M-Net’s Homegrown Magic Scores Big At SAFTAS

M-Net’s commitment to telling homegrown stories through a concerted local content investment strategy was recognised at this year’s South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs).

At an event held over three days at Sun City, shows on M-Net’s channels took home a collective 22 Golden Horns across a diverse spread of categories, once again underscoring the significant impact that the company is having on all aspects of the South African television and film industries.

“We have always maintained that local content is where the real growth potential lies,” comments Nkateko Mabaso, Acting CEO of M-Net.

“Our excellent showing at this year’s SAFTAs is evidence that our investment strategy is producing high-quality shows that appeal not just to viewers, but also to the SAFTA judges. I would like to congratulate all the winners on the hard work and creative energy that goes into producing award-winning content.”

Among those shows recognised by South Africa’s leading awards honouring, celebrating and promoting creativity, quality and excellence in the film and television industry were Isibaya, Suidooster, iNumber Number and Lockdown.

In addition, acting honours were given to Carine Rous from Elke Skew Pot, Hamilton Dlamini from Isithembiso, Pallance Dladla from Isibaya, Tarryn Lamb from Suidooster, Thuso Mbedu from Is’thunzi and Jana Cilliers from Die Boekklub 2.

In total 79 awards were handed out at the SAFTAs in a broad range of categories including TV non-fiction, TV fiction, feature films, short films, comedy, TV soap and telenovela, student films and more.


SAFTA Win For Shepherds And Butchers

Oliver Schmitz, director of the award winning SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS won the coveted Best Achievement in Directing prize at the 11th South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA) last night.

Produced by Anant Singh and Brian Cox (who also wrote the screenplay), the film stars 2017 SAFTA nominees Garion Dowds and Deon Lotz who received nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectfully, as well as Academy Award® nominee, Steve Coogan (‘Philomena’) and Andrea Riseborough (‘Birdman’). The film also features well-known South African talent including Robert Hobbs, Eduan van Jaarsveldt, Marcel van Heerden and Sylvia Mdunyelwa.

In a statement on winning the award, Schmitz who is currently in Germany said:

“I thank you for this honour and apologise profusely that I cannot be with you, I am shooting at the moment and that made it impossible for me to come. I salute my fellow nominees and the new generation of directors in South Africa who mare making big strides despite the difficulties and uncertainties that mark our profession.

SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS was a hard film to make as a director because it deals directly with white violence in apartheid and a challenging one to watch, especially by all who suffered at the hands of it, maybe more so even now because South Africa is still trying to heal the wounds of its damaged past. But if we always made films that are popular we would censor our desire to tackle difficult things. I believe that in order to strive for a better society it is important to also look at the worse one behind us, to see how much we have achieved, to see how far we have come and not to repeat the same mistakes of the past. I am proud of SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS and all the creativity that went into its making.

I thank Anant for his tenacity, courage and perseverance, my wonderful cast and team for their talent and dedication and Brian for always being there to think, rethink and his laconic sense of humour. I thank you all and I am humbled by this award, thank you very much.”

Producer, Anant Singh said, “Whilst the film deals with the controversial issue of capital punishment, Oliver crafted an amazing film with sensitivity and care. We congratulate Oliver on this wonderful achievement. We also congratulate the production team, including those who received SAFTA nominations for their contributions to the film.”


Ster-Kinekor And SAFTAs Announce Winner Of Young Achiever Award

The who’s who of the South African film and television industry put on their finest as they walked the red carpet with their peers. This, in preparation for the announcement of all the winners at the 11th Annual SAFTAs (South African Film and Television Awards) ceremony at Sun City this evening (18 March).

Thapelo Mokoena and Ster-Kinekor CEO Wanda Matandela

Among the list of recipients of a much-treasured SAFTA statuette was a young and talented actor, who is destined for bigger and brighter things on both the big and small screen. The Young Achiever Award, sponsored this year by Ster-Kinekor Theatres, was handed over to a delighted Thapelo Mokoena by Wanda Matandela, CEO of the country’s leading cinema exhibitor. The sponsorship is a further display of Ster-Kinekor’s continued support of the local film industry, and the development of the exciting young talent therein.

