Safta saga wins for best drama

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Sunday World - - News - XOLILE MTSHAZO Gen­er­a­tions 7de Laan 7de Laan

THE South African Film and Tele­vi­sion Awards (Saf­tas) com­mit­tee has spurned claims that the ex­ten­sion of the dead­line for ap­pli­ca­tions for the ninth edi­tion was be­cause of its dis­gruntle­ment with the qual­ity of pro­duc­tions sub­mit­ted.

The dead­line was on Mon­day, but has been ex­tended to Thurs­day Au­gust 28.

The Saf­tas, touted as Mzansi’s Os­cars, are held un­der the cu­ra­tor­ship of the Na­tional Film and Video Foun­da­tion (NFVF).

NFVF chief ex­ec­u­tive Zama Mkosi said the ex­ten­sion was granted to bet­ter our en­try and judg­ing process. We took an op­por­tu­nity to re­vise the 2015 guide­lines, which led to the ex­ten­sion of the sub­mis­sion dead­line.”

A shadow is now hov­er­ing over the Saf­tas’ cred­i­bil­ity.

She re­jected sug­ges­tions that some of the coun­try’s pop­u­lar soapies, films and pro­grammes ex­pected to scoop ma­jor awards had not met the dead­line.

The ex­tended dead­line has cre­ated an op­por­tu­nity for new cat­e­gories, such as best pre­sen­ter, and the split of youth and chil­dren cat­e­gories.

In this grow­ing and dy­namic in­dus­try, we strive to be rel­e­vant to the in­dus­try changes, as seen with the made-for-TV movie cat­e­gory.

We there­fore wanted to al­low suf­fi­cient time for the in­dus­try to sub­mit their en­tries,” Mkosi said.

But two top ac­tors, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said the TV and film in­dus­try awards were plagued by favouritism for some pro­grammes to the

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detri­ment of oth­ers.

Ev­ery year the Saf­tas have to en­dure neg­a­tive pub­lic­ity be­cause some pro­grammes are given pref­er­en­tial treat­ment.

Some do not even sub­mit their en­tries as a form of protest,” said an ac­tress from a pop­u­lar SABC soapie.

I don’t know when they will be able to get things right… be­cause we value the awards they are the only thing we have that recog­nises our tal­ent and work. We are tired of the neg­a­tive pub­lic­ity ev­ery year,” said the ac­tor.

It’s not a mat­ter of want­ing to win at all costs.

Our ef­forts have to be equally re­warded, there must be no dis­crim­i­na­tion or favouritism.

This leads to un­nec­es­sary tension among the ac­tors, we don’t need this,” he said.

But let’s cross fingers with the hope that ev­ery­thing will run smoothly with the an­nounce­ment of the nom­i­nees and the nam­ing of the win­ners.”

This is not the first time the Saf­tas have had off-screen drama.

In 2009, the en­tire cast and crew boy­cotted the cer­e­mony be­cause they were un­happy with the se­lec­tion of nom­i­nees, de­spite their ac­tors win­ning in many cat­e­gories. In 2012, SABC2’s Afrikaans soapie

was taken out of the best soap cat­e­gory de­spite be­ing voted by view­ers as the best for three years in a row.

Lack of en­tries in any of the other cat­e­gories was cited as the rea­son that

was not el­i­gi­ble for a place in the best soap cat­e­gory.

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