Axed High Rollers scores Golden Horn hat-trick
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.