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The main winner in the Safta fiction awards was Life Above All, which beat off strong competition from Spud and Jozi  to win an impressive seven horns; 7de Laan was named best soapie.
THE Saftas were ruled by the big winner of the night, Life Above All, which scooped an impressive seven accolades at the ceremony to award television and film stars in fiction categories.


Winnie Ntshaba of Generations with husbandWinnie Ntshaba of Generations with husband“The judges worked tirelessly to ensure the best South African film and television talent [was] honoured and celebrated,” said the National Film and Video Foundation chief executive officer, Eddie Mbalo.

Isidingo and Rhythm City also shone, each netting three awards in the soap category, and 4play dominated the TV drama section getting three golden horns on Sunday, 27 February.

Life Above All is based on the novel Chanda’s Secrets by the Canadian author, Allan Stratton. Set in rural South Africa, it looks at discrimination and superstition surrounding HIV/Aids. It focuses on 12-year-old Chanda, played by Khomotso Manyaka, and how she deals with the disease when it affects her family.

Manyaka won best lead actress in a feature film, beating her colleague, Lerato Mvelase, out of the top spot. Best supporting actress also went to one of the cast, with Harriet Manamela walking away with the accolade. Nadia Kruger took home the horn for best costume designer and Oliver Schmitz garnered acclaim as best writer and best director.

These were not the film’s only awards. It got a further two prizes for best ensemble and best feature film, beating tough competitors Spud and Jozi. Spud grabbed one award for best editor, with Megan Gill receiving the honour, and Jozi also snatched one nod, with Lionel Newton strolling away as best supporting actor.

Other winners in the film category included Hopeville, whose Themba Ndaba was named the best lead actor, and Karel Flint, who received the best production designer prize.

Dewald Aukema was voted best cinematographer for his work in Skin; the sound team for The Incredible Adventures of Hanna Hoekom won in the best sound designer category; music by Restless Natives, supervised by Kesvian Naidoo for the production Visa Vie was triumphant in the best music composition section; and Debra Nicol and Tanya Kenny won best make-up/hairstylist for Shucks Tshabalala.

Isidingo and Rhythm City overshadowed their competitors in the soapie section. Isidingo claimed awards for best director, best writer/writing team and best lead actor, with the tribute going to Tshepo Maseko who plays Parsons Matabane. Best ensemble went to Rhythm City; Moshidi Motshegwa was announced best lead actress for her role as Denzela in the soap. Tebogo Khalo ambled off as best supporting actress for her role as Puleng.

Generations got just one win, with Thami Mngqolo landing the gold best supporting actor for his role as Senzo. 7de Laan also got one award, but for best soapie, which was decided by public vote.


Lilian DubeLifetime Achievement Award for Lillian DubeThe TV drama segment of the evening was ruled by 4play, although Erfsondes followed not far behind. 4playtook the trophy for best director, editor and art/production design. Amanda Lane was the director, Melanie Janks Golden was editor and Marlene Ming was designer.

Erfsondes was deemed best TV drama, and the show’s Henriette Gryffenberg won in the best writer category.

Also coming out tops in the drama categories were The Mating Game, One Love, Home Affairs and Zone 14. Maggie Benedict won best actress for her character in The Mating Game and the show took home the golden horn for best ensemble; One Love successfully scored a homerun when Rory O’Grady won for best cinematographer; Home Affairs caught a glimpse of the limelight when Theresa Benade got voted as best supporting actress; and Zone 14’s Kere Nyawo and Thulani Didi shared the glory when they were recognised as the category’s best supporting actors.

To top off the category’s awards, Vusi Kunene was crowned best actor for his part in Soul City.

In the TV comedy segment, City Ses’la and Konsternasie Oppie Stasie shared the love, with each production acquiring two horns.

Best director and lead actor went to Konsternasie Oppie Stasie, with Bobby Heaney and David Clatworthy the respective victors. Meren Reddy and Luke Rous were awarded best writing team and Busi Lurayi got crowned best lead actress for their contributions to City Ses’la.

The only other show to make a dent in this category was Proesstraat, which won best ensemble.

Lifetime Achievement Awards were handed out to wrap up the ceremony, with Winston Ntshona honoured for acting; Moonyeen Lee recognised for casting; and Lillian Dube credited for acting and social activism.

The fifth annual South African Film and Television Awards were hosted at Madame Zingara’s Theatre of Dreams at Melrose Arch, with the fiction category awards being the second instalment of the affair. The non-fiction awards were held last week, on 20 February.

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