WGSA Council 2019/2020

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Theoline Maphutha – Chairperson

Advocacy, Lobbying, Governance, Rates & Contracts

Advocacy, Lobbying, Governance, Rates & Contracts

Theoline Maphutha is a Johannesburg-based screenwriter with 10 years’ experience in the South African film and television industry. This is her second term as Chair after helming the organisation in 2015/2016.

Her incessant passion for training and development led to the creation of the WGSA’s inaugural market readiness workshops in 2014, the introduction to screenwriting course (piloted in Soweto) in 2015, and the streamlining of the guild’s collections agency the same year, “so that writers can have access to their long-overdue repeat fees”.

Theoline has been campaigning for the formation of a Federation of African Guilds since 2015, and her efforts then set in motion the creation of several African guilds, the WGSA application to become a member of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG), (full membership status was awarded in 2016) and she is now part of the organising committee for the inaugural Federation of African Screenwriters (FAS) Conference set to take place in Johannesburg early in 2020.

She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles.

Ben Johnson – Vice Chair

Professional Development – KZN

Ben Johnson Jr. is an author, screenwriter, script editor and content creator who currently resides in KZN. He is passionate about telling authentic, emotionally compelling, universally appealing, African stories.

He has worked as a storyliner and scriptwriter on a number of  South African television series, including Golddiggers, Sewende Laan, Keeping Score and most recently, Imbewu the Seed. He has also worked on a film-to-series adaptation for Ebony Life TV of Nigeria and led series developments for VOD platforms and novel-to-screen adaptations.

To date, he has written 9 feature films and 7 short films.

Vicki Bawcombe – Vice Chair

Professional Development – WC & NC

An avid scriptwriter and story facilitator living in Cape Town, Vicky currently lectures screenwriting at CityVarsity Cape Town in the BA Film department. She also writes feature film screenplays and corporate scripts. “Scriptwitch” is a coverage and script doctoring service she’s been running for 7 years.

She started her professional life as an actor, and then gradually moved into writing, starting with educational and industrial theatre and then youth TV. By 1995 she had started writing sitcoms such as Suburban Bliss, Going Up, SOS, Chandies and Stokvel. Her TV other TV writing includes Sokhulu & Partners 3 and Isikizi 1 & 2 – for which she was a finalist in the Muse Awards in 2016.

She has been a member of WGSA since its inception and is also a full member of SAGA. Vicky believes that there are powerful synergies between our two guilds.

Ayanda Halimana – Vice Chair

Professional Development – GP, NW, MP & LP

Ayanda currently works as a Head Writer / Script Editor / Workshop Facilitator / Script Writer for Dramas and Feature Films. She also mentors & trains for KZNFC FITI Program and the NFVF Spark initiative.

After training as a script editor through Sediba, she worked in the SABC Content Hub Drama department from 2006 to 2013, where she started as an Intern and finished as Acting Head of Genre.

In 2013 she moved to M-Net where she took up a position as Commissioning Editor, later working as a Story Development Consultant on Telenovelas.

She was Creative Producer in the Female Filmmaker slate – 2016 & 2019.

Eubulus Timothy – Treasurer

Finance, Capacity Building & Fund Raising

Eubulus served as Vice Chair on the 2018/2019 Council. He is an award-winning writer, director and producer of both film and television.

He has a Diploma in Directing and a Diploma in Cinematography from the Los Angeles City College Film School, where he also studied the History of Narrative Film. He won the prestigious Harley-Merrill Screenwriting Award in Hollywood.

Eubulus has produced and directed major events for South African Embassies and Commissions around the world including the 10 Years of Democracy in Singapore and Tsotsi Pre-Oscar Party at The Beverley Hilton in Beverly Hills.

He was the founding chairperson of both the Cape Film Commission and the Durban Filmmakers Guild. He also started a Performance School in Cape Town – past students include South African Idol winner Heinz Winckler and actress Kim Engelbrecht.

