2017 Simon Mabhunu Sabela Awards winners announced

2017 Simon Mabhunu Sabela Awards

Hard work does pay off.  After months of hard work by the judges, going through just over 100 entries from the industry, the Simon “Mabhunu” Sabela Film and Television Awards winners were announced last night Saturday 15 July, during the 5TH Annual Simon Sabela Film Television Awards, a glamorous event held at The Playhouse in Durban.

The awards were attended by the crème de la crème of the film and television industry including celebrities and representatives from the African continent such as Kenya and Nigeria, as well government officials from other provinces.

“We would like to congratulate the 2017 winners of the prestigious Simon Sabela awards. The Sabela’s continue to grow from strength to strength, an indication that the KZN film industry is moving in the right direction.  The amount of support from our partners has been phenomenal, in addition the newly formed partnership with LUX, will go a long way in ensuring that women filmmakers get motivated to excel in their craft. Once again, congratulations to all the winners, we look forward to another exciting instalment in 2018 where the stakes will be even higher, especially in categories such as best use of KZN as a location as we have seen a lot of funded productions coming out on circuit in 2017.”says CEO Carol Coetzee.

The following emerged as winners in 2017

Best Emerging Director  Kundai Vera Stranger Danger
Best Actress – TV  Nomzamo Mbatha Isibaya
Best Actor – TV Siyabonga Thwala        Isibaya
Best Supporting Actress – TV Gcina Mkhize Isibaya
Best Supporting Actor – TV Andile Mxakaza Isibaya
Best Newcomer   Linda Mtoba Isibaya
Best Student Film  Amandiya
Best Documentary Feature  The Scar of Seven Day War
Best Documentary short  Durban Beach Rescue
Best use of KZN as a location Inkinga Isibongo
Best IsiZulu Film Buchitheke Bugayiwe
Best Screenplay Umfelokazi
Best Microbudget Film Ikhaya Lami
Best Feature Film Happiness is a Four-letter Word
Best Newcomer Actress (Film) Ayanda Mngoma   Imbali ka Baba
Lifetime Achiever Mikhail Peppers

The Simon “Mabhunu” Sabela Film and Television Awards are an initiative of the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs and are implemented by the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission.

About KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission

The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission is a provincial state entity, under the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal South Africa established in terms of the KwaZulu-Natal Commission Act, 2010 (Act No 3 of 2010). Its mandate is to facilitate support throughout the value chain to the local and international film industry through creating opportunities and also growing the KwaZulu-Natal film industry.

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Barnard the movie – celebrating 50 years since the world’s first heart transplant

Chris_Barnard – Barnard The Movie
Sunday, December 3, 2017 will mark the 50th anniversary of what has been called the greatest medical achievement of the 20th century. The world’s first ever heart transplant, performed at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, by the pioneering surgeon Professor Christian Barnard. The story of Barnard’s success is the stuff of legend. Fighting an uphill battle against the apartheid regime, ethical questions over the time of donor death, and a comparatively under-equipped hospital, Barnard performed the successful operation against all odds.

Due to the success of the operation, the world’s media thrust Barnard into the spotlight, making him an international superstar overnight and linking him to prominent figures such as Pope Paul VI, Sophia Loren and Princess Diana.

Now, to celebrate this monumental achievement, South African-owned international production company Karoo Films has announced  – through its CEO, Diony Kempen – that it has started production on a movie about Professor Chris Barnard and his monumental, world-renowned feat.
The film will be shot on location in and around Cape Town, with pivotal scenes taking place inside the original theatre in Groote Schuur Hospital, in which the now famous operation took place and which has been restored to its original condition.

Thanks to the significance of the event and continued worldwide interest in Chris Barnard, the movie has attracted a number of international partners. As a result, Karoo Films has secured worldwide distribution through a London based company, ensuring that the movie and the iconic deeds of Barnard will be seen and celebrated globally. In addition, the movie has found a home with a local theatrical movie distributor and is currently being considered by a local television broadcaster.Producer Robert dos Santos and director Byron Davis have announced that shooting will commence in September 2017 and that casting is currently underway. The company has partnered with the Organ Donor Foundation, the Western Province Blood Transfusion Service and the SANBS to raise awareness of blood, organ, and tissue donation, all of which enabled Barnard to achieve the impossible.

Barnard is set for release in 2018. For more information about the Barnard movie project go to

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Terry Pheto bags another international award nod

Terry Pheto

Award winning actress Terry Pheto’s grip on the international acting scene continues to firm up, as she has once again put South Africa on the world map with another international nod.

