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Halala! Content on Showmax is up for over 130 South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) – the most by far of any streaming service available in South Africa.

Showmax Originals alone are nominated for 30 SAFTAs. Donkerbos is the most nominated drama series and Steinheist is the joint most-nominated documentary, while Showmax Originals are also up for Best Comedy (Tali’s Joburg Diary), Telenovela (The Wife), Structured Soapie Reality Show (Life With Kelly Khumalo S3 and Living The Dream With Somizi) and Structured or Docu-Reality Show (Sex in Afrikaans). In addition, the Showmax x Actor Spaces masterclasses on YouTube are up for Best Online Content.
Showmax is also the streaming home of the most nominated title overall (kykNET’s Hotel), movie (kykNET’s Gaia), and telenovela (M-Net’s Legacy).

Here are the early favourites in the key categories:

Steinheist is the joint most-nominated documentary at the SAFTAs

With four nominations, including Best Made for TV Documentary, Steinheist is the joint most-nominated documentary at the 2022 SAFTAs.

The three-part Showmax Original investigates the biggest corporate scam in South African history. Once billed as “the Ikea of Africa,” Steinhoff employed more than 130 000 people on more than 40 brands across four continents – until 5 December 2017, when CEO Markus Jooste resigned amid an investigation into accounting irregularities, and Steinhoff’s share price plunged by 90% in one week. This wiped over R200 billion off Johannesburg’s stock exchange, the JSE – and off ordinary South Africans’ pensions and investments. As Financial Mail editor Rob Rose says in the documentary, “That’s South Africa’s Enron.”

Director Richard Gregory and IdeaCandy producer Elle Oosthuizen were just named the Sanlam Financial Journalist of The Year, the first TV journalists to earn the prestigious accolade in nearly a decade, with Steinheist also taking home the Broadcast: TV and Video Award.

Donkerbos is the most nominated drama at the SAFTAs

With eight nominations, the Showmax Original Donkerbos is the most nominated drama at this year’s SAFTAs.

Erica Wessels has been snubbed for her lead role as Fanie, a detective investigating the murder of six children whose bodies are found in the backwater forests of Donkerbos, Limpopo, but Nicole Holm cracked a Best Supporting Actress nomination as her best friend, Marietjie.

In the SAFTAs’ Best TV Drama category, Donkerbos is up against the likes of the epic Showmax Original Blood Psalms and Mzansi Magic’s Lavish. Donkerbos creator Nico Scheepers is also up for the Best Director SAFTA, competing against Cindy Lee and Christiaan Olwagen for M-Net’s Desert Rose and Recipes for Love and Murder, which are both available to binge on Showmax.

The Showmax Original Donkerbos was the only African series selected for the prestigious Berlinale Series Market Selects 2023, which is described as being for “curated series with high market potential.”
At the upcoming Silwerskerm Festival Awards for Film and Television, Wessels, Holm, and Edwin van der Walt are also up for Best Actress, Supporting Actress and Actor respectively.

Gaia is the most nominated film overall

With nine nominations, including Best Film, kykNET’s Gaia is the most nominated movie at the 2023 SAFTAs.

Monique Rockman is up for a Best Actress SAFTA as a forest ranger injured on a routine mission in the Tsitsikamma National Park. She is saved by two off-the-grid survivalists but what starts out as a welcome rescue grows more suspicious as the son and his renegade father reveal a cultish devotion to the forest.

When their cabin is attacked, it’s clear there is a far greater threat in this unrelenting wilderness.

Jaco Bouwer (Spinners, 4 Mure) is up for Best Director and Jorrie van der Walt is up for Best Cinematography at the SAFTAs, having won the same category at SXSW, one of the most prestigious film festivals globally. Having already won Best Film at Silwerskerm, among other honours, Gaia has an 85% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making Best Horror of the Year lists everywhere from Forbes to Variety.

Legacy is the most nominated telenovela or soap at the SAFTAS

With 12 nominations, M-Net’s Legacy is the most nominated telenovela or soap at the 2023 SAFTAs.

Set in the fast-lane world of investment billionaires, Legacy follows the Price family after the death of the family patriarch. Co-stars Kgomotso Christopher and Michelle Botes are both up for Best Actress, with Dawid Minnaar nominated for Best Actor as Willem Potgieter.

Tshedza’s Phathutshedzo Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon are largely competing against themselves in the telenovela scriptwriting category, with nominations for Legacy, 1Magic’s The River and SABC2’s Giyani – The Land of Blood, although kykNET’s Diepe Waters and Mzansi Magic’s DiepCity, last year’s big winner, are also in the running.

In the SAFTAs’ Best Telenovela category, Legacy is up against the record-breaking Showmax Original The Wife, kykNET & Kie’s Arendsvlei, e.tv’s The Black Door, and The River, which is narrowly behind Legacy with 11 nominations in the category.

Binge both seasons of Legacy on Showmax, which is also the place to stream The River, The Wife, and Arendsvlei. DiepCity S2 launches on Showmax on 4 September 2023, with Diepe Waters S1 coming 5 October 2023.

Hotel is the most nominated overall at the SAFTAs

Hotel Season 5 is on Showmax

With 13 nominations, Hotel is the most nominated title overall at the 2023 SAFTAs, as well as the most nominated comedy.

The fifth and final season sees the Fransen Hotel re-open after surviving the impact of the global pandemic; it helps when you’re used to not having guests…

James Borthwick is up for his third Best Actor SAFTA as Ferdie, the Fransen’s former manager, who checks in as a guest this season after his emigration to New Zealand didn’t go quite as planned. 2018 winner Schalk Bezuidenhout and 2021 winner Martelize Kolver are nominated again as Danny and Brenda, with Simoné Pretorius and Mila Guy also nominated as Jony and Melanie.

In the SAFTAs’ Best TV Comedy category, Hotel has stiff competition from the Showmax Original Tali’s Joburg Diary, which is looking to add another eight SAFTAs to the franchise’s 10 SAFTAs so far.

But wait, there’s more…

Showmax is also the streaming home for:

  • Best Structured Soapie Reality Show nominee Uthando Nes’thembu
  • Best TV presenter nominees Thato Molamu (Abazali), MacFarlane Moleli (Carte Blanche) and Nico Panagio (Survivor South Africa)
  • Best TV Soap nominees Binnelanders and Suidooster
  • Best Documentary Feature nominees Girl, Taken and War Dogs and I
  • Best Competition Reality Show nominees Die Groenste Vingers S2 and Houvrou of Trouvrou
  • Best Factual Programme nominee Strangers You Know
  • Best Structured or Docu-Reality Show nominees Privaatspeurders, Our Perfect Wedding S2, and Weskusbewoners
  • Best Lifestyle Programme nominee Spasie
  • Best International Format nominee My Kitchen Rules South Africa and Survivor South Africa
  • Best Variety Show nominees Mzansi Icons and Sunday Sexy Love
  • Best Short Film nominees Katvis and Leemtes en Leegheid
    Other nominees on Showmax include Against All Odds: the Alwyn Uys Story, Dinge van ‘n Kind, Entangled, Housekeepers, Map1pmp1: The Makazole Mapimpi Story, My Name Is Reeva, Rassie, and The Republic.

The SAFTAs will be held at Sun City on 29 and 30 September 2023, with the main awards ceremony broadcast live on Saturday, 30 September, on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) and SABC 3 at 19:00.

Join the conversation using the social media hashtag #SAFTAs.

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