Star Wars Celebration Orlando, Florida, Starts

Thursday marked the start of Star Wars Celebration Orlando, kicking off with the 40 Years Of Star Wars panel at 5pm (South African Time), Thursday 13 April. The four-day, and three-nights of non-stop Star Wars entertainment, panels, screenings, interactive events, exhibits, shopping and more, is the ultimate fan experience focused on a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars Celebration Orlando runs until Sunday 16 April.


A very special tribute to the 40th anniversary of Star Wars will kick start Celebration Orlando in grand fashion.

The panel, hosted by Warwick Davis, will feature Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and discussions with some of the saga’s brightest stars, highlighting the impact of the galaxy far, far away and the fandom that has propelled it for the last four decades. As is tradition, this marquee Celebration event will undoubtedly include many not-to-be-missed surprises.

LIVESTREAM START: 5:00 pm (South Africa) Thursday 13 April

Panel Livestream to kick off at and on Star Wars Youtube Channel

Other panels include: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Heroines of Star Wars, The Making of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and many more. Special Guest appearances include Mark Hamill, Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy, Rian Johnson and more.Stay tuned for more updates as the weekend progresses. Visit / and


The Voice SA: More Steals In The Battles!

Who will remain in the game after this week’s fierce Battle Rounds?
And, who will coaches Karen and Lira steal for their teams?

Each week, the tension intensifies on M-Net’s SAFTA winning singing contest The Voice SA and this week viewers will be on the edge of their seats to see the coaches’ next strategic moves. To date, during this year’s Battle Rounds, coach Kahn has strengthened his team by poaching two members from #TeamLira. Coach Bobby van Jaarsveld bagged an amazing talent who previously competed in #TeamKaren, but the show’s two female coaches, Lira and Karen Zoid, have not yet exercised their opportunity to steal singers for their teams. Why have they been waiting and will they perhaps fight over the same talent this week?

During the Battle Rounds of the competition, the coaches pair off the 12 members of their teams to compete head-on on the show’s boxing-ring styled stage. After the fierce Battle performance, the coach then has to pick the winner of the Battle, giving that performer a spot in the next phase of the competition, the Knock-Out rounds. There is one lifeline however – all four of the coaches have two chances to “Steal” talent who aren’t picked by their own coach to progress further.

Parlotones front man and last year’s winning coach Kahn Morbee created a heart-warming moment when he stole #TeamLira’s Al Peterson from Cape Town and breathed a huge sigh of relief when performer Aston Wylie chose him after both he and Bobby tried to steal him from #TeamLira. This means that Kahn has cemented five performers out of the eight spots that he has available for talent in the upcoming Knock-Out rounds. Along with Al Petersen and Aston Wylie, Kahn has saved Fatman from Bela-Bela, Zee Gqamana from Port Elizabeth and Mia Pretorius from Potgietersrus.

Coach Bobby van Jaarsveld has one Steal remaining after he bagged Armand Joubert, a powerhouse performer with an incredible vocal range, from #TeamKaren. Bobby has also saved engineer Marco Basson, musical theatre veteran Josh Ansley and Bloemfontein lawyer Caroline Brussow. This means that his team is exactly half-full going into Sunday night’s episode.

Lira has five spots left on her team, after having saved beautician Jacqueline Tolken, Tender Mavundla from Port Shepstone and Richard Stirton’s best friend Luke Lovemore. Karen also has five spaces left, as her current team going into the Knock-Outs consists of stylish Lindo Sithole, rugby player Emma Ellis and Samantha Leonard from Kimberly.

Who will be the next to go into the Knock-Outs? This week promises more Steals than ever before, as well as some blistering Battle sing-offs with talent such as Amanda Faku, Craig Lucas and Dawie de Jager. Tune in to M-Net at 17:30 on Sunday to watch all of the impressive talent in the Battle ring.

The Voice South Africa, sponsored by Dialdirect, is broadcast every Sunday night on M-Net channel 101 at 17:30 and every Monday night at 18:00 on M-Net City channel 115.

