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Welcome to The Writing Studio

“As a writer your soul must be racked with hunger. Your body must cry out for food. Then you create! Then you soar into the sky. Then you touch the magic. Then your soul explodes… Then your words flow like vintage wine staining damask cloth into a dark purple of greatness… ” Veteran South African Filmmaker Jans Rautenbach

Nothing is more cleansing for writers than the dawn of a New Year, filled with hopeful aspirations and new beginnings. Here are 16 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

The Writing Studio is one of the most active independent training initiatives in Africa.

During the last 22 Years The Writing Studio has taken many leading filmmakers in South Africa from first idea to success on the big screen locally and internationally. Continue reading here

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Courses For Writers

Story Editing & Polishing

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Top Films of 2020

Take a look at noteworthy films, streamings and series of 2020, the year our world changed, where the fictional reality of stories enriched our lives.  Read more


René van Rooyen’s ‘TOORBOS’ is officially this year’s South African entry for the highly coveted Best International Feature Film Award for the 2021 Academy Awards.

Exclusive Interview with writer-director René van Rooyen

“I think cinema has changed forever, but in the creative world of storytelling, we have found a new way to reach audiences. ”

Henk Pretorius talks about being a South African filmmaker in Hollywood/ UK

New Film Releases

For writer and director Emerald Fennell, who makes her feature directorial debut with the arresting, blackly comedic quasi-thriller Promising Young Woman, her method includes music and years’ worth of work. Read more

Italian writer-director Matteo Garrone felt he could bring something new to audiences with his live-action version of Pinocchio, he did a a storyboard for the character when he was just six years old. Read more

Director and co-writer Armando Iannucci (In the Loop, The Death of Stalin, HBO’s Veep) and Simon Blackwell (In the Loop, HBO’s Succession) lend their wry, yet heart-filled storytelling style to revisiting Dickens’ iconic hero on his quirky journey from impoverished orphan to burgeoning writer in Victorian England. Read more

Opera Streamings

For the last 43 weeks Opera buffs have been in opera heaven with the Met’s series of free Nightly Opera Streams that features outstanding performances from the award-winning Live in HD series. This week the Met’s celebrating the inimitable artistry of soprano Renée Fleming, with free streams of seven of the American soprano’s most memorable Met performances.  Read more

Writing The Perfect Story

Following in the tradition of 20 years of extensive workshops throughout South Africa, and courses internationally, The Write Journey is an interactive course for writers who would like to write a screenplay for feature film or television, and is ideal for novelists and playwrights. Read more

Genre is word that often creeps into writing and can be easily misunderstood or misread. Storytelling is genre driven and each genre has demands that must be understood and met… Each genre imposes certain conventions on the story. The choice of genre sharply determines and limits what’s possible within a story. Read more

Common Screenwriting Mistakes and How to Fix Them

No screenplay is perfect, of course, but there are mistakes that writers make across the board – and these errors are easily avoided. Here are common slip-ups to steer clear of when crafting your masterpiece. Read more

A visual guide to The Language Of Film

Film, like speech and writing, has a unique language. Read more

The Art Of Screenwriting and Filmmaking

Latest and Upcoming Films

South African Filmmaking

From Page To Screen

Fiela Se Kind – A South African classic

A story of the walls that separate us and the love that unites, Fiela se Kind tells the tale of a coloured woman in 1890s Southern Africa who finds a white toddler on her Karoo doorstep and raises him as her own. Nine years later,he is discovered and sent to what is believed to be his ‘original’ family. Read more

Writer-Director Brett Michael Innes talks about his masterful adaptation of Fiela Se Kind

Director/writer/producer Ric Roman Waugh went undercover as a volunteer parole agent in California for his film Shot Caller.

”What started out as a simple research assignment became a two-year odyssey as doors kept opening, allowing me more and more access into this violent world,” says Waugh, whose film Shot Caller takes us into the hardcore culture of prison gangsters. Read more

“Roald Dahl’s The Witches” is at once a wickedly funny and heart-warming tale about a young boy who stumbles upon a secret society of witches and must try to stop their evil plan to turn all the world’s children into mice.  In the hands of Oscar-winning director and master storyteller Robert Zemeckis, The Witches an exciting and elaborate visual experience. Read more

The ABC of Getting Your Story from Page to Screen

A screenplay is writing intended to be turned into film – just as a novel is written to be published, and plays are written to be staged. A screenplay is not a complete work. There is no point in writing a screenplay if it isn’t going to get produced. A screenplay is a part of the package, the first element in the movie business. Read more

Story Editing & Polishing

If you want your script or manuscript polished professionally, The Writing Studio will turn your copy into exciting and thrilling narrative, into words and images that jump off the page and characters that resonate. Read more

Antebellum is a mind-bending mystery that unfolds as a metaphor for the current climate of racism. It’s a terrifying new thriller from activist filmmakers Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, two exciting new voices in contemporary cinema. Read more

Films Now Showing

“A moral dilemma is presented — it’s not just ‘thou shall not kill’; it is also ‘thou shall not be taught how to kill’. How do you tell a story about someone who at the same time kills people and is a victim himself?”

Shepherds and Butchers puts death penalty on trial and changes history. Read more

Writers On Writing

“A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it”

Hemingway’s Advice on Writing, Ambition, and the Art of Revision. Read more

Valuable Tips and Advice for writers

“You cannot write a screenplay if you don’t live the art of storytelling – full stop!!”

Valuable Tips For Writers From Veteran Filmmaker Jans Rautenbach. Read more

“Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. Writers should be like archaeologists, excavating for as much of the story as they can find.”

22 Lessons From Stephen King On How To Be A Great Writer. Read more

Daniel Dercksen shares a few thoughts with filmmaker Gavin Hood about screenwriting and filmmaking