From a Scrawl to the screen

Matthew Krouse

Scrawl ‘99 is South Africa’s answer to the kind of screenwriter’s education run by the Performing Arts Laboratory (PAL) in Britain, and the Sundance Institute in the United States. Its second annual 10-day workshop begins on March 5, again at the Monkey Valley resort outside Cape Town.

In its first year of existence the Scrawl organisers were able to set up special relations with some of the film world’s most credible learning and development incentives. These have included the Rotterdam Cinemart, and the Netherlands Hubert Bals Fund that has offered selected Scrawl scripts development funding.

The Sundance Institute has assisted Scrawl in selecting its tutors, and PAL has invited Scrawl participants to submit scripts for its laboratories in Kent.

This year’s selection includes 12 complete scripts by the following new screenwriters: Nancy Duiguid, Madeleine Sheahan and Peter Day, David Dunn, Zanenkosi Motha, Rodney Ballenden, Khalo Matabane and Thumi Mahabane, Teboho Mahlatsi, Cheryl Johnson, Tertius Meintjies, Andrew Jones and William Makgoba, Lindy Wilson and Peter Morris.

Subjects range from Nancy Duiguid’s A Sense of Belonging, based on the life of Bessie Head, to Rodney Ballenden’s Live about the notorious Foster gang to Khalo Matabane’s Shadows, concerning an exiled freedom fighter.

Dramatised script readings and film viewings accompany group discussions.
This year’s proceedings will again be led by Colin Vaines, head of the Film Consortium in Britain.

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