M-Net Movies BlockParty Features Stand-up Comedy Shows

Stand up for M-Net’s 30th birthday!
M-Net Movies BlockParty channel features comedy giants

Let’s turn the clock back thirty years. It’s hard to imagine, but run-of-the-mill tech such as cell phones, laptops, USBs and the world wide web were the stuff futuristic sci-fi films were made off.  Instead of using our television remote control to enjoy the magic of the movies, our cars queued up at the local drive-in and 24/7 television channels were unheard of. Remember the white “snow” and multicoloured test pattern on the box after bedtime? How the world has changed!


In October, M-Net celebrates thirty years of pioneering television with a fun-filled, around-the-clock pop-up channel called M-Net Movies BlockParty. While the channel will be packed with all kinds of comedy films spanning three decades of timeless magic, as well as some lighthearted series for the entire family, M-Net Movies BlockParty (channel 109), has also invited some of the world’s best stand-up comedians to be part of the festivities.

Each night, just after 22:00 when the kids are tucked into bed, M-Net Movies BlockParty will feature a hilarious stand-up performance – from classic sets recorded way back when to the latest, razor-sharp performances.

In the first week, starting on Saturday 1 October, the mic will be in the hands of acclaimed comics Greg Fitzimmons and Dennis Miller, Martin Lawrence from the Big Momma movies, the inimitable talk show host Ellen de Generes, Dave Chappelle (who’s been described as a mix of Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy), Full House star Bob Saget and South Africa’s very own Trevor Noah.

Then, in the weeks to come, viewers will be entertained by the quirks and wit of comedy giants such as Rosie O’Donnell, Steve Harvey, Ray Romano, Chris Rock, veteran George Lopez and the world of comedy’s latest sensation, Amy Schumer.

For the full M-Net Movies Blockparty schedule and more about these stand-up comedy shows, go to

M-Net Movies BlockParty will be available on channel 109 on DStv Premium.


Ster-Kinekor Hosts Fun Activations For Release Of The Secret Life Of Pets

Ever wonder what your pets do when you’re not home?


secretlifeofpetsSter-Kinekor has the perfect solution to entertain the whole family, when the eagerly awaited animation film, The Secret Life of Pets (also in 3D), releases in cinemas nationwide on 30 September.

Bookings are now open so head on down to your nearest Ster-Kinekor cinema to find out exactly ‘what pets do when you’re not home’!

There will be loads of fun activities and events happening at various Ster-Kinekor cinemas for the film’s opening weekend, on 01 and O2 October, and to celebrate the school holidays. Kids will be entertained from 9am to 3pm at the cinemas with interactive competitions and activity sheets. There will also be fun pet-shaped balloons to take home, and the kids can interact with and pet the puppies and kittens on show from the local pet stores.

The cinemas participating in these fun kids’ activities include Bayside, N1 City, Parow, CapeGate, Tyger Valley and Eikestad in and around Cape Town; and at Gateway, Musgrave, Watercrest Mall, Shelly Beach and Boardwalk in KZN.

Synopsis – The Secret Life of Pets (3D)

Max (Louis C.K.) is a spoiled terrier who enjoys a comfortable life in a New York building until his owner adopts Duke (Eric Stonestreet), a giant and unruly canine. During their walk outside, they encounter a group of ferocious alley cats and wind up in a truck that’s bound for the pound.

Luckily, a rebellious bunny named Snowball (Kevin Hart) swoops in to save the doggy duo from captivity. In exchange, Snowball demands that Max and Duke join his gang of abandoned pets on a mission against the humans who’ve done them wrong.

The film is directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney, and produced by Janet Healy. The running time is 1hr 27mins.

The Secret Life of Pets is Ster-Kinekor’ s ‘Must See Movie of the Month’ for October. This means that members of Ster-Kinekor’ s loyalty programme, SK Club, earn 200 points each time they swipe their card to buy tickets or the special promo catering combo. And, remember that kids under 18 can watch the movie for free before 7pm, if they are members of Discovery Vitality Kids. Ticket discounts (two-for-one) also apply to members of Edgars Club who have signed up for the movie club offering.