Viewers can also visit to watch exclusive interviews with the coaches and talent, and follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @VoiceSA / #TheVoiceSA or on the official “Voice SA” Facebook page. You can also download The Voice SA app today for exclusive show-related games and special features.


Fast 8 News – Put Pedal To The Metal In Xtreme And 4dx

FAST & FURIOUS 8 (also known as “F8 of the Furious”), the latest instalment in one of cinema’s longest-running franchises, starts showing in Nu Metro’s cineplexes nationwide from this afternoon – Thursday, 13 April 2017.

These special pre-release screenings will take place from 17:15 13 April (exact showtimes on the Nu Metro website); before the film starts showing generally from Friday, 14 April 2017.

FAST & FURIOUS 8 will also be showing in Nu Metro’s fully immersive Xtreme and 4DX cinemas from today. Feel the sound of engines racing and be enveloped by a larger-than-life cinema experience second to none in Xtreme. 4DX will bring to life the on-screen action like no other cinema can.

Xtreme is Nu Metro’s Premium Large Format Screen-brand. These technologically advanced cinemas will project FAST & FURIOUS 8 on the largest, brightest screens in the country – with superior 360o sound (through Dolby Atmos™ and Barco Auro™ sound technology).

Nu Metro’s multi-sensory 4DX cinemas will make you a part of the action on-screen – feel the seats move and smell the wheels spin on the tar, along with all the other awesome 4DX effects such as wind, water spray, fog, lightning and lots more!

FAST & FURIOUS 8 reunites the original team of fast-racing fan favourites – Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris. But, a ferocious Charlize Theron and Dame Helen Mirren also join the crew to get a cut of the action this time round.

Expect lots of high-octane stunts, furious racing and all the other over-the-top action scenes, which movie fans have come to expect from this blockbusting series of adventure spectacles.

Movies are now no longer bound by their visual and aural limits. 4DX is the next step in the movie-going evolution, taking audiences on a journey into the full feature film. Find 4DX at Nu Metro V&A Waterfront (Cape Town), The Pavilion (Durban), Menlyn Park (Pretoria), and Hyde Park Corner (Johannesburg).

Sound in Xtreme cinemas includes overhead speakers and a large array of speakers placed strategically throughout the cinema—a vast improvement on the limitations of traditional cinema surround, moving past the confines of “stereo” or “surround sound channels.”

Xtreme is located at Nu Metro Canal Walk (largest screen in the Western Cape), Clearwater Mall (Johannesburg), Menlyn Park (Pretoria), The Glen (Johannesburg) and the recently-opened Ballito Junction (largest screen in KwaZulu-Natal).

For more cinema info, showtimes and to book tickets, call 0861-CINEMA (246362) or go to

*Premium pricing applies to 4DX and Xtreme; loyalty discounts are not applicable.

**Standard pricing and discounts apply to all other cinemas showing FAST & FURIOUS 8.

Read the SAMDB review of The Fast and The Furious 8 / The Fate of the Furious.


M-Net And M-Net City Schedule Update – 13 April 2017

M-Net 101

New Information

Reign season 4- will start on 20 April at 22:30

Blood Sand and Gold– the movie has now been replaced by Money Monster starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts

My Kitchen Rules season 7 will now end on 25 April at 18:30

Modern Family season 8 – takes a production break on Wednesday 19 and 26 April. New episodes resume on Wednesday 3 May at 19:30

Fargo season 3 – starts on Thursday 20 April at 21:30


Girls season 6 – two more episodes to Friday 14 April (episode 9) at 22:30, and then the finale on Friday 21 April (episode 10) at 22:30

Crashing season 1- the last episode airs on Friday 14 April (episode 8) at 23:00

Powerless season 1 – started on Monday 10 April at 18:00 replacing Trial and Error. Trial and Error will be scheduled later this year, date to be confirmed