Terry Pheto has just scored another prestigious international award nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category for her stellar portrayal of Naledi Khama in the film A United Kingdom at the National Film Awards UK.

Terry Pheto

A United Kingdom is a movie that tells the love story of Botswana’s first president Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams, a London office employee who Seretse married.

The National Film Awards UK is an annual awards ceremony celebrating the achievements of established and independent film makers, actors, actresses, casting directors, production companies and crew who make up the motion picture industry.

This is Terry Pheto’s second international award nomination for her role as Naledi Khama in the film A United Kingdom in the category Best Supporting Actress. This nomination comes just off the back of Terry Pheto’s British Independent Film Award (BIFA) nomination in the same category.

Make sure you vote for Terry Pheto for Best Supporting Actress at the National Film Awards UK

With this nomination Terry Pheto is proving once more that she leads the pack of South African actors who are taking their brand global.

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Terry Pheto to represent SA at the British Independent Film Award (BIFA) this Sunday

Terry Pheto

South Africa’s Leading Lady, Terry Pheto, is set to represent South Africa in London this weekend as she attends the 2016 British Independent Film Award (BIFA) taking place on Sunday, 4 December 2016.

Terry Pheto is nominated in the category for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Naledi Khama in the film A United Kingdom. Having stolen the show at A United Kingdom opening premier in London and made a noticeable impact at all their Southern African premiers, Terry Pheto reminds us of her global stature and why one of Hollywood’s leading talent management agencies signed her this year.

Keep posted to Terry Pheto’s social media accounts to follow her BIFA journey.

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Uga Carlini’s multi-award winning Alison The Movie to screen at The Bioscope and Labia Theatre for 16 Days Of Activism

Alison The Movie

Uga Carlini’s multi-award winning hybrid feature film, Alison The Movie, is back for a second cinema run by popular demand. Alison The Movie will screen simultaneously at The Bioscope in Johannesburg and at the Labia Theatre in Cape Town as part of a special 16 Days Of Activism screening starting this Friday, 25 November 2016 and ending in Johannesburg on 30 November 2016 and in Cape Town on 10 December 2016.

With rave reviews from its Nu Metro cinema run and worldwide festival screenings, make sure to get your tickets to watch Alison The Moviefor the last time on the big screen.

Screening dates: Friday, 25 November 2016 – Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Time: Up to 3 screenings a day
Location: The Bioscope, 286 Fox Street, Maboneng, Johannesburg
Cost: R45
Purchase tickets here:

Screening dates: Friday, 25 November 2016 – Saturday, 10 December 2016

Time: 18:15
Location: Labia Theatre, 68 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Cost: R50
Purchase tickets here:

Based on the real life story of Alsion Botha, Uga Carlini’s hybrid feature film, Alison The Movie, is a deeply personal and emotional story of triumph and survival. Using a creative and innovative fairytale aesthetic, Uga Carlini’s film is a poetic and insightful exploration of trauma and overcoming that is highly fitting to be showcased during 16 Days Of Activism.

Watch the trailer for Alison The Movie here:

Make sure to get your tickets to watch Alison The Movie at either The Bioscope or the Labia Theatre and watch a truly inspiration film on a real life heroine.

Connect with Alison The Movie:

Facebook: Alison (
Twitter: @AlisonTheMovie
Instagram: @AlisonTheMovie

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Terry Pheto takes center stage at the London premiere of A United Kingdom

Terry Pheto

South Africa’s Leading Lady, Terry Pheto, showed us just why she is a leading lady as she stole the show and took center stage at the prestigious BFI London Film Festival where her latest international feature film, A United Kingdom, opened up the 60th annual festival this past Wednesday, 5 October 2016.

A United Kingdom depicts the true story of Seretse Khama and Terry Pheto plays the role of his sister, Naledi Khama.

Starring alongside a star studded cast with the likes of David Oyelowo (Selma), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean), Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Arnold Oceng (Adulthood), Jack Lowden (’71) and Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey), Terry Pheto stood out at the BFI London Film Festival being described by the UK’s Daily Mail as:

“Stunning: Terry Pheto stole the show in a vibrant patterned dress with statement puffball sleeves”


“Centre of attention: The screen star commanded attention in her beautiful dress as she made her way down the red carpet”

Terry Pheto


Terry Pheto commanded just as much attention at the recent Botswana premiere of A United Kingdom and her recent South African Of The Year nomination and BET A-List honour, as South Africa’s most influential actress, are highly appropriate.

