A dramatic motion picture* screenplay, which has an emphasis on the fictional account of a story. It may also be based on fact or adapted from a literary or other work. Stock footage, stills and other such non-fiction recordings may figure in no more than 25 percent of the screenplay’s running time.
*Motion Picture means any representation made by any means that results in a series of still pictures being viewed in rapid succession, thereby producing the perceptual optical effect of continuous motion. It includes but is not limited to film, television and all electronic versions of recording and playing back pictures.
There are two film categories in the WGSA Muse Awards:
1. A Feature Film Screenplay has a running time of more than 60 minutes. Recommended length, 80 to 125 pages.
1. A Short Film Screenplay has a running time of 40 minutes or less (including all the credits). Recommended length, under 30 pages.
There are four (4) television categories in the WGSA Muse Awards:
1.1. A Television Drama Screenplay is defined as a (non-comedic) motion picture screenplay which has been written specifically for the small screen, be it television, streaming, or any other viewing device. It may be based on fact, be fiction, or adapted from a literary or other work.
1.2. Television Short Form / Long Form Screenplay:
1.2.1. A Short Form TV Drama is a series or serial with no less than 10 episodes and no more than 26 episodes in a season. Episodes have a running time of no less than 22 minutes and no more than 60 minutes including all credits.
1.2.2. A Long Form TV Drama is a serial of no less than 157 episodes per season and is colloquially known as a soap or telenovela. Episodes have a running time of no less than 22 minutes and no more than 30 minutes including all credits.
1.3. Television Comedy / Sitcom Screenplay:
1.3.1. A Television Comedy is a fictional comedic motion picture written specifically for the small screen, be it television, streaming or any other viewing device. It may be based on fact, be fiction or adapted from a literary or other work. The running time of each episode is more than forty-seven (47) minutes and less than 60 minutes, including all credits.
1.3.2. A Sitcom is a television comedy series written specifically for a confined studio set and multi-camera recording, occasionally in front of a live audience. Episodes have a running time of no less than 22 minutes and no longer than 30 minutes including all credits.
1.4. Television Mini-Series / “Made for Television” / Micro-Budget Film Screenplay:
1.4.1. A Television Mini-Series is a dramatic motion picture script, which is self-contained in one season of four (4) or more episodes and less than ten (10) episodes. The running time of each episode is more than forty-seven (47) minutes and less than 60 minutes, including all credits.
1.4.2. A Made for Television Film is a self-contained fictional motion picture screenplay created specifically for the small screen, be it television, streaming or any other viewing device. It has a running time of more than 70 minutes and less than 120 minutes including all credits.
1.4.3. A Micro-Budget Film is a Feature Film or a Made for Television Film screenplay that has a total budget of less than six hundred thousand rand (R 600 000.00), sometimes colloquially known as a Bubblegum Movie. It has a running time of more than forty-eight (48) minutes and less than ninety (90) minutes including all credits.
PLEASE NOTE: A writer may only enter one episode from a specific series or serial, but they may enter an episode from more than one series in every category.
A Documentary is defined as a work that uses visuals of, and or interviews with people involved in, real events to provide a factual report on a particular subject.
There are two (2) documentary categories in the WGSA Muse
1. A Documentary Film Script is defined as a non-fiction script created specifically for cinema release. It may include news footage, partial re-enactment, stock footage, stills, animation, stop-motion and other techniques and has a running time no shorter than 57 minutes and no longer than 120 minutes including all credits.
2. A Documentary Series Script is crafted specifically for television or streaming as opposed to cinema, and has a running time of no less than 52 or more than 60 minutes including all the credits.
PLEASE NOTE: A writer may only enter one episode per series; however, they may enter an episode from more than one series.
A Stage Play Script is defined as a story written specifically to be performed by actors for a live audience, either on a stage or at any other live venue. It has a running time of no less than 60 minutes. It must consist of no less than 75 % dialogue.
PLEASE NOTE: If it is a Musical, dialogue may be reduced to 25 % if at least fifty percent consists of original lyrics specifically written for the production.
A Radio Play Script is defined as a story written specifically to be recorded by voice artists, and distributed as an audio only product. It may have a running time of between 28 and 88 minutes. The script has to be written and submitted in the internationally accepted style for a Radio Play.
· A TV or movie screenplay cannot be entered in the radio category, unless it has been specifically adapted to the correct radio format.
· A writer may only enter one episode per series; however, they may enter an episode from more than one series.
An Animated Film screenplay is defined as a motion picture script written specifically to be recorded using a frame-by-frame technique. This usually falls into one of the two general fields of animation: narrative or abstract.