He produced Cape Night Live, which introduced Mark Lottering to South African television audiences and has directed numerous short films, as well as the feature films Othello and Deep End.

Adelle Yvette Gascoyne

Professional Development – EC

Based in the Eastern Cape, Adelle is a published poet, playwright and singer/songwriter. She also teaches and mentors students from South Africa, Panama, the USA, Uganda, Kenya, India and Pakistan in discipleship, leadership and governance, conflict resolution, peace-building and writing.

She has published 7 paperbacks, 30+ ebooks, written and produced a Gospel CD, mental health play and a children’s story CD.

Adelle has founded various nonprofit organisations to address community needs, most notably:

  • The Help Our People Excel Foundation (H.O.P.E. Foundation, 026-153 NPO), where she serves as Director, and
  • The Hephzibah Private University, where she serves as Rector and lecturer.

She received an Honorary Professorship in Theology and Social Sciences from Elohim Theological College and Seminary (Ghana/USA) and a Full Professorship in Theology and Social Sciences from Hephzibah Private University in 2019 for her work in Social Sciences (Conflict Studies, Emotion) and Systematic Theology (Christian Demonology and Practical Christianity.

She is currently working on a number of screenplays for movies and TV and is striving to see SA performance writers blossom internationally.

Peter Goldsmid

Legal Services

After obtaining degrees in Politics from Wits and Oxford and a B.A. (Photographic Arts) from the Polytechnic of Central London, Peter entered the industry as a film editor, but soon went on to produce and direct, first as an employee of SABC TV and thereafter for his own company, Southern Exposure.

He has written, directed and produced more than 70 hours of prime time television for SABC TV as well as having written and directed a documentary and numerous dramas for other African countries. His SABC work includes four seasons of a human rights legal drama series, “Justice for All”, a sitcom and a drama miniseries on forced removals, “Riemvasmaak”,  that won SAFTA awards for Production, Directing and Scriptwriting. 

Other awards include a Vita Award for Best Feature Best Screenwriting (for “The Road to Mecca”) a film also nominated for Best Direction. In 2016, his screenplay of “The love songs of Nathan J Swirksy” won the WGSA Muse Award for best-unproduced fiction feature script.

Peter has written and/or storylined for shows like “Scandal”, “Z’bondiwe”, “Ring of Lies” and “End Game”.

Peter currently also teaches screenwriting and television writing at AFDA Film School in Cape Town. Training and mentoring have always been an adjunct to his work and he has run training courses for both the SABC and the WGSA.

This is not Peters’ first term on Council.

Tracey-Lee Rainers

Strategic Relations – International

Tracey-Lee works primarily as a story consultant and screenwriter developing fiction and nonfiction projects for both a local and global audience.  She has also, over the last 15 years, contributed to both local and international projects as either producer, director or writer.

Tracey-Lees’ credits include the SAFTA award-winning reality show Sho’t Left, the SAFTA nominated crime drama series Mshika Mshika and a slate of Channel 4’s shorts. She also produced and co-directed the feature-length (Brazilian-South African) documentary ‘Democracy X’ as well as the award-winning 48 hr short film, ‘Clock Out’

She has mentored at the Durban International Film Festival Talent Campus, where she collaborated on the award-winning Wrong Turn and The HangMan, which was shortlisted as an Oscar Short contender in 2018.  She has also trained emerging filmmakers for the KZN Film Commission and the National Film and Video Foundation.

Tracey-Lee has served as an adjudicator for both the South African Film and Television Awards and the Writers’ Guild MUSE Awards. 

Thandi Sebe

Social Media & Newsletter

Since completing her studies, South African/German artist Thandi Sebe has been working in Berlin theatres as an actress, author and director. As an actress, she has been in front of the camera since 2016, both in Germany and South Africa. 

Her stage productions “Jung, giftig und Schwarz” as well as “Call me Queen” have had successful runs at the renowned Berlin theatre Ballhaus Naunystrasse.   In 2014 she wrote the stage play “Mostly Waiting” and produced a documentary work to accompany it, funded by the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation South Africa. In August 2016 she translated Ismail Khalidi’s play “Tennis in Nablus” from English into German. This was performed at Ballhaus Naunynstraße as part of the festival After The Last Sky.