Visit Terry Pheto’s Facebook Fan page for more pictures on her recent A United Kingdom premieres:

To vote for Terry Pheto for South African Of The Year:

Connect with Terry Pheto:

Facebook: Terry Pheto (
Twitter: @TerryPheto
Instagram: @TerryPheto

Connect with Leading Lady Productions:

Twitter: @LeadingLadyProd
Instagram: @LeadingLadyProductions

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European premiere of A United Kingdom, featuring Terry Pheto, to open the 60th BFI London Film Festival

Terry Pheto

The highly anticipated feature film, A United Kingdom, by BAFTA Award Winning Writer & Director, Amma Asante, is set to open the 60th BFI London Film Festival on Wednesday, 5 October 2016, at the Odeon Leicester Square for its European premiere. Amma Asante now becomes the first black female to have her film open at the prestigious BFI London Film Festival.

Terry Pheto features in this star studded cast feature film alongside David Oyelowo (Selma) as Seretse Khama with Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) playing his future wife Ruth Williams. Other cast members include the likes of Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean), Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Arnold Oceng (Adulthood), Jack Lowden (’71) and Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey).

“To feature amongst the caliber of actors and actresses cast for this film and have my talent recognised by international casting agents and producers is humbling. I’ve been an actor for 13 years now and every day I work on honing my craft and becoming a better actress and to get jobs such as this one definitely proves hard work pays off” expresses Terry Pheto.

A United Kingdom depicts the true story of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana), and Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1947 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments. Terry Pheto plays the role of Naledi Khama, sister of Seretse Khama.

Clare Stewart, BFI London Film Festival Director, says: “Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom is testament to a defiant and enduring love story that also reveals a complex, painful chapter in British history. We are proud to be opening the 60th BFI London Film Festival with a film of such contemporary relevance, one that celebrates the triumph of love and intelligence over intolerance and oppression, and that confirms Asante as a distinctive and important British filmmaker.”

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Terry Pheto signs to leading US agency, Paradigm


Award-winning actress, Terry Pheto, has officially signed to a leading US talent management agency, Paradigm, just as she’s about to finish filming for BET’s upcoming limited series Madiba, where she plays Winnie Mandela and stars opposite Laurence Fishburne who plays Nelson Mandela.

Since its founding in 1992, Paradigm has established itself as a leading entertainment talent agency, guiding the careers of an elite roster of actors, musical artists, directors, writers and producers. Terry Pheto now joins the likes of Laurence Fishburne, Jada Pinkett Smith, Janelle Monae, Ed Sheeran and numerous other A-List Hollywood actors and musicians under Paradigm’s management.

“Winnie Mandela is a very special role that we identified as having breakout potential when we first read the Madiba scripts several months ago. We are excited to work with Terry to help make her career as important and successful in the United States and globally as she already is in South Africa” shares Paradigm Talent Agent, Nick LoPiccolo.

“It’s a huge honour to have my talent recognised by a leading talent management agency such as Paradigm. I have two international projects coming out back to back and I believe this new relationship will enable me to explore further opportunities international” expresses Terry Pheto.

Terry Pheto is no stranger to the international scene and opportunities. Her debut film in 2006, Totsi, won an Oscar; In 2008 she became the first South African face for L’Oreal Paris. In 2011 she landed a recurring role on the American soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful; In 2013 she starred alongside Idris Elba in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; She also represented South Africa in the jury for the 2015 International Emmy Awards last November and recently produced her first feature, the coming-of-age drama Ayanda, which premiered at theLA Film Festival last year and has been picked up for U.S. distribution by Ava DuVernay’s Array, just to mention a few. Terry Pheto will be next seen in Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom which will have its first international release in September this year.

Terry Pheto’s signing to Paradigm now is very fitting as Terry Pheto celebrates 13 years as an actress, and if her resume is anything to go by, there’s a lot in store that Terry Pheto still has for South Africa and the rest of the world.

Make sure to catch Terry Pheto in LA later this month as she is set to attend the upcoming BET Awards. Follow her on social media for an exclusive look into what she has in store.

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Filmmaker and writer, Uga Carlini, brings the story of Alison Botha to life with the hybrid film, Alison

Uga Carlini

Award-winning South African filmmaker and writer, Uga Carlini, brings the story of Alison Botha to life with the hybrid film, Alison The Movie. The rights to the Alison film has been hotly sought after for the past 17 years, before Alison Botha decided to give the rights to Uga Carlini, who specialises in female driven heroine stories. Uga Carlini wrote, produced and directed Alison, which will screen at film festivals from June 2016 and open up nationwide at Nu Metro cinemas from 12 August 2016.