The Leftovers season 3- starts Monday 17 April at 22:30

Bull season 1- airs on Wednesdays at 21:30

Blue Bloods season 7 episode 10- back on air from Wednesday 3 May at 20:30

Mad Dogs season 1- single episodes start from Thursday 20 April at 23:30

Chicago Fire season 5- currently on a production break. No new episodes on Tuesday 18 and 25 April. New episodes resume Tuesday 2 May at 19:30. The replacement will be announced closer to the time

Chicago PD season 4- currently on a production break. No new episodes on Tuesday 18 and 25 April. New episodes resume Tuesday 2 May at 20:30. The replacement will be announced closer to the time

Chicago Med season 2- currently on a production break. No episodes on Tuesday 25 April. New episodes resume Tuesday 2 May at 21:30. The replacement will be announced closer to the time

Modern Family season 8 – currently on a production break. No new episodes on Wednesday 19 and 26 April. New episodes resume on Wednesday 3 May at 19:30. The replacement will be announced closer to the time

Blindspot season 2- currently on a production break. New episodes resume on Thursday 18 May at 20:30 (note new time slot)

Riverdale season 1- takes a production break, last new episode will be Friday 21 April. No new episode on Friday 28 April at 21:30. New episodes resume on Friday 5 May at 21:30. The replacement will be announced closer to the time

– Sunday Night Blockbusters: Independence Day: Resurgence (Sunday 16 April at 20:05) and The Magnificent Seven (Sunday 23 April at 20:05)

Broadchurch Season 3, starts on Tuesday 18 April at 22:30 (there will be no double episodes)

Mozart In The Jungle season 3 starts on Friday 28 April at 22:30


M-Net (channel 101 on DStv) and M-Net City (channel 115 on DStv) highlights for April 2017.

Please note: This line-up is subject to change

M-Net April Line-up

Sunday Night Blockbusters on M-Net (Channel 101)

Sunday 16 April 2017

20:05 Independence Day: Resurgence PG13VL Science Fiction Action

Earth fights for survival once again, in this blockbuster sequel to the action classic. Two decades after the first invasion, the planet readies their defences for a bigger threat.


Read the SAMDB review of Independence Day: Resurgence.

Sunday 23 April 2017

20:05 The Magnificent Seven 16VNL Action Drama

Antoine Fuqua directs Denzel Washington and an all-star cast in this remake of an iconic western. A seven gunmen band together to protect a town from a vicious gang of thieves.


Sunday 30 April 2017

20:05 Central Intelligence 13VNL Action Comedy

Action-hero Dwayne Johnson and funnyman Kevin Hart team up for a laugh-a-minute comedy. A mild-mannered accountant is sucked into the spy game by an old high school pal.


Saturday Night Movies on M-Net (Channel 101)

Saturday 15 April 2017

21:30 Money Monster 16SL

Emotions run high in this compelling thriller that sees George Clooney and Julia Roberts run a gauntlet of fear. A financial TV host and a producer are flung into a grave situation when a hostile investor takes over their studio.


Read the SAMDB review of Money Monster.

Saturday 22 April 2017

21:30 I Am Wrath 16VL Action Crime

John Travolta takes matters into his own hands in this revenge thriller. After his wife’s murdered and the police do nothing about it, a man begins his ruthless pursuit for justice.


Saturday 29 April 2017

21:30 Criminal 16VL Action Drama

To stop an international terrorist, the memories and skills of a CIA operative are implanted into the brain of a dangerous criminal.


M-Net April Line-up (series)

New, Returning & Series Finales

Friday 14 April 2017

23:00 Crashing 01 0006 “Warm-Up” *Season 1 Ends*

While guesting on a podcast, Pete meets a sympathetic Sarah Silverman, who invites him to stay with her- and her collection of stray comedians. Contemporary comedy starring comedian Pete Holmes.

Monday 17 April 2017

22:30 The Leftovers 03 0001 *Season 3 Starts*

The Emmy-winning producer of ‘Lost’ created this acclaimed supernatural drama, now in it’s final season. A group of people cope with the mysterious, inexplicable disappearance of 2% of the world’s population.