For more information on the release of The Secret Life of Pets and to make bookings, download the Ster-Kinekor App on your smart phone. To find out what other exciting promotions Ster-Kinekor has on offer, visit or Follow @sterkinekor on Twitter or Ster-Kinekor Theatres on Facebook. For queries, call Ticketline on 0861 MOVIES (668 437) or book at the box office.

Read the SAMDB review of The Secret Life Of Pets.


Academy Reveals Winning Nicholl Screenwriters

Academy Logo

Four individuals and one writing team have been selected as winners of the 2016 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition. The Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee announced the winners via Livestream today. The fellows will each receive a $35,000 prize, the first installment of which will be distributed at the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Awards Presentation & Live Read on Thursday, November 3, at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. For the fourth consecutive year, an ensemble of actors will be reading selected scenes from the winning scripts.

The 2016 winners are (listed alphabetically by author):

  • Michele Atkins, “Talking About the Sky” (Seattle, WA)
  • Spencer Harvey and Lloyd Harvey, “Photo Booth” (Balgowlah, Australia)
  • Geeta Malik, “Dinner with Friends” (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Elizabeth Oyebode, “Tween the Ropes” (Sunnyvale, CA)
  • Justin Piasecki, “Death of an Ortolan” (Los Angeles, CA)

A total of 6,915 scripts were submitted for this year’s competition. Eleven individual screenwriters and one writing team were selected for the shortlist. Their scripts were then read and judged by the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, who ultimately voted the winners.

The other finalists are (listed alphabetically by author):

  • Josh Barkey, “Marlene the Divine” (Waxhaw, NC)
  • Beanie Barnes, “Little Toro” (New York, NY)
  • Todd Condie, “John Wayne Slept Here” (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Danielle Ownbey, “The Blast-Off Inn” (Glendale, CA)
  • Michael Toner, “Hey Jude” (Van Nuys, CA)
  • Arun K. Vir, “Suburban Turban” (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Kirk Weddell, “Alone” (Wimbledon, England)

Fellowships are awarded with the understanding that the recipients will each complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year. The Academy acquires no rights to the works of Nicholl fellows and does not involve itself commercially in any way with their completed scripts.

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee is chaired by writer Robin Swicord, and marketing executive Buffy Shutt serves as vice chair. The other members of the committee are writers Tina Gordon Chism, Naomi Foner, Eric Roth, Misan Sagay, Kirsten Smith and Tyger Williams; actor Eva Marie Saint; animation director Jennifer Yuh Nelson; cinematographer John Bailey; executives Marcus Hu and Bill Mechanic; and producers Stephanie Allain, Albert Berger, Julia Chasman, Julie Lynn, Peter Samuelson and Robert W. Shapiro.

The global competition, which aims to identify and encourage talented new screenwriters, has awarded 147 fellowships since it began in 1986. In 2016 several past fellows added to their feature film and television credits:

  • Allison Anders directed two episodes of the ABC series “Murder in the First.”
  • Raymond De Felitta directed the ABC miniseries “Madoff,” which aired in February.
  • Amy Garcia and Cecilia Contreras wrote “Dear Eleanor,” which opened on VOD in July.
  • Susannah Grant co-wrote “The 5th Wave,” which opened theatrically in January, and wrote “Confirmation,” which aired on HBO in April.
  • Anthony Jaswinski wrote “The Shallows” and “Satanic,” which opened in theaters this summer.
  • Creighton Rothenberger co-wrote “London Has Fallen,” which opened theatrically in March.
  • Rebecca Sonnenshine concluded her five-season association with “The Vampire Diaries” as a supervising producer and writer.

Tickets for the 2016 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Awards Presentation & Live Read are now available at Casting for the live read will be announced at a later date.

