The nominees for this year’s South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) have been announced and we look at who got the nod and who didn’t. We’ll also speculate, based on merit, about who should go home with an award and who probably will go home with one. In this business nothing is certain.
Beginning with the comedy category, it is worth noting that there are five sub-categories. We have the Best TV Comedy and there is a fierce competition between ZA News, Late Nite News and Skwizas.
ZA News is the brainchild of cartoonist Zapiro and friends and it struggled to find a home on TV at first because of its unflinching take on politics. Just for its fearlessness and inadvertent fight for press freedom, ZA News should get some recognition.
But if we consider that Late Nite News had a close brush with the international Emmys, then it is obvious they have improved and also need to get a nod.
Skwizas is a sitcom with a star-studded cast. With Mary Twala, Lillian Dube, Mara Louw, Rina Nienaber and Dolly Malunga, you know that combination will provide nothing but timeless and classic entertainment. Based on that alone, and not even looking at their combined years of experience, these skwizas should win.
Besides, they might not be here for long, so let’s just give it to them already. Okay, that was a joke, it is the comedy category after all.
Late Nite News and ZA News still have another chance in the Best Director TV Comedy slot where they face off against My Perfect Family. Because of Late Nite News’s varied content, it shows that their director, Kagiso Lediga, is able to put on screen the insanity that goes on in his mind.
If they don’t make it in the previous two categories then Late Nite News and ZA News have a final chance in the Best Writing Team of a TV Comedy where again they will compete with My Perfect Family. Here ZA News should win because their set and characters are simple and the success of any given episode depends heavily on the content of the script.
Youth & Children
Big Up, Ntunjambili: The Twin Caves, Shiz Niz and Shorething made the cut. Eclipse TV’s Big Up is a well-known show that has been doing well over the past few years. The religious programme takes local community heroes and puts them in touch with popular musicians who commend the social leaders for their charity work. A song is then dedicated to the heroes by the celeb to celebrate the hero’s legacy. Some tear-jerking stuff right there.
The other three are more like fluff so it makes Big Up come out tops as the show with the most substance.
News & Actuality
This is an easy one. We have Crimes Uncovered, I Am Woman: Leap of Faith and Carte Blanche. With all that is going on with the Oscar Pistorius trial, the one place most people are going is DStv’s channel 199, which is a 24-hour Carte Blanche channel. This has given the show a boost at their chance of winning this category.
Yes, the nominations happened before the trial began, but considering the awards will take place now that the trial has started, it is quite possible the Safta judges could be swayed to vote in favour of Carte Blanche.
Afro Cafe finds itself fighting against Expresso Morning Show, Bitten and Jou Show Met Emo en Wikus. As much as we might be swayed to think Afro Cafe got the nod because it has been around for long, chances are Expresso will walk away with it because of its fresh approach to covering the news in the morning. With a presenting team that grows every now and then, we never get bored by the format of the show.
With this genre still young in South Africa, it is amazing how many shows we’ve had so far. The nominees include Jam Sandwich, Around Iceland on Inspiration, The Ultimate Braai Master and Jack Up Your Shack. Just for the way they present The Ultimate Braai Master, we have to agree that it deserves a Safta. The show is uniquely South African and although you are not at their braai, you can almost smell the aroma of the cooking meat.
• The eighth annual South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) will take place in Joburg on Saturday, April 5, and Sunday, April 6.