Saftas on the move to become more inclusive
SEVERAL alterations have been made to this year’s South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) in a bid to make the industry more inclusive.
One of biggest changes was that this year’s event will be held in North West instead of Gauteng, where the Saftas have been held since their inception 10 years ago.
Zama Mkosi, chief executive of the National Film and Video Foundation, told reporters in Joburg yesterday that this was done in an effort to promote and transform the film and TV industry in other provinces.
“Development must go beyond Gauteng,” she insisted.
This year’s Saftas, with the theme “SA’s got it, let’s celebrate it”, will take place at Sun City next month.
Mkosi said changes were important as the Saftas had “grown in leaps and bounds” over the years. The number of entries for this year’s competition increased from 416 last year to 440.
There have also been more entries for certain categories, such as the Best Feature Film and Best TV Soapie, she added.
Mkosi stressed that TV shows and films wouldn’t be nominated if the production houses didn’t make submissions.
As the organisers try to keep up with the times, there have also been some changes to the categories themselves. This includes the addition of Best Micro Film, Best Talk Show Host as well as the New Discretionary Award, which is the Youth Achiever Award.
Mkosi said: “Everyone deserves a chance to be recognised, even young people who are doing amazing things and are making a significant impact on the industry.”
Categories such as Best Animated Feature, Best TV Animation and Best Sports Show have been shelved. Mkosi said there weren’t many submissions in the animation category because these were expensive to produce.
Submissions have been made from November, and the judging panel were now hard at work selecting the nominees, who are expected to be announced on February 16.
Mkosi said the judging process was imperative because it added credibility to the awards and improved the quality of the content. “There must be a strong peer-review process.”
Overall, there are 181 judges and three judging chairpersons, who are industry veterans. Jerry Mofokeng, John Kani and Firdoze Bulbulia will provide guidance and support to the judges.
Mofokeng told The Star during the briefing yesterday that the panel should be as objective as possible and able to see the content once and review it.
“They should have an educated eye and ear and a sense of what is important,” he said.