Intersexions strikes gold
“Where I come from, ideas like this struggle to find the light of day, so this means a lot,” said South African TV producer Uzanenkosi to a crowd of A-list celebrities in the Waldorf Astoria in New York this week.
He was accepting an illustrious Peabody Award for his role in creating and co-producing the hit SABC1 HIV/Aids drama Intersexions through his company Ants Multimedia.
“It’s a big one,” said co-producer Harriet Gavshon of Curious Pictures shortly after returning home. “It’s nice to meet people from all over the world who are pursuing excellence in their work.”
Intersexions got the nod along with some of the world’s most spoken-about TV series: The Colbert Report, Game of Thrones, Tremé, Portlandia, Homeland and Parks and Recreation.
The Peabody is the world’s oldest electronic media award. A range of documentaries, news reports, radio shows and websites from across the planet also received recognition.
“I’m not big on awards personally, but still it’s been amazing,” said Uzanenkosi from New York this week, describing what a joy it was to meet David Simon, creator of The Wire.
He said he used his website – pitchit.co.za – to sell South Africa’s emerging filmmaking talent to the likes of Nigel Lythgoe and Eric Overmyer.
“The Peabody means I’m not misunderstood in the world. An idea has been rewarded after all of us have put everything we have into it,” he said. “Patrick Stewart from X-Men was hosting. When he called out my name I was really surprised he could pronounce it. Even white South Africans struggle with it.”
Intersexions unravels a web of relationships over 26 separate but connected episodes.
“It shows that once you have sex with someone you enter a network that is beyond your control,” says Gavshon.
“HIV plays a role as a seductive voice in this well-acted, candidly written programme focusing mostly on young, restless, high-risk adults,” said the Peabody judges in citing the show.
Uzanenkosi says that a new season is in the writing stage.