The Love Train, a reality show that combines dating and travel and which was produced by students at Tshwane University Technology (TUT), won top honors at the M-Net EDiT Awards held on 24 February at Ulwazi Centre in Johannesburg.
The Love Train won the Best Overall Project award and the Best Writing award.
Metro X, an AFDA Cape Town reality show about extreme sports, won Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Director (James Tayler).
The third EDiT finalist was another TUT production, Smile, a reality show based on dental re-construction.
M-Net also presented a Merit Award for Best Overall Project to Bomlambo (AFDA Johannesburg). This short narrative film, produced by Benita Khoosal and directed by Zweli Ntuli, did not fall into the reality genre but impressed the judges with its emotive script about love and loss.
“Reality formats are not easy to create or produce,’ said M-Net EDiT Project Manager Bongiwe Selane. “It’s a mammoth task that includes managing content, contestants and task elements. Not many reality formats have been developed on home soil. In commissioning these, broadcasters often rely on format bibles that have been developed overseas and which are strictly adhered to.
“M-Net is known as the home of reality programmes with the likes of Idols, Survivor and Big Brother so we wanted to see if we could unearth talent that would give us an exportable format. Who else to tap into but young, creative and emerging talent from film schools around the country?
“And so the task that was given to the students was not easy, if anything it was a big challenge. From the completed programmes I believe the creative teams involved did an amazing job to deliver programmes that were not only original but had good production value.
“I would like to congratulate each and every person who worked on these productions, in whatever capacity for their hard work and determination. Well done to you all.’
Selane admitted that the response to the 2010 competition was less than hoped for as there were only three entries and M-Net usually commissions five productions per EDiT cycle.
The Best Overall Project was awarded R20 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.
The M-Net EDiT initiative falls under the M-Net Cares banner. M-Net Cares is an umbrella project which encompasses M-Net’s CSI (Corporate Social Investment) initiatives as the company aims to develop filmmaking talent in South Africa and across the continent.