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South African scriptwriter jets off to LA to work with Kevin Spacey

Published: 13 March 2012

After being identified as the African winner for the Trigger Street Productions and Jameson First Shot Scriptwriting Competition, Alan Shelley, a 26-year-old script-writer, director, editor and vfx supervisor from Cape Town, will be representing South Africa in Los Angeles in this competition. Shelley will leave on 15 March in order to commence working with Spacey as part of the big prize.

South African scriptwriter jets off to LA to work with Kevin Spacey
This is not the first time that the hard-working lad has won gained recognition for his work. His first short film titled Harold and Nina won him a Bronze Loerie Award. His PSA titled Moses won him a M-Net VUKA! Award for best director, which he directed while he was still a student at City Varsity.

Shelley commented: "I would firstly like to thank everyone at Trigger Street and Jameson, I feel honored that my script and I were chosen; it is a great privilege. My first reaction was shock and then denial. I couldn't quite believe it. Competitions are for other people to win; not yourself. I'm still trying to get used to the idea. I'm most excited about meeting new people, people I can learn from. I can't wait to see America and of course meet Mr. Spacey."

Shelley and the respective winners from the US and Russia beat about 700 entries of budding script-writers and directors across all three regions. His winning script, Spirit of a Denture tells a humorous story of a workaholic doctor who gets a visit from a disruptive pirate. As part of the big prize, the three winners will get an exclusive premiere where Spacey will be attending this as the guest of honour. Scriptwriters were required to submit original seven-page works that were creative and outstanding. After all this was done, the winners were contacted to submit extra work in order to demonstrate their creativity and directing skills. There were about 276 South African scripts received and Shelley beat those hopefuls with his script.

Seth Pereira, brand manager for Jameson South Africa, commented: “We at Jameson would like to congratulate Alan for his job well done. We hope that he will be learning a lot from pioneers like Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti. We are looking forward to seeing him when he comes back and wish him all the best of luck. We have no doubt that this will be Alan’s launch pad to furthering his career in the film industry not only here in South Africa, but hopefully abroad too. We look forward to showcasing his film at the premier in Johannesburg and hosting him and Kevin Spacey as our distinguished guests.”

Kevin Spacey commented: “We were impressed with the calibre of many of the entries, but the three winners stood out; they listened to the advice we gave and as a result delivered some well-constructed, clever stories that grabbed our interest. It’s great to be able to discover this level of talent and we’re really excited to see what they will each bring to the shoot.”

Howard Southern, international marketing director, Jameson Irish Whiskey concluded: “We were delighted with the level of participation to the competition. To be able to give up-and-coming screenwriters and directors a shot at their big break, as well as giving them the chance to work with a Hollywood legend like Kevin Spacey is a fantastic opportunity. It serves to show Jameson’s commitment to film and our support for new talent in the industry. We are really looking forward to rolling out the ‘green carpet’ in Moscow, Johannesburg and New York for the premieres in the coming months.”

For more information on the competition please visit www.jamesonfirstshot.com.

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