SA’s Shelley flies off to work with Kevin Spacey


After being identified as the African winner for the Trigger Street Productions and Jameson First Shot Scriptwriting Competition, Alan Shelley, a 26 year old scriptwriter, director, editor and VFX supervisor from Cape Town, will be representing South Africa in Los Angeles in the competition.

Shelley leaves South Africa on 15 March in order to commence working with Hollywood star Kevin Spacey as part of the competition prize.

The First Shot Scriptwriting Competition is not Shelley’s first accolade. His first short film Harold and Nina won him a Bronze Loerie Award and his PSA (Public Service Announcement), Moses, which he directed while a City Varsity student, won him the M-Net Vuka! Award for Best Director.

Says Shelley: “I would firstly like to thank everyone at Trigger Street and Jameson. I feel honoured that my script and I were chosen – it is a great privilege. My first reaction to the news was shock and then denial. I couldn’t quite believe it. Competitions are for other people to win; not yourself. I can’t wait to see America and to meet Mr Spacey.”

Shelley and the respective winners from US and Russia beat around 700 entries from budding scriptwriters and directors across all three regions. His winning script, Spirit of a Denture, tells the humorous story of a workaholic doctor who gets a visit from a disruptive pirate.

As part of the competition’s big prize, the three winners will get an exclusive premiere attended by Spacey as the guest of honour.

Scriptwriters were required to submit original work that was seven pages in length which had to be creative and outstanding. The winners were contacted to submit extra work in order to demonstrate their creativity and directing skills. About 276 South African scripts were received in total.

Seth Pereira, brand manager for Jameson South Africa commented: “We at Jameson would like to congratulate Alan Shelley for a job well done and hope that he learns a lot from pioneers like Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti. There is no doubt that this will be Alan’s launch pad to furthering his career in the film industry not only here in South Africa, but hopefully abroad too. We look forward to showcasing his film at the premiere in Johannesburg and hosting him and Kevin Spacey as our distinguished guests.’

Spacey adds: “While we were impressed with the calibre of many of the entries, the three winners stood out. They listened to the advice we gave and as a result delivered some well-constructed, clever stories that grabbed our interest. It’s great to be able to discover this level of talent and we’re really excited to see what they will each bring to the shoot.’

Howard Southern, international marketing director, Jameson Irish Whiskey concludes: “We were delighted with the level of participation to the competition. To be able to give up-and-coming screenwriters and directors a shot at their big break, as well as giving them the chance to work with a Hollywood legend like Kevin Spacey is a fantastic opportunity. It serves to show Jameson’s commitment to film and our support for new talent in the industry. We are really looking forward to rolling out the “green carpet’ in Moscow, Johannesburg and New York for the premieres in the coming months.’

For more information on the competition please visit


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