Dr 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.
Her significant achievements and awards include:
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. She won the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award as a Columnist for The Sunday Independent.
Janet 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, her short film 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. Janet won the 2015 WGSA Muse Award for Produced Stage Plays for A Matter of Time.
She was awarded her Masters in English (Cum Laude) from UKZN and her thesis was entitled Putting the Pen into their own Hands. Janet 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 Nature of Biography through the Medium of Film.
She is a script evaluator for the KZN Film Commission and the Durban Film Office and was an evaluator for the recent PESP projects and has been the Overall Chairperson of the annual Simon Sabela Awards every year since 2018 as well as the Supervising Juror for the Durban International Film Festival in July 2019. Janet was a judge for the 2020 South African contenders for the International Oscar’s Awards is 2020 and 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 Chase and What the Fractal? are to be published this year with Modjaji Publications under the Hands On label.