7 October 2015
As Trevor Noah gets comfortable in the chair at The Daily Show this month, there has been more international recognition for South African creative talent with news this week that two local television productions and a hard-hitting documentary have received nominations for the 2015 International Emmy Awards.
The reality cooking show MasterChef South Africa, innovative political satire production Puppet Nation ZA and the documentary Miners Shot Down have all been nominated for awards.
South Africa is one of only 19 countries earning international recognition in 10 production categories by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
The news of the nominations is a boost for the local film and television industry. The recognition helps to grow the professional reputation of the sector, which does much to create new job opportunities for South African talent, both in front of and behind the cameras.
Outside the country, it also positions South Africa as a growing cultural brand in a global context, as per the Chapter 7 outcome of the National Development Plan.
The hard-hitting and popular Angolan telenovela Jikulumessu is the other African contender.
The winners will be announced on 23 November in New York City.
M-Net’s MasterChef South Africa is nominated in the reality/non- scripted category. Produced by Quizzical Pictures and Lucky Bean Media, it is the second time the show has been nominated for an International Emmy; it was also nominated in 2013.
Watch a clip:
Puppet Nation ZA (previously known as ZA News) is the hugely popular political satire show that pokes fun at local and international pop culture and politicians using puppets. Produced by Both Worlds Productions and featuring some of South Africa’s best comedy writers, the show comes off a great run at this year’s South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas), in which it won seven trophies.
Watch a clip:
The controversial but highly lauded documentary Miners Shot Down about the 2012 Marikana shootings, is nominated for the Best Documentary Award. It was produced by filmmaker Rehad Desai and Uhuru Productions.
Desai said he hoped the nomination would help the documentary reach a wider audience, particularly in South Africa. “This is an ongoing story which demands the attention of all South Africans and indeed the world to ensure justice is going to be done,” he told news broadcaster EWN. “It’s just a shame we can’t get it on SABC. Hopefully that will change with the Emmy nomination.”
This year’s nominations follow a strong trend of South African talent making an impact in overseas awards, particularly the Emmys.
In 2013, Loyisa Gala and Late Nite News were nominated for an International Emmy for comedy. That same year, South African composer Phillip Miller was nominated for best musical score at the Emmys for his soundtrack for the film The Girl.
South African Doug Hardy and his visual effects team won a production Emmy for the series Black Sails in 2014. Earlier this year, Debora Patta was nominated for a news Emmy for her work as the Africa correspondent for the American TV network CBS on its show, CBS Evening News.