The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) held a media breakfast on Thursday, 26 January to formally announce the changes it's made to the 11th edition of the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs 11).
NFVF CEO Zama Mkosi opened the discussion by commenting on the growth of the awards over the years. Year on year, overall entries have increased from 416 to over 440. This year, the category, Best Feature Film received 23 entries, which usually doesn’t have more than 10, and Best TV Soapie received 17 compared to between 9 and 11 on average.
“One of the ways we measure growth is the connection the industry has with the SAFTAs,” said Mkosi, and she believes the SAFTAs ought to engage with the provinces and communities that are contributing to the growth of the local industry, followed by her announcement that this year’s ceremony will be held at Sun City in the North West.
Judging was allocated a large chunk of the discussion, which emphasises its weight in the process. This year there’s a total of 181 judges, with three overall judging chairpersons, namely Jerry Mofokeng, Dr John Kani and Firdoze Bulbulia, to provide guidance and support to the other judges.
To improve the judging process, the public is encouraged to take part in the initial judging of the nominees for the Most Popular TV Soapies (including Telenovelas) by smsing 48430 (R1.50 per sms). The top three nominees will be announced on 16 February.
SAFTAs 11 covers 89 categories, including three new categories: Micro Budget Film; Best Talk Show Host; and a new discretionary award, the Youth Achiever Award. Other discretionary awards include: the Lifetime Achiever Award; Outstanding Person with Disability Contributor Award; and Outstanding Provincial Contributor Award. Disqualified categories due to a low number of entries are: Best Animated Feature and Best TV Animation; Micro Budget Film; and Best Sports Show.
Mkosi concluded the briefing with the reveal of this year’s theme, and that is that SA’s got it, so let’s celebrate it!
Key SAFTAs 11 events to diarise:
- 16 February 2017 – Nominee announcement
- 23 February 2017 – Nominee celebratory dinner
- 16 March 2017 – Awards night 1
- 17 March 2017 – Gold day, industry engagement sessions, community outreach
- 18 March 2017 – Awards night 2 (live event broadcast on SABC 2)