Now that the dust has settled, the inflated egos stroked and the bruised ones healed by time, let me take this opportunity to pay homage to all who contributed to making The 31st Annual Loerie Awards a resounding success.
To our hosts, the Honourable Premier of the Western Cape Helen Zille and your Excellency Alderman Dan Plato the Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, we thank you for your hospitality.
For a city hosting this event for the first time, I speak for most if not all, when I say - the Mother City over excelled. I believe we all had a great time and we are grateful to the City of Cape Town and Cape Tourism for their support and, yes, for doing their best with the weather.
Congratulations to H-factor and Gearhouse for pulling off the awesome staging and a stunning show. You guys have done it again!
I acknowledge and commend the continued support we enjoy from the media, all our sponsors and partners. In particular many thanks to Ads24 who brought us the maiden show which rocked Friday night, and the SABC for hosting the Saturday awards as well as for their partnership in the very successful Travelling Exhibition, the Creative Future Scholarship, Judging Week and the New Voice Award. Also, special thanks to our other major sponsors - Gearhouse, Cape Town Tourism and the City of Cape Town, as well as all our other partners whose support we rely on for the continued success of The Loerie Awards.
To my colleagues on the Loeries Board, the Committee, Mr Andre Human and the support staff from the Loeries office, Simone and the entire Headlines team, your hard work has not gone unnoticed. To my team at the Creative Circle Exco under the leadership of Rob McLennan, the various judges who sat painstakingly on the different panels, as well as our international jury presidents - Jan Jacobs, Matt Shirtcliffe and Jim Sutherland - thank you immensely for your dedication to this process and commitment to the industry. All of this wouldn't have been possible without your contributions.
A time of reflection...
Everyone will agree that this has been a rather tricky year. The industry has been a reluctant player in a recession that rocked our nation, resulting in some unprecedented retrenchments. I therefore wish to acknowledge the entire ACA under the leadership of Odette Roper and Reinher Behrens for their show of support towards our retrenched colleagues by offering them free training courses through the AAA School. This has gone a long way in keeping our colleagues motivated.
I believe it is important for us as an industry to look after our own. Perhaps the most touching display of compassion was the show of support and unity during and after the very sad passing away of our colleague and dear friend Thabo Motene from Velocity Films. His death came as a huge blow to the Motene and Marera families, his co-workers and his many friends in the industry at large. May we all embrace his positive attitude and passion for life as we celebrate his legacy.
It is therefore clear that difficult times can really bring out the best in our industry. Congratulations to all of you whose outstanding ideas we celebrated during the Festival Weekend, mostly accomplished under difficult circumstances. May this same attitude sustain us as we tackle our many challenges headon, including the fostering of a diverse industry that enables all our talents to thrive.
As you all noticed, the theme this year was `Feed your Ego'. While many would make us believe it's only the creatives who love and cherish awards, it turns out that, that's not quite the case as evidenced by all who attended. So, big-up to the enterprising team at Metropolitan Republic for an inspired campaign.
Last, but not least, to our finalists and winners from both nights and their valuable and brave clients: You guys have just about earned your bragging rights (except, I am told, it ain't bragging if it's true). You deserve the big egos that come with the prestigious Loerie award, and may your heads continue to swell. Congratulations, and may you win many more!
Festus Marolo Masekwameng
Chairman - The Loerie Awards