SHOT AT THE BIG TIME (in Development)


9 years in the making, that’s how long it took Janet van Eeden to write a story that is quite extraordinary, and yet it is so personal at the same time.

Janet van Eeden Harrison, is a writer, producer and director. She has written eleven screenplays and six stage plays, which she has produced and directed two. She co-wrote the award-winning screenplay for, White Lion, which premiered around the world in 2010, and now she is planning to write, produce and direct her next project, A Shot at the Big Time.

A Shot at the Big Time is a remarkable story, which was greatly inspired by Janet Van Eeden’s brother, Jimmy. It deals with a side to Apartheid that we often tend to over look or have failed to discuss. However, this film will bring a realization to other side of that struggle that has plagued our Nation in the past.


Jimmy’s family has personal crises instead of family holidays but he finds his soul in his music. Until the army sends him his call-up papers. He has to choose between following the rules or following his heart. He decides to sing his own tune. He steals a rifle and goes AWOL. Back home he gives the performance of his life, alternating guitar riffs with rapid rifle fire. Until he hears the sound no musician wants to hear: the cries of a dying woman. It seems the army will take its pound of flesh. Even if it costs him his life.

Janet Co-wrote the screenplay
Petrus is a township boy who whose family is trapped in the poverty of Apartheid. Petrus’s friendship with Jimmy opens his eyes to a potentially better life, one which has music and lyrics. He plays with the band whenever the authorities aren’t looking and dreams of the big time. But a freak accident makes him decide there is only one future possible: he chooses to fight for freedom against white men. Men like his former friend, Jimmy.

The Story Behind The Movie

As told by Janet Van Eeden (Writer, Director)

"A Shot at the Big Time is a film inspired by the true story of my brother, Jimmy, who took his own life rather than fight in the Apartheid Border War, a war he didn't believe in.

I've launched a crowd-sourcing campaign on to raise production funds for this film after the conventional fund raising platforms didn't work. This film is timeless; about the young men who gave up their lives to fight in a war many of them had no desire to fight. Every white boy in South Africa in the seventies, eighties and early nineties, was conscripted into military service. After three months of brutal basics they were spat out onto the border to kill their so-called enemy.

A Shot at the Big Time traces the life of my brother and one of his friends who just happened to black in Apartheid South Africa. They had no interest in waging war against each other - they just wanted to be rock stars. Then Jimmy received his call up papers. Forced into the brutal regime of the military, with a sergeant who had it in for him, he went AWOL.

A fatal accident sealed his fate and blew up any chances Jimmy might have had to have a normal life. He had a mental breakdown after this and was removed from service and placed in a mental home to recover. Just as he was finding his feet again, the army declared him "fit for service", and drafted him straight into armed combat on the Angolan border with the instruction to seek and destroy "the enemy".

His broken heart couldn't do this. So instead of fighting, he released the bullets from his rifle, walked straight into the line of enemy fire, strumming his gun as if it was his beloved guitar."
Janet Van Eeden

Mayan Films' Magda M. Olchawska will be producing this film, alongside Janet Van Eeden.

They need production funding!! After trying to go about the conventional channels for funding and not being able to get the support that she would of hoped for, Janet van Eeden decided to use an unconventional method of funding.

Janet van Eeden will be using Crowd-Sourcing to get the funds she needs to make this film. That means you can become a co-producer on her film. $10 will get you co-producer's credit and $100 gets you a copy of the novel, Width of a Thread, which is based on the screenplay, as well as a Radio Rats CD.

$1000 gets you all of the above, plus a chance to appear in the film in a crowd scene as well as a chance to send in your auditions for the roles. The main roles will be auditioned online.

Production funding is still ongoing so, you can still become a co-producer on this film or you can audition online to be part of the film as well. However final decisions on casting will be taken within this week or the next week, so if you want to have your chance to be a star send in your audition tapes now!!

Filming will begin in July, mostly in the Free State. They will first shoot a Short Film, which will then be taken to all the Major film festivals, worldwide, in order to get financed for a Motion Picture.

This film could most likely be one of the best South African Films ever made, so we urge you to get involved in any capacity that you can…

Check out this Links
The IndieGoGo Campaign

For More Info on Janet check out,


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