Scripts to be performed at live read in November


Cinema Nouveau Screens Terence Rattigan’s Devastating Masterpiece The Deep Blue Sea From National Tehatre Live


Cinema Nouveau is excited to announce the next two broadcasts from National Theatre Live, which will be screened at its cinemas during October. Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea releases on Saturday, 15 October for limited screenings, with a landmark of 20th century musical theatre, The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill in a new adaptation by Simon Stephens, on the big screen from 29 October.

The acclaimed National Theatre production of Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea was filmed for broadcast to cinemas around the world from the National’s Lyttelton Theatre, directed by Carrie Cracknell, with production design by Tom Scutt, lighting by Guy Hoare, music by Stuart Earl, sound by Peter Rice and movement direction by Polly Bennett.

A flat in Ladbroke Grove, West London. 1952. When Hester Collyer (Helen McCrory) is found by her neighbours in the aftermath of a failed suicide attempt, the story of her tempestuous affair with Freddie Page (Tom Burke), a former RAF pilot and the breakdown of her marriage to a High Court Judge begins to emerge. With it comes a portrait of need, loneliness and long-repressed passion. Behind the fragile veneer of post-war civility burns a brutal sense of loss and longing.

The full cast is Helen McCrory as Hester Collyer, James Alper, Marion Bailey, Katy Brittain, Tom Burke (Freddie Page), Hubert Burton, Adetomiwa Edun, Elsie Fallon, Nick Figgis, Nick Fletcher, Yolanda Kettle, Andrew Lewis and Peter Sullivan.

“Achingly good. Helen McCrory delivers one of the performances of the year.” – Evening Standard

Terence Rattigan was one of the most influential playwrights of the mid-20th century. His plays included The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version, Separate Tables, Flare Path and After the Dance, which was produced at the NT in 2011 (Olivier award for best revival). He is still the only playwright who has had two straight plays run for over a thousand performances in London’s West End simultaneously.

Helen McCrory and Carrie Cracknell reunite following the acclaimed Medea in 2014. Helen McCrory’s other theatre work includes: The Last of the Haussmans, Blood Wedding and The Seagull for the NT; The Late Middle Classes, Old Times, Twelfth Night and Uncle Vanya (Donmar Warehouse) and As You Like It (West End). Her extensive film and television work includes Skyfall, Hugo, Leaving, A Little Chaos, Peaky Blinders, Penny Dreadful, The Queen, Harry Potter, Street Life (RTS and Monte Carlo Best Actress Awards), Anna Karenina, The Jury and North Square (Critics’ Circle Award).

Carrie Cracknell’s recent work includes Medea and Blurred Lines (NT), Macbeth and A Doll’s House (Young Vic, West End and New York) and Wozzeck (ENO). She is Associate Director at the Royal Court Theatre and an Associate Artist at the Young Vic, and was previously Artistic Director of The Gate Theatre.

Hear a podcast of the director, Carrie Cracknell, and designer Tom Scutt discussing the production here:

The Deep Blue Sea releases on South African screens from Saturday, 15 October 2016, for four screenings only: on 15, 19 and 20 October at 19:30 and on 16 October at 14:30 at Cinema Nouveau theatres in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town. The running time of this production is two hours 30 minutes, including a 20 minute interval.

For booking information on The Deep Blue Sea, download the Ster-Kinekor App on any smart phone for updates, news and to make a booking. Visit or Follow us on Twitter @nouveaubuzz and on Facebook at Cinema Nouveau. For queries, contact Ticketline on 0861 Movies (668 437).

The discounts and benefits for cardholders of SK Club, Discovery Vitality and Edgars Club loyalty programmes apply for all live theatre productions. Special prices for school and group bookings are also available on request.

Launched in 2009, National Theatre Live (NT Live) enables audiences to experience the best of British theatre throughout the year, as the National brings cameras into the auditorium to record and broadcast performances from stage to screen. NT Live broadcasts have been seen by an audience of more than 5.5 million people at over 2 000 venues in 50 countries.