There are three (3) animation categories in the WGSA Muse Awards:
1.1. An Animated Feature Film Screenplay has a running time of no less than 87 minutes. There must be a significant number of major characters who carry dialogue.
1.2. An Animated Short Film Screenplay has a running time of 40 minutes or less (including all the credits) and may contain no dialogue at all, as long as the action to tell the story is scripted in detail.
1.3. An Animated Series Screenplay is for a sequence of no less than six (6) episodes that each has a running time of more than three (3) minutes. They may contain no dialogue at all, as long as the action to tell the story is scripted in detail.
PLEASE NOTE: A writer may only enter one episode per series; however, they may enter an episode from more than one series.
A Webisode Screenplay can be fictional, an adaption, or based on fact. It has a running time of no less than 2 minutes and no more than 15 minutes, including all credits.
- Screenplays that qualify as a documentary as defined in the documentary series category, do not qualify.
- If the screenplay can be mistaken for a script that qualifies for any film, television, stage or radio category, the screenwriter must submit information supporting how and why their screenplay is substantially a work for the internet or a mobile device.
The Muse Awards Committee manages the WGSA Muse Awards and a set of guidelines that govern the competition. Please read these guidelines carefully before entering a screenplay or script.
1. The Awards
1.1. Fully paid up WGSA Members in good standing may enter the WGSA Muse Awards except for the FAS category. (See Clause 3.)
1.2. The Muse Awards Committee may from time to time add, subtract, or change both the guidelines and the categories at their discretion. They may also decide not to grant an award in a category if, for any reason, they deem it reasonable not to do so.
1.3. The Muse Awards Committee may also confer additional Special Awards if they believe there are deserving recipients, but these are not necessarily given each year:
1.3.1.The WGSA Special Service Award.
1.3.2.Other specifically sponsored awards may be given at the discretion of the Muse Awards Committee.
PLEASE NOTE: A separate entry form and fee must be submitted for each screenplay or script.
Eligibility to enter the WGSA Muse Awards is subject to the following rules:
2.1. Screenplays and Scripts may be submitted in any one of the official South African languages. Screenplays for FAS entries will only be accepted in English or French.
2.2. Entrants may enter more than one work per category, but only one episode per TV series. They may submit entries from more than one TV series.
2.3. Both Produced and Unproduced screenplays and script are eligible.
2.4. For the 2020 WGSA Muse Awards, Produced Work must have received first public exhibition or distribution between 1 May 2019 and 31 December 2020.
2.5. Public exhibition and distribution include, but is not limited to:
2.5.1.Commercial theatrical distribution
2.5.2.Non-commercial “venue” distribution
2.5.3.Broadcast, cable and pay television
2.5.4.Pay Per View (PPV)
2.5.5.Video on Demand (VOD)
2.5.7.Internet or mobile device transmission
2.6. All unproduced scripts must be registered with the WGSA Script Registry before submission.
2.7. Eligibility is contingent on the receipt by the WGSA of the entry fee, a correctly completed WGSA Muse Awards Entry Form and the required supporting documentation. A PDF copy of the screenplay or script, which does not identify the name of the author, either on the cover page or on any of the screenplay or script pages.
2.8. Entry Forms can be accessed online at the WGSA website.
2.9. If an entrant no longer owns the screenplay or script rights, the writer must obtain written permission from the current owner or his co-owners to enter their script. This permission document must be attached to the entry form.
2.10. Screenplays and scripts must conform to internationally accepted industry formatting and presentation standards. Entries that do not will be disqualified. There will be NO REFUND of the entry fee if a work is disqualified.
2.11. Screenplays and scripts must be submitted “blind”, that is without the author’s name on it. This is to facilitate fair, impartial, and unbiased judging. Any screenplay or script submitted with the author’s name on it will be disqualified.
2.11.1. Screenplays and scripts submitted must only be identifiable by the Title (in capitals) on the front page.
2.11.2. Underneath the Title, unproduced works must have a second line which reads: “WGSA Script Registration Number [fill in the relevant registration number]”
2.11.3. Every page must have a page number in the header on the top right, in line with the Title of the work.
2.12. Unproduced works which have been substantially changed may be entered for the WGSA Muse Awards for a second time.
2.13. In the event of any dispute, the Muse Awards Committee reserves the right to mediate and resolve the dispute in any way they see fit. All decisions made by the Muse Awards Committee shall be final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into.
