Frequently Asked Questions
UPDATED ON 2020/09/14
How does The Write Project work?
Over the course of a next year, The Write Project will source film projects in South Africa in four different categories and then develop and co-produce selected projects for distribution through variety on-demand Internet streaming media providers, such as Netflix, Inc.
The four categories are:
- Feature Films (Completed Scripts)
- Short Films (Scripts & Concepts)
- Documentaries (Scripts & Treatments)
- TV Series (Spec Scripts & Treatments)
For each category, The Write Project will host online submissions through which writers, directors and/or producers of all levels from around South Africa can apply. Applications will be vetted via The Write Project’s assessment of application and review process.
Do I keep the rights to my film project if my application is approved?
Yes, you retain the copyrights to all intellectual property associated with your film project.
If Netflix wants my project, will they own it?
Yes, any project that is selected by Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+ as original content for distribution on their platform will be purchased and therefore owned by them.
Alternatively, you can license your film project to them in order to retain ownership and explore more distribution opportunities.
How will I know that my application has been approved?
Applicants will be notified via email approximately one month after the final submission deadline for that respective application cycle. Make sure you have email@example.com added to your email contacts!
Alternatively, information will be published on the application rounds and the awarded funds via the website www.writeproject.co.za and other relevant information channels.
Do I need to give credit to The Write Project Film Fund?
Yes, and we’ll be honored. You’ll need to reserve an Executive Producer credit for a designated Producer from The Write Project, and we’ll also provide you with our motion graphic that reads “In association with The Write Project Film Fund.” It looks cool, and it’ll lend even more credibility to your project. Not that you’re not awesome to begin with.
How many projects will be selected and developed each year?
The Write Project and PSP Media Capital are not pre-determining the number of projects to be developed and produced.
Can I enter a sentence idea for my film that’s already in production but needs post work?
No. We’ve streamlined our offering into an end-to-end solution that allows us to impactfully contribute to the entire filmmaking process.
Can I enter an idea for a web series?
Yes. A short film could also serve as the pilot episode.
Is animation eligible for submission?
Yes, but only for short film and feature film consideration.
What kind of genres are you looking for?
Anything that has the potential to carry a good story. Action, drama, horror, comedy, biographical, documentary, anything. Absolutely no adult films under any circumstance.
Can my project be an adaptation of a novel/short story/graphic novel/etc. that I have optioned?
Can my project be an adaptation of my own published work?
Yes, only if you have sole ownership to the material.
Can my project be based off of public domain story?
Do my application and all attached materials need to be in English?
Can we apply as a writing team?
Yes, we encourage writing to apply together. Please note, however, you cannot apply as both a team and an individual, nor as a member of multiple teams. You can only have your name on one submitted application.
Do writing teams have to submit more than one application?
No, applications are submitted on a per project basis so a writing team should submit one application.
Where does the money come from?
This is an independent fund that has been set up by multiple angel investors from China to the United States to infuse the African film market with new opportunities from a production financing point of view.
The managing director of the fund has a very prominent background in investment and development of new media opportunities and has launched a similar campaign in China to great success.
Why are you charging an application fee for submissions?
It is not an uncommon practice to charge for the reading of scripts and script coverage. There are dozens of other platforms in Europe and the USA that implements this practice to great success.
Application fees service as an administration fee to cover expenses related to record-keeping and other administrative costs. This is enables us to eliminate any unsolicited material.
Why are you doing this in Africa?
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Showmax but to name a few, is as if a treasure chest of channels that has opened up for Africans, freeing us from the restraints of local programming. And it could not have happened at a better time.
Africa is experience burgeoning growth and consumer demand for more African content which has enabled us to form an output deal with on-demand Internet streaming media providers, such as Netflix, to deliver professionally produced filmed entertainment.
Who will be evaluating the scripts and concepts submitted to your fund?
An expert committee based in Cape Town, South Africa as appointed by the Supervisory Board based in Los Angeles, California.
How will my application be evaluated?
Every application submitted is read blindly by a certified reader and evaluated without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, and veteran or disability status.
Applications are assessed on the creative and commercial merit of the idea submitted, as well as the strength of the script, treatment or concept submitted.
Can I submit the finished film to film festivals?
Absolutely. Festivals are a great way to supercharge your career. One important purpose of film festivals today is that they are playing a significant role as an alternative distribution channel for non-commercial films.
I have no idea what I’m doing. Will you help me with budgeting?
Budgets will be different for each film, but we’d be more than happy to share a sample budget with you.
How do I know you won’t steal my idea?
Copyright info must be included on the cover page of the screenplay and/or treatment; alternatively a script registration number can be acquired from your respective writer’s guild. This will ensure that your material is protected.
Alternatively, you can request a submission release form from The Write Project which sets forth rights and obligations with respect to your submission.
When will the next cycle be announced? How do I ensure I hear about it?
Visit the application guidelines for each platform on our website for more information. To be the first to be notified when application cycles are announced, please subscribe to our Newsletter and follow us on social media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.
Can I reapply if not chosen for funding?
If you were not chosen for funding on your first application, you are welcome to reapply if there are new developments in the proposal. Please be sure to indicate clearly on the second application how it differs from the initial application. If you have been turned down twice, we suggest that you contact us before reapplying — it’s possible that your project is just not a good fit for us.
I tried to submit my application but it seems that nothing happened. What do I do?
Usually when an applicant has trouble submitting, that means their application is incomplete. Please review your application, looking for boxes that indicate something was not filled out. Fill in those boxes, and click the submit button again.
Can I email you my application instead of using the online portal?
No, all applications must be submitted via the online portal. If you are having technical difficulties, please read the entirety of the FAQ and if your problem is not resolved, please email The Write Project team at firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
My application page says that my submission was received but I did not get an email. What should I do?
If you can see the application received page, your application has definitely been received and you need not worry. Most often, you have either a typo in your email address or have previously unsubscribed from receiving emails from The Write Project, and that is why you have not received your automated email. If you are still concerned, please be patient and wait two (2) business days before emailing The Write Project team.
I have a problem with my application or a question that’s not on here. Who can I reach out to?
Please email The Write Project team at email@example.com with any additional questions or troubleshooting issues.