Controversial critically acclaimed film ‘Inxeba’ swept up the awards at the South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) on 22 and 24 March at Sun City, winning all the key nods.
The film took home six Golden Horns in the following categories: Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Actor (Nakhane) and Best Supporting Actor (Bongile Mantsai).
“’Inxeba’ has won multiple awards at festivals all over the world, but being recognised at home has been the most important achievement for us as a team,” says producer Cait Pansegrouw. “It is extremely meaningful to all of us to be acknowledged by our South African industry peers. I am particularly thrilled that our incredible cast were awarded for their performances. Without their generosity and fearlessness, none of what this film has achieved would have been possible.”
Safta juries are comprised of prolific industry figures and previous Safta winners. In 2012 the Safta Committee introduced the system of incorporating previous winners into the judging panels to encourage peer recognition within the industry, and also to ensure that there is objectivity and transparency throughout the process. The judging panels are assembled according to their skills set, and the majority of judges on each jury are now past award winners. Voting is conducted by secret ballot and all results are audited by an auditing firm.
“In the case of a controversial film like ‘Inxeba’, it is important to note the absolute transparency of the nomination and voting process,” says Helen Kuun, MD of Indigenous Film Distribution. “The voting members for feature films, of which there is a pool of more than 80, all belong to the film industry, and are independent professionals,” says Helen Kuun. “There is a meticulous process by which the Safta Committee determines nominees and winners, and it functions much like the Oscar nominations. The legitimacy of the process is well-established, and jury members have no way of knowing how their peers vote. This means that no-one knows who the winner is in each category until awards night.”
The Safta guidelines are available from the National Film and Video website here: www.nfvf.co.za.
‘Inxeba’ was reclassified by the Film and Publications Board Tribunal to a rating of X18, effectively labelling the film as pornography and pulling it out of cinemas earlier in March. This reclassification was the result of appeals lodged by Contralesa Gauteng and The Man and Boy Foundation. This was overturned as the result of a court order resulting in a revised rating for the film – from X18 to 18SNLVP. Inxeba’s producers and distributors, and legal counsel Webber Wentzel will return to the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday, 28 March, where the urgent application will be heard by Judge Raulinga.
In the meantime, ‘Inxeba’ is still screening at selected cinemas countrywide.