The 2016 Standard Bank Ovations Awards at NAF

Artistic excellence was celebrated at the National Arts Festival last weekend with prestigious Standard Bank Ovations Awards, and Standing Ovations Awards

The winners of the 2016 Standard Bank Ovations Awards were revealed at a ceremony which also honoured outgoing National Arts Festival Artistic Director, Ismail Mahomed.

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 Awards WINNERS 2016

Standard Bank Standing Ovation Winners 2016

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 2016 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 productions are presented the Standard Bank Ovations Awards, the Companies are 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.

“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” – Sershan Naidoo, National Lotteries Commission media representative

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.”

For the full list of the 2016 Standard Bank Ovations Awards and Standing Ovation Awards winners, please visit the National Arts Festival website.

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