The renaming of South African pay-TV broadcaster M-Net’s Vuka! Awards to M-Net TAG signals a new era of developing and nurturing young talent.
M-Net TAG (Television Awards for Good), formerly the Vuka! Awards, invites newcomer and professional creatives in the film and advertising industry to produce Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for charitable organisations.
Koo Govender, director of corporate marketing and communications at M-Net, said that the decision to rename the awards was to underline their “fresh new approach’ and a much stronger focus on developing and mentoring new talent as part of the M-Net Cares initiative.
According to Shelli Miller from The Bomb Shelter it will take time for people to get used to the new name, and to judge what difference the name change has made.
“It’s still in the transition period; however, there does seem to be more interest this year. I think it’s mainly due to adding a new category and the name change.’
The new category, called TAG 10, was created in addition to the Newcomer and Professional categories, to create “new and meaningful training opportunities’.
Miller explains: “The Contender category was introduced a few years ago because we felt there was a need for young professionals to have their own category as they were previously competing against long standing professionals. However, this category did not prove very successful in the work that was submitted, so we upgraded the category and changed the format altogether.’
“TAG 10 aims to promote mentorship and up-skilling and open new doors for the winners. At least half the entering team should be drawn from previously disadvantaged communities,’ notes Miller.
During the first phase of TAG 10 agencies were encouraged to put forward young creatives – art directors and copywriters under 27 years old – who were invited to send a pitch to TAG organisers for a charity ad of their choice.
“Scoring was based on originality, concept, presentation as well as a motivation about why they chose their charity. We wanted them to select a charity with thought given to current social issues challenging South Africa.’
According to Miller, the judges then selected five shortlisted entries.
Simultaneously production companies were encouraged to put forward young director / producer teams who were invited to put together a show reel and a motivation as to why they should be considered for TAG 10. The judges selected another shortlist.
During the second phase teams from the two groups were introduced to each other and given 14 days to put together a pitch for their project, which they presented to the judges in September.
The top teams went on to make the ads under the supervision of their agency, production companies and / or the panel of judges.
“The idea of TAG 10 is to encourage mentorship from professionals as well as giving the teams a real world experience of the industry,’ says Miller.
At the time of going to print, the teams were in the process of shooting and post-production.
The winners of the first group will go to the Cannes Young Lions and the second group’s winners to the Cannes main festival.
Judging is done by a group of top professionals in the local industry, including Glen Bosman, executive producer at Catapult Commercials; Fanney Tsimong, director at Underdog; Mosese Semenya, director at Catapult Commercials; Palesa Xorile from M-Net; Peter Carr, executive producer at Velocity Films; Gary King, executive director at Picture Tree; and Monareng Makwetla, producer at Velocity Films.
M-Net TAG will be presented on 30 November at The Theatre on the Track, Kyalami, Johannesburg.
The PSAs will screen on selected M-Net channels from January 2012. The schedule will be confirmed once the PSAs have been selected.
SCREENAFRICA Print Magazine – November 2011 (view here)
By Linda Krige