Tuesday 18 April 2017

19:30 Chicago Fire 05 0017 “Babies and Fools” *Note: Season 5 takes a production break on Tuesday 18 and 25 April. New episodes resume on Tuesday 2 May*

20:30 Chicago PD 04 0017 “Remember The Devil” *Note: Season 4 takes a production break on Tuesday 18 and 25 April. New episodes resume on Tuesday 2 May*

21:30 Chicago Med 02 0020 “Generation Gap” *Note: Season 2 takes a production break on Tuesday 25 April. New episodes resume on Tuesday 2 May*

Emmy-winner Dick Wolf (Law & Order) created this medical spin-off drama that follows the day-to-day chaos of the city’s trauma centre, and the courageous medics who keep it together.

22:30 Broadchurch 03 0001 *Season 3 Starts*

The BAFTA Award-winning murder-mystery returns for a third season. A brutal assault in a small Dorset town proves to be just the beginning of a chilling investigation.

Wednesday 19 April 2017

19:30 Modern Family 08 *Note: Season 8 takes a production break on Wednesday 19 and 26 April. New episodes resume on Wednesday 3 May*

Thursday 20 April 2017

21:30 Fargo 03 *Season 3 Starts*

22:30 Reign 04 0001 “With Friends Like These” *Season 4 Starts. Note: timeslot might change*

Friday 21 April 2017

21:30 Riverdale 01 0010 Chapter Ten: “The Lost Weekend” *Season 1 takes a production break on Friday 28 April. New episodes resume on Friday 5 May*

23:00 The Detour 02 0001 *Season 2 Starts*

Comic couple Jason Jones and Samantha Bee of ‘The Daily Show’ penned this honest and bawdy comedy about a family road trip that spirals headlong into every disaster imaginable.

Sunday 23 April 2017

16:00 Winging It 01 0012 *Season 1 Ends*

Well-loved SA celebs Janez Vermeiren and Siv Ngesi head on a tour, in this cheeky new local travel show that takes you on an adventure to some of the world’s most exotic cities.

Tuesday 25 April 2017

18:30 My Kitchen Rules 07 0049 *Season 7 Ends*

Celebrity judges Pete Evans and Manu Feildel host this reality cooking series, where teams compete to transform ordinary homes into Instant Restaurants.

Wednesday 26 April 2017

18:30 MasterChef Junior USA 05 0001 *Season 3 Starts*

Young culinary champions compete for the ultimate title of MasterChef, in the junior version of this popular reality competition series.

21:30 The Blacklist Redemption 01 0008 *Season 1 Ends*

The world’s most elusive criminals come together to form an elite mercenary team- headed by ‘The Blacklist’s’ most dangerous, in this deadly spin-off of the original spy thriller.

Friday 28 April 2017

22:30 Mozart In The Jungle 03 0001 “La Fiamma” *Season 3 Starts*

In the season premiere of this acclaimed musical dramedy, Maestro Rodrigo (Golden Globe-winner Gael García Bernal) arrives in Venice, to conduct the grand return concert of a famous, reclusive opera diva.

M-Net City April Line-up

New, Returning & Series Finales

Friday 14 April 2017

18:00 Rush Hour 01 0013 “Familee Ties” *Season 1 Ends*

Sometimes an unlikely pairing makes the best partnership. Action-packed series featuring the fun buddy-cop dynamic and fast-cracking comedic moments audiences crave.

Monday 17 April 2017

22:30 Americans, The 04 0013 “Persona Non Grata” *Season 4 Ends*

Emmy nominees Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell return for this critically acclaimed spy thriller. Phillip and Elizabeth race against the FBI to recover a hazardous package, in the season finale.

Friday 21 April 2017

21:00 Notorious (Sony) 01 0010 “Taken” *Season 1 Ends*

Golden Globe-nominee Piper Perabo (Covert Affairs) and Daniel Sunjata (Graceland) work together to control the media, justice system-and ultimately each other- in this fast-paced drama.

