Chairperson of the Simon Sabela Awards

News, 10 June 2018



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Head of Durban’s Post Grad Department, Dr Janet van Eeden, was asked by the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission to be the overall Chairperson of the Simon Sabela Awards this past month. These awards are the highlight of the Award season in the province. To ensure that the awards go to the highest quality films produced in the country, Janet created a set of criteria for each category so that the filtration panels could judge the entries equitably. There were over 300 films entered for the prestigious prize and the judges had their work cut out for them

Three sets of filtration judges met during the past month to view the entries in their particular categories. Each panel had a chair, as follows:  

  • Filtration – Mr Noel Kok
  • Micro budget – Mr Teboho Pietersen
  • Final – Mr Uzanenkosi Mahlangu
  • Chairman’s Panel – Mr Welcome Msomi
  • The chair of each panel sent their report through to Janet for discussion and validation. On the 2nd June, Janet chaired the final Chairman’s panel which consisted of the Chairman of KZN Film Commission, Mr Welcome Msomi, and a group of industry specialists, which included AFDA Durban’s respected Head of Producing, Richard Green. This panel went through the scores collated by each of the panels to ensure equity and fairness in the judging process. An auditor was present throughout the judging process.

Janet reports that the process was streamlined by the use of very specific criteria for each category which removed the possibility of bias and subjectivity. The final nominees will reflect the rigour which went into judging the quality of this year’s entries. The nominees will be announced on the 21st June at 6 pm. Janet wishes to thank the KZN Film Commission’s team of extremely organised young women for making the process efficient, namely the chief organiser, Adolphin Mnguni, as well as Valentia Mthembu and Lungile Duma. She would also like to thank the KZN Film Commission’s COO, Jackie Motsepe, for overseeing the whole process. The awards will be held at the Durban Playhouse in July.

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