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Sunday, 01 October 2023 00:01

Netflix SA and kykNET two biggest winners at 2023' Saftas.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.


The champagne-filled 17th annual South African Film and Television Awards honoured and celebrated the best of the South African film and television industry. 

For the first time in three years of virtual ceremonies due to theCovid-19 pandemic, the prestigious awards were held in person this year, hosted by Zozibini Tunzi and Lawrence Maleka.

The star-studded event was held on Saturday evening, 30 September, at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand. 

Netflix South Africa won 19 awards in total. Silverton Siege, produced by Pambilimedia, scored 12 nominations and won six as the night's most-awarded film.

The third season of How to Ruin Christmas, also on Netflix and produced by Burnt Onion Productions, won in five categories as the South African comedy series, which took home the biggest haul.

Gaia, the first Afrikaans ecological thriller film produced by Film Initiative Africa, won four out of its nine nominations to kykNET's bumper crop of Saftas - the film that scooped the second-most prizes. The Afrikaans comedy series Hotel on kykNET managed to snag four wins, with Tali's Joburg Diary on MultiChoice's Showmax streamer also winning four awards. won 12 (including three for productions on its eVOD video streaming service), while Showmax got 10, M-Net won 8, with Mzansi Magic and the SABC each snagging 6 awards in total.

The Saftas organisers also bestowed lifetime achiever awards on M-Net's Carte Blanche anchor and presenter Derek Watts, who died last month, as well as the veteran and award-winning Afrikaans film director and cinematographer Koos Roets for their decades-long contributions to the TV and film industry.

TV soaps and telenovelas wise,'s Scandal!, produced by Ochre Media, snagged 4 wins, including for Best TV soap and Most Popular TV soap, which was a viewers' vote category. M-Net's cancelled Legacy, produced by Tshedza Pictures, also won 4 awards, including Best Telenovela.

Tshedza Pictures' The River on Mzansi Magic and 1Magic, which also got cancelled, got shut out this year. After again getting 11 nominations this year, just like last year, it only managed one win this time for Lawrence Maleka as best actor in a telenovela.

Netflix had the most-awarded TV drama series with Justice Served, produced by Meraki TV, which won three awards, including for best editing, Morné Visser for best actor and Lerato Mvelase for best actress in a drama series.

National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) Acting CEO, Thobela Mayinje, applauded the hard work and dedication of the Saftas jury and congratulated all the winners. 

She said: "You represent the best of the South African film and television industry. We are excited by all the films now showcasing in international festivals and markets."