Pros 208


Shirley Johnston has been writing for the screen since 1999. Her first screenplay, Clean Hands, won the M-Net New Directions Screenwriting Award and her feature film, Felix, has garnered seventeen international and local awards including the Jury Prize Reel2Reel Vancouver, Best Film Lucas International Film Festival Frankfurt, the Audience Choice Award Tumbleweeds Film Festival USA, Best Film TIFF-Kids Toronto, the WGSA Muse Award for Screenwriting, the Sithengi Writer’s Forum Award for New Drama and the DIFF Audience Choice Award among others. 

She has worked in television in front of and behind the camera as an actress, performance and dialogue coach, casting director, writer and multi-camera director. Her televisionwriting credits include Isidingo (scriptwriter), League of Glory (scriptwriterand story-liner), Backstage (scriptwriter and script editor), Shooting Stars (story-liner and scriptwriter), Montana (story-liner and scriptwriter), Saints and Sinners(story-liner and scriptwriter), The Contenders (scriptwriter), Z’bondiwe (scriptwriter)and “Sokhulu and Partners” (scriptwriter). Her crime series, “Traffic!” which she created and story-lined, was nominated for a WGSA Muse Award for Drama and a SAFTA Award for Best Television Writing.

Directing credits include “Madam & Eve”, “Backstage and “Shooting Stars”. 

She is currently working on her second feature film. In between writing assignments, Shirley lectures at CityVarsity in Acting for Film and Multi-camera Directing.  


Education and Training: PDSD University of Cape Town  LTCL Trinity College London 


FILM:     ‘Felix!’ – Feature Film – Winner of 17 Awards including: WGSA Muse Award for Best Feature Film Screenplay 2014. TIFF Kids Toronto Jury Award 2014. Jury Prize Reel2Reel Vancouver 2014, Audience Award Tumbleweeds FF Utah 2014. Audience Choice Best Film DIFF 2013Jury Prize Lucas Film Festival Frankfurt 2014Best Film Ale Kino Youth FilmFestival Poland. Michel Best Feature Film Hamburg Youth Film Festival. Nominated Best Screenplay African Academy Awards Nigeria 2014. Sithengi Writers Forum Award for New Drama. 

‘’Clean Hands’ Winner M-Net New Directions Screenwriting Award (Richard Green – producer).


‘Saints and Sinners I and II’ Drama SeriesStoryliner, writer. 13 one-hour episodes for Penguin Films. (Mzansi Magic) 2014/2015. ‘Isidingo’  Episode writer Endemol SA – daily drama 20102013 ‘Traffic!’ I and II Creator, storyliner, episode writer 26 part crime series – e-tv 2013/2014 (Penguin Films). ‘Z’bondiwe I and II scriptwriter – e-tv 2015.(Penguin Films)‘Uzalo’ – scriptwriter SABC 1 2014. ‘League of Glory’  Scriptwriter – Waterfront Television – Fremantle – drama series for M-Net (TV) 2010. Montana I and II’ Storyliner/Scriptwriter – drama series for SABC 1 (TV) 2009/2011 Shooting Stars’Storyliner/scriptwriter/director Drama series et 2007 (8 x one hour episodes)Backstage’Script editor/writer/director. Endemol – daily soap etv 20002002. Treasure Hunt’ – game show SABCTV: content writer/ researcher/presenter. 


‘Plastics’ – SACPAC Best Playwright Award 1993. Staged in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Grahamstown and Australia.As Long As You Believe Children’s Theatre Windybrow


     2007: Multi-camera director ‘Shooting Stars’ – Penguin Films/ e-tv.

     2005: Multi-camera director ‘Madam and Eve’ – Penguin Films/ e-tv. 

     2000 – 2002 ‘BackstageUnder contract to Endemol Productions SA.  Multi-camera Director, Casting Director, Scriptwriter, Script Editor, Performance Director. 


2015 WGSA Muse Award – Best Television Drama: Nominated for ‘Traffic!’ e-tv    

2015 SAFTA – Best Television Drama: Nominated for ‘Traffic!’ e-tv. 

2014 WGSA Muse Award – Screenwriting: Feature Film for “Felix!

2011  SAFTA Award for Best Television Writing Team  – ‘Isidingo – SABC3

2007  Quarter Finalist Zoetrope USA Screenwriting Competition for screenplay Felix!

2005 Finalist USA Specscriptacular Screenwriting Competition “Felix!”
2004 Sithengi Writers Forum Award for New Drama (Feature Film) – “Felix!”
2000 M-net New Directions Scriptwriting Award  – “Clean Hands
1993       National SACPAC Best Playwright Award “Plastics


1996 FNB Vita Best Actress Award “Hysteria
1995 FNB Vita Best Comedy Actress Award “Heel Against the Head
1998 FNB Vita Best Actress Nomination “Dancing at Lughnasa”
1997 Fleur du Cap Best Supporting Actress Nomination “A Winter’s Tale
1994 Fleur du Cap Best Actress Nomination “Shadowlands
1992 Fleur du Cap Best Actress Nomination “Wuthering Heights
1993 Fleur du Cap Best Supporting Actress Nomination “The Normal Heart

1992   Best Actress Nomination Ophelia “Hamlet” (Artes SAFM)