The next production from NT Live, to be screened at Cinema Nouveau from 29 October, is he classic musical theatre piece, The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, in collaboration with Elisabeth Hauptmann in a new adaptation by Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) and directed by Rufus Norris (Everyman, London Road). Broadcast live from the stage of the National Theatre, with Olivier Award-winner Rory Kinnear (Hamlet, Othello, James Bond) as Macheath, alongside Rosalie Craig (As You Like It, My Family and other Animals) as Polly Peachum and Haydn Gwynne (The Windsors, Drop the Dead Donkey) as Mrs Peachum.

As London’s East End scrubs up for the coronation, Mr and Mrs Peachum gear up for a bumper day in the beggary business. Keeping tight control of the city’s underground – and their daughter’s whereabouts.
(Contains filthy language and immoral behaviour!)


“A United Kingdom” Has Gala Premiere In Botswana

The Love Story That Shook An Empire

Actress Terry Pheto at the premiere of A UNITED KINGDOM
Actress Terry Pheto at the premiere of A UNITED KINGDOM

A United Kingdom the epic film based on the true story of the sweeping interracial love that shook the British establishment between the first president of Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama and the British woman he loved, Ruth Williams had its African premiere in Gaberone, Botswana earlier this evening.  As the film ended the audience broke into a rousing standing ovation which lasted ten minutes.  President Ian Khama and members of the Khama family were guests of honour, while special guests included Britain’s Prince Andrew and Sir Ketumile Masire (second president of Botswana), with actors Terry Pheto, Abena Ayivor and Donald Molosi; and writer, Susan Williams representing the film.

The gala event, held as a benefit for the Lady Khama Charitable Trust, comes two days before Botswana celebrates fifty years of independence from Britain on 30 September 2016, and provides the perfect backdrop to illustrate Botswana’s journey to achieve independence.

Prince Andrew and Sir Ketumile Masire (2nd President of Botswana)
Prince Andrew and Sir Ketumile Masire (2nd President of Botswana)

The film takes us to London 1947, where a young Seretse Khama, the King of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana), was studying law.  There he met and fell in love with Ruth Williams, an English insurance clerk. Their inter-racial relationship and plans to marry and return to Bechuanaland were received with strong opposition from family, the local leaders and the British and Southern African governments.

A United Kingdom is one of the greatest love stories in history, set against the end of the British Empire and the birth of African independence –  a time when it was unthinkable for a black man to marry a white woman. It is a story that still resonates with the political context of today.

Trustee of the Lady Ruth Khama Charitable Trust, Marcus Ter Haar (grandson of Seretse and Ruth Khama) said, “We are honoured and privileged to showcase A United Kingdom in Botswana as we celebrate 50 years of Independence.  The film helps us to share our history with the younger generation, and serves as a reminder to the older generation of our intriguing history.”

Videovision Entertainment, the producers of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom acquired A United Kingdom for distribution in Botswana, South Africa and East & West Africa.  The company’s Director of Distribution, Sanjeev Singh commented, “We are delighted to be distributing A United Kingdom and to have the film premiere in Botswana in the week the country celebrates its 50th Anniversary of Independence. For us the film is a perfect fit to our commitment to telling inspiring African stories that underscore the triumph of the human spirit, as we did with Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.”

Directed by Amma Asante (Belle) and written by Guy Hibbert (Eye In The Sky), the film is based on the book ‘Colour Bar’ by Susan Williams.  The film stars David Oyelowo (Selma) as Seretse Khama and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) as Ruth Williams. They are joined by South African actresses Terry Pheto (Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom), Abena Ayivor (Machine Gun Preacher) and actor Vusi Kunene (Cry, The Beloved Country; Eye in the Sky) alongside Botswana actors Donald Molosi, Motshereganyi Sefanyetso and Letsomo la Tshipa.

Videovision's Sanjeev Singh with Prince Andrew and President Ian Khama
Videovision’s Sanjeev Singh with Prince Andrew and President Ian Khama

A United Kingdom will be released in South Africa, Botswana and East and West Africa on 9 December 2016 by Videovision Entertainment through United International Pictures.