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The 16th South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs 2022)

The South African Film and Television Awards better known as SAFTAs is gearing up for its long-awaited 16th awards ceremony set to take place on 2 and 3 September 2022 as a simulcast on Mzansi Magic and S3. Established to "honour, celebrate, promote and reward the creativity, quality and excellence of South African film and television talent and content" in 2005, the SAFTAs is the closest thing South Africa has to the Emmys and Academy Awards.

16th south african film and television awards 2022

In light of Barry Ronge's recent passing, it seems like the perfect opportunity for the SAFTAs to finally honour the late and famed movie critic's contribution to film appreciation and entertainment journalism over his decades long career.

Netflix's Original I Am All Girls leads the film section of the awards with a grand total of 11 nominations across various categories such as Best Directing, Best Cinematography and Best Feature Film. Showmax leads the streaming service awards with 158 nominations of which Showmax Originals account for 52 SAFTA nominations including: The Wife, DAM, Tali’s Baby Diary, Glasshouse, Devilsdorp and Boxing Day.

Taking a closer look at the film section, it's interesting to note just how many local films have qualified for the 16th SAFTAs. While there weren't any films that stood head and shoulders above the rest, this only made it a more competitive year with a selection of very promising titles from a spectrum of genres.

Fried Barry, I Am All Girls and Glasshouse have each landed a Best Feature Film nomination. Ryan Kruger's Fried Barry is a visceral beast of a sci-fi horror thriller starring Gary Green in a perfectly cast and iconic performance. High on impact and shock value, this psychedelic ride probably stunned local audiences who aren't used to grindhouse movies. While bizarre and extreme, its international calibre look and feel showcases Kruger's unbridled creativity and flair landing nominations for Direction and Best Supporting Actor for a short-lived yet utterly convincing performance from Sean Cameron Michael.

Donovan Marsh's serial killer horror thriller, I Am All Girls brandishes its important and timely message around child trafficking with a tenacious cast with many acting nominations. A slick, moody and visually-enticing thriller it's quite surprising how many nominations I Am All Girls has landed based on the film's overall effect. While it looks good, a thin script, genre tropes and a growing distance from the characters ultimately undermines any connection to the co-lead project and subverts suspense.

Kelsey Egan's Glasshouse is the best pick of the Best Feature Film nominees. Having garnered many nominations for Make Up, Costume Design and Cinematography, its been adequately acknowledged for its styling and visual finesse. Compared with On Golden Pond and The Beguiled, what hasn't been fully appreciated by the SAFTAs nomination panel is the depth of creativity and self-assuredness of writing and direction in unearthing this gem. Performing well in just about every department on a modest budget, Glasshouse's fairy tale feel, chamber drama suspense and subliminal messaging has been misunderstood and underappreciated.

What's also quite concerning is that Barakat was South Africa's official Oscar selection for Best International Feature yet didn't manage to earn a Best Feature Film nomination at the SAFTAs. Having happened to several films in previous years, one has to imagine there's some strange policy at play whereby official selections aren't eligible to compete locally. Luckily the spirited and charming comedy drama scored a Best Actress nomination for Vinette Ebrahim, Best Supporting Actress for Quanita Adams, Best Music/Score for Kyle Sheperd and Best Achievement for Direction for Amy Jephta.

Other local films that have basically been snubbed include the authentic seaside crime drama, Sons of the Sea, as well as the much-anticipated sequel to Material... New Material. Filmed on the False Bay coastline and wilderness, Sons of the Sea's slow-boiling morality crime drama and earnest performances only managed to garner a nomination in the Best Actor category for Marlon Swarts. Having won a Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor Golden Horn for Material, it's curious to note that neither Riaad Moosa nor Vincent Ebrahim managed to warrant a follow-up nomination for the sequel with its sole nomination coming in for Megan Gill in the Editing category - packing enough story threads for a series into the space of 90 minutes.

