Best Achievement in Scriptwriting – 13th SAFTAs

For 13 years the South African Film and Television industry together with the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa (NFVF) have presided over the annual South African Film and Television Awards; the SAFTAs. The Awards, (winners receive a ‘Golden Horn’ trophy,) were established to honour, celebrate and promote the creativity, quality and excellence of South African talent in Film and Television, and the ceremony will this year again take place at Sun City split across the evenings of March the first and second. The second evening, which hosts the less technical and more “bling” awards, will be broadcast live on SABC2 starting at 19h00.



This year there are ninety two categories that will receive awards, but only five of them are for writing; Feature Films, TV Drama, TV Comedy, TV Soap & Telenovelas.



Without meaning to take anything away from the nominated writers, there is still much to be desired about the manner in which their nominations are made and the winners are selected in all but the Feature Film category. For example in the case of a series, or production with multiple episodes, there is no indication as to which episode the award is for, and I somehow doubt that the judges read all the scripts for the entire season of the nominated Soaps or Telenovelas and make decisions based on that kind of volume. This really needs to be addressed urgently.


In another anomaly that the SAFTAs insist on perpetuating, they nominate the title of the film and then list the name of the writer or writers, (and in some cases they don’t even bother to list actual names instead citing an anonymous team). If the award is for writers, actual writers (names) should be nominated for the award and then the title of the production for which they are nominated should be referenced. This is a small but meaningful change that is easy to make and would acknowledge the value of the writer in a proper manner.



The nominees for “Best Achievement in Scriptwriting” for the thirteenth version, the 2019 South African Film and Television Awards are;





Christiaan Olwagen & Charl-Johan Lingenfelder

A coming-of-age war musical about a small town boy who gets chosen to serve his compulsory two year military training in the South African Defence Force Choir and Concert group- known as the “Canaries”- during the height of the Apartheid regime. IMDb





Johan Cronje

A wedding goes awry and the morning after, friends and foes need to piece together the puzzle of the night before. In search of answers, a groom needs to pursue the love of his life, a bride has to untangle herself from the past and a waitress tries to escape the present. IMDb




Nommer 37

Nosipho Dumisa

Entrapped in his apartment, Randal Hendricks, a recent paraplegic, is given a gift of binoculars by his devoted girlfriend, Pam. But Randal is in financial debt to Emmie, a sadistic loan shark, and when he witnesses a powerful criminal, named Lawyer, commit murder while observing his neighbours through binoculars, he initiates a treacherous blackmail scheme. IMDb





Lockdown 2

Reabetswe Moeti


Thishiwe  Ziqubu, Karabo Lediga, Tshenolo  Mabale, Nozipho  Nkelemba and Mmabatho  Montsho

The Herd

Gwydion Thomas Beynon and Lebogang Mogashoa




Tali’s Wedding Diary

Julia Anastasopoulos, Ari Kruger and Daniel Zimbler.

Thuli no Thulani

Rethabile Ramaphakela, Mpho  Osei, Karabo Lediga, Anne Davis, Julian Koboekae, Tshegofatso Monaisa, Meren Reddy, Bradley Katzen and  Katleho Ramaphakela.

Thandeka’s Diary 3

Unlisted writing team





Paul Rowlston, Mpumelelo Grootboom, Jacob Ntshangase,  James Whyle, Zolisa Sigwanda, Chris Blomkamp, Byron  Abrahams and Mbalizethu Zulu.


Charleen Ntsane, Chris Blomkamp, Daniel Zimbler, Sayitsheni Mdakhi,  Iain Paton, Catherine Muller, Libby Dougherty, Andrew Petersen, Mbasa  Tsetsana, Thabo Boom and Matthew Jankes.


Script Department



The River

Gwydion Beynon and Phathutshedzo Makwarela.

Ring of Lies 2

Neo Sibiya,  Caroline Doherty, Bongi  Ndaba, Margaret Goldsmid, Peter  Goldsmid, Tristram Atkins, Raffael mith, Tristram Atkins, Raffaella Delle-Donne, Lerato Khanye, Shirley Johnston, Thulani Cekiso, Paul  Crilley,  Philane  Ndaba, Tina-Louise Smith, Sinovuyo Jwacu and Roberta Durrant.

Broken Vows

Sunni Faba, Shemane Harris, Henrietta Plattner, Lwazi Mvusi, Justine Loots, Brad Katzen, Genna Lewis and Thabo Kolatsoeu.


Congratulations to all the nominees.

Richard the Scribe
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