While the biggest night for Mzansi’s film and television fraternity was sans the traditional red carpet moment, it was an unforgettable one nonetheless.
The prestigious15th annual South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) ceremony, kicked off with the Craft Awards on Friday with the main ceremony airing on Mzansi Magic as well as S3 on Saturday night.
The three hosts - actress and television presenter Dineo Langa alongside renowned comedian Mpho “Popps” Modikoane and television personality Graeme Richards - were joined by the industry, virtually. And it was a refreshingly seamless ceremony.
Of course, the hosts, amid their several wardrobe changes, oozed glam and pizzazz.
And Popps made a quirky entry with a skit that saw him hop through different soapie scenarios.That James Brown hairdo of his got Twitter and his co-hosts talking too.
The big honours went to Tshedza Pictures, who dominated this year’s Saftas with 12 accolades for their two popular shows, “The River” and “Legacy”.
While Mzansi Magic’s “Gomora” lost Best Telenovela honours to M-Net’s “Legacy”, “Gomora” won the public vote for Best Telenovela/TV Soap.
Although e.tvs “Rhythm City” won Best TV Soap, it was a bittersweet victory as the soapie filmed its last episode in the week. The soapie ends it’s 14 year run in a few months time.
No stranger to winning a Golden Horn, Michelle Botes said: “...it’s just yielded magic.
“Thank you Tshedza Pictures for being courageous and being so brave and for the magnificent people I get to work with. Magnificent cast. Magnificent crew.
“Thank you, thank, thank you. I just want to say how grateful I am to be working during these wild times.
“Once again, Tshedza Pictures, for your courage and your bravery, I salute you.”
Sindi Dladla, who plays badass Lindiwe Dlamini on “The River”, was crowned Best Actress in a Telenovela for the second year in a row.
Legendary actor Menzi Ngubane was posthumously honoured with the Best Actor in Telenovela, for his role of Judas Ngwenya in “Isibaya”.
Ngubane passed away on March 13, after suffering a stroke at his home. He was 56.
It was interesting to see Netflix’s rom-com “How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding” walking away with eight awards including the Best Actress-TV Comedy award, which was presented to seasoned actress Busi Lurayi.
Desmond Dube scooped the Best Supporting Actor -TV Comedy for his role of Shadrack on “How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding”.
He said: “First, let me thank God for the gift of life and opportunity. To the Saftas, I want to take a moment to thank you.
“To all the nominees, congratulations. To Netflix, thank you for once again making us believe that we and our stories matter to our people.
“And maybe even people around the world. To Burnt Onion, the Ramaphakela siblings, what can I say, you are an inspiration to more families in this country than you can ever imagine. And thank you for this opportunity.”
He also thanked his wife and daughters and Johnny Barbuzano for being the most amazing director.
How to Steal a Country took home four awards including Best Documentary Feature.
Netflix’s hit teen show “Blood & Water” bagged three awards including the Best TV Drama, while “Queen Sono” took home two awards including Best Supporting Actor - TV Drama.
Another big winner was M-Net’s “Still Breathing”, the show walked away with three awards including the Best Actor - TV Drama, which was won by Brandon Auret, and Best Actress - TV Drama.
While co-creator and actress Tiffany Barbuzano was in the running, the award went to an elated Kate Liquorish.
kykNET’s Binnelanders, “Toorbos” and “Griekwastad” each picked up two awards.
The Best TV presenter category caused a small uproar after Saftas rescinded Katlego Maboes’s nomination.
Entle Bizana, who was up against Dineo Ranaka and Palesa Themba, took the honours in the Public Vote category.
A humbled Bizana said: “Thank you so much for this opportunity to have been nominated with all the people, it was such an honour.
“But to be the winner, it was even more amazing. I started my journey five years ago on children’s television and it’s been such an amazing experience.
“Black child, you can do it.
“I think this woman right here is a representation of that.”
Another highlight of the weekend was the Oscar award-winning doccie feature “My Octopus Teacher” received the Best Natural History and Environmental Programme.
The new & popular category which attracted the highest number of submissions this year, the Best Online Content golden horn was awarded to social media favourite “Noko Mashaba”.
In between the announcements, there were two interesting conversations had; one with Mzansi’s trendy - and sometimes controversial - reality stars, and the other with child stars revisiting their growth in the industry, which had its pros and cons.
With performances by Focalistic, Lee Cole and Riky Rick - not forgetting Amu Faku’s heartrending ballad as we paid tribute to industry giants that passed on - the 15th Saftas was memorable.
And the prestigious award ceremony deserves praise for being more inclusive and representational this year. Hats off for getting it right!
Commenting on the event Saftas, National Film & Video Foundation CEO, Makhosazana Khanyile said, “Saftas 15, what an amazing win for the industry we serve! I’d like to congratulate all the winners as well as our valued partners, especially our broadcast partners, Mzansi Magic and S3.
“It truly is an honour for the NFVF to be the custodians of the Saftas and to watch the industry grow and flourish.
“Amidst a global pandemic, our artists persevered, entertained, and challenged themselves and this can be witnessed in the number of nominees that this year witnessed.
“I’m grateful for the industry that continues to walk the Saftas journey with us and true to this year’s theme, the industry is absolutely still shining”.
See full list of winners below:
Best Actress - Telenovela
- Sindi Dlathu, The River (1Magic)
Best Actor - Telenovela
- Menzi Ngubane, Isibaya (Mzansi Magic)
Best Supporting Actress - Telenovela
- Michelle Botes, Legacy (M-Net)
Best Supporting Actor - Telenovela
- Meshack Mavuso Magabane, The River (1Magic)
Best Actress - TV Soap
- Petronella Tshuma, Rhythm City (e.tv)
Best Actor-TV Soap
- Clint Brink, Binnelanders (kykNET)
Best Supporting Actress - TV Soap
- Masasa Mbangeni, Scandal (e.tv)
Best Supporting Actor - TV Soap
- Mothusi Magano, Skeem Saam (SABC1)
Best TV Soap
- Rhythm City (e.tv)
- Legacy (M-Net)
Best Actress - TV Drama
- Kate Liquorish, Still Breathing (M-Net)
Best Actor - TV Drama
- Brandon Auret, Still Breathing (M-Net)
Best Supporting Actress - TV Drama
- June van Merch, Sara se Geheim Season 3 (kykNET)
Best Supporting Actor - TV Drama
- James Ngcobo, Queen Sono Season 1 (Netflix)
Best TV Drama
- Blood & Water, Season 1 (Netflix)
Best Actress-TV Comedy
- Busisiwe Lurayi, How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding (Netflix)
Best Actor -TV Comedy
- James Borthwick, Hotel (kykNET)
Best Supporting Actress - TV Comedy
- Martelize Kolver, Hotel (kykNET)
Best Supporting Actor -TV Comedy
- Desmond Dube, How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding (Netflix)
Best TV Comedy
- The Riviera (SABC2)
Best Actress - Feature Film
- Tinarie Van Wyk Loots, Gat In Die Muur (Hole In The Wall) (Netflix)
Best Actor – Feature Film
- Tshamano Sebe, 8 – (Netflix)
Best Supporting Actress - Feature Film
- Tarryn Wyngaard, Stam (DSTV Box office)
Best Supporting Actor - Feature Film
- Hakeem Kae Kazim, Riding with Sugar (Netflix)
Best Feature Film
Best TV Presenter (Public Vote Category)
- Entle Bizana, Hectic on 3 (S3)
Most Popular TV Soap/Telenovela (Public Vote Category)