Sunday, April 6, 2014

SAFTAS 2014: Presenters are again clearly not briefed on pronunciation as they struggle to get nominees' names right ... while Saftas mock Gaga for struggling with Tina Jaxa.

Category presenters and on-stage personalities who botched name after name at the 8th South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) were in an amateur way, as in previous years, clearly not briefed and not audibly voice coached on how to actually pronounce the names of nominees and winners - while the Saftas saw it fit to ironically make fun of a caricature of Lady Gaga unable to pronounce "Tina Jaxa".

Nobody at the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), the Saftas organising committee, or Clive Morris Productions responsible for this shoddy television travesty apparently bothered to do more than shove envelopes into the hands of presenters who then struggled to pronounce names correctly.

As in past years with the Saftas, it created a cringe-worthy and highly embarrassing refrain to watch actor after actor and personality after personality rambling through names they don't know how to say, just like a Grade 3 child struggling to read.

The Saftas and the NFVF purportedly want the awards show to celebrate South Africa's film and TV industry - but actually trashes it by constantly broadcasting a Saftas which shows how little those in the industry know, or care to know, of how to pronounce fellow South Africans and industry peers' names.

As in past years, the Saftas couldn't even get the name of their own Roberta Durrant, the chairperson of the Saftas judging committee right.

Mmabatho Ramagoshi, council chairperson of the NFVF called Roberta Durrant, "Roberta Durrant" as in "due rand", while Zama Nkosi, NFVF CEO called her "Roberta Durrant" as in "currant". (During the red carpet coverage, Roberta Durrant wasn't even be identified by either name, nor on-screen graphic.)

So which pronunciation is it NFVF and Saftas?

Ironically the Saftas, broadcast on SABC3 on Saturday night from Gallagher Estate, included a skit where ZA News puppets - a "Charlize Theron" and a "Lady Gaga" (a star of film? a star of TV?)  - appeared.

Lady Gaga had to get Charlize Theron to say "Tina Jaxa" since Lady Gaga is unable to pronounce the "African name" because of "all that letters".

Why does the foolhardly NFVF, Safta committee and designated production company not go through the names and have those presented who they have lined-up to hand over trophies practice the nominees' names out loud before presenting?

Or is all that matters what they're going to wear, that they're able to walk, and that they just show up at the event?

South Africa's film and TV industry is a part of the broader South Africa and reflects that world.

It is high time that the NFVF and the Saftas start to do the same and in turn accurately reflect the industry it is supposed to serve - an industry built on the spoken world and performance art, where people know each others' names and are able to do the correct on-air pronunciation of talent names.