Saturday 22 April 2017

23:00 Shameless 07 0001 “Hireath” *Season 7 Starts*

Emmy and Golden Globe-winning dramedy that follows the exploits of the dysfunctional Gallagher family, who, in the season premiere, show no concern when Frank, their father, awakes from his coma.

Sunday 23 April 2017

22:00 Mr Robot 02 0010 “Python.P7z-Pt 1 & 2” *Season 2 Ends*

Golden Globe-winning psychological thriller. In the season finale, an old friend reveals all to Elliot, just as fsociety find themselves in too deep.

Friday 28 April 2017

21:00 How To Get Away With Murder 03 0001 “We’re Good People Now” *Season 3 Starts*

With Wallace Mahoney’s murder unsolved and Frank’s whereabouts unknown, the Keating 5 struggle to move on with their lives as they enter into their second year of law school.

Saturday 29 April 2017

22:00 Animal Kingdom 01 0001 “Pilot” *Season 1 Starts*

Golden Globe nominee Ellen Barkin stars in this intense drama from the producer of Southland. In the series premiere, seventeen-year-old J moves in with his mysterious, estranged family.

Film Review

The Fast And The Furious 8 (The Fate Of The Furious) : Review

The high-octane, loud and proud, car centred, action franchise rolls up with another installment. This time a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism, forcing him to betray those closest to him, and making him turn his back on the family. The crew face a host of new trials, that will test them like never before.

Plain and simple, The Fast and the Furious 8 (The Fate of the Furious) is an action film. It goes way over the top in many areas. The plot is simple, so no need to bring much brain. Just sit back and watch the guys, gals and cars take part in a series of fights and action sequences, pushing the limits of what you can do with a motor vehicle.

Fans are going to love this new installment, and thankfully it continues the trend started with 7, being better than its predecessor. Installment 6 was abysmal, 7 improved on this, and 8 is now at a point where it is pretty much watchable.

With the return of Dom (Vin Diesel – xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Guardians of the Galaxy), Deckard (Jason Statham – Furious 7, Wild Card), Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson – Moana, G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez – Smurfs: The Lost Village, Fast & Furious 6), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges), new face Cipher (Charlize Theron – A Million Ways to Die in the West) and a nod back from Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell – Deepwater Horizon), fans get to see all their favourites.

While the series has its roots in street racing, there is only a nod to this at the beginning of the film, leaving room for some rather outlandish stunts and running / driving battles between the team and terrorists bent on global carnage and destruction.

Definitely not a thinking film, but with a massive, world-wide audience, and near fanatical following, The Fast and the Furious 8 is sure to have audiences flocking to see the film. And with the announcement that there is at least a 9 and 10 still to come, the studios seem to be very confident in this fact.

The Fast and the Furious 8, The Fate of the Furious opens 13 April 2017 in South African cinemas.

Read the SAMDB review of The Fast and the Furious 8 / The Fate of the Furious.


Revved Up To Full Throttle, Fast And Furious 8 Hits Ster-Kinekor Imax On 13 April

The Fast And The Furious franchise blasts back for its eighth instalment with absolutely everything cranked up into the red zone — stars, cars, locations, concept, you name it — for a spectacle even cynics will have to see to believe.

The Fast and Furious 8 launches in South Africa with the first screenings in Ster-Kinekor’s IMAX theatres nationally and all Ster-Kinekor cinemas from 17:00 on Thursday, April 13.

Fast 8 manages to enlist basically all the planet’s reigning action stars, a couple of Oscar winners, previously unfilmable locations and dozens of cars that have never been seen on the big screen in a spectacle that betters even the over-the-top standards the series has set for itself in the previous films.

Universal’s biggest franchise of all time raked in $1.5 billion in gross takings with Fast 7. However, with the star of the film and the franchise Paul Walker having died, the Fast franchise had to out do itself and do justice to Paul’s legacy if they were going to get the team back together for this one.