Raped. Neck slashed more than 17 times. Stabbed in the stomach over 37 times. Disemboweled. Dumped on the outskirts of a nature reserve, dead – or so they thought. Ordinary people of extraordinary strength and courage are what jolts one into action and offers hope. Alison survived to become such an individual. She needed a hero that night, so that’s what she became.

Watch Alison The Movie trailer here

CT: Fri 3 6.45pm Q&A V&A / Sun 12 5.30pm CN V&A / Tues 7 8.30pm Q&A Labia
JHB: Fri 3 7pm CN Rosebank
*CN cinema nouveau

MZANZI WOMEN’S FESTIVAL *5 AUGUST 2016 (opening film)



“I heard Alison speak for the first time in 1999 on the rugby fields of my old High School and a piece of my heart became hers while a spark of her flame became mine. The magic of Alison works on many levels and puts one’s own nonsense into perspective. It gives us a new take on a world that’s forever telling us we have to excel, stand out, be a cut above the rest, join a rally and burn our bras when for me you being you is already enough” shares Uga Carlini.

Uga Carlini further goes on to express: “And there’s no super hero outfit in Alison’s cupboard, instead you’ll find some baggy clothes for when she has a fat day. Yahoo – a real heroine. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a long and winding road but for a change, here is a story where between the bad so much more good can be found and how too much of a good thing can just be plain damn marvelous. Alison believed she could. So she did. And then so did I and it is my wish for my audience to be reminded that so can they!”

Uga Carlini has extensive film experience both in front of and behind the camera, with a career that has stretched across South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia and Fiji. Uga Carlini was recently voted a “Woman of the Month” in the “Extraordinary Women Of South Africa” initiative. She is also the first filmmaker and her company, Towerkop Creations, the first South African company inducted as a member of the South African / American Business Chamber.

If Uga Carlini’s numerous accolades are anything to go by, South Africa and the rest of the world will be blown away by this female driven heroine story which has already been dubbed “a story of monsters, miracles and hope”.

Connect with Uga Carlini

Facebook: Towerkop Creations (
Twitter: @TowerkopC
Instagram: @UgaCarlini

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Journey of slavery told on The Book of Negroes

The Book of Negroes

The Book of Negroes is a six part mini- series which explores the journey of an eleven year old girl, Aminata Diallo who was abducted from her village in West Africa and taken into slavery at an indigo plantation in South Carolina, America. The series airs from Monday, 02 May at 8:30PM on

The Book of Negroes is a fictional story that is packed with serial drama, intensity as well as brilliant local and international cast. The heartbeat of the series is in Aminata’ s tireless and fearless quest to be free. The Book of Negroes, is a historical document which recorded the names of all slaves in order for them to qualify for their freedom. The series focuses on key issues that affected black people in the early centuries such as freedom, slave trading and literacy.

Aminata is faced with many challenges in the strange country and eventually finds solace in a woman called Georgia who looks after her until she turns eighteen. Aminata’ s journey brings her bitter sweet memories. She is determined to return home to West Africa and dreams of being a free woman. As the only Negro that can read and write, Aminata is set on a journey to make sure that her name is in the book of Negroes.

The series features some of South Africa’s remarkable actors such as Thishiwe Ziqubu, Atandwa Kani, Jerry Mofokeng, Nondumiso Tembe, Andile Gumbi, Aubrey Poo and Fana Mokoena.

“We are delighted to bring an award winning international mini-series that will take viewers on an exhilarating journey with the main character,” says Marlon Davids, Acting MD: Channels Division

Catch The Book of Negroes from Monday, 02 May at 8:30PM on Viewers can also catch the series on eHD on both OpenView HD (Channel 104) and DStv decoders (Channel 194).

Episode 1
Chekura looks after young Aminata, they grow close and are put on the same slave ship.

Episode 2
After several seasons of deflecting Appleby’s advances, Aminata marries Chekura and has his child.

Episode 3
Chekura arrives in New York, only to leave again after the British Forces offer freedom to any man who fights the Americans.

Episode 4
Aminata is offered a job by Cpt. John Clarkson of the British Navy to help recruit Black Loyalists.

Episode 5
Chekura decides to join his wife in her desire to return home. Captain Clarkson offers an escape for the black community to a new settlement in Sierra Leone.

Episode 6
Arriving in Africa, Aminata endeavors to find her way back home to the village of Bayo.

About OpenView HD
OpenView HD is the only free digital satellite platform in South Africa, powered by, which brings you a wonderful new world of entertainment – 19 new TV channels in digital quality. The decoder is available from all leading retailers from as little as R399 (excludes dish/installation).

Follow OpenView HD on the following platforms:

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