Following Covid-19 disruptions on productions, and with numerous delays as a result, the 15th SAFTAs nominees were announced on 29 April. The announcement proved to be a testament of the efforts of the South African audio-visual industry that held firm even against the odds of disrupted productions due to Covid-19.
M-Net once again sweeps the nominations board with the combined success of The River and Legacy raking in a formidable nominations total count of 24: receiving 12 nominations each. Tight on the heels of these top achieving nominees with 9 nominations, is South Africa’s 2020 official selection to the Oscars, Toorbos. The story explores the uprooting of a young forest woman and her community during the time of the last forest inhabitants of South Africa's Knysna forest of the 1930s. Still Breathing, the deeply moving drama series which has taken South Africa by storm received 10 nominations.“Congratulations to all the thespians and producers that received nominations for this year’s awards. Our business prides itself as African’s best storyteller; MultiChoice continues to prioritise the African film and production industry by continuously investing across the continent,” said Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice group CEO - general entertainment and connected video.
“As MultiChoice Group we pride ourselves in being the leader in Africa storytelling and are committed to prioritising the growth of the African film and production industry by continuously investing in it. We have been working under very difficult and unpredictable circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, that did not deter our people from delivering world class work in the different genres we offer. Congratulations to all the SAFTA nominees, whom we are excited to celebrate on Mzansi Magic on 22 of May at 18:30. Let us remain relentless in taking African stories to the world,” said Phahle.
New to the SAFTAs and bringing in the highest number of submissions this year, the Online Content Category announced: AFI Fashion Week, Duiwelspoort and Noko Mashaba – Lockdown Shandi as the first-ever nominees for the new category.
Commenting on the nominations, Makhosazana Khanyile, National Film and Video Foundation CEO said: “Despite delayed timelines this year, we are once again proud, as the NFVF, that the judging process has once again been without challenges. That the industry is at this point of announcing this year’s nominees, is truly an exciting milestone. We are looking forward to a show that will both delight and redeem the awards from the 2020 award show.”
Themed “Still Shining”, this year’s celebration will be a simulcast on Mzansi Magic and S3 on 22 May 2021 from 18:30 – a first for the SAFTAs. “The team is putting together an amazing show and we are excited to have partnered with the S3 and Mzansi Magic, making sure we bring this amazing show to all South Africans who enjoy and continuously support our local talent,” said SAFTAs executive producer, Anneke de Ridder.
This year’s judging process took place online with a total of 213 judges compared to 205 judges in the previous year. The judges were spread across the provinces including Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the North West, proving a more diverse range of industry experts and officials participating in this year’s process. The credibility of the SAFTAs judging process remains a top priority to the SAFTAs and as such Nexia SAB&T, auditors have been present throughout the judging process.
“Last year we received over 300 entries for the SAFTAs and this year we have broken that record again with a confirmation of 402 eligible entries that went through the rigorous judging process. The credibility of our judging process remains top priority and this growth is a result of the efforts taken to create an inclusive industry celebration that the country can be proud of and confidently participate in,” concluded Khanyile.
Again, the power to decide the winners of the Best Presenter and the Most popular Soap/Telenovela categories is in the hands of the public. To vote for their favourite in these two categories, viewers will need to dial *120*32020# and follow the prompts on their screens. Voting lines open on 30 April 2021 and will close on 19 May 2021. Voters will be charged R1.50 per minute.
The public can vote for the following:
Best TV presenter:
- Devi Sankaree Govender, The Devi Show
- Dineo Ranaka, Yimlo
- Entle Bizana, Hectic on 3
- Katchie Nzama, Come Again
- Katlego Maboe, Tropika Island of Treasure Curacao
- Palesa Tembe, Afternoon Express
- Waldimar Pelser, KN Verslag in gesprek
Most popular soap/telenovela:
- 7de Laan
- Durban Gen
- Getroud Met Rugby
- Rhythm City
- Skeem Saam
- The Queen
- The River