SAFTAs sets benchmark


For the first time ever presenters at the South African Film and Television Awards
(SAFTAs), to be held at Gallagher Estate, Midrand on 15 and 16 March, will
include sports stars and fashion luminaries. These will complement the line-up of
film and TV personalities, radio presenters, DJs and comedians.

“Sports and fashion play a big part in television so with this year’s eclectic mix of
presenters we are aiming to be as inclusive as possible in order to accommodate
all viewers. Presenters will be announced closer to the time.

“I believe viewers are going to be blown away by the 2013 SAFTAS and I can
promise that the live performances will be dazzling,’ says SAFTAs project
coordinator, Lala Tuku.

She stresses that both nights of the awards ceremonies (non-fiction and
technical categories on Friday 15 March, with fiction categories on Saturday 16
March) are of equal importance.

“In the past people have had this perception that the Friday night ceremony is
less important than the Saturday event but this is not the case. We’ve taken
particular pains this year to ensure that Friday night’s ceremony will match
Saturday’s,’ says Tuku.

Naomi Mokhele, Communications & Public Affairs manager of SAFTAs custodian,
the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), adds that while the SAFTAs will
be as glamorous and high profile as ever, they will also capture the essence of
what goes on behind the scenes of film and television production.

“Our theme for this year’s ceremonies is: “We are what you see’,’ continues
Mokhele. “Every role player in the industry is responsible for the quality that
makes it onto our screens, therefore the 2013 SAFTAs will ensure that they all
partake in the show – to drive it, to set the scenes and to provide insights into
this amazing industry. This year’s SAFTAs production will capture the excitement,
intrigue, thrills, spills and action of what happens behind the camera, from
soapies to documentaries.’

As reported in the January 2013 issue of Screen Africa, the tender to stage the
events was awarded to two companies, Vibe 2000 and Vertical Limit

Says Sam September of Vibe 2000: “SAFTAs 2013 will celebrate the making of
films and television programmes and show how the diamonds of the industry are
created. In previous years getting a television programme or a film made was
reliant on big crews and expensive technology. Today even a student can make
a film on their cell phone. At the SAFTAs we will show the interaction between
technology and humans

“Our stage design is going to be spectacular and the set will play with light and
depth in an exciting way’
The decision to stage the SAFTAs at Gallagher Estate for the third time was the
result of a nationwide tender.

Freelance director Eugene Naidoo, who has worked on the SAFTAs before, will
direct the television aspect of the two awards ceremonies.

This will be the 7th annual edition of the SAFTAs, which were created to honour,
celebrate and promote the creativity, quality and excellence of South African film
and television talent and productions.


A first for the SAFTAs is that the judging process included sessions in Cape Town
for the local judges. Previously all judges had to congregate in Johannesburg.

“Durban has subsequently shown interest in hosting judging sessions and may
be included for next year’s awards,’ explains Mokhele. “In addition for the first
time, we invited the media to observe and experience how the nominees are
selected in the final phase of judging.’

At the beginning of February the final stage of judging had just been completed
in Johannesburg, with the Cape Town leg finalised earlier.
Nominees will be announced at a launch on 13 February in Johannesburg.


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