AFDA big winner at M-Net EDiT Awards

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Men of the Number, a production from AFDA (South African School of Motion Picture Medium & Live Performance) has won the best film award as well as best director, best screenplay and best actor, at the M-Net EDiT Awards announced at Johannesburg’s Montecasino on 19 March.

Writer and director of Men of the Number, Mark Strydom, was on hand to pick up the awards. His lead actors, Richard Lukunku and Sibu Gamede, were co-winners of the best actor award.

Other winners were:

Best Cinematography: (shared) Dean Jates, She Asked For…, City Varsity and Luke Pallet,

Voice of our Forefathers, UKZN.

Best Original Soundtrack: Tiago David Correia Paulo, Sanctuary, WITS.
Special Mention: Animation – Leigh Garakara, Voice of our Forefathers, UKZN.
There was no EDiT Online Competition this year.

As Best Overall Project, Men of the Number won R50 000 in cash while the category winners each received a cash prize of R10 000 from M-Net. The prize money goes to the institution responsible for the entry.

EDiT (Emerging Dynamics in Television) is a learner-based initiative created by South African pay-TV broadcaster M-Net to provide emerging film and television talent with genuine production opportunities within a “real world’ environment. Now in its ninth year, the project aims to give these young visual storytellers the platform to showcase their work, hone their skills and enhance their portfolio. As such, the EDiT initiative is open to students at tertiary institutions, who are in their final year of study or post-graduates, as well as to individuals who are doing their apprenticeship or are interns at production companies.

“Since 2000, the EDiT Awards have inspired many up and coming filmmakers to push boundaries,’ said M-Net Corporate Marketing and Communications director Koo Govender. “This year the submissions surpassed our wildest dreams. They show that South Africa’s production line is going strong. We hope to see these filmmakers achieve even great heights in the near future.’

M-Net’s Head of Local Content Helen Smit added: “Local content is where it’s at on any broadcasting schedule. If it relates to the audience, it works. From M-Net’s perspective we endeavour to open doors to filmmakers. However, it’s important to note that we are a commercial broadcaster and we need commercial material. There is a space for arthouse productions but for our purposes they don’t sell.’

Smit concluded by noting that EDiT had been a great success since its inception. “It always makes us proud to see young filmmakers who got their break through this initiative going on to build solid film and television careers – and we’re sure that this year’s finalists will be no exception.’

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