A first of its kind awards event, the South Africa India Film and Television Awards (SAIFTA) by Celebrity Locker debuted in Mumbai with an exclusive curtain raiser ceremony. The attending mumbaikars were in for a treat as the arc lights of the award event shone bright at the Taj Lands End Bandra. SAIFTA is an annual event with the aim of creating a never before seen cultural exchange of the Indian and South African entertainment industry while rewarding outstanding performers and will take place in Durban on September 6, 2013 with a host of South African and Indian dignitaries.
The ceremony commenced with much fanfare and cheer as the cross-cultural event was officially inaugurated. The audience was treated to distinguished and respected personalities from both nations, who would be acting as the jury members for the duration of the awards. The star-studded Indian panelists consist of actor Ms. Waheeda Rehman, producer Mr. Mukesh Bhatt, actor Mr. Boman Irani, director and screenwriter Mr. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra along with director Ms. Farah Khan.
The South African panel comprised of luminaries such as renowned actor and writer Mr. Welcome Msomi, theatre and television personality Ms. Saira Essa, film industry veteran Mr. Peter Rorvik, performing artist Ms. Linda Bukhosini, theatre personality Ms. Caroline Smart as well as actress Ms. Leleti Khumalo.
Celebrity Locker, the Mumbai-based events company joined hands with the Province of KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism of Durban to make the award ceremony possible.
John Abraham, Waheeda Rehman, Manoj Bajpai, Sanjay Gupta, Suniel Shetty, Apoorva Lakhia, Apurva and Shilpa Agnihotri, Mukesh Bhatt, Mr. Sadha Naidoo, Board Chairperson, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, Ms. Neliswe Dlamini, Project Manager DEDT attended the curtain raiser press conference of SAIFTA.
The curtain raiser showcased the coveted Wall of Fame to the audience which will be taking hand prints of eminent personalities from the Indian and South African film and television industry and will be showcased at a prominent location in Durban.
Actress Waheeda Rehman unveiled the SAIFTA Trophy with John Abraham. The trophy has been tastefully designed keeping in mind the cross culture association between South Africa and India. The trophy has been brought to life by The Award Gallery.
Renowned Bollywood actor Mr. Saif Ali Khan would host the event in Durban on September 6, 2013.
Director Apoorva Lakhia and Director Sanjay Gupta of ‘Shootout at Lokhandwala’ and ‘Shootout at Wadala’ respectively announced screening of their films in Durban. This is a SAIFTA skills transfer initiative in conjunction with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism. Through this initiative 500 tickets of each movie will be distributed via social media for free. Cinema enthusiasts can avail of these tickets and watch these movies that will be screened in one of the most legendary theatres in Durban. After each screening the cast and crew will be have a dialogue with the audience present to discuss the art and business of movie making.
The curtain raiser launched the first look of the brand identity. The design language (designed by the creative agency TWO) is a result of the merging of traditional South African and Indian motifs that represent entertainment themes but with a contemporary twist.