/ 18 March 2013

Saftas: From dull to disaster

Lindiwe Ndlovu accepts her award from Samuel L Jackson.
Lindiwe Ndlovu accepts her award from Samuel L Jackson.

South Africa's equivalent to the Emmy Awards, the Saftas, were held at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg over two days, and hosted by actor Connie Ferguson and comedian Nik Rabinowitz.

Unfortunately the ceremony failed to produce the laughter, tears and excitement the industry it was celebrating brings to our screens.

The event started with an awkward scattering of attendees being welcomed onto the red carpet by comedian Tumi Morake and a fumbling Lerato Kganyago.

The broadcast then moved onto the opening performance, which was a collaboration by Zaki Ibrahim, Khaya Mthethwa and Zakes Bantwini, supported by The Muffinz, mixed by DJ Black Coffee.

Not only did the show's organisers manage to bore their audience, with Rabinowitz and Ferguson failing to entertain an unimpressed audience, they also failed to execute one of the fundamentals of their industry: slick production.

Just like last year, the badly-produced show had people wandering in front of the cameras and winners walking all the way from the back of the room when their names were called (leaving them no time to make their acceptance speeches).

Winner announcement mess-up
And then, although the introduction to the award for best writing in a TV drama series had just been screened, the winner of the best supporting actress in a TV drama was announced instead, with Rabinowitz reading the name of Nazli George from 90 Plein Street. Meanwhile, a voiceover announced that the writing award had gone to e.tv's 4Play: Sex Tips for Girls.

Having heard the name of his TV show, Teddy Mattera, a writer from 90 Plein Street, made his way on stage under the impression that 90 Plein Street had won the writing category. And yes, he made an acceptance speech, while none of the organisers intervened.

Only after Chris Chameleon’s rather bizarre performance, which followed the incident, did the Safta organisers rectify the mistake.

"Earlier we didn't give the writing team for 4Play: Sex Tips for Girls an opportunity to make their acceptance speech, so please welcome the 4Play: Sex Tips for Girls writing team," said Rabinowitz.

Hollywood legend Samuel L Jackson made a surprise appearance to present the awards for best actress and actor in a feature film to Lindiwe Ndlovu (Little One) and Riaad Moosa (Material). Moosa did not attend the event.

SABC2's 7de Laan was declared South Africa’s favourite soapie, the only award voted for by the public.

Sobukwe: A Great Soul won best documentary feature and its director, Mickey Dube, best director of a documentary feature.

M-Net’s The Wild, which ends this month after being cancelled due to poor viewership and costly production, won best director of a TV soap, best art direction of a TV soap, best editor of a TV soap and best director of photography/cinematographer of a TV soap.

Industry legends Jerry Mofokeng, Tony Boyers and Marilyn Van Reenen were awarded lifetime achievement awards for their contributions to South African film and television.

The big winner of the night was e.tv’s 4Play: Sex Tips for Girls, which took home seven awards.