SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: Nompumelelo (“Mpumi’) Tshabalala is the winner of the SA’s Next Top Filmmaker 2012 competition, for her reality show pilot, Look At Me Now! Tshabalala was mentored by Anton Burggraaf of Ochre Moving Pictures.
Look At Me Now! is a humorous format in which a camp “Fashion Police Officer’ trawls the streets looking for individuals guilty of fashion crimes.
Tshabalala has won a year’s internship with Quizzical Pictures. She beat out Mondli Magenuka (mentored by Tracy-Ann Van Rooyen of Endemol SA) and Tebogo Kgakoa (mentored by JP Potgieter of Quizzical Pictures). Their two reality pilots are titled Dinner with the Kids and Above All L’s respectively.
In Dinner with the Kids two celebrities cook a special dinner for kids in a children’s home, while Above All L’s is a search for the worst drivers in Gauteng.
The SA’s Next Top Filmmaker result was announced by Kirsty Galliard of General Post at a function held at Keystone Productions in Johannesburg on 11 October.
Galliard initiated the competition three years ago. She said: “This competition is my pet project and this year I was fortunate enough to persuade three of the top production companies in South Africa to partner in the initiative – Quizzical Pictures, Ochre Moving Pictures and Endemol SA.
“I always get loads of calls from youngsters wanting to get jobs in the industry. So I started begging my clients to take interns and in 2010 initiated the SA’s Next Top Editor competition. Last year we changed the competition to SA’s Next Top Filmmaker. I approached Quizzical Pictures as they already had an internship programme and are regularly flooded with CVs.
“It took a huge effort to run the 2011 competition so producer Kevin Fleischer kindly offered to help this year by attaching Endemol SA and Ochre Moving Pictures.’
Galliard explained that the criteria for the competition stipulate that entrants are only eligible if they have less than three years of experience in the industry.
“This year the theme for the competition was reality as our three partner companies produce lots of reality programming,’ continued Galliard. “We created a basic template for the competition and Tracy-Ann Van Rooyen and myself sifted through all the entries and shortlisted 15 semi-finalists. It was amazing to see how much talent and innovation is out there.’
Three finalists were selected and sent off to develop their pilots with their mentors.
Galliard thanked all the companies and individuals who donated their time and skills for the competition. “Three of South Africa’s top editors offered to edit the finalist’s shows and the final mix was at Fine Tune. The finalists got to grade their shows on a Baselight at Pudding / Blade which was a fantastic experience for them. And a big thank you to our partner companies for putting up with my incessant nagging and endless phone calls. I have to admit that there were moments when I thought the shows wouldn’t happen.’
The finalists’ shows were judged by an independent panel comprised of M-Net’s Erika Klopper, reality producer Bev Ditsie and film and TV producer Desiree Markgraaff.
Report by Joanna Sterkowicz