Jameson First Shot 2017 to feature Dominic West


For the sixth year of Jameson First Shot, three undiscovered filmmakers will be provided with the opportunity to direct award-winning British actor and director Dominic West in a short film that they will write and direct.

The Jameson First Shot film competition is all about giving talented filmmakers the opportunity of a lifetime – a first step in an industry that can be notoriously difficult to break into. It’s a platform that celebrates talented individuals that have incredible stories to tell but who, as yet, haven’t had the opportunity to realise their ambition and potential.

At the heart of the Jameson brand is the motto Sine Metu, meaning “without fear’. It’s a motto that exists to encourage people to be open to new people and new experiences – to being themselves and taking the road less travelled. Jameson’s commitment to supporting aspiring filmmakers is rooted in this philosophy, as it believes in giving a chance to those that fearlessly pursue a dream, confront the unknown and share their personal stories with the world.

Dominic West is an actor who shares this belief, as it closely mirrors his own experiences. At the age of 13 Dominic had to conquer social fears when he moved from Sheffield to study at Eton. After Eton Dominic studied at Trinity College in Dublin and then the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before moving into professional acting. Before landing the role of Jimmy McNulty in HBO’s highly acclaimed series The Wire, Dominic appeared in a number of US films and TV shows that failed to deliver the creative satisfaction that he was looking for, as Dominic’s roles were frequently characterised by stereotyped rom-com roles and scripts that he struggled to be emotionally and creatively invested in.

Just when Dominic was about to turn his back on the US he heard about an audition for the role of a tough Baltimore cop – he put himself forward and recorded an audition at home despite never having practised the accent before. The rest is history, and Dominic is now part of one of TVs most critically revered shows. Dominic’s role as McNulty allowed him to push his boundaries and take a step into the unknown. Over time this role also enabled Dominic to express his vision for the show’s characters, showing fearless self-belief when he directed an episode in the final season – this was the first time that Dominic had sat is the director’s chair.

The Jameson First Shot film competition asks aspiring filmmakers to be equally brave, forthright and committed; to write about what matters to them, tell the stories that they want to tell and, ultimately, make the film they want to make.

In addition to directing a Hollywood great and having the support of a highly experienced film crew, the Jameson First Shot winners will also have the help of a world-class producer and access to the wider film community. Dana Brunetti, who has produced multiple award-winning movies for film and television, will sit alongside each the winners on set, providing them with support, guidance and input when needed to ensure that they make the most of this incredible opportunity.

For its sixth year, Jameson is expanding its catchment area to give more undiscovered talent the chance to enter their work. Entrants living in the following countries are all eligible: US, UK, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, Bulgaria, Australia and Israel.

The competition is open to entries on 3rd of April 2017 and the rules, including length and theme, can be found on the Jameson First Shot website.

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Chanelle Ellaya is the editor of Screen Africa. She completed her BA Journalism degree at the University of Johannesburg in 2011. While writing is her passion, she has a keen interest in the media in various capacities. Chanelle is an avid social media networker and a firm believer in the power of social and online networking. Between writing and tweeting, she finds time to feed her love for live music.


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