Knysna continues to demonstrate its’ capability to host major international events. Last week, the prestigious International Emmy Awards semi-final judging process was brought to Knysna by the Cape Film Commission (CFC). The CFC chose Knysna in order to showcase the region as a filmmaking destination and to allow the judges and International Emmy representative to experience the natural beauty and hospitality of the area.
The 14 judges sat in privacy and reviewed the documentary submissions provided by the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This category is only one of the 21 categories within the International Emmy Awards. The event took place at the luxurious Simola Hotel, Country Club & Spa where the numerous international entrants for the best documentary category were judged and one will be put forward as a finalist in the awards event to be held in New York City in November. This particular category honours documentaries produced and displayed initially outside of the United States.
The International Emmy Academy has 700 members that are spread across 60 countries. The best entrants into the various categories have been chosen and lauded by their peers at the International Emmy Awards ceremony in New York City since 1967.
Knysna Executive Mayor, Georlene Wolmarans hosted an International Emmy Awards Mayoral Gala Dinner on Wednesday, June 30 to honour the Cape Film Commission (CFC), the International Emmy Awards organisers and the 14 South African judges. These 14 judges had proved to be the strongest candidates out of the 40 applicants in the documentary category.
Addressing the contingent during the dinner, Wolmarans welcomed them and said: “It’s an exciting time for Knysna as we continue to grow and adapt with the times, bringing more exposure to Knysna and, of course South Africa through the exciting medium of film and television.”
She lauded Denis Lillie, CEO of the CFC for motivating Knysna as host to the judging of the documentary category of the International Emmy Awards. “For the past 4 years the Cape Film Commission has hosted semi-final judging of the International Emmy’s in Cape Town, and Knysna thanks you for choosing our beautiful area.”
Wolmarans explained: “The increase in interest in the area as a film location prompted contact with the CFC, the industry body in the Western Cape. We were extremely excited when the CFC confirmed their interest in our area.
“Discussions resulted in an agreement that a Film Workshop should be arranged with the aim of identifying and bringing together industry role players, discussing technical support requirements such as permitting for the industry and to share information on the work of the CFC which offers free membership and free support services, and for this we thank you.”
The Mayor further thanked Simola Hotel, Country Club & Spa for providing the perfect venue for the judges of this prestigious award, and in addressing the diners, said: “Before I close, I’d like to thank each of you again for attending this gala dinner and for bringing your expertise to our town. You, as leaders within the South African film industry have the vision, the knowledge and the experience to help us pave the way to include the Film and Television industry into the future of Knysna.
“You are all truly South Africa’s greatest asset in the film industry. Without your support, Knysna cannot possibly accomplish any inroads into this industry. I invite you all to explore every aspect of our beautiful town. Experience everything there is to experience. Everything that makes Knysna the town it is.”
Press release by Knysna Municipality.