Saf­tas on the move to be­come more in­clu­sive

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - KARISHMA DIPA karishma.dipa@inl.co.za

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.

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