Dineo Ranaka will host the SA Film and Television Awards (Saftas) today – the first time in their 14-year history that the awards are going virtual.
Sowetan first reported three weeks ago about the move by organisers, the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), to rework the big budget red carpet ceremony into something smaller after the national lockdown was announced.
The winners of the awards – that were originally scheduled to take place on March 27 and 28 in Sandton, Johannesburg – will be announced by Ranaka on Twitter from 5pm.
The announcement on social media will incorporate visual effects and video clips that Ranaka has pre-recorded from her home. "I'm excited; I'm always open to doing things a little different than the norm, so this is another one of those seldom opportunities to share my talents uniquely," Ranaka said.
"The only major difference is that the production has no physical interaction with its audience, so that's a bit of a bummer because physical interaction with audiences is always electrifying."
NFVF chief executive Makhosazana Khanyile explained to Sowetan yesterday that changing the format of the awards was a tough decision to make, especially since it took them a year to plan. But they were left with no choice when sponsors started pulling out and they took into consideration that they have to start working on the 15th installment of the Saftas next month.
"To say that this is less than ideal would be an understatement, but we consulted as best we could and even had some industry bodies suggesting we could simply issue out a press release with the winners," Khanyile said.
"The industry has been supportive of how difficult a decision this was, and with the awards out of the way, it also will enable the NFVF to focus its attention on supporting the industry through this difficult time by looking at varied relief measures that can be taken to directly benefit the industry."
The nominees this year include Kgomotso Christopher, Warren Masemola, Sindi Dlathu, Leleti Khumalo, Presley Chweneyagae, Hamilton Dhlamini, Mapula Mafole, Baby Cele, Jamie Bartlett, Bongile Mantsai and Florence Masebe.
Two weeks ago the SA Radio Awards also went online, with comedian Loyiso Madinga as host. In the US, the 2020 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards have just announced that they will be a virtual affair on Saturday, with Victoria Justice as host. Sho Madjozi and Shekhinah are nominated for favourite African Star.