Information Design students scoop M-Net Vuka! Award
By F. Cassim
Posted on 13 December 2010
Katlego Dlamini, part of the Vuka! heart campaign; Koo Govender, from M-Net; Amy van Vuuren, Micaela Reeves and Morné Venter, 3 students from the winning team from the University of Pretoria.
The Vuka! Award for Best Newcomer went to the team from the University of Pretoria for their innovative animated PSA for the Jesuit Refugee Service, with its stirring message of fighting xenophobia by beating ignorance.
A team of final year Information Design students from the University of Pretoria fared
extremely well at the M-Net Vuka! ! Awards ceremony held at the Theatre on the Track in
Kyalami on 30 November 2010. Now in its 11th year, the VUKA! Awards calls on advertising
agencies, budding filmmakers and students to create public service announcements (PSAs)
for worthy social causes, NGOs and charities to highlight and address pressing social issues
in South Africa.
After almost 200 entries were received, 28 finalists were selected, across three categories,
by a panel of judges from the film and advertising industry. The three categories
acknowledged by the awards scheme include newcomer (student), contender (young
professionals under 28 years of age) and professional filmmakers. The newcomer category
saw a huge increase in student entries this year with a total of 116 entries, as opposed to 67
in 2009. All six PSA entries by Information Design students from the University of Pretoria
were shortlisted prior to the Awards ceremony.
The winning entries were then selected by the final judges across a range of crafts such as
direction, cinematography, concept and script. The Vuka! ! Award for Best Newcomer went
to the team from the University of Pretoria for their innovative animated PSA for the Jesuit
Refugee Service, with its stirring message of fighting xenophobia by beating ignorance.
Directors Morné Venter, Amy van Vuuren, Karen Meyer and Micaela Reeves were honoured
in this and several other categories on the night for their excellent PSA. The other
categories for which they received awards included best animation, editing, script and
One of the judges, Festus Masekwameng, the chief creative officer at MotherRussia, said
that this year’s Vuka! entries addressed a broader range of social issues than before and
that where mainstream issues such as HIV/Aids, road safety and homelessness were
tackled, “this time the approaches were very different: more uplifting and less guilt-tripping”.
She also mentioned that she was “especially impressed by the quality of thinking from the
Newcomer category.” This sentiment about the quality of work was shared by Chenette
Swanepoel, the lecturer who provided tuition for the project at the University. According to
her, the students from the University of Pretoria produced work that bears testimony to a
maturity and insight beyond their ‘newcomer"’ status. She also described “the work as
innovative and the students as resourceful and empathetic”.