Young student’s script filmed for Mzansi Magic

EVERYONE is feeling the pinch, and as budgets shrink, more and more people are choosing to stay home rather than go out. That’s great news for young scriptwriters like Mantungwa Ndlangamandla, whose script is in the process of being made into a stand-alone TV film.

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Ndlangamandla (26), a third year student at Boston Media House, wrote a script that was picked up by commissioning editors at Mzanzi Magic (DStv channel 107).

Ndlangamandla, who hails from Swaziland, earned R18 000 for his script — a good start for someone who dreams of making a living out of stories.

“It is awesome; the money, the experience and the fact that this can open many doors for me,” he said.

“The lecturers at Boston Media House told us that Mzansi Magic was commissioning scripts and that they encouraged everyone to submit their work.”

Mzansi Magic, the home of “Bubblegum” movies, requested proposals for the commission of 25 stand-alone movies for 2012 and 2013.

“Bubblegum” movies are original, self-contained and entertaining stories inspired by the realities and living conditions of ordinary black South Africans.

These movies serve as an entertaining snapshot of the achievements, challenges, hopes, despairs and dreams of ordinary people.

The company looks for stories set against either a township or a peri- urban backdrop in the genres of romantic-comedy, action-comedy, drama-comedy, horror-comedy and melodrama.

The scripts must be suitable for family viewing and for a target audience of black youth (upper and lower middle class) aged between 25 and 35 years, be written in English and should aim to trigger public debates.

Ndlangamandla’s story, titled Pastor Bhande (Pastor Belt in English), revolves around a man who is fired from work and goes on to open his own business — a Christian church. This not out of religious conviction but out of greed, as he knows there are profits in preaching salvation.

His greed gets the better of him and the pastor starts abusing his parishioners — with unpredictable results.

“I don’t really know where the idea for P astor Bhande came from,” says Ndlangamandla.

“I just sat in front of my laptop and the creative juices started flowing. Two days later I had a draft script of 46 pages.”

Ndlangamandla is currently finishing his diploma in media studies at Boston Media House in Parkmore, Sandton, majoring in video.

His big dream for the future is to write winning scripts and then move on to directing for TV, corporate content or full-length movies.

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