The who’s who of the South African film and television industry put on their finest last weekend as they walked the red carpet with their peers.
What was clear is that the 11th Annual Saftas (South African Film and Television Awards) ceremony focused attention on film.
Among the list of recipients of a much-treasured Safta statuette was a young and talented actor, who is destined for bigger and brighter things on both the big and small screen.
The Young Achiever Award, sponsored this year by Ster-Kinekor Theatres, was handed over to a delighted Thapelo Mokoena by Wanda Matandela, CEO of the cinema exhibitor.
The sponsorship displays Ster-Kinekor’s support of the local film industry, and the development of young talent.
“Mokoena is a most worthy recipient of this inaugural Youth Achiever Award” says Matandela.
“The Saftas provides an excellent avenue for us to demonstrate our commitment to the flourishing South African film industry.
“But, more importantly, we are delighted to be sponsoring a new and innovative category that recognises and rewards the exciting young talent in our country.
“Focusing on growing the youth market is a key sector within our marketing strategy. This sponsorship opportunity further strengthens that strategy. It also gives us access to some of the exciting and developing talent within the sector, who are destined for future success,” said Matandela.
Mokoena is an actor and television presenter best known for presenting the first season of the South African version of the reality competition Fear Factor in 2005.
He also played the role of Cedric Fatani in Wild at Heart from 2007 to 2012 and, in August 2016, he joined the star-studded cast of High Rollers on SABC3.
He made his big screen appearance as Elias Motsoaledi in the 2013 film that celebrated Madiba’s life, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Mokoena is now the owner of his own production company, Thapelo Mokoena Productions.
“We are looking forward to working with Mokoena and exploring some interesting opportunities and collaborations with this creative talent,” said Matandela.
“It is important that all sectors within the industry work together to ensure our continued commitment to the growth and success of South Africa’s growing film industry.
“As such, our partnership with the NFVF to sponsor the Safta category that focuses on youth achievement is our commitment to ensuring a healthy pipeline of talent and content into the future,” said Matandela.
The special Youth Achiever Award category is presented to a newcomer or young individual in the industry who has demonstrated excellence in their craft.
The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), custodians of the Saftas, called for nominations for this category, one of three discretionary awards presented at the awards.
Other films that were awarded during the ceremony included:
- Best Feature Film: Sink
- Best Documentary Feature: Nobody’s Died Laughing – Winner
- Best Actor – Feature Film: Dan Jaques Mouton, Noem My Skollie
- Best Actress – Feature Film: Shoki Mokgape
- Best Supporting Actress – Feature Film: Hlubi Mboya – Dora’s Peace – Winner
- Best Supporting Actor – Feature Film: Abdurahgmaan Adams – Noem My Skollie