Oliver Schmitz’ Life, Above All, which was short listed for the Best Foreign Language Film category of the Oscars, has received 11 nominations in the Feature Film category of the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAS). Nominations include best film, best director, best writer, best ensemble, and best actress nods for Khomotso Manyaka and Lerato Mvelase.
Following Life, Above All in the SAFTAS Feature Film category are Spud and Jozi, with six nominations each. Eighteen features films in all were submitted for the SAFTAS competition – this is triple the number of the entries in this genre compared to last year’s awards.
In the Soapie drama genre, Isidingo is on top with 10 nominations. The soapie, broadcast on SABC 3 is followed by e-tv’s Rhythm City with six nominations.
All the nominees for the 5th SAFTAS were announced on 26 January at the Ster-Kinekor complex at The Zone in Rosebank, Johannesburg. The SAFTAS are considered the highest honour in the South African film and television industry. Custodian of the SAFTAS is the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF). The awards’ main objectives are to honour, celebrate and promote the creativity, quality and excellence of South African, film and television talent, and encourage entrepreneurship and the development of new talent in the industry.
Said NFVF CEO Eddie Mbalo: “The NFVF congratulate this year’s nominees and wish them all the best for the main event where all winners will be revealed. The NFVF, the SAFTAS Committee as well as the judging panel are amazed at the support the awards received this year. The increase in the feature film entries is testament to the fact that the industry is indeed thriving.
“With commitment to supporting the industry by the Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile, we are guaranteed that the industry will grow to its full potential as a business sector and an economic contributor to the country.’
The 5th SAFTAs will be held at Melrose Arch at Madame Zingara’s Theatre of Dreams over a period of two weekends. The first event to be held on Sunday, 20 February will award winners in the non-fiction categories, followed by the second session which will award the Fiction categories held on Sunday, 27 February.
“We are very excited about the event this year. The process of the past nine months from the call for entries to the judging process and now the run up to the event has been a labour of love for all concerned. Hosting the awards in the Madame Zingara Theatre of Dreams will be a delightfully daring experience,’ says Azania Muendane, NFVF Head of Marketing and Public Affairs.
Judging panels made up of industry organisation representatives, institutions, companies, media and general society select the nominees and the eventual category award winners. The judging process of the SAFTAS is overseen by independent auditors Pricewaterhouse Coopers who ensure that the process is fairly undertaken.
Here is the full list of nominees: