the 12 interns who will be mentored by Tshedza Pictures’ Phathutshedzo Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon, the International Emmy-Nominated producers of The River, Giyani: Land of Blood, TheRepublic and Legacy, and the head writers of Gomora, the Queen, Igazi and many other of South Africa’s favourite television shows.
The SETA-accredited learnership will include structured learning with the Wits University Film & Television Department and practical workplace experience over the course of 12 months, blending virtual and physical sessions.
The 12 talented young writers who make up the inaugural class of 2021 are: Florence Rapeu, Khanyani Luhlongwane, Lesedi Phaahla, Lia Mokesi, Melody Ngomane, Nokuphila Dlamini, Nompumelelo Gumede, Pitsi Mohaya, Rebaone Lobelo, Thato Sekhoto, Tshegofatso Nwkane and Thembakuye Madlala.
They were selected after a two-stage application process which was reviewed by a panel of industry professionals. The first phase saw applicants submitting samples of their own writing, and the second had applicants writing a test script containing two scenes of dialogue, based on a treatment for an episode of The River.
The MTFza Scriptwriting Incubator interns will be developed by being integrated into the writing rooms of some of the country’s hottest dramas and telenovelas and delving into the theoretical components of scriptwriting with Wits University. They will ultimately develop a script for at least one series pilot episode and have the chance to pitch an idea for a first episode to M-Net and Mzansi Magic.
“We’re rooted in the countries and communities in which we operate and committed to building skills various fields, but particularly in the television and film industry. The MTFza Scriptwriting Incubator aims to unearth the next generation of fiercely creative, committed storytellers, and is the next step in entrenching our role as Africa’s Most-Loved Storyteller and helping us take more African stories to the world. We are piloting the programme in South Africa this year, before expanding it into our other three MTF Academies soon”. – Joe Heshu, MultiChoice Group Executive for Corporate Affairs.
The participants in the MTFza Scriptwriting Incubator will:
- Receive a laptop computer to assist in their writing, with a modem and uncapped data plan to assist with virtual learning;
- Receive a monthly stipend to ensure that all participants will have the time and freedom to fully commit to the Incubator over the period of one year;
- Receive a subscription to Showmax to facilitate learning.
- Receive instruction from Wits University lecturers on television writing theory and practical application in simulated “writing room” workshops.
- Join the weekly writing workshops of multiple MultiChoice telenovelas and dramas
- Spend time on the sets of MultiChoice telenovelas (COVID-19 protocol- permitting);
- Be mentored by experienced industry professionals.
- Learn to prepare their own pitch-ready proposals for TV dramas with guidance from Wits University’s Film & TV Department and
- Have the opportunity to pitch those dramas to MultiChoice.
The MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) is an Africa-wide, multi-tiered educational and experiential learning programme designed to provide the African creative industry with a platform to learn, develop their talent, engage and connect with each other through their shared passions.
There are four MTF academies, based in Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and South Africa, which have trained 132 students over the last five years.