SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: The nominees for the 2014 South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) were announced at an event held at Urban Tree in Sandton on Tuesday 5 March.
Writer-director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka’s controversial second opus, Of Good Report came out with the most nominations in the feature film categories – a total of 11, including Best Feature Film, Best Director and Writer for Qubeka, Best Editing for Che Amaru Tunstead and Cobus Rossouw, Best Cinematography for Jonathan Kovel, Best Production Design for Jerry Manganyi, Best Sound Design for Philip Miller, Best Make-Up / Hair (Ian Swann) and Best Actor, Actress and Supporting Actor respectively for Mothusi Magano, Petronella Tshuma and Tshamano Sebe.
Of Good Report first came to public attention when it was banned by the Film and Publication Board (FPB) the night before it was scheduled to open the Durban International Film Festival in 2013. It has since played to great acclaim at numerous festivals in South Africa and abroad. This darkly comic erotic thriller tells of a teacher’s dangerous obsession with one of his students.
Among the other major nominees in the film categories was Barry Berk’s Sleeper’s Wake, which, among its seven nominations, garnered a Best Actor nod for Lionel Newton as well as writing and directing nominations for Berk.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom also picked up several accolades, along with comedy Fanie Fourie’s Lobola and Venda-language drama Elelwani.
On the television side, ZA News, My Perfect Family and Late Nite News appeared several times in the comedy categories. Mzansi Magic’s soap / telenovela Isibaya was nominated in all eight Soap categories – all three of the Best Actor nominees were from the popular show. The award for Best Soap is to be decided by public vote.
Room 9 and High Rollers featured prominently on the TV Drama honours list, along with Rockville and Skeem Saam. Idols, MasterChef South Africa, Come Dine With Me SA and Taboo SA are all in contention for the Best International Format Show.
The SAFTAs, or Golden Horns, as they have become known, are now in their eighth year and take place under the aegis of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF). They are designed to honour excellence in the film and television industries.
NFVF CEO and SAFTAs Committee Chairperson Zama Mkosi said that the number of entries has increased from last year’s 354 to 432 this year, a rise of 22% . The judging committee was chaired in its deliberations by producer Roberta Durrant and veteran actor Jerry Mofokeng.
In his address before the award announcements, Mofokeng stressed the importance and prestige of the SAFTAs and the rigour of the judging process, with no place for honorary nods or consolation prizes. “There is no “Ag shame’ Award,’ he said, “so there can be no potential winners of the “Ag shame’ award. Each and every nominee announced here tonight is a potential SAFTA winner… We must be able to say with confidence, “Here is a SAFTA winner, show some respect!’’
The SAFTA Awards ceremony will be held on 4 and 5 April.
Report by Warren Holden