Axed High Rollers scores Golden Horn hat-trick

CityPress - - News - RHODÉ MAR­SHALL rhode.mar­shall@city­press.co.za

The 11th an­nual SA Film and Tele­vi­sion Awards (Saf­tas) went off in grand style at Sun City in the North West this week – but don’t be sur­prised if your favourite shows are not among the win­ners.

Pop­u­lar shows such as Isi­baya, Our Per­fect Wed­ding and Date My Fam­ily did not get a shoo-in this year as e.tv and SABC shows cleaned up at the awards.

Al­though Mzansi Magic’s The Road won Best Soap/Te­len­ov­ela, an un­likely win­ner in that cat­e­gory was High Rollers, an SABC3 show that has since been can­celled. It won three Golden Horn tro­phies: Best Achieve­ment in Di­rect­ing; Best Ac­tor – TV Soap/Te­len­ov­ela, which went to Antony Cole­man; and Best Achieve­ment in Scriptwrit­ing.

Late last year, SABC3 abruptly can­celled the show, say­ing its de­ci­sion was “based on pro­gram­ming strat­egy changes on SABC3”.

Fol­low­ing a sched­ule change in May last year, High Rollers’ view­er­ship fell from 645 858 view­ers to 540 570.

Its pro­duc­ers posted a mes­sage on Face­book in Jan­uary, say­ing there was “no chance at this point” that the SABC would bring it back.

“Al­though there are var­i­ous le­gal mo­tions in process, it is un­likely that they will make any dif­fer­ence while the SABC is pur­su­ing its cur­rent strat­egy – what­ever that may be,” they wrote.

The awards were hosted by ra­dio per­son­al­ity and ac­tress Thando Tha­bethe and Ex­presso host Katlego Maboe, af­ter an awk­ward red car­pet hosted by celebs Bo­nang Matheba, Somizi Mh­longo and Phat Joe.

Another big Safta win­ner was the e.tv series Heist Sea­son 1, which re­ceived ku­dos for Best TV Drama and Best Achieve­ment in Di­rect­ing in the TV drama cat­e­gory, while Jerry Mo­fo­keng clinched the Best Ac­tor tro­phy and War­ren Masemola the Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tor one. The show, in­spired by the mys­te­ri­ous cash heist at FNB Sta­dium af­ter the Justin Bieber con­cert in 2013, is set in and around Alexan­dra.

Ac­tor Thapelo Mokoena re­ceived the Youth Achiever Award. Mokoena, who en­joyed a short-lived stint on High Rollers, will head­line an ex­plo­sive new te­len­ov­ela on e.tv called Bro­ken Vows, which will take over the cov­eted 8pm time slot from te­len­ov­ela Gold Dig­gers from April 10.

Tina Jaxa re­ceived the Best Ac­tress – TV Soap/Te­len­ov­ela award for her role in Gold Dig­gers. Dann-Jac­ques Mou­ton, who played the lead in the cel­e­brated fea­ture film Noem My Skol­lie, won the Best Ac­tor – Fea­ture Film award, with Ab­du­rahg­maan Adams named Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tor. The film also clinched tro­phies in the film cat­e­gories of Art Pro­duc­tion De­sign, Cos­tume De­sign, and Make-up and Hairstyling. Lead­ing film pro­ducer Ju­naid Ahmed, who passed away last year af­ter a short ill­ness, was posthu­mously hon­oured with a life­time achiever spe­cial recog­ni­tion award. Vet­eran ac­tress Ly­dia Mok­gokoloshi, who plays Koko on Skeem Saam, was awarded the same tro­phy. Anele Mdoda won ku­dos for Best Talk Show Host for SABC3’s Real Talk with Anele. Zama Mkosi, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Na­tional Film and Video Foun­da­tion (NFVF), said 181 judges were ap­pointed to ad­ju­di­cate a fair vot­ing process that had be­gun in De­cem­ber. They fell un­der the di­rec­tor­ship of three over­all judg­ing chairs: ac­tors Jerry Mo­fo­keng and John Kani, and me­dia pro­ducer Fir­doze Bul­bu­lia. “We as the NFVF have been work­ing tire­lessly to make the Saf­tas a spec­tac­u­lar awards cer­e­mony that the in­dus­try can own and be part of,” Mkosi said.

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