Silver Screen Festival is looking for fresh talent, experienced hands in the film industry


South Africa’s budding directors and story-makers can now enter next year’s Silver Screen Festival competition for short and documentary films.

This year, for the twelfth year, the kykNET Silver Screen Festival builds on its vision to offer a starting block and platform to aspiring filmmakers in the TV and film industry.

The festival will traditionally be held in Camps Bay, Cape Town, from 28 to 31 August.

Among this year’s Silwerskermfees debut works are eight short films by up-and-coming filmmakers, six so-called shotgunshort films by established filmmakers and five short documentaries.

In the meantime, prospective filmmakers can already register for next year’s Silver Screen Festival. Entries close on Monday 15 April.

How does the competition work?

The registration process starts early as the festival has a mentorship program for younger, new talent who wants to enter the film industry.

The competition is divided into two categories with emerging filmmakers who can enter both short films and short documentaries, and established screenwriters, directors and producers who have previously participated in the Silver Screen Festival short film competition, who now also submit their ideas and concepts for both short films and short documentaries. can present.

“With both categories, the festival is looking for diverse and imaginative storytellers who can set the pace in the fast-growing film and television industry of today and tomorrow,” says Tina Kruger, festival program manager of the Silver Screen Festival.

The selection process for the competition spans several phases.

“If a short documentary is in your sights, you will initially have to provide the title, genre, a description of the story and themes that are touched upon, references and the intended duration.

“The documentary may not be longer than 30 minutes, and a further requirement is that 60% of the content must be Afrikaans. Any variant of Afrikaans is welcome.”

The finalists for the next round, which will be selected in May this year, must send in a presentation video. Then follows a third screening round which, among other things, involves a formal presentation with a budget plan and director’s vision.

This round will determine who the successful candidates are who will receive funding and mentorship to make their docking dream a reality.

The 2025 Silver Screen Festival short film candidates will be selected through a similar selection process. If your proposal eventually gets the green light for funding and mentorship, you can follow in the footsteps of a host of award-winning South African film and television makers who made their debut in the industry with a Silver Screen Festival short film.

Among them is Christiaan Olwagen, who has received numerous prizes for films such as Johnny is not dead, Canary and Doll Nongena; the pioneers Ephraim Gordon and Amy Jephta of Barakat-fame; and the filmmaker couple Corné and René van Rooyen who Vaseline, Magic forest and Hans crosses the Rubicon over after their names.

Several Silver Screen Festival short films, such as Dirty laundry and Turnoverhas also been turned into feature films.

The 2025 short films can be between seven and 30 minutes long, in any genre and any Afrikaans variant. It can also include other national languages, but 80% of the dialogue must be Afrikaans.

Entries for the first round of judging must contain a concept proposal of 250 to 300 words. The script, director’s pitch and budget will follow later.

The entry forms for the two competitions are available on the Silver Screen Festival’s website. The deadline is Monday 15 April 2024, and the entry fee is R350.

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