The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) announced nominees for next year's South African Film and Television Awards (Safta) at a low-key event in rained-out Richmond, Johannesburg, on 19 November 2009.

The awards were resurrected in late 2006 to give impetus to the industry still floating on air after Tsotsi's Oscar-winning moment in March.

At that time there may have been some discontent voiced at the South African Broadcasting Corporation from the independent producers' sector, but nobody could foresee the effects of the coming global recession or the extent of the SABC's financial woes.

The festive unity experienced this June, when members of the embattled production sector marched on the SABC, was absent in the rather empty reception hall of Atlas Studios when NFVF CEO Eddie Mbalo announced that despite the shortage of finance and the need for partners, the awards would go ahead next year.

The nominee list reflects a miraculously buoyant film and television industry and, for the record, the NFVF said there were 221 entries submitted and 100 contributing judges, each a recognised professional.

The judging process was overseen by Paul Raleigh and Coco Cachalia, with PricewaterhouseCoopers as the judging auditors.

Nominations were announced in the categories of feature film, documentary, student and short film, drama, comedy, soapies, reality, gameshows, wildlife, magazine, talk shows, actuality, animation, variety, sports and music shows

Two further awards will be given outside of the judging process: a lifetime achievement award and an award for best soap opera, resulting from a public nomination process.

Nominees in this category include the run-of-the-mill list of daily dramas: Isidingo, 7de Laan, Generations, Scandal and Rhythm City.

Best feature film nominees and best director nominees include Madoda Ncayiyana for the KwaZulu-Natal based tearjerker about street kids Izulu Lami, Oliver Hermanus's equally sensitive portrayal of "an exhausted, devoted single mother taking care of her son who is paraplegic" (as one critic described it when it played at Locarno festival in Switzerland this August), and Jann Turner for the feel-good road comedy White Wedding.

The nominees for best actor and actress and best supporting actor and actress in the feature film category are the stars of these titles.

The Saftas will take place at the State Theatre in Pretoria on 20 February 2010.

Source: Mail & Guardian, article written by Matthew Krouse, posted on 19 November 2009,