Into the Dragon's Lair
A still from Into the Dragon’s Lair, which follows world-renowned underwater cameraman Didier Noiret as he penetrates a labyrinth of papyrus caves to enter the underwater lair of the glorious and terrifying Nile crocodile.

Lynley Main

The luminaries of the local film industry were out in force at the plush and exotic Madame Zingara’s Theatre of Dreams at Melrose Arch on Sunday for the non-fiction leg of the South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas).

This year the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), which organises the awards, moved to liven up the ceremony by hosting it at Madame Zingara’s. “We decided to try something new by
exploring a new venue and format of the ceremony, moving away from the traditional theatre arrangement,” said Naomi Mokhele of
the NFVF.

The big winner of the night in the wildlife category was Into the Dragon’s Lair, which took the Golden Horn trophy for best wildlife programme as well as best cinematographer and director in a wildlife programme. Into the Dragon’s Lair is played on DStv’s
Animal Planet channel, and follows world-renowned underwater cameraman Didier Noiret as he penetrates a labyrinth of papyrus caves to enter the underwater lair of the glorious and terrifying Nile crocodile.

The only other programme to win an award in the wildlife category was Mother Warthog, for which Susan Scott scooped the prize for best editor.

In the documentary categories, Playing the Enemy took home the gold for best documentary feature and The Killing of Imam won in the short film category. Nikki Comninos was voted best editor for her work in My Beautiful Game – A Fish out of Water and Tim Chevalier got the nod for his role as cinematographer in The Ancient Astronomers of Timbuktu. Rina Jooste walked away with a statue for best director for Jammer as ek so Bitter.

Agter die Berge by Afda students garnered the award for best student film. Karoo was rewarded for being the best short film, and Mune was voted best animation.

Other winners were Ed and Eppa in the wild for the best youth and children’s programme; Let’s Chat with Mel for best talk show; A Country Imagined for best factual/educational programme; MK Awards 2010 for best variety show; Die Foon for best reality show; All Access for best magazine show; and Noot Vir Noot got recognition as the best game show.

The second instalment of the Saftas will be on Sunday 27 February at Madame Zingara’s, where the fiction awards will be handed out.

Audiences can have their say in the soapie category by sending a text message with the word “Soapie” followed by the name of the soap to 34877. Votes are restricted to 10 per cellphone number, and each message costs R2.  The categories the public may vote in are best soapie, best hero, best comic, best dressed and best villain.

In the best soapie section, contenders are Isidingo, Muvhango, Generations, 7de Laan, Rhythm City and Scandal.

Connie Ferguson as Karabo Moroka and Menzi Ngubane as Sibusiso Dlomo or “Ngamla”, both from Generations, will slog it out with Jack Devnarain as Rajesh Kumar in Isidingo for best hero.

Sophie Ndaba as Queen in Generations, Mpho Molepo as Fats in Rhythm City and Diaan Lawrenson as Paula in 7 de Laan are the choices for best comic; best dressed is a battle between already-nominated Connie Ferguson, Katlego Danke as Dineo Mashaba in Generations and KB Motsilanyane as Lucila Vilakazi in Rhythm City.

Finally, for the characters everyone loves to hate, the competition for best villain is between Barker Haines, played by Robert Whitehead, in Isidingo; Doobsie Mukwevho, played by Khabonina Qubeka, in Muvhango; and David Genaro, played by Jamie Bartlett, in Rhythm City.