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e.tv NOT RUSHING TO SAFTAS

The call for entries for next year’s SA Film and Television Awards was made this week but it is uncertain whether e.tv will compete.

The channel spurned this year’s awards, withdrawing nominated shows such as Rhythm City, Scandal and Club 808.

This week the National Film and Video Foundation, which organises the Saftas, called on production companies to submit shows for the seventh edition of the awards.

But e.tv’s group head of channels, Monde Twala, denied that things were hunky-dory again.

Twala said in March, just a few days before the Safta ceremony, that e.tv had to pull out “in order to achieve greater organisational cohesion”.

The awards chairman, Eddie Mbalo, retorted by saying e.tv’s participation in committee meetings had been “considerably low”.

National Film and Video Foundation CEO Zama Nkosi yesterday sounded upbeat about the continuing “intimate talks” with e.tv.

“From our side, we’d like to believe we are all moving in the same direction, with the common goal of ensuring the growth of the Saftas as the industry awards.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure that all parties understand the process . [and] get the chance to make input about how the process can be improved,” Nkosi said.

Danie Odendaal Productions withdrew SABC2 series 7de Laan from all soapie categories because it was annoyed by the rule stipulating that performance awards would be judged on a maximum of three episodes.

Nonetheless, the Saftas went ahead in March, with M-Net soapie The Wild getting four nods.

Twala said yesterday, of the continuing discussions between e.tv and the film board: “It is premature to confirm anything at this stage.”

The channel would send out a press release once the talks were concluded.

“We will continue with efforts to address the issues relating to the transparency of the Saftas and support the establishment of an independent industry academy that will administer the awards,” he said.

Nkosi said most of whatever at the Saftas had worked last year would be retained, but a new category would be added.

Shows including Idols SA, Masterchef SA, So You Think You Can Dance, SA’s Got Talent and Survivor would be included in the best international adaptations category.

The Saftas are to be announced in March.

Source: The Times – Andile Ndlovu