Meet The Judges on SABC3's New Talent Search Show, The Final Cut.

The Final Cut is SABC 3’s very own reality show that takes the viewer through 13 episodes of melodramatic acting challenges and competitive angst in the search for two new faces to grace beloved dramas across SABC platforms. 

The SABC is looking for two new faces to fill the shoes of two new characters to brace the screens in one of SABC’s prominent dramas. This competitive driven reality show is on the search for new raw talent with one ultimate goal: they have the need to act on SABC.

Following our resident judges’ nationwide the audition search took place in Pietermaritzburg, East London and Pretoria. Fourteen of the hottest undiscovered actors will be brought to the sets of SABC’s dramas to face the definitive actors’ challenge. 

The Final Cut is hosted by actor and presenter Lawrence Maleka while resident judges include SAFTA award winning actress and casting director Karin Van Der Laag, actress and film director Mmabatho Montsho and filmmaker and Director Thabang Moleya.  

Each week, the top 14 actors will be put through episodic acting challenges that will test their craft. Challenges include learning a script in 15 minutes; pulling of a romantic love scene; character improvisation; character makeovers; and so much more. 

The competition gets heated as our judges make the gruelling decision to cut one actress and one actor in each challenge episode. Tensions run high as the series progresses with fewer actors in sight on that big prize – to make the final casting cut on one of SABC’s primetime dramas.

Meet the judges:

Karin Van Der Laag

Karin started her television acting career at 7-years-old in the SABC Christmas production They Came from Afar. She is best known for the 12 years she had played the role of Maggie in the SABC 3 soap Isidingo. TV acting experience includes roles in Zero Tolerance, Going Up, Hard Copy, Justice for All, Sorted in South Africa. International series include: Cape Town, The Three Investigators and Wild at Heart.  

International movies include The Story of an African Farm opposite Richard E Grant. Karin also performed in international movies Les Deux Mondes, Hoodlum and Son, Hey Boy, God is African and short films, The Witness and Hermit Rose. Karin has an extensive cv in theatre including many musicals. Behind the scenes Karin is a casting director for numerous production companies. Karin works as a judge, coach and mentor for the National Eistedfod Association, The South African National Community Theatre Association (SANCTA) and Talent Africa.

Mmabatho Montsho 

Mmabatho is an actress, director, online content producer and screenwriter. Her career began as an actress in 2004. Her most recent acting projects include award winning (DIFF 2015) short film uNomalanga & the Witch in which she plays Nomalanga, as well as the lead role in the box office success, Happiness is a Four Letter Word. In 2008, after writing and producing her first short film, Mmabatho trained in studio multi-camera directing. She went on to complete a filmmaking course at New York Film Academy in Los Angeles in 2011. 

In 2012 Montsho directed her first for- TV film titled Your Move!, a romcom adaptation of the novel A Man Worth Knowing. Montsho then joined the award nominated directing team at Scandal! Until 2014. In August 2015 Montsho produced and broadcast a critically acclaimed web series, "Women on Sex" which interrogates the politics of sex and gender. In the same year she wrote and directed a short film The Groom's Price, which interrogated gender and tradition through the practice of lobola, as part of the NFVF female filmmaker slate. 

In 2017, Montsho became lead director for SABC 3’s drama series Thula’s Vine and then went on to join the directing team on critically acclaimed pan-African drama MTV Shuga in 2017. Besides directing, Mmabatho is also a scriptwriter who has successful dramas and short films under her belt, including the record breaking Lockdown and The Groom’s Price which ranked in the top 8 SABC AR’s in its month of screening. She is passionate about gender equality, sexuality and issues of social justice.

Thabang Moleya 

Born in the humble township of Tembisa, South Africa, Thabang Moleya was inspired from an early age to appreciate art and film. In his first year of high school, M-NET hired him to be a presenter on K-T.V and here he found that he loved being in front of, and behind the camera. He and two friends were granted access to the post-production facilities and equipment, and they started experimenting with making short films. 

Thabang’s numerous achievements include Best Short Film at Sithenghi Film Festival (Jameson Award), a nomination in the Durban International Film Festival and winning numerous awards for Public Service Announcements in Dubai and South Africa (VUKA AWARDS), Cannes International Critic Week, Tampere Film Festival in Finland, 16th Africa Film Festival in Milan (as well as having the privilege of being the youngest director to ever compete in that Festival).

Television: Interrogation Room; TV Shows & Films Directed: JOZI H, Jacobs Cross (2007), The LAB, Zone 1, Sokhulu and Partners, Montana (2009), Happiness is a 4-Letter Word (2016).


The Final Cut will make its debut on Monday, 26 June at 19:30 on SABC 3.

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