The three finalists in the SA’s Next Top Filmmaker 2012 competition – Nompumelelo Tshabalala, Mondli Magenuka and Tebogo Kgakoa – are currently in the process of refining their concepts and will each shoot a mini television show between 15 August and 15 September.
Post-production is scheduled to conclude at the end of September, followed by an event where the three mini shows will be screened.
The winner of SA’s Next Top Filmmaker 2012 will be announced in Johannesburg on 13 October (venue to be confirmed).
During this final phase of the competition the finalists are being mentored by production companies: Magenuka is placed with Endemol South Africa, Tshabalala is working with Ochre Moving Pictures and Kgakoa is at Quizzical Pictures (formerly Curious Pictures).
On 7 July the three young filmmakers were selected out of 15 semi-finalists to go into this final round of the competition.
Says General Post’s Kirsty Galliard, originator of the competition: “Enthusiasm is the first thing that comes to mind when you meet Nompumelelo Tshabalala – a quality she demonstrated when she arrived almost an hour early for our first meeting with the three finalists. Mpumi, as she prefers to be known, initially studied acting but soon realised that her talent and passion is more behind the camera than in front of it.
“She won the judges over with her creativity and organisational skills. Mpumi aspires to become a writer / director and sees SA’s Next Top Filmmaker as the perfect opportunity to learn her craft under the mentorship of some of the country’s top professionals.’
Mondli Magenuka got his first taste of the television industry at age 16 when his script Two Boys, Two Worlds won the Eastern Cape leg of Lights, Camera Action, an SABC writing competition. As part of his prize he was paired with an experienced writer and given the opportunity to shoot his story in Johannesburg.
“This small taste of writing for television convinced Mondli that television was where his future lay. He enrolled at AFDA to study writing and producing and graduated in 2011,’ explains Galliard.
She describes Tebogo Kgakoa as having an intensity about him that is hard to miss. “He is incredibly intelligent with an unmissable creative streak. Tebogo impressed the judges with the quality of his presentation and the amount of consideration he put into responding to the first round of feedback he received from the panel.
“He entered the competition because he feels the format is the most conducive to getting ahead in the industry. The SA’s Next Top Filmmaker process allows entrants to submit an idea, pitch it to a panel of industry experts and provides the finalists with the resources and mentorship to shoot their script. Tebogo’s ultimate ambition is to write and direct.’
Judges for the competition are Mariki Van der Walt and JP Potgieter from Quizzical Pictures, Anton Burggraaf from Ochre Moving Pictures and Tracy-Ann Van Rooyen and Bev Ditsie from Endemol South Africa.
SA’s Next Top Filmmaker is presented by General Post, Quizzical Pictures, Ochre Moving Pictures and Endemol South Africa and sponsored by iKhaya, Digitalfilm, The Bladeworks and Finetune Audio.
Screen Africa magazine – August 2012