3. Federation of African Screenwriters (FAS) Writers
3.1. This category is for screenwriters who are not resident in the Republic of South Africa, but who reside on the African continent or off-shore territories like Mauritius, Zanzibar, and Madagascar. Residents of the Republic of South Africa may NOT enter this category. Entrants will be required to upload proof of residence when submitting their work online.
3.2. Entrants who qualify for this category are not eligible to enter for any other WGSA Muse Awards categories.
3.3. Entries are for original feature film screenplays only. No episodic works for television or any other format will be accepted. The running time for screenplays must be no shorter than 80 minutes, and no longer than 120 minutes in running time.
3.4. Entries may be of any genre, but must be original. No adaptations will be considered.
3.5. Screenplays in this category may be submitted in either ENGLISH or FRENCH. No other languages will be accepted.
4. Entry Submission
4.1. The WGSA will only accept online entries.
4.2. All Entry Forms and the required accompanying documentation must be submitted to the WGSA on or before the closing date, 31 January 2021.
4.3. Entry fees are as follows:
· Early is on or before 30 September 2020 (R 150.00 per entry)
· Standard is on or before 31 December 2020 (R 250.00 per entry)
· Final is on or before 31 January 2021 (R 400.00 per entry)
· FAS Entries – R250.00
4.4. Late entries will not be considered.
4.5. No changes will be allowed after an entry has been submitted.
4.6. The WGSA and the Muse Awards Committee take no responsibility for the loss of any material for any reason whatsoever.
4.7. By submitting an entry, each entrant warrants that they:
4.7.1.Are the author of the work.
4.7.2.Will accept and abide by all the rules, guidelines, entry requirements and terms and conditions as established by the Muse Awards Committee.
4.7.3.Will accept that all decisions made by the Muse Awards Committee are final.
4.7.4.Are eligible to enter their work into the selected category in accordance with all the WGSA Muse Awards rules, guidelines, entry requirements and terms and conditions.
4.7.5.Indemnify the WGSA, the Muse Awards Committee and all their agents against any claims arising from the entry for any reason whatsoever.
4.8. Submissions from writing teams only qualify for entry if all members of the team are members of the WGSA. (Please note that only one trophy is awarded in each category, regardless of the number of co-writers. Each co-writer, however, will receive a certificate.)
4.9. By submitting an entry, entrants grant the WGSA and the Muse Awards Committee the right to:
4.9.1.Use excerpts from their entry – no longer than two pages each – to market and publicise the WGSA Muse Awards,
4.9.2.Use excerpts from their entry at the awards event,
4.9.3.Use video clips from produced works at the awards event.
4.10 The entrant authorises the Muse Awards Committee to approach the producer and /or license holder for clips from the produced worked to be for publicity and any other purposes connected with the WGSA Muse Awards.
Judging is jury-based, multi-phased, and “blind”. When we receive your entry, we will assign your script a number, and our Judges will identify your screenplay solely by its title and script number. There are two stages in the judging process:
5.1. In stage one every script is evaluated by three judges, who mark it according to the competition judging criteria as established by the Muse Committee. Scores are then averaged to reach a final mark for every script.
5.2. A minimum average score of 60% or more is required for a script to advance to the semi-finals in each category.
5.3. The three finalists in each category are those who score the highest points on average in stage one.
5.4. If there are no entries with a score of 60% or above, no award will be made in that category.
5.5. The three finalists in every category proceed to the final round. Finalround judges are typically selected for their reputations as internationally recognised writers and producers.
5.6. The work with the highest average score in the final round will be the winner in every category.
PLEASE NOTE: All the results are audited and verified by the WGSA appointed accountants.
6. The Awards Ceremony
6.1. The WGSA Muse Award Ceremony will take place on Saturday, 15 May 2021 in Cape Town.
PLEASE NOTE: The Muse Awards Committee reserves the right to change both the date and venue if necessary, for any reason.
6.2. Entrants agree to make every effort to attend the awards ceremony should they become a finalist in a category. If they cannot attend, they agree to ensure that a suitable stand-in is in attendance to accept the award on their behalf if necessary.
6.3. The Muse Awards Committee will inform nominees and finalists of their selection as a finalist at the e-mail address provided on their entry form. Entrants not selected as a finalist will receive no communication to that effect.
6.4 The WGSA will do their best to provide ravel and accommodation for the nominnes to live outside of the greater Western Cape area. All further cost, include travel and accommodation of partners, are for the account of the nominee.
7. Questions & Queries
All questions and queries regarding the WGSA Muse Awards must be submitted in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember to include all your contact details in the correspondence.