Fund her screenwriting dream

2016-05-17 06:00

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Her vivid imagination has put her on the path of realising her dreams. 

And now 20-year-old Tavia Millward from Ottery will soon be jetting off to Vancouver to fulfil her dream of becoming a successful screenwriter. 

However, the only thing standing in her way of successfully completing a year course at the Vancouver Film School and “coming back to inspire the youth and create an army of screenwriters in disadvantaged areas and schools”, is a measly R16 000. 

Millward needs people to assist and help raise this money so her seat can be kept at the film school that also delivered Neill Blomkamp, co-writer and director of the critically acclaimed movie District 9, as an alumni from the same school. 

“Becoming a screenwriter was not my first choice of career. After matriculating, I applied to study in the medical field. I assume I made this choice because I enjoyed Grey’s Anatomy so much,” she laughs.

But Millward says her obsession with the medically-set series was not because she enjoyed the field itself. 

“I think I enjoyed the film work more than anything. This only later on made sense to me and now I have decided to follow my dream of becoming a screenwriter,” she says. 
And what has made her even more determined in her bid to make a success of this new challenge is when someone told her she couldn’t do it. 

“I had to fetch reference letters from my high school principal and when we spoke about my future plans and I told him that I will be doing screenwriting he basically told me that I could not do it. I was shocked that someone who is supposed to support and motivate the youth could tell me this. But that day I left his office and I told him that I would prove him wrong,” she says. 

Millward studied at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in their film department before she realised that she was more interested with the idea of having her own work come to life off the pages instead of camera operating. “I spoke to my lecturers about this and they were very supportive. My one lecturer suggested that I start looking at my options and that’s when I came across the Vancouver Film School. I decided to take a leap of faith because I want this dream that bad,” Millward says. 

The petite girl who is obsessed with Western-themed films and Quentin Tarantino says after submitting her application during December, she received a call one evening after 21:00. 
“I was doing my hair when the call came through and the person on the other end introduced themselves from the Vancouver Film School. At that time I did not know that it was the call. I remember the caller asked me what do I know about Vancouver and all I said was ‘it is cold!’,” Millward laughs.

After confirming that she was accepted to the school Millward says she informed her family, lecturers and class mates. 

“My family wasn’t surprised,” she beams, “and my lecturers and class mates were also all very supportive when they heard I wasn’t coming back this year,” she says. 
Millward says after receiving the news, she had to resign from her part-time job. 

“I worked three years at a retail store. Fresh out of high school earning money seemed fun. Man, the feeling of earning your own money. The feeling of spending it felt good as well. The feeling of greed is hidden so well that you cannot even see it,” she says. 

She felt despondent at her place of work and knew it was time for change. 

“As time passed my job sucked. A guy once told me ‘When you leave high school find a job you hate, you may not hate it at first but find something where your heart isn’t – something that does not interest you. It will motivate you so much to get out and do what you love.’ This year February I officially resigned,” Millward recounts. She has since started a crowdfunding campaign that has reaped only R2 300 so far. If she misses her deadline they pass her acceptance to the next candidate.

V If you would like to donate to Tavia Millward so she can become a successful screenwriter, visit 


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