From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the Arctic Barents Sea, this film sees the elite Fast & Furious force crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist (South Africa’s very own A-grader, Charlize Theron) from unleashing chaos on the world’s stage… and to bring home the man who made them a family. That would be our main man, Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto.

They have done just that in an almost ridiculous piece of cinematography that defines the state of action movies in 2017. This is one movie that you need to see on the giant IMAX screen, so strap in and brace yourself for the experience that is, well… Fast and Furious!

Collectors’ wet dream The Fast 8 producers were the first Hollywood film crew to shoot in Cuba, starting filming in Havana less than a month after President Obama’s meeting there with Raoul Castro. The trademark Fast “tuner party” scene features lovingly curated classic cars from the 40s and 50s, preciously preserved from a bygone time.

Cutting-edge car eye candy $17 million worth of customised cars were assembled from across the planet for a warehouse scene. The scene features everything from vintage Chevys to Ferraris, Lambos, Jaguars, Subarus and a one-of-a-kind $2-million Nissan concept car flown in from Japan.

Hot Havana Mile Taking the Fast quarter-mile race concept to a new level, the Cuban Mile scene features a street race through old Havana, showcasing the city’s architecture, the car culture, the people and the vibe in an action sequence that stops at nothing.

The showdown to end all showdowns It all goes apocalyptic as a nuclear submarine bursts through the frozen ocean crust while the Fast crew do battle in a fleet of ice-optimised cars, including a Dodge “Ice” Charger, a Rally Fighter, a Subaru WRX and a Lamborghini.

Fast 8 Fast Facts

  • The Fast franchise was inspired by “Racer X”, a 1998 article in Vibe magazine about the New York street-racing scene. Fast 8 sees them return to New York for the first time.
  • The Fate of The Furious is billed as the first episode of the “final trilogy” in the series. So it’s not over yet!
  • The movie features two Oscar-winning actors in South African Charlize Theron as Cipher and Dame Helen Mirren as Magdalene Shaw.
  • Fast 8 is the first Universal Pictures film to shoot in Cuba since the United States imposed a trade embargo on communist Cuba in 1963.
  • Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, returns as Hobbs. His film star has risen since his first franchise appearance in Fast Five. His total film revenues now exceed $2 million worldwide.
  • Franchise star Vin Diesel got into acting as a kid when he and a friend broke into a theatre and were confronted by the theatre director, who offered them roles instead of calling the police.
  • Fast 7 is ranked the sixth highest grossing film of all time, with $1.5 billion worldwide.
  • Because Cuba has no auto industry, shooting in the Caribbean nation meant the filmmakers had to transport 10 Chevys and seven Fords to cater for the carnage that would ensue during the Havana action sequence.
  • Fast 8 director F Gary Gray, who also directed recent music-biopic smash Straight Outta Compton, is the highest-grossing African-American director in the movie industry.
  • The Fast 8 trailer is one of the most successful movie trailers ever. It debuted in Times Square, New York City and racked up 139 million views within its first 24 hours on YouTube.


Realness Pan African Screenwriters’ Residency – Progress Update

Following an exciting first year of searching for, identifying and nurturing groundbreaking African stories, Realness Pan African Screenwriters’ Residency reflects proudly on their inaugural year of championing African film and putting focus on story development.

Left to right : Realness Pan African Screenwriters’ Residency participants Wim Steytler, Amira Tajdin, Sheetal Magan, Hiwot Admasu and Luck Razanajaona

Presented by pioneering film company Urucu Media, Realness was established in 2016 with the aim of providing the best talent on the continent with the space, time and support necessary to create and develop their vision.

“Five screenwriter/directors were selected to participate in 2016 and each were in different stages of development with their feature fiction projects which, combined with their diversity of backgrounds, made the residency an invigorating and stimulating experience,” says Realness founder Elias Riberio.

“We will do everything within our reach to see these projects transition from the concept, to the page and finally to the screen.”

