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Kevin Spacey opens doors of opportunities to SA upcoming scriptwriters

 Kevin Spacey opens doors of opportunities to SA upcoming scriptwriters

Winners from South Africa, USA & Russia of Jameson First Shot will receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to direct Willem Dafoe, work with Kevin Spacey as their Creative Director and his award winning production company – Last year’s winner from South Africa gives a little insight into what scriptwriters can expect… (Johannesburg, South Africa – November 2012) – After a month talent search and call for submissions leg, the Jameson First Shot initiative is still inviting potential scriptwriters to enter this life changing competition. Spacey opened doors on this competition during October in order to encourage entrants to actually take advantage of opportunities presented. For one creative scriptwriter from South Africa, Jameson is offering a grand price of getting Willem Dafoe to be part of your short story cast and working with Kevin Spacey as their Creative Director. Apart from working with these two Hollywood greats, the winner from South Africa will also get to work with Spacey’s protégé , producer and movie maker Dana Brunetti through their company – TriggerStreet productions. South Africa has been chosen as one of only three countries to compete against giants like United States of America as well as Russia. This remarkable opportunity has only been realised by one other South African. Last year’s winner of Jameson First Shot was 26 year old Alan Shelley from Cape Town. When asked about what made him enter the competition Shelley remarked, “Many factors lead me to the competition, but the main one being the prize. I’ve never seen a film competition with such an epic prize. For me this is a low risk competition.

Many film competitions encourage you to make a movie and then you may possibly win a prize. But films cost money and if you don’t win you’ve just wasted money. This competition just requires a script. Scripts are cheap to produce. And then somebody else fronts the cost of the film. I thought that set it apart from many competitions I had seen before.” For Shelley the overall experience from the competition was inspiring, “The experience was incredible,” he remarked. “I had this clichéd view of Hollywood before I went. I thought that people there would be soulless entertainment types. People often say that it’s a movie factory, and I’m sure Hollywood is filled with those people still but my experience was the complete opposite. Everyone I worked with was warm, genuine and loved movies. I was continuously surprised at how much people wanted to make my movie as good as possible. I’m still in contact with people I worked with on Spirit of a Denture.” Africa is a film capital in its own might with industries blooming like the Nollywood in Nigeria. South Africa has produced prominent actors like Arnold Vosloo of The Mummy frenzy as well as Charlize Theron and Sharlto Copley. This competition is a chance to prove that not only are we vested with mineral resources, but we can also make it in this competition, what is encouraged from the public is massive entries. “One winner from each country will then enjoy a prize like no other as they fly to LA to shoot their script and direct Willem Dafoe and work with Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti,” comments Clair van der Mescht Communications Manager for Jameson South Africa. For Shelley the inclusion of Willem Dafoe to the project is an exciting opportunity. “Willem Dafoe, is a great actor so it’s a great privilege for filmmakers to make a film with him. He has a very strong presence and a unique look. He is very different from Kevin Spacey so people shouldn’t rehash old scripts from last year. They should write something very specific for him,” remarked Shelley. “This competition is very important for the film industry in South Africa. Anything that promotes our country in a positive light throughout the world is a good thing. I think it also narrows the gap between Hollywood and SA.” And it seems that the South African scripts are in high demand by Spacey and his production team, “I was told by the guys in LA that the standard of South African scripts was outstanding,” commented Shelley. “I know that I won by a very narrow margin. If a competition like this encourages people to write quality scripts then it has to be a good thing.” Entrants can dig for more information and submit their script of maximum seven pages in length onto <> by 1 January 2013. Inspired by the theme of a legendary, humorous or very tall tale, the shortlist will be judged by an expert team including Kevin Spacey, Willem Dafoe and Dana Brunetti, President of Trigger Street Productions (‘The Social Network and ‘21’). The nominees will then go through to the next round, where they will show their directing skills by shooting a scene supplied by Trigger Street. “This truly is an exciting competition, we want to open it up and give emerging talent the opportunity to be mentored by some of Hollywood’s biggest names,” remarks van der Mescht. When asked about the initiative Kevin Spacey commented, “In the first year of the competition we found three outstanding filmmakers and as a result we made three incredible films. Everyone’s expectations are extremely high for the second year so the entrants for 2013 have a lot to live up to and, if it’s possible, they have even more pressure on them to write a great story and direct an amazing film. We know the prize we’re offering is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; now we need to find the talent who are worthy winners. Willem is going to be a fantastic addition to the First Shot team and I can’t wait to see what people write for him – I hope entrants come up with something completely unexpected.”

For full details on how to enter plus exclusive videos and tips from Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti, visit



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