The Herald (South Africa)
Film industry honour for ex-PE women
Wheelchair-bound veteran Shelley Barry among three delighted Safta winners
THREE Port Elizabeth-raised women who are making strides in the film industry having scooped the Golden Horn Award at this year’s South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas), said they were humbled by the experience. Among those being recognised for their work at the weekend was wheelchair-bound veteran in the film industry, Shelley Barry, 46, who said the honour was significant for her career.
She was recognised with the Outstanding Person with Disability Contributor Award.
“[This] honour that has been bestowed on me is a dream come true,” Barry said.
“The recognition of the Safta awards is certainly a career highlight and I think it will open doors in terms of being able to make new films.
“For my work to be recognised on this scale gives me a lot of encouragement because it was not always easy.
“There were many obstacles along the way but it makes me feel that all the hard work was worth it. This inspires me to continue.”
Barry, who is now a lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, was caught in the crossfire of taxi violence more than 20 years ago in Cape Town while on her way to a job interview and was paralysed instantly.
She said her students were proud of her achievements.
“My students are extremely proud of me and so happy – I don’t know who is more excited, me or my students,” she said.
“I think for them it means a lot that someone who is teaching them has received this recognition and it also gives them courage to pursue their dreams, which for me is beautiful.”
Candice Johannes, 31, who grew up in Cleary Estate and moved to Cape Town after matriculating from Alexander Road High School, has always had a passion for telling stories.
Johannes, who is part of the Suidooster TV soapie on DStv’s Kyknet channel script-writing team, said everyone involved was honoured to have even been nominated.
“There is so much good content on our screens so having been nominated did not guarantee that we were an automatic shoe-in, but it is really cool to have been nominated,” she said.
“It was an amazing feeling when we heard that we had won, especially because of the good competition we were up against – everyone just started texting one another.
“I think in this industry, to succeed, you have to be true to your authentic nature which is what South Africa is all about.”
Toni Andrews, 35, who is from Lorraine, but also pursued her studies at an animation school in Cape Town, said she and her team were elated about their “baby”, Hewn, scooping Best Student Film at the awards.
“I am amazed and honoured to have won because we put in a lot of hard work, crazy hours and sleeping underneath tables to get this film out there,” she said.
“It was a surprise to have won because there were so many amazing talents in our category.”
Hewn is an animated film about a father and son, depicting sacrifices made by parents.