Angeliena, Mr Johnson and Freedom picked up a handful of nominations, most notably in the acting categories for Tshmano Sebe's delightful turn, Ferry Jele's noteworthy performance and Paul Slabolepszy's spirited leading role. Then, there were a number of lesser known films picking at the seams with Love, Lies & Hybrids, Atlantis and Happiness Ever After coming in hot.

This year's film nominations were characterised by more adventurous genre play, moving away from straight up drama. A good deal of comedy-centric films made the cut but it was most surprising to see the likes of two sci-fi horror thrillers in Fried Barry and Glasshouse. While somewhat divisive in terms of subject matter, it's also interesting to note that none of the main contenders for Best Feature Film managed to score higher than a 5.9/10 average rating on IMDb.

Nominees ranked by Spling's /10 ratings...

1. Glasshouse (6 nominations)
2. Sons of the Sea (1 nomination)
3. New Material (1 nomination)
4. Barakat (4 nominations)
5. Fried Barry (6 nominations)
6. Angeliena (2 nominations)
7. I Am All Girls (11 nominations)
8. Mr. Johnson (2 nominations)

Here are the SAFTA nominations by category:

Best Actress

  • Erica Wessels, I Am All Girls
  • Hlubi Mboya-Arnold, I Am All Girls
  • Vinette Ebrahim, Barakat
  • Best Actor in a Feature Film

  • Marlon Swarts, Sons of The Sea
  • Paul Slabolepszy, Mr Johnson
  • Jafta Mamabolo, Freedom
  • Best Supporting Actress

  • Ferry Jele, Freedom
  • Quanita Adams, Barakat
  • Nomvelo Makhanya, I Am All Girls
  • Best Supporting Actor

  • Tshamano Sebe, Angeliena
  • Sean Cameron Michael, Fried Barry
  • JP du Plessis, I Am All Girls
  • Best Achievement in Directing

  • I Am All Girls – Donovan Marsh
  • Barakat – Amy Jephta
  • Fried Barry – Ryan Kruger
  • Best Feature Film

  • Fried Barry
  • I Am All Girls
  • Glasshouse
  • Best Achievement in Make-up and Hairstyling

  • Happiness Ever After – Keitumetse Sefotlhelo
  • Glasshouse – Annie Butler
  • Fried Barry – Carmen Life, Tiffany Matthews, Bia Hartenstein, Clinton Aiden-Smith
  • Best Achievement in Costume Design

  • Mr Johnson – Nerine Pienaar
  • Happiness Ever After – Darion Wah Cheong Hing
  • Glasshouse – Catherine Mcintosh
  • Best Achievement in Sound Design

  • Atlantis – Barry Donelly
  • Fried Barry – Ebenhaezer Smal, Keagan Higgins, Rob Brinkworth, Gustav Stutterheim
  • I Am All Girls – Simon Ratcliffe
  • Best Achievement in Editing

  • New Material – Megan Gill
  • Glasshouse – Rowan Jackson
  • I Am All Girls – Lucian Barnard
  • Best Achievement in Production Design

  • Glasshouse – Kerry Von Lillienveld
  • I Am All Girls – Waldemar Coetsee
  • Daryn’s Gym – Chantel Carter
  • Best Achievement in Original Music/Score

  • I Am All Girls – Brendan Jury
  • Fried Barry – Ebenhaezer Smal
  • Angeliena – Charl-Johan Lingenfelder
  • Barakat – Kyle Sheperd
  • Best Achievement in Cinematography

  • I Am All Girls – Trevor Calverley
  • Love, Lies & Hybrids – Sunel Haasbroek
  • Glasshouse – Justus De Jager
  • Best Achievement in Scriptwriting

  • Love, Lies & Hybrids – Tristram Atkins, Meesha Aboo
  • Atlantis – Philip Roberts
  • Freedom – Jafta Mamabolo
  • Best Documentary Feature

  • Murder In Paris
  • The Colonel’s Stray Dogs
  • I Am Here
  • Best Student Film

  • Four Walls and A Roof
  • Water Is Water
  • The Invisible
  • Best Short Film

  • #WeAreDyingHere
  • Some Mothers’ Sons
  • The Ring of Beasts