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Thinus Ferreira

Can someone fix the Saftas, please!

2012-03-09 12:43
The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), which runs the South African Film and Television Awards known as the Saftas, won't be doing anything to fix the sham of an awards show that has lost all credibility.

The awards show has already been slammed by soapie 7de Laan and broadcaster e.tv this year, and has suffered much backlash from the television industry in the past.

But oh no. Instead, the controversial show keeps limping along year after year, generating bad buzz, resentment and heads shaking in disbelief, for the unbelievably incredible way in which the NFVF seems either powerless, or unwilling and uninformed about how to make this awards ceremony - purported to honour the best of South Africa's film and television - better.

The 6th Saftas are taking place on March 9 and 10 at Gallagher Estate in Midrand with an edited recorded broadcast March 11 on SABC3.

The awards show refuses to address the multiple issues constantly being raised by the industry and by broadcasters year after year. This failure keeps generating the same result: a competition without credibility, the loss of real recognition for South Africa's film and television community and actual damage being done to relationships – which is ironically the complete opposite of what the NFVF and the Saftas are supposedly trying to achieve.

Why the NFVF remains unable to actually have real critics of film and television who actually watch films and television rather be the judges of this sorry dog and pony show (instead of previous nominees and winners) is not clear.

Why the NFVF and the Saftas remain unable to consult with people who have real knowledge of how to organise and structure these type of things which would result in real categories with the correct nominees, a bigger number of nominees, in their actual correct categories, and nominated for closer and more relevant date periods, is also not clear.

The NFVF and the Saftas also don't have a pre-agreed set rotation wheel of broadcasters sharing the TV broadcast like the Emmys and Oscars so that it's equitable and fair, which would create better buy-in from all the broadcasters who will immediately play nice with each other and work together to make the Saftas a success.

The NFVF and the Saftas organising committee needs to have a very serious discussion about what it wants to be and do.

Or whether it wants to continue as a poorly supported awards show that preys on the rarely recognised film and TV industry who largely keeps quiet because any little bit of recognition - no matter how tainted - is at least something.

I don't want the Saftas to be excellent. I don't need the Saftas to be great. I don't even  require the Saftas to be everything for everyone. Because it can never be.

I simply want the South African Film and Television Awards to be adequate, fair and credible, providing winners and viewers with the feeling that they really deserved it. 

Read more on:    saftas  |  tv

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