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by Samora Chapman / 28.05.2015

Kif. Young South African filmmaker, Mark Middlewick, has nailed the Jameson First Shot short film competition! He will be jetting off to Hollywood to direct Adrien Brody with the help of Kevin Spacey in his short film, The Mascot.

Writing is a difficult, arduous and ancient craft and it takes true inspiration and dedication to forge an idea into a story or a script. It then requires hours upon hours of heartache to chisel a final draft and confidence and faith to present that story to your peers, your community… and beyond that – the world.

And then what? Silence? Success? Failure? Only time will tell.

BUT! We bear great news for all the aspiring writers and directors out there, toiling in the dark…

Jameson Whiskey has a mind-blowing initiative (now in its third year) called Jameson First Shot created for the very purpose of rewarding new writers. Every year they put out a call for the submission of original, seven page scripts in a quest to unearth timeless stories AND gifted storytellers.

“Your story should reveal, with a lightness of touch, the epic that is to be found in everyday experiences,” encourage the folk at Jameson.

The winning writer/directors are awarded a once in a lifetime first shot at the BIG TIME.

Not only will they (the chosen ones) be given the resources to bring their scripts to life, but they will be jetted off to Hollywood to direct Adrien Brody, with the help of Kevin Spacey and the backing of Dana Brunetti, President of Trigger Street productions (The Social Network). Yes people… ADRIEN BRODY AND KEVIN SPACEY! In your little film. Can you imagine?!

After pouring through a mountain of submissions earlier this year, 1 750 writer/directors were shortlisted to direct a short scene and submit a director’s treatment before the most compelling scripts were chosen. One of those shortlisted hopefuls was a young South African filmmaker called Mark Middlewick.

Eventually the judges finalised the winners and the competition’s Creative Director and Producer, Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti, surprised the three winners with Skype calls that could just change their lives (the butterflies are uncontainable)…

Mark, Travis Calvert from the US and Stephan Tempier from Canada, are heading to Hollywood to bring their characters to life.

Adrien Brody articulates it best: “Jameson First Shot affords talented writer/directors an important gift: the confidence to exercise fearlessness and the opportunity to materialise their dreams.”

Check out the 2014 Jameson First Shot films starring Uma Thurman below…. and tune in soon as we track down Mark to find out more about him, his background and his winning script, The Mascot.

*PS. We’ll be heading to Hollywood (the one in Cali not the sleazy betting joint) for the premier of Mark’s short film!!!!!

I’ll have a double Jameson on the rocks please. Exhale.

The Mundane Goddess – 2014 Winner South Africa

Jump – 2014 Winner USA

The Gift – 2014 Winner Russia

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