After attending Durban FilmMart (DFM) as Durban Talents in 2016, the Realness residents worked at Nirox in the Cradle of Humankind for 6 weeks under the mentorship of Nadja Dumochel and Selina Ukwuoma. Following this they had a further 6 weeks to polish their work from home and submit the drafts to the awards committees.

Kenyan writer/director Amira Tajdin’s script for Hawa Hawaii (in fourth draft when selected for the residency) was awarded three invitations from her participation. Her producer Wafa Tajdin attended Torino Meetings Event, a financing market in Turin, Italy where she secured international co-producers. They have been invited to attend La Fabrique des Cinemas du Monde in Cannes this year followed by a pre-production and financing workshop at MIDPOINT in Macedonia (June) and Prague in October.

South African writer/ director Wim Steytler’s project Uitlander, which was in first draft on selection , went on to be invited to three international platforms including the NFVF/CNC co-production workshop in Paris, EAVE Producer’s Workshop and more recently La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde in Cannes.

Steytler says “I have new hope for the South African film industry where auteur driven films can be celebrated locally and reach an international audience. Realness is tangibly facilitating a new wave in African cinema.”

Madagascar, writer/director Luck Razanajaona who brought his film Disco Afrika to the residency at third draft says that participation in the residency gave him an opportunity to develop a clear structure and characters. Through the partnership between DFM and Realness, Luck also took his project to Cinemart in Rotterdam and won a cash award from Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie

Ethiopian filmmaker Hiwot Admasu, whose project A Fool of God was in its treatment phase upon coming to Realness, used the time in the residency to further develop the central themes and begin the screenwriting process. She was awarded participation to the Locarno Filmmakers Academy in Switzerland and upon arrival won another residency award; she had another three months of writing in Wintitour.

Finally, South African filmmaker Sheetal Magan participated in Realness with her feature film concept The Day and Night of Brahma, which also came into the residency as a treatment. “Gaining exposure to the script consultants took me to a deeper and more considered exploration of my film,” says Magan.

Looking ahead, the Realness team is assessing applications to the second edition. Over a hundred submissions were made with applications coming in from twenty-five countries across the continent including Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Morocco, Togo, Nigeria and Rwanda.

“We worked hard to encourage more applications from the rest of the continent and are proud to have achieved this.” says co-founder Cait Pansegrouw “Over 70% of our applications came from outside of South Africa this year.

The 2017 edition of Realness takes place in June and July 2017 at the Nirox Foundation, culminating in participation in the Durban FilmMart at the Durban International Film Festival. Announcement of this year’s participants will take place at the Cannes Film Festival.

For more information on Realness, African Screenwriters residency contact


The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism Launches New Season Of “Exhibition On Screen” Series At Nouveau

As Europe recoiled against the work of Monet, Degas and Renoir, Americans embraced it and created their own style of impressionism…

Following the success of the previous seasons of Exhibition on Screen productions at Ster-Kinekor’s Nouveau cinemas, the fourth season is currently underway. The second docu-film is a fascinating look at the Impressionist movement from an American perspective, and is titled The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism.

The film, which releases at Nouveau cinemas on Saturday, 15 April for limited screenings, is directed by Phil Grabsky and narrated by actress Gillian Anderson.

Taking its lead from French artists such as Renoir and Monet, the American impressionist movement followed its own path, which over a 40-year period reveals as much about America as a nation as it does about a much-loved artistic movement. It’s a story closely tied to a love of gardens and a desire to preserve nature in a rapidly urbanising nation. Travelling to studios, gardens and iconic locations throughout the United States, the UK and France, this mesmerising film is a visual feast.

In 1886, the French art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel brought a selection of his huge stock of impressionist paintings to New York, changing the course of art in America forever. American artists flocked to the French village of Giverny, home to the master impressionist Claude Monet, and cheered the French new wave: painting outdoors with a new found brilliance and vitality. As Europe recoiled against the work of Monet, Degas and Renoir, Americans embraced it and created their own style of impressionism.

