Janet van Eeden (PhD)

Dean of AFDA Durban, Award-Winning Screenwriter, Playwright, Producer and Lecturer

reseller seoDr Janet van Eeden has written more feature-length screenplays than she can count, as well as numerous short films, written and produced six stage plays (and directed two) and taken each to the Grahamstown Arts Festival, with funding from the National Arts Council. She writes and script-edits many feature films for the KZN Film Commission, amongst others. She is an educator, screenwriter, playwright, producer, evaluator as well as the Dean of AFDA Durban.

Significant Achievements:

  • A full-length feature film Janet wrote, White Lion,was released internationally in cinemas in February 2010. The film won four SAFTA Awards in its release year.
  • Won the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award as a Columnist for The Sunday Independent.
  • Wrote and produced the short of A Shot at the Big Time, directed by Stephen de Villiers, which premiered at the Durban International Film Festival in July 2013.
  • In May, 2014, Shot,the short was selected for the Cannes Short Film Corner, Metrage and was screened there with Janet in attendance.
  • In 2015, the Writers’ Guild of South Africa nominated three of her stage plays for the Award of Outstanding Achievement in Produced Stage Plays.
  • Won the 2015 WGSA Muse Award for Produced Stage Plays for A Matter of Time.
  • Was awarded her Masters in English (Cum Laude) from UKZN and her thesis was entitled Putting thePen into their own Hands.
  • Has a Doctorate of Philosophy (graduated in 2017) in English Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Humanities, Pietermaritzburg. Her PhD thesis was entitled Beyond the Biopic: An Exploration into the Natureof Biography through the Medium of Film.
  • Is a script evaluator for the KZN Film Commission and the Durban Film Office and was an evaluator for the recent PESP projects.
  • Has been the Overall Chairperson of the annual Simon Sabela Awards every year since 2018.
  • Was the Supervising Juror for the Durban International Film Festival in July 2019.
  • Was an invited speaker at the 2018 London Screenwriters’ Festival in London and addressed a group of international delegates on her theory, What the Fractal?
  • Was a judge for the 2020 South African contenders for the International Oscar’s Awards is 2020.
  • Is the Overall Chairperson of the SAFTA Awards since 2020 and will continue this role until the end of 2022.
  • Her Scriptwriting Books, Cut to the Chaseand What the Fractal? are to be published this year with Modjaji Publications under the Hands On label.
  • Janet is the Campus Dean of AFDA Durban.



The Pitch at Cannes 2014 – Janet van Eeden


Cut to the Chase: Scriptwriting for Beginners, was launched at Ike’s Books in March 2023. There will be another launch at Exclusive Books, Gateway on the 8th June at 6 pm. Order yours here:


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