A shy woman living under apartheid falls in love with a man she shouldn't, sparking a forbidden bond which ignites the world with colour and music, threatening society and forcing the couple to choose between following their hearts or returning to the black and white world they were born into.

  • Tammany Barton
  • Project Type:
    Short Script
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    South Africa
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • SICAFILM Los Angeles International Film Awards
    Los Angeles, CA 90033
    April 29, 2022
    Best Short Script
Writer Biography - Tammany Barton

Tammany Barton is an accomplished actor, international award-winning scriptwriter, and produced playwright. She trained at Stageworld Theatre School as a performing artist and has been a member of the Young People’s Theatre Company in London since 2005. Tammany holds a Licentiate in performing arts and speech and drama from Trinity College London and is currently pursuing her MA in script and screenwriting at Falmouth University in the UK.

As a playwright, Tammany has written and produced several successful plays, including “Cupcakes and Commiserations,” which premiered at the Theatre on the Square in Sandton, South Africa in 2019. Additionally, she published a 10-minute drama during the Twist Theatre Productions Writer’s Development Project in 2020, and showcased her play “Changing Rooms” at the National Arts Festival. Tammany also wrote, produced, and hosted “The School of Positivity” on IBM TV, for which she received the Best Content Creator award. She also lectured on acting for two semesters at Stageworx and took tenure from How Now Brown Cow Productions in 2022 to develop a musical script called Faraviasta. Furthermore, her short animation script, Duet, was a winner at the Los Angeles SicaFilm festival and a finalist at the Los Angeles Script festival and the Rome Prisma Film Awards.

Tammany’s passion for using storytelling to make a positive impact on the world has also led her to start a Non-Profit Organisation called “Doodle Your Future” in 2016. In 2022, she founded The Best Seat In The House, a table reading platform to empower and develop writers worldwide.

Tammany is an eternal optimist who brings enthusiasm, creativity, and energy to everything she does. Her genuine love for life and storytelling is contagious. She is passionate about using the power of storytelling to change lives, and this can be seen in the impact she has made through her work.

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Writer Statement

Duet is an animation about having the courage to love in a world riddled with intolerance. Shining a light on love, revealing its true nature of wholeness through elements of colour and music. Set against the loaded backdrop of Apartheid, South Africa, a time of racialized laws preventing mixed-race couples from falling in love, amongst many other atrocities.

Pixar cleverly uses characters, and their emotional journey's to depict moral lessons, often set on an imaginary backdrop where magic and possibility reign. Their themes are current and universal. Purl (2019) tackles the subject of sexism in the workplace using a yarn of wool. Pixar's Up (2020) is about how messy life can be and how equally magical love is, depicted by the colourful balloons representing life’s journey.

Duet is a love story where the meeting of two "unlikely" melodies fall in love and, with limited time together, heal the black and white world with bursts of radiant colour and music.

The association of colour against contrast (the initial black and white world) visually attaches an essence of positivity. When our characters, Jane and Shepard, choose love over fear, the audience and our characters are rewarded visually and audibly. Music is the mood creator, enhancing the promise of love and peace in a broken world.

Duet tackles the topics of discrimination and oppression. Although it steals from history to highlight how aggressively the law drove a wedge between society, Duet also speaks to current issues. The profound theme presented in Duet is the societal monsters that continue to quietly divide us today. Duet's subtle but powerful visual storytelling depicts divisive tools, showcasing that we still live in a society subconsciously riddled with bias.

But, there is hope, and it lies within Duet's characters' actions to choose not to turn a blind eye to these offences, nor to become the bully or the aggressor. They dare to look. Dare to choose. Dare to listen. Dare to love.

South Africa has its place on the map in history for crimes against humanity. Still, these divisive tools exist today, and they are universal. Our current climate offers platforms to bring these cruel systems to justice. The call to stop gender-based violence, equal rights for the

LGBTQ community and the shining of a light on black lives matter are in themselves love stories for humanity. But, there is always danger that the pendulum may swing too far to the other side without love at the core, resulting in further divide.
Duet promises that love will win in the end; it focuses on a world where love is our centre, and thus hate and fear dissipate. Although set against a tumultuous backdrop, it does not outline the destructive nature of segregation; instead, it gives us a glimpse into the powerful potential of love.

Finally, Duet is a short love story for humanity. It will show the audience a world where love breaks all that tries to divide us and asks why we continue to build these walls.