Content on Showmax won a whopping 34 awards, the most of any streaming service, at the 17th South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) held at Sun City on 29 and 30 September 2023. Showmax Originals alone won 10 SAFTAs.
Tali’s Joburg Diary and Hotel S5 were two of the biggest SAFTA awards 2023 winners overall, tying with four awards each in the comedies category. Binnelanders and Legacy tied with Scandal! for the most Soapie/Telenovela wins, taking home three awards each.
Best SAFTA awards 2023 winners on Showmax
Here are the best SAFTA awards 2023 winners available to binge on Showmax right now, across each of the key categories:
Tali’s Joburg Diary
Showmax Original Tali’s Joburg Diary was looking lush at this year’s SAFTAs, adding another four awards to the franchise’s 10 SAFTAs so far.
Produced by Sketchbook Studios, Tali’s Joburg Diary is the sequel to the first ever Showmax Original, Tali’s Wedding Diary and Tali’s Baby Diary, which set a (then) record for the most first-day views on Showmax and were similarly the most awarded comedy at the 2019 and 2022 SAFTAs, taking home five prizes, including Best Comedy.
In Tali’s Joburg Diary, the Shapiro-Nudelmans are forced to take up Tali’s dad’s offer of a bailout after falling on hard times because of lockdown. His only condition? Tali must come home to Joburg, where she’ll be competing with the yummy mummies to get Jayden into the best pre-school.
Kate Normington won Best Supporting Actress as Tali’s mother, Michelle. The series also won for Wardrobe (Erin Simon), Directing (Ari Kruger), and brought home their first-ever award for Scriptwriting (Julia Anastasopoulos, Ari Kruger, Gilli Apter, & Daniel Zimble).
Hotel brought home the awards for Best Achievement in Sound (Tim Pringle, Giles Heesom-Green & Melani Robertson), Art Direction (Merishen Wessels), Cinematography (Dino Benedetti) and Best Actor (James Borthwick).
The fifth and final season sees the Fransen Hotel re-open after surviving the impact of the global pandemic; it helps when you’re used to not having guests… James Borthwick scooped his third Best Actor SAFTA as Ferdie, the Fransen’s former manager, who checks in as a guest this season, since his emigration to New Zealand didn’t go quite as planned.
The kykNET film Gaia (available on Showmax now) brought home four SAFTAs, including Best Film, Director, Original Music/Score, and Cinematography.
Monique Rockman plays a forest ranger injured on a routine mission in the Tsitsikamma National Park. She is saved by two off-the-grid survivalists but what starts out as a welcome rescue grows more suspicious as the son and his renegade father reveal a cultish devotion to the forest. When their cabin is attacked, it’s clear there is a far greater threat in this unrelenting wilderness.
Showmax Original drama series Donkerbos brought home Best Director (Nico Scheepers) and Sound (Jozua Loots). Erica Wessels plays Fanie, a detective investigating the murder of six children whose bodies are found in the backwater forests of Donkerbos, Limpopo, with Nicole Holm playing her best friend, Marietjie, and Edwin van der Walt playing a troubled teacher.
M-Net and Tshedza Pictures’ Legacy (now on Showmax) scooped three telenovela awards, including Best Telenovela, Actress (Michelle Botes), and Art Direction (Amanda Scholtz).
Set in the fast-lane world of investment billionaires, Legacy follows the Price family after the death of the family patriarch. Co-stars Kgomotso Christopher and Michelle Botes were both up for the Best Actress award, but it looks like Angelique Price had one defeat in store for Dineo Price.
Life With Kelly Khumalo S3
Life With Kelly Khumalo S3 won Best Structured Soapie Reality Show at the SAFTAs. Her vocal highness Kelly Khumalo lets audiences into her life in this Showmax Original. Season 3 picks up in April 2022 with #KellyKhumalo trending on Twitter again, with the release of a true-crime documentary series about the death of Senzo Meyiwa and his trial about to start. As Kelly says in the trailer, “They hate the fact that I am the one who did not die that day.”
A household name by 21, with nearly 2.5m followers on Instagram alone, Kelly has been named Best Female Artist at the South African Music Awards, sold millions of albums and opened for Grammy winner Missy Elliott. This is a second SAFTA for Kelly in this category, after Life With Kelly Khumalo won the 2021 SAFTA for Best Soap Structured Reality TV Show.
You can view the full SAFTA awards 2023 winners list on the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) website.