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Joburg Film Festival unpacks good storytelling in youth development programme

The Joburg Film Festival's Youth & Audience Programme, which is held bi-weekly across various regions in Gauteng, plays a vital role in shaping the minds of young voices who aspire to pursue a career in the media industry.

This past weekend’s Youth and Audience Programme in the Westrand was testament to the saying: 'There is no greater power on this earth, than a story.'

Guests have access to actors, directors, and film makers through workshops and master classes.

The Westrand leg saw Mmabathu Kau, multi-talented producer, script consultant and broadcaster with over 20 years industry experience share her insights on what the must-haves of a good story are.

These are the must-haves of a good story according to Mmabathu Kau:

  • A great premise (or promise)
  • This one is simple. If you promise a great love story, you should give the audience a great love story.

  • Compelling characters
  • This involves deciding which characters or personalities can tell your story best. Pro tips:

    • Flawed characters are the best characters to use
    • Characters must always have a clear goal or desire
    • Always allude to your character’s status in their society
    • Base the characters on yourself or people you actually know
    • Ask what each of your characters would do if they had US$25 million

  • A great plot
  • What happens in the story? The structure/plot is like your skin, it covers and holds everything together. Any good plot has three key parts: a beginning or inciting incident, a midpoint (where the worst thing that could happen, happens), and a climax.

  • A captivating story world
  • Decide on a setting.

  • Memorable dialogue
  • Words matter.

  • Timing
  • What’s the right time for me to tell your story? This can be influenced by current events.

  • There must always be a villain or an antagonist in your story
  • Your story is only as strong as its antagonist or the challenge your protagonist must overcome.

  • It’s okay to borrow ideas from someone else
  • No need to clutch your pearls. Some of the world’s greatest writers integrate concepts or characters from other writers into their work.

    For more information visit the JFF Website or please follow us on Twitter @JoburgFilmFest, Facebook and Instagram.

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