National Arts Festival Awards Arts Community as Festival Closes

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The Graveyard, on of the winners of a Standard Bank Silver OvationAward. Picture by CuePix/Aaliyah Tshabalala - National Arts Festival 2016
The Graveyard, on of the winners of a Standard Bank Silver OvationAward. Picture by CuePix/Aaliyah Tshabalala – National Arts Festival 2016

Artistic excellence was celebrated at the National Arts Festival this morning when the winners of the 2016 Standard Bank Ovation Awards were revealed at a ceremony which also honoured outgoing National Arts Festival Artistic Director, Ismail Mahomed.

Commenting on the impact of the awards, Mahomed said, “The Ovation Awards have earned a significant gravitas in the arts sector. They have become a barometer for audiences and visiting arts managements about productions that should not be missed. Artists at the Festival have been bold and have used their talents and skills to engage with burning issues in the most creative ways.”

STANDARD BANK OVATIONS WINNERS 2016

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Standard Bank Standing Ovation Awards
The 2016 Standard Bank Standing Ovation Award was presented to the French Institute of South Africa and the Embassy of France for two decades of supporting visionary collaborations and exchanges between South African and French artists.

A Standard Bank Standing Ovation Award was also presented to Gary Gordon to honour his longstanding creative energy in South Africa’s cultural life and his enormously significant contributions to the vitality of the National Arts Festival’s Main, Fringe and Arena programmes.

A surprise Standing Ovation Award was presented to Ismail Mahomed who ends his tenure as Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival at the end of July. Speaking at the announcement, National Arts Festival CEO, Tony Lankester, recognised the nine-year commitment that Mahomed had made to the Festival, saying that he had “transformed the programme, filled it with richness and left a lasting legacy of excellence”.

The Adelaide Tambo Human Rights Award
The 2016 Adelaide Tambo Award for Human Rights is presented to Drama for Life, a global leader in the integrated approach to arts for social transformation and healing. Their performances and public engagement initiatives explore, serve and grow the role of arts for social change. At the 2016 National Arts Festival, Drama For Life presented Afri-Queer, a production that brought together artists from across South Africa’s borders to give a voice that humanises and gives dignity to those who continue to be oppressed. Drama for Life has also devised and executed the Festival’s 2016 Remix Laboratory programme.

Standard Bank Ovations Awards
The Standard Bank Ovations Awards are only given to new productions on the National Lottery Fringe. Once a production has been awarded an Ovation Award, the Company is invited to propose a new work to the following year’s Arena programme.

The National Lotteries Commission contributed R10 million to the Fringe this year, and assumed naming rights to the event. Says National Lotteries Commission’s Thabang Mampane, “The National Lotteries Commission is honoured to have been the principal funder of the National Lottery Fringe and congratulates all the worthy Ovation winners. The NLC is proud to have been able to provide a platform for the talent that has been recognized at this year’s National Arts Festival”.

Of the more than 318 productions and performances submitted to the National Lottery Fringe this year, 232 were premiers and eligible for consideration for an Award. Says Standard Bank Ovations Awards Chairperson, Tracey Saunders, “The new productions on this year’s programme ranged from the staging of familiar South African texts to established international scripts, deeply personal monologues to epic family sagas and some ground-breaking new texts straddling the terrain in between.”

Saunders went on to say that despite economic constraints and the general feeling of malaise gripping the country, the National Lottery Fringe continues to excite and entertain and, more importantly, provoke conversations and ask questions of us as individuals and society.

Hazel Chimhandamba, Head of Group Sponsorships at Standard Bank commended all the 2016 winners, “Standard Bank applauds the efforts of all the individuals involved in the Festival and the organisations that contributed to its success. We are very proud to be associated with awarding those who represent South Africa’s artistic landscape.”

The full list of winners for 2016 are as follows:

COMPANY: Rust Co-Operative
PRODUCTION: Sillage
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Gold

COMPANY: Artscape
PRODUCTION: Ityala Lamawele
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Silver

COMPANY: Alan Parker
PRODUCTION: Sacre for One
GENRE: Dance
AWARD: Silver

COMPANY: Rust Co-Operative
PRODUCTION: The Graveyard
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Silver

COMPANY: Artscape
PRODUCTION: Die Glas Ennie Draad
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Silver

COMPANY: Explosiv Productions
PRODUCTION: Dangled
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Silver

