Iconic soapies wash their hands of Saf­tas

Or­gan­is­ers say it is un­for­tu­nate

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - LESEGO MAK­GATHO

THE or­gan­is­ers of the

South African Film and Tele­vi­sion Awards (Saf­tas) have grudg­ingly re­signed them­selves to the fact that they will again have to host the event with­out two of South Africa’s premier soapies, Gen­er­a­tions: The Le­gacy and Mu­vhango.

The pop­u­lar soapies are miss­ing from the 12th Safta Most Pop­u­lar TV Soap/ Te­len­ov­ela cat­e­gory.

Seven­teen of Mzansi’s soaps and te­len­ov­e­las have been short­listed for this year’s Saf­tas edi­tion. Vot­ing lines for the pub­lic cat­e­gory opened on Jan­uary 19.

Na­tional Film and Video Foun­da­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Zama Mkosi said it was un­for­tu­nate that the two iconic soapies didn’t sub­mit con­tent for the awards.

“We find it dis­ap­point­ing and un­for­tu­nate... We want to see 100% par­tic­i­pa­tion. We wouldn’t want any pro­duc­tion be­ing left be­hind.”

Gen­er­a­tions: The Le­gacy PR man­ager Gaaratwe Mokhethi cited lack of recog­ni­tion as the rea­son for not en­ter­ing Safta.

“We have been en­ter­ing the Saf­tas since the in­cep­tion of Gen­er­a­tions: The Le­gacy in 2014, hop­ing our tal­ent will be recog­nised, but un­for­tu­nately our cast has not re­ceived such recog­ni­tion from the Saf­tas,” she was quoted as say­ing.

Mkosi said it was not out of their lack of ef­fort to reach out from their side.

“Some opin­ions re­flected on so­cial me­dia are mis­in­formed and don’t re­flect the re­al­ity of our guide­lines. We spend a lot of time re­view­ing those guide­lines. We want to pro­tect the cred­i­bil­ity of the process,” she said.

She added that this year’s event will be cen­tred around how golden the sto­ries are.

“We have to be­lieve that they are golden... and that there is value in our sto­ries. One of the key things we are go­ing to be fo­cus­ing on is the story of Nel­son Man­dela be­cause it is his cen­te­nary.”

Mkosi ex­plained that the nom­i­na­tion process in­volved 266 judges.

“We en­gage with pro­duc­tion houses that did not par­tic­i­pate and try to find out what their is­sues are,” Mkosi said.

“Are there is­sues or chal­lenges that they are deal­ing which we can help with? Be­tween Saf­tas 11 and now, I and other chair­per­sons did quite a lot of road shows and met with pro­duc­tion houses,” she ex­plained.

“Some of them ul­ti­mately de­cided to en­ter, while some made the choice that they would not par­tic­i­pate.”

The hope­fuls didn’t have to be screened to a pay­ing au­di­ence for seven days.

The num­ber of en­tries this year is 348.

The or­gan­is­ers have part­nered with the North West pro­vin­cial govern­ment as co-spon­sors as part of their ef­forts to de­velop and trans­form the film in­dus­try in other prov­inces out­side Gaut­eng. This year’s awards cer­e­mony will be held in Sun City, North West.

Each year the Saf­tas cer­e­mony is held over two nights, with the first night ded­i­cated to non-fic­tion cat­e­gories and the sec­ond night to fic­tion.

The sec­ond night is a live broad­cast on SABC 2 and the broad­cast will be re­peated on Mzansi Magic at a later date.

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