The South African Film & Television Awards (SAFTAs) have officially opened submissions for the 2021 edition of the country’s film and television industry celebration. After a challenging 2020, coloured by Covid-19 and a national lockdown, the film industry is ready to take on 2021 with renewed purpose and perspective. This past year has been a tough one, with filmmakers, designers, actors, and technicians suffering significant losses from halts in production and the postponements of events. In the midst of this, the SAFTAs are an opportunity to mark a moment unprecedented in history. It provides a platform to acknowledge, with gratitude, how the local film and television industry has stood together to continue to create stories that inspire viewers, amid a global pandemic.
In understanding the challenges presented by Covid-19, the SAFTAs committee has amended the submission criteria to include production houses and individuals that were affected by circumstances beyond their control.
“The SAFTAs are not only an annual reminder of the talent our film industry possesses, but they are also about recognizing the significant role that the film industry plays in society. Globally, TV viewership and online streaming experienced an incredible surge during the lockdown, which demonstrates how filmmakers helped society cope with a difficult period in our history. We have also seen tremendous developments in the creation and distribution of digital content – something which our sector continues to innovate around as the industry evolves.
In light of this, we have amended our criteria to reflect the changing nature of how audiences consumed visual content. We believe that extending our submissions to incorporate digital platforms and events is not only fair, but it also recognises the pace at which our own sector was able to evolve during this time. We are thrilled that the 2021 edition of the SAFTAs will incorporate such future-forward categories within our established format,’’ said National Film & Video Foundation CEO, Makhosazana Khanyile.
Adapting to the delivery and consumption of digital content and the attendance of virtual events, the SAFTAs15 committee has updated its entry guidelines to include online platforms and productions, which can be found in the official entry guidelines.
The SAFTAs committee is also proud to announce the appointment of Anneke de Ridder as the Executive Producer. Anneke will be tasked with showcasing the recent sector accomplishments and uniting the industry’s players in celebration of our shining film and television stars.
“It is a tremendous honour to be tasked with bringing the industry and its supporters together to celebrate the great talent our country has to offer. South Africa’s filmmakers best define what it means to keep it rolling– despite the challenging delays that resulted from Covid-19. SAFTAs15 will celebrate South Africa’s golden talent, their perseverance and the sense of purpose that carried them through 2020 with such grace. We are ready to roll and determined to put on a spectacular show,’’ said Anneke de Ridder, Executive Producer for the SAFTAs.
The 15th edition of the SAFTAs is set to take place in May 2021.