COMPANY: Kristin Hua NG-Yang
PRODUCTION: BIRD/FISH
GENRE: Dance
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: Matt Newman
PRODUCTION: Cock
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: Sibikwa Arts Centre
PRODUCTION: Chapter 2 Section 9
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: Theatre for Africa
PRODUCTION: Ebola
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: Uyabona Ke
PRODUCTION: Falling Off the Horn
GENRE: Physical Theatre
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: Artscape
PRODUCTION: Henrietta with Love
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: One Shushu Day Artistry
PRODUCTION: Msaki and the Golden Circle
GENRE: Music
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: Nombasa
PRODUCTION: Nombasa
GENRE: Music
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: Hungry Minds Productions
PRODUCTION: Out of Bounds
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: Lebo Leisa
PRODUCTION: Paleho
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY:Neo Motsatse
PRODUCTION: The Concert
GENRE: Music
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: Bloom & Stone
PRODUCTION: Tease!
GENRE: Comedy
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: Liquid Fusion
PRODUCTION: Burn
GENRE: Dance
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: Moving into Dance Mophatong
PRODUCTION ‘…feathers…’
GENRE: Dance
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: Klara van Wyk
PRODUCTION: You Suck: and Other Inescapable Truths
GENRE: Comedy
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: UJ Arts & Culture (a Division of FADA)
PRODUCTION: For Coloured Girls Who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: Lexi Meier
PRODUCTION: Fabric of the Universe
GENRE: Performance Art
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: ExploSIV Productions
PRODUCTION: Thenx Presents Aza-Nya is Five-To
GENRE: Comedy
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: Daneel van der Walt
PRODUCTION: Dani and the Lion
GENRE: Cabaret
AWARD: Ovation

COMPANY: Sibonele Dance Project
PRODUCTION: Abangawona (The Unseen)
GENRE: Dance
AWARD: Merit

COMPANY:Umsindo Theatre Projects
PRODUCTION: 10 Days in a Shebeen
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Merit

COMPANY: Slindile Mthembu
PRODUCTION: Milked Voice
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Merit

COMPANY: Well Worn Theatre Co
PRODUCTION: Rat Race
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Merit

COMPANY: Outreach Foundation (Hillbrow Theatre)
PRODUCTION: Isaro
GENRE: Theatre
AWARD: Merit

COMPANY: ExploSIV Productions
PRODUCTION: The Dark Ages
GENRE: Comedy
AWARD: Encore

STUDENT THEATRE AWARDS
Awards for the best works by students at the National Arts Festival were decided by a panel, convened by Jacqueline Dommisse, that included Lee-Ann van Rooi and Bertina Johnson.

Nominated for the Most Promising Playwright of the Year Award

  • Thembela Madliki of Rhodes University for Nyanga
  • The cast of Pharmakon by University of the Free State for a devised script

Winner of the Most Promising Playwright of the Year Award:

  • Namisa Mdlaloze & Pueng Stewart for University Of Cape Town’s Figs

Nominated for the Most Promising Director Award:

  • Sarah Nansubuga  Wits University for The Village
  • Dara Beth of University Of Cape Town for Figs

Winner of the Most Promising Director Award

  • Thembela Madliki of Rhodes University for Nyanga

Nominated for Best Production Award:

  • University Of Cape Town for Figs

Winner of Best Production Award:

  • Rhodes University for Nyanga

SHORT, SHARP STORIES COLLECTION
The annual anthology of Short, Sharp Stories was launched at the National Arts Festival this week. Die Laughing “stories of wit, satire and humour” – was edited by Joanne Hichens, who is also the curator of the competition. The authors included in the collection were announced and awarded at the National Arts Festival:

BEST STORY:

  • This Could Get Messy by Greg Lazarus

RUNNERS-UP:

  • This Is Not A Joke, Maureen by Gail Schimmel
  • Angel Heart by Kobus Moolman

EDITOR’S CHOICE

  • Learning a New Language by Fred Khumalo

HIGHLY COMMENDED

  • Jim Goes to Durban by Anton Krueger and Pravasan Pillay
  • Number One With A Bullet by Christopher McMichael
  • The Derby by Ofentse Ribane
  • The Viewing Room by Diane Awerbuck
  • The Seduction of Ozzie Stone by Stephen Symons

Earlier in the week, South African author, Lidudu Malingani won the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing for his short story “Memories We Lost”, which featured in the 2015 Short, Sharp Stories anthology Incredible Journey: Stories that Move You.

The 2016 National Arts Festival closes today.

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