The exceptional talent of film and videomakers and the high excellence of work produced in film, television and new media were evident at the National Television and Video Association (NTVA) of the Western Cape’s 25th Annual Stone Awards held at Theatre on the Bay on Monday, November 17.
The top winner of the evening was Aland Pictures’ documentary ‘Cosmic Africa’, winning a Stone Award as well as seven craft awards. This extraordinary odyssey of an African Astronomer journey into this ancient continent’s astronomical past awarded three craft awards to Craig and Damon Foster – for their direction, cinematography, and art direction and styling. Other craft awards for ‘Cosmic Africa’ went to Damon Foster for his editing; Craig and Damon received a craft award for the script they co-wrote with High Brody, Barry Donnely received a craft award for the sound design, and Donelly and Grant Mclachlan for their music score.
A leading winner in the Newcomer competition was Harold Hölscher from City Varsity Film and Television School, who walked away with A Stone Award for his excellent short film ‘Ibali’, that explores the essence of heritage through storytelling. ‘Ibali’ also received four craft awards: Harold received recognition for his direction, Wynand Groenewald and Justin Baker for their animation skills, Catherine Hornby for the cinematography and actor Chris April for his touching performance.
In the Professional competition in the commercials category Suburban films received a Stone Award for the imaginative advert ‘Fork’ for Investec; it also received four craft awards: Miles Goodall for cinematography, the Refinery in Johannesburg and Cape Town for the special effects and Leon Morland and Rian Malan for the exceptional art direction. Suburban Films also received two Gold Awards for the commercials ‘Brother’ and ‘Candles – ‘Brother’ also received a craft award for the Jupiter Drawing Room for script and concept; and ‘Candles’ received a craft award for the Jupiter Drawing Room for the concept, for Leon Morland’s art direction, and Miles Goodall’s cinematography.
In the Professional competition a Stone Award went to documentary filmmaker Francois Verster from Undercurrent Film and Television for ‘A Lion’s Trail’, telling the story of the most popular son ever to come from Africa, Mbube, which eventually evolved into the internationally famous The Lion Sleeps Tonight. ‘A Lion’s Trail’ also received a craft award for Francois Verster for his direction and his collaboration with Rian Malan on the script and research; Francois also shares a craft for the Art Direction with Pete Neal.
Francois Verster’s documentary ‘When the war is over’, also received a Gold Award as well as craft award to Verster for his direction, the script by Verster and Per K Kirkegaard, and to Grant McLachlan and Peter Coyte for the music. One of Verster’s most personal documentaries, it deals with the after effects of the South African struggle against apartheid.
Another Stone Award winner is Atomic Visual Effects for their mind blowing showreel, also winning craft awards for Simon Hansen and Sharlto Copley for the original concept and innovation.
Atomic Visual Effects also received two Gold Awards: one for the music video Dream which they produced for the Durban-based group Jago, which also earned craft awards for Simon Hansen and Sharlto Copley for art direction and concept, and a craft award for their animation team.
Gold also went to Atomic Visual Effects for their innovative ‘Hellweek’ in the Corporate Communications category, that launched an imaginative digital artists training programme. It also received three craft awards: for the animation, to Simon Hansen and Sharlto Copley for post production, the script and concept.
Tswelopele Productios’ glitzy magazine show ‘Top Billing’ received a Stone Award for an episode that was transmitted in July this year; as well as a special craft award for presenter Michael Mol, and a craft award for consistency if a high excellence and standard in Magazine Shows. Top Billing also received three Gold Awards and four Silver Award in the Magazine Show category.
In the magazine show category Shoot The Breeze Productions won 10 Silver awards for the magazine show ‘Free Spirit, as well as a craft award for overall conceptualisation of the series and originality of subject matter.
The magazine talk show Vyuani Mzantsi walked away with five Bronze awards, Chat The Planet won a Silver and a Gold, as well as a special craft to Liz Fish, Duncan Irvine and Laurie Meadoff for the concept. The fun travel series Going Nowhere Slowly received a Silver Award.
Di Rosen Productions received five Bronze awards; two in the Art and Entertainment category for The North Sea Jazz Festival and The Best of Comedy Showcase, and three for inserts for the Tapestries.
Big World Cinema’s short film ‘Inja’, which raises awareness about prejudice on South African farms in South Africa, won a Gold Award as well as craft awards for Steven Pasvolsky for his script and direction, and to actors Anele Vellom and Lizo Makambi for their outstanding performances.
Other short films that received awards were Leila Fisher from the Visual Kitchen for ‘Birds, Bees and Advertising’, a satirical look at advertising, which also earned Sarah Jane Mould a craft award for art direction; and Glen Thomas from Max Headroom received a Silver Award for his one minute short film ‘The Painter’.
Homebrew Films received one Bronze and two Silver Awards for the lifestyle cooking series ‘Pampoen tot Perlemoen’, as well as a craft award for presenter Sonia Cobano who thanked her producers for “putting their money where her mouth is’.
In the social awareness category Plexus TV received four Silver awards for ‘Dreams and Teams’, ‘Hostel Stories’, ‘Everybody’s Cup of Tea’, and ‘Hometalk’.
Girls for Africa Media Works received Two Bronze Awards for the documentaries ‘Just Life’ and ‘Building Strong Families, Communities’ and a Silver for ‘Beyond the Bars’, a documentary that was commissioned by Pollsmoor Prison.
Only two sitcoms received awards; Bronze went to Penguin Film for the situation comedies ‘Fishy Feshuns’ and ‘Stokvel’.
In the New Media Category Wireframe Studio walked away with Gold with their interactive-game promotion ‘Whizzball’, which was developed for Discovery Kids and also earned a craft for Andries Odendaal for creative programming as well as a craft for the outstanding concept and execution. Wireframe Studio also received Bronze for their CD Ron Saridon.
Other winners in the new media category were Arctic Circle who won a Bronze for their showreel ‘Starstruck’, Michele Macklin received Bronze for her personal promotion website ‘Thorny Rabbit’, and the University of Cape Town was awarded Bronze for the websites they created for the Michaelis school of Fine Art, the Institute for Film and New Media, and the Drama Department.
In the Newcomer competition – students from film schools and training institutions and first time entrants – there were 10 Bronze awards, 7 Silver Awards, 6 Gold Awards and 8 Craft Awards. The prominent winners in the Newcomer competition were Media Village, Universal Computer Arts Academy, AFDA and City Varsity film and Television School. An independent entrant, Anthony Silverston won a Gold for his animated short ‘The Slipper Cycle’ as well as three craft awards – for creativity, direction and animation.
The success of the 25th Annual Stone Awards would not have been possible without the generous support from Theatre on the Bay, The Video Lab Cape Town, The Film Lab Cape Town, Atomic Visual Effects, AFDA, Universal Computer Arts Academy, Atkinson Television, Wireframe Studios, and Redshift Digital.