“Thapelo Mokoena is a most worthy recipient of this inaugural Youth Achiever Award, and our sponsorship of this award is a very exciting development for Ster-Kinekor. The SAFTAs provides an excellent avenue for us to demonstrate our commitment to the flourishing South African film industry.

“But, more importantly, we are delighted to be sponsoring a new and innovative category that recognises and rewards the exciting young talent in our country who are destined to become the industry’s rising stars of tomorrow,” says Wanda Matandela, CEO of Ster-Kinekor Theatres.

“Focusing on growing the youth market is a key sector within our marketing strategy. This sponsorship opportunity further strengthens that strategy. It also gives us access to some of the exciting and developing talent within the sector, who are destined for future success.”

Thapelo Mokoena is a South African actor and television presenter best known for presenting the first season of the South African version of the reality competition, “Fear Factor” in 2005. He also played the role of Cedric Fatani in “Wild at Heart” from 2007 to 2012 and, in August 2016, he joined the star-studded cast of “High Rollers” on SABC3.

He made his big screen appearance as Elias Motsoaledi in the much celebrated 2013 film that celebrated Madiba’s life, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. Mokoena is now the owner of his own production company, Thapelo Mokoena Productions.

“We are looking forward to working with Thapelo, and exploring some interesting opportunities and collaborations with this creative talent going forward,” commented Matandela.

“It is important that all sectors within the industry work together to ensure our continued commitment to the growth and success of South Africa’s growing film industry. As such, our partnership with the NFVF to sponsor the SAFTAs category that focuses on youth achievement is our commitment to ensuring a healthy pipeline of talent and content into the future.”

The special Youth Achiever Award category is presented to a newcomer or young individual in the industry who has demonstrated excellence in their craft. The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), custodians of the SAFTAs, called for nominations for this category, one of three discretionary awards to be presented at the awards event this evening.

The panel of judges, comprising members of the SAFTAs committee, CCIFSA, SASFED, SABC, M-Net, eTV and StarSat), evaluated the nominees’ submissions of work, their impact on the future of, and their development, the industry as a whole. The choice of Mokoena as the worthy recipient of this award was a unanimous agreement by the panel.


M-Net’s Local Content Strategy Wins Big At SAFTA

M-Net’s local content investment strategy paid off when its channels collectively won 36 Golden Horns, scooping some of the biggest awards – Most Popular Soap, Best Soap, Best Feature Film, Best Documentary Feature, Best Achievement in Scriptwriting, and Best Achievement in Directing-Feature Film – at the 11th South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) held at the Sun City Super Bowl on 18 March.

Isibaya, Mzansi Magic’s flagship soap, won Most Popular Soap and The Road was awarded Best TV Soap. kykNET won Best Feature Film for Sink, Best Documentary Feature for Nobody’s Died Laughing, and Best Achievement in Scriptwriting for Die Boekklub. M-Net 101 won Best Achievement in Directing-Feature Film for its original film, Shepherds and Butchers.

Thembisa Mdoda, presenter of Mzansi Magic’s popular reality show, Our Perfect Wedding won Best TV Presenter and Greed and Desire’s Linda Sebezo in the category Best Supporting Actress- TV Soap/Telenovela.

kykNET (DStv channel 144) won a total of 26 awards including Best Supporting Actress-TV Drama for Die Boekklub won by Jana Cilliers, taking Best Actor- TV Comedy was James Borthwick as well as the 19 Golden Horns from the technical awards evening.

M-Net’s (DStv channel 101) original film, Shepherds and Butchers directed by Oliver Schmitz won the Best Achievement in Directing in the Feature Film category. A South African story set in the 1980’s focuses on the skewed judicial system of the time. A second win for M-Net was for its ultimate talent contest The Voice South Africa, which won its very first Golden Horn for Best International Format Show.

Voted for by adoring fans, Isibaya (on DStv channel 161), is a proudly South African story that has captured the hearts of Mzansi. It depicts the battle for wealth and power between rival taxi families, a reality that many South Africans can relate with. Isibaya also won for its brilliant production value in the category Best Achievement in Post Production-Original Music/Score-TV Soap/Telenovela.

Sink, a kykNET original production, is based on the journey of a mother, who needs to make devastating choices. Nobody’s Died Laughing, is a biographic feature documentary, an exploration of the life and times of satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys.

