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7de Laan slams the Saftas

2012-02-17 15:49
Cape Town – 7de Laan has slammed the Saftas and is coming out swinging after the major SABC2 soap was suddenly dropped from the Best Soap category in the upcoming 6th South African Film and Television Awards.

The category for which South African TV soaps can't enter and with the popular winner based on the number of viewers' votes was won by 7de Laan for the past three consecutive years in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The soap was suddenly dropped this year, with the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) that organises the Saftas citing 7de Laan's lack of entries into any of the other categories as the reason why the soap is not eligible for a place in the Best TV Soap category.

Arguably the popular soap's biggest star, Vinette Ebrahim who plays the beloved Charmaine, told Channel24 that all that really matters is the love of the viewers and fans.

"My feeling is I'm standing 100% behind Colin Howard [line producer] and the whole 7de Laan production team. I just feel that with all these different award shows – how is it possible that for the past three years – 2009, 2010 and 2011 we continually get the Best TV soap award as voted for by viewers, the biggest prize for a soap in South Africa – that we win that prize but that none of us ever win in any individual category ever entered?

"I completely agree with 7de Laan's decision not to enter the Saftas this year. I'm not interested; I don't care. All that matters is our loyal viewers and 7de Laan's fans – the people who watch us night after night, the country's people who love us and everyone who cherishes us and the very hard work we put in day after day to bring them an ever unfolding story and characters that they enjoy.

"In this country we don't really have a star system. Yes, it's nice to be recognised by your co-stars and your peers, but in the end it's all the same. It doesn't matter as much as our viewers and what they think.

"All I want to say to 7de Laan's fans and our beloved viewers is thank you very, very, very much for your loyal and wonderful support – for the loyal viewers who keep tuning in, for standing behind us and always supporting us. And please keep watching."

'We thought all soaps should be eligible'

In a separate press statement, 7de Laan said: "Danie Odendaal Productions is disappointed to hear that 7de Laan has been excluded for consideration as Best Soap for the 2012 Saftas.

"We were unaware that it was the NFVF's policy to exclude productions from this category if they elected not to submit entries for consideration in the performance categories.

"We find this policy surprising, given the fact that the title of Best Soap is awarded by a public vote, and we would have thought all soaps broadcast in South Africa should be eligible regardless of their participation in the other categories.

"The exclusion of 7de Laan from the Best Soap Award confirms our reservations with the Saftas selection process for soaps," says the SABC2 production.

"Most soaps produce 260 episodes a year and consist of strong ensemble casts and carry four to five storylines per episode. To insist that performance awards should be judged on a maximum of three episodes makes no sense for the soaps.

"No single episode could effectively showcase the work of any single cast member – especially when many on the judging panel do not necessarily watch the programme regularly," said 7de Laan.

"We feel our technical and creative crew members do outstanding work for television. The volume of work done by these individuals, let alone the quality, should motivate categories for technical and artistic crew."

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