The 12th annual South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) will take place on 22 and 24 March 2018 at Sun City Resort in the North West Province. Managed under the custodianship of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) – an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture – the SAFTAs committee consists of the SABC, DStv, M-Net, e.tv, StarSat, the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) and the South African Screen Federation (SASFED).
Screen Africa chatted to Ari Kruger, director and producer of 2018 SAFTA-nominated series SuzelleDIY:
What inspired you to make SuzelleDIY?
SuzelleDIY actually started as a passion project. We both [Kruger and his wife Julia Anastasopoulos] were working in the commercial industry at the time, myself as a director and Julia as an actress, and we had been trying to make something outside of our commercial work that we could do on the weekends. We made a couple of episodes and released them on YouTube and they quickly received a good response. We continued to make them and when our eleventh episode ‘How to make a braai-pie’ went viral, it changed our lives. SuzelleDIY has since become a South African brand, we’ve made books, branded content and grown the channel to over 25 millions views. Our episodes also play regularly on Comedy Central which has allowed a much broader audience to reach Suzelle.
What do you attribute its success to?
I think that SuzelleDIY became successful because of us being able to create from a place of playfulness. I think that is also why it has resonated with audiences as it feels genuine and funny. Besides for the entertainment factor there’s also real value to each episode as all of the hacks that Suzelle demonstrates are innovative and unusual. Suzelle’s message is also a positive one as she literally encourages people to do-it-yourself.
What will winning the SAFTA mean to you, Julia and the SuzelleDIY team?
It would be an honour to win a SAFTA — we never expected the show to become as successful as it became, so it would really just be fantastic to have it officially recognised by our industry.