Darrell Roodt drama among SA nominees for Saifta awards in Durban

2013-09-03 00:00

DARRELL Roodt’s gripping drama Little One is among the films nominated for an inaugural South Africa India Film and Television Award (Saifta).

He will contest the best South African film category with A Lucky Man, directed by Gordon Clark, Die Wonderwerker, directed by Katrina Heyns and Pretville, directed by Linda Korsten, at the ceremony in Durban’s ICC Arena on Friday.

Vying for honours in the best Indian film section will be Mohit Suri’s Aashiqui 2, Shekar’s Barfi, Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglish, Abhishek Kapoor’s Kai Po Che and Umesh Shukla’s OMG — Oh My God!

A South African jury has been hard at work judging the local entries for the awards. It is made up of veteran playwright, producer, director and chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, Welcome Msomi; Peter Rorvik, former director of the Durban International Film Festival and the Centre for Creative Arts; Linda Bukhosini, chief executive officer and artistic director of the Playhouse Company; Leleti Khumalo, actress and radio personality; Caroline Smart, a 2012 Living Legend award-winner; and television producer Saira Essa.

“It has been very exciting and very challenging,” Smart told The Witness. “I’ve seen productions that I would never normally see. And the enthusiasm on the part of the organisers is very encouraging and bodes well for the relationship between the two film industries.”

Over in India, the same task has been handled by director Farah Khan, actress Waheeda Rehman, actors Shabana Azmi and Boman Irani, and producer Mukesh Bhatt.

During the glamorous awards ceremony, guests can expect a packed and vibrant entertainment programme featuring both Bollywood and local stars.

Award-winning actors Aaron McIlroy and Jailoshini Naidoo and singer Karen van Pletsen are among the local performers at the 2013 Saiftas.

On the red carpet, fans will be able to see a host of Bollywood’s biggest stars, including Priyanka Chopra, Madhuri Dixit, Dia Mirza, film producer and former model John Abraham, actor Ranveer Singh, producer Mukesh Bhatt, and writer-director Sanjay Gupta.

They will be sharing the spotlight with local celebrities like Jack Devnarain, Maurice Paige, Latoya Mangezi, Thembi Nyandeni, Vinette Abraham, Robert Whitehead, Donnalee Roberts, Tatum Keshwar and Simba Mhere.

Saifta director, Kedhar Gawde of Mumbai-based Celebrity Locker Entertainment, said: “Saifta will highlight the wealth of talent in each country as some of the biggest names in Bollywood and television from both countries take to the stage together for the first time.”

Tickets for the Saiftas can be booked at Computicket.

• arts@witness.co.za

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