The timing of Durand-Ruel’s transformative visit was perfect. As America steamed into the Industrial Age, urban reformers fought to create public parks and gardens: patches of beauty amid smokestacks and ash heaps. These gardens provided unlimited inspiration for artists and a never-ending oasis for the growing middle class, made up of increasingly independent women, who relished the writings of English horticulturalists Gertrude Jekyll and William Robinson. Meanwhile, the rise of wide-circulation magazines cultivated the idea that gardening was a path to spiritual renewal amid industrial blight and the belief that artists should work in native landscapes.

As America made its epic move from a nation of farmers to a land of factories, the pioneering American Impressionists crafted a sumptuous visual language that told the story of an era.

The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism features the sell-out exhibition The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887–1920 that began at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia – the birthplace of the American garden movement, and ended at the Florence Griswold Museum in Connecticut, widely considered the home of American impressionism.

With Exhibition on Screen, award-winning arts documentary maker Phil Grabsky & Seventh Art Productions are again set to delight art lovers in more than 40 countries, including South Africa. The new season comprises four documentary films that will be screened exclusively at Ster-Kinekor’s Nouveau theatres in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town between February and June 2017.

The next two productions in the current season include: The Curious World of Hieronymus Bosch on 06 May; and Michelangelo: Love and Death from 17 June. These films take cinema audiences behind the scenes to discover what lies behind the artists and their paintings, both creatively and technically. What each artwork reveals about the artist and the particular historical period is also uncovered.

Filmed exclusively for cinema at the exhibitions and on location, this ground-breaking series allows art lovers worldwide to enjoy, marvel at and delight in the amazing works of some of history’s most foremost painters on the big screen and in stunning high definition.

The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism releases on Saturday, 15 April for four screenings only: 15, 19 and 20 April at 19:30, and on 16 April at 14:30 – at Rosebank Nouveau in Johannesburg, Brooklyn Nouveau in Pretoria, Ster-Kinekor Gateway Nouveau in Durban and at V&A Nouveau in Cape Town. Bookings are now open, and the running time of this production is 100 minutes.

For booking information, visit Download the Ster-Kinekor App on your smart phone for updates, news and to book. Follow Nouveau on Twitter @nouveaubuzz and on Facebook at Cinema Nouveau. For more information, call Ticketline on 0861 Movies (668 437).


Showmax Brings “The Young Pope” To Africa

In an African first, the critically acclaimed new series The Young Pope is available exclusively on Showmax.

The premise of The Young Pope is simple: a good-looking young American is elected as the head of the Catholic Church by elderly cardinals, who assume that an easily manipulated, media-friendly Pope will increase the Church’s popularity. What they get is a Cherry Coke Zero addicted smoker, familiar with the pop culture of Daft Punk and Banksy, yet deeply conservative and set on charting a new authoritarian path for the Papacy.

Starring Jude Law (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Alfie, The Talented Mr Ripley) as Lenny Belardo, now Pius XIII, and Diane Keaton (The Godfather, Finding Dory) as the nun who raised him, The Young Pope was directed by Paolo Sorrentino, who won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for The Great Beauty in 2014.

The 10 episode first season sees power-hungry Pius XIII choose anonymity, refusing to pose for photos or travel, preferring to transform the position from approachable ambassador into something more distant and sinister. Law’s character sets about a radical transformation of the Vatican, someone from outside the system throwing out centuries of tradition and received wisdom to the horror of those within. Plot and intrigue are, of course, integral to the story.

With parallels to present-day American politics, The Young Pope is unsettling yet fascinating. Thanks to its incredible cast, beautiful cinematography and more than a little controversy, The Young Pope is set to become a hit for Showmax.

The Young Pope premiers on Showmax on 13 April 2017.

For more information on Showmax and to set up a 14-day free trial, visit


Starlight Classics On M-Net

RMB’s Starlight Classics concert comes to M-Net on