The Saftas still suck

2015-03-08 17:30

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The SA Film and Television Awards (Saftas) are supposed to be our Emmys and Oscars, but they remain a painful, pitiful, shameful and highly embarrassing letdown, a shocking concoction of bad that the organisers refuse to fix.

Instead of honouring and supporting the country’s film and TV industry when the Saftas take place for a ninth time on March 20 and 22, they will damage it. The awards never reflect the quality shows, best performers and behind-the scenes sloggers who bring the best to the small screen.

When the nominees for this year were announced at the end of last month in an amateurish event in a huddled corner of the Atlas Studios, I again had many questions for judging chairpersons Roberta Durrant, Jerry Mofokeng and National Film and Video Foundation chief executive Zama Mkosi (who wasn’t there, but busy in Brazil – another eye-popping blunder).

The biggest cringe of the Saftas, again produced by Clive Morris Productions, will be the lack of praise and recognition for the work we saw in the period when Nelson Mandela died. The 2015 Saftas are judging work between August 1 2013 and July 31 2014. Our Robyn Curnow on CNN International was the best. Carte Blanche’s tomb of special doccies on DStv On Demand was a treasure trove. Even the SABC rose to the occasion with moments of great TV. But none of this is on the nominees’ list.

It’s a lie when the Saftas say SABC1’s Generations is out this year because it was off air “for a considerable amount of time”. It was on every weekday in the judging period and gone for two months during October and December last year, outside the judging period.

Why is Skeem Saam, a youth drama, appearing in several soap categories, while Soul City, a show that’s almost exactly the same format, remains a TV drama and is nominated as such? Skeem Saam became a soap in December last year and shouldn’t be considered in any soap categories.

Soaps nominated include – as spelt by the Saftas – Binnerlanders (and Binelanders), Rhythym City and 7dde Laan. Of the three nominees for best game show, two are for dreadful advertiser-funded productions. They are usually never good TV because the long ads or infomercials masquerade as real TV without telling viewers. Are we saying the best game shows we can bring to TV are The Clover Little Big Cook Off and Tropika Island of Treasure?

At least “Nooit for Nooit” (can you hire a spellchecker, Saftas?) is nominated in the category for best presenter in a game show.

Charly’s Cake Angels is a nominee as best variety show – but it’s a reality show. Where is MasterChef SA, Survivor SA Champions and the wonderful Our Perfect Wedding if the terrible Kabelo’s Boot Camp has made it as a nominee?

Where is the deserving, well-made programming from the country’s community TV stations?

The brilliant Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola made it internationally as an Emmy nominee two years in a row, but isn’t good enough to feature in the best TV comedy or best presenter in a comedy, talk or variety show categories.

Satirical puppet show ZA News: Puppet Nation is nominated in best achievement in make-up and hair styling for a TV comedy. Make-up and hair – for puppets. Really?

Besides English and Afrikaans, there are almost no shows as nominees in any of the other languages. South Africa has 11 official languages and they are shown on TV. Is everything that’s not English or Afrikaans dismissible?

Our TV people deserve recognition. The daft systemic problems the Saftas won’t address – crazy category nominations, snubs, omissions and a shoddy modus operandi – damage our industry. And when the industry gets damaged, it ends up damaging viewers.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.