M-Net CEO Yolisa Phahle stated that, ‘From audience approvals to awards, our local content focus is about creating memorable and empowering television, which has allowed our M-Net magic to spread across the continent’. Phahle continued to say that, ‘Our successes are based on the winning partnerships with powerhouse production companies, actors and our employees, who share the M-Net vision of creating local stories that are transformational and entertaining.’ Phahle congratulated all nominees and winners honoured on the evening.

The 11th Annual South African Film and Television (SAFTAs) winners announced – Night 1

1 Best Achievement in Sound Design – Documentary Feature Nobody’s Died Laughing Barry Donnelly
2 Best Achievement in Editing – Documentary Feature Nobody’s Died Laughing Geoffrey Butler
3 Best International Format Show The Voice South Africa African Media and Production Network
4 Best Achievement in Scriptwriting -TV Drama Die Boekklub Louis Pretourius
5 Best Achievement in Cinematography – TV Drama Bloedbroers Adam Bentel
6 Best Achievement in Editing – TV Drama Bloedbroers Ula Oelsen
7 Best Achievement in Editing – TV Drama Bloedbroers Johan Cronje
8 Best Achievement in Original Music/ Score-TV Drama Bloedbroers Janine Neethling
9 Best Achievement in Art / Production Design – TV Drama Bloedbroers Bathoni Robinson
10 Best Achievement in Wardrobe, Make-Up and Hairstyling – TV Drama Bloedbroers Julia Rubinstein
11 Best Achievement in Wardrobe, Make-Up and Hairstyling – TV Drama Bloedbroers Sulet Meintjes
12 Best Achievement in Post Production – Editing – TV Soap/Telenovela The Road Kirsten de Magalhaes, Andrew Traill, Julian Thomas, Nqobizwe Ndlangamandla, Sharron Hawkes
13 Best Achievement in Art Direction/ Production Design – TV Soap/Telenovela The Road Dylan Lloyd & Johann Krynauw
14 Best Achievement in Wardrobe, Make-up and Hair – TV Soap/Telenovela The Road Trudi Barklem & Julene Paton
15 Best Achievement in Post Production – Original Music/Score-TV Soap/Telenova Isibaya Philip Miller
16 Best Achievement in Scriptwriting -TV Comedy Hotel Bennie Fourie & Stiaan Smith
17 Best Achievement in Scriptwriting -Feature Film Sink Brett Michael Innes
18 Best Achievement in Editing – Feature Film Sink Nicholas Costaras & Brett Michael Innes
19 Best Achievement in Cinematography – Feature Film Modder en Bloed Adam Bentel
20 Best Achievement in Art Production Design – Feature Film Noem My Skollie Warren Gray
21 Best Achievement in Original Music/ Score – Feature Film Sink Chris Letcher
22 Best Achievement in Sound Design – Feature Film Modder en Bloed Jim Petrak
23 Best Achievement in Costume Design – Feature Film Noem My Skollie Emma Moss
24 Best Achievement in Make-up and Hairstyling – Feature Film Noem My Skollie Gale Shepherd

The 11th Annual South African Film and Television (SAFTAs) winners announced – Night 2

1 Best Documentary Feature Nobody’s Died Laughing Who Projects
2 Best TV Soap/Telenovela The Road  The Bomb Shelter Film Company
3 Best Feature Film Sink Nostalgia Productions, Brittle Star Pictures and  Scramble Productions
4 Best Achievement in Directing – Feature Film Shepherds and Butchers Oliver Schmitz
5 Best TV Presenter Thembisa Mdoda Public Vote
6 Most Popular TV Soap Isibaya Public Vote
7 Best Supporting Actress – TV Drama Jana Cilliers Die Boekklub
8 Best Supporting Actress- TV Soap/Telenovela Linda Sebezo Greed and Desire
9 Best Actor -TV Comedy James Borthwick Hotel
10 Best Actor – Feature Film Dann Jaques Mouton Noem My Skollie
11 Best Actress – Feature Film Shoki Mokgapa Sink
12 Best Supporting Actor – Feature Film Abdurahgmaan Adams Noem My Skollie