The nominees of the seventh annual South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) were announced last week at a star-studded event in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg.

Saftas 2013

The Saftas are the premier film and television industry awards under the custodianship of the National Film and Video Foundation. The awards main objectives are to honour, celebrate and promote the creativity, quality and excellence of South African film and television talent, and encourage entrepreneurship and the development of new talent in the industry.

Hosted by author, presenter and comedian Nik Rabinowitz, the nominees announcement was attended by industry personalities from across film and television industry as well as government representatives.

Topping the TV drama nominations is e.tv drama series Sex Tips For Girls and SABC 2’s Erfsondes, receiving 10 nominations each. Both productions are also nominated in the Best TV drama category where they are up against another SABC 2 series, 90 Plein Street. SABC 1’s Zone 14 and Soul City received five nominations each. In feature film categories, Afrikaans comedy Semi-Soet is leading the pack with eight nominations including Best Feature Film, where it is up against Otelo Burning, Material and Die Wonderwerker (The Miracle Worker).

As with the previous years, the Best TV Soap category is open to the public to vote for their favourite TV soap. This year eight South African TV soaps are in the running: Isidingo, Generations, Scandal, The Wild, Inkaba, Muvhango, 7de Laan and Rhythm City. (See below for how to vote.)

“We are very excited that it’s that time of the year again when the industry assemble to celebrate its talent,” said NFVF CEO and Saftas chairperson Zama Mkosi. “We are privileged as NFVF to once again have the opportunity to put together an event of such magnitude. It is an enormous responsibility, and we’d like to thank the industry for the continued support towards the Saftas. We always maintain that this is not about our individual organizations but about recognizing the industry and the roles that each one of us is playing in taking the industry forward.”

Saftas’ overall judging chairperson Nodi Murphy said she was impressed by the quality of this year’s entries and urged the industry to continue supporting the awards. “It is encouraging to see our industry growing, this is evident with the quality of the entries we received this year. I’d like to thank all the judges for their dedication and commitment during the judging process.” This year the Saftas committee extended the judging sessions to Cape Town.

This year a new media category has been introduced: the Critics Lifetime Achievement award. This will allow arts and entertainment journalists to recognise an individual that they believe has made a significant contribution in the industry over the years. The winner of this category will be chosen by the South African media.

The awards are supported by all South African broadcasters – the SABC, MNet, e.tv and Top TV – as well as industry organisation Sasfed. The Film and Publication Board and Remy Martin have come on board as sponsors.

The Saftas awards will be presented on 15 and 16 March 2013 in Midrand, and broadcast live on SABC 3 on 16 March with highlights from the 15th. Mzansi Magic and Top TV will broadcast edited versions of the awards. Event production for the Saftas ceremonies will be managed by Vibe 2000 Entertainment and Vertical Limit Production.

To download the nominees list for 7 annual Saftas, click here.

To vote for your favourite TV soap, SMS the first letter of the title to 45242. The nominees are: Isidingo (I), Generations (G), Scandal (S), The Wild (W), Inkaba (K), Muvhango (M), 7de Laan (7) and Rhythm City (R). The voting line will open on 4 March and close on 16 March 2013 at 20h45. Standard SMS rates apply.