Applications open for new international scriptwriting incubator

TEKSTMARKT, a first of its kind scriptwriting initiative between the Netherlands and South Africa, encourages creative writing with this new online venture.

All playwrights and script writers from across South Africa and the Netherlands, both emerging and established, are invited to participate in the project to tell their stories, whether through the stage or in film. Participating candidates will be chosen by an independent panel from both countries and will be mentored in different phases to develop their script ideas. Film-participants will ultimately be able to pitch their script idea to industry professionals for possible investment and development. Theatre participants will be taken through mentorship phases, and at least two writers, one from each country, will receive final mentorship and a script-development grant to develop the full script. The final theatre scripts will be presented as play readings to a panel of possible producers for theatres and festivals. The Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK), Embassy of the Netherlands in South Africa, Dutch Performing Arts (a programme by the Performing Arts Fund NL), DutchCulture and the Netherlands Film Fund are supporting this unique project, which will not only focus on creative skills and new theatre and short film scripts, but also a cultural exchange between these two countries on two different continents.

It is presented in collaboration with the Baxter Theatre Centre in Cape Town, the National Afrikaans Theatre Initiative (NATi), the South African Centre for the Netherlands and Flanders (SASNEV), the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF).

“The Netherlands and South Africa are connected through history. Even though the two countries might appear to be worlds apart, they are not without meaningful similarities,” says Hugo Theart, Artistic Director of the KKNK. “It is with this in mind that the first theme for this initiative was chosen as THE OTHER / DE ANDER / DIE ANDER. This project is not only a wonderful opportunity for writers to hone their craft and develop their script ideas, but also an opportunity to connect with creatives and thinkers from different continents to stimulate creative and a social-conscious thinking and understanding of ‘the other’.”

Han Peters, Ambassador for the Netherlands Embassy in South Africa, says about the project: “This cross-continental cultural collaboration between the Netherlands and South Africa will not only enable new scripts to be written, but with a bit of luck also inspire new partnerships to be forged.”

“Taking an interest in different stories is important. Our multi-perspective society asks for a boundless inquisitiveness even – or maybe, especially – when it is uncomfortable or even confronting. Listening to new stories, new voices, opens new worlds. Not to mention it makes room for fun and inspiration. Therefore, I am excited about our collaboration with TEKSTMARKT,” says Viktorien van Hulst, Director of the Performing Arts Fund NL. “In addition, I am delighted that we can continue working beyond geographical boundaries and come together despite the current pandemic,” she concludes.

TEKSTMARKT  and its theme comes at precisely the right time. Both the Netherlands Film Fund and its counterpart NFVF are currently deepening cultural and economic ties to maximise mutual benefits. Thanks to the collaboration with Dutch Performing Arts, the Dutch Embassy and the KKNK, this platform where Dutch and South African playwrights and screenwriters will be enabled to jointly develop stories and simultaneously exchange expertise and skills is a valuable component of our efforts,” says Bero Beyer, CEO of the Netherlands Film Fund.

All playwrights and script writers from South Africa and the Netherlands, emerging and established, are invited to participate in the project, which will be presented in different phases over the next 12 months. The full programme is available on the KKNK website at kknk.co.za/TEKSTMARKT/.

Register for the free thinktank with speakers from both countries investigating the theme of the project. The thinktank will take place online from 13 to 17 September 2021.

The deadline for proposals is on 27 September 2021. Visit the KKNK’s website for more information, send a WhatsApp to +27 (65) 285 2337 or email tekstmarkt@kunste.org.za.

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