She was invited as an artist stipend by the Goethe Institut for the International Forum 2018 in Berlin.

Thandi had the honour of being invited to accompany German president Steinmeier on his trip through Southern Africa as part of his cultural delegation in 2018.

Currently, she is writing a screenplay set in both South Africa and Germany for Equality Films, funded by the BKM

Mark Engels

Website, Marketing & Branding

Mark is a committed filmmaker, writer, director, and producer, who cut his teeth developing concept for music video productions of high-profile artists, by translating their songs’ lyrics and emotions into narrative story and visual dramas.

Mark owns Blast Films, an internationally recognised film production company facilitating advertising, music, television and feature film projects. They also develop South African film and television script content for international distribution.

His credits as a screenwriter include Wasteland/ Masinga “The Calling”, After Midnight and the TV Series Kingdom Of Heaven.

Rene van Rooyen

Website, Marketing & Branding

Rene is a director, screenwriter and co-owner of RED LETTER DAY PICTURES. She graduated with distinction, in BA Media, directing and screenwriting from AFDA.

With over 10 years experience, she’s delivered more than 120 hours of content within both narrative and documentary genres for broadcasters KykNET, SABC, BBC, National Geographic and MNET (DSTV). Her slate includes co-writer on the 5 part mini Series “Isipantsula” (2012). Director for the 13 part South African TV drama “Getroud met Rugby” (2015, Deon Opperman Productions), writing and directing “Mooirivier” as well as episodic director on the political thriller “Fluiters” (2016, Deon Opperman Productions.)

She has co-written and produced two feature films. “Vaselinetjie” which received numerous accolades including the Best Picture at KykNET Silwerskerm festival and Best Humanitarian Film at Sedona International Film festival. “Toorbos” will be released in 2020, and was selected from over 60 African projects to take part in the CTIFM&F Work in Progress program in 2018, where she won the award.

Her short film “Nantes” screened at dozens of festivals including, NIFF (Naoussa International ff), DIFF, SHNIT and won the South African Silwerskerm festival for best picture and director. Another of her short films “Pathology” was selected by South Africa’s NFVF female filmmaker program and premiered at DIFF.

Together with Corne van Rooyen, she is the creator, writer and director, of the KykNET 13 part series “Alles Malan”.

Anna-Marie Janse van Vuuren

Strategic Relations – Local

Dr Anna-Marie Jansen van Vuuren is a post-doctorate research fellow at the University of Johannesburg’s Department of Journalism, Film and Television, under the mentorship of Professor Keyan Tomaselli. In 2015 she completed her practice-led Ph.D. in Creative Writing, Screenwriting and Film Studies at the University of Pretoria. Her current research focuses on the history of South African cinema and the role of representation, identity and ideology within media and film texts.

Her written work includes the feature films Wolf Wolf (2016), Babalas (2014), the children’s programmes Lappies Leeu and Thabang Thabong, as well as numerous radio and TV inserts and documentaries.

Anna-Marie is a film critic for Bioskoop.co. She has served as RSG’s Current Affairs (SABC Radio) special film correspondent since 2008. In the latter capacity, she won the ATKV-Mediaveertjie award in the category “best insert for a radio journal and current affairs show” in both 2016 and 2019.

Tshepo “Ty” Skosana

Membership

Tshepo (or Ty as he is fondly known), is a multiple award-winning writer who gained more than 10 years of experience working for some of the best productions companies in South Africa. He currently works for Multichoice as a Commissioning Editor, where he has commissioned TV shows such as Lockdown, The Herd and Isithembiso and the feature film “Knuckle City”.

Ty is presently writing a graphic novel called “Touched“, which recently won him the first Gauteng Film Commission award.

He is studying his Post Graduate degree in practical Management whilst continuing to commission for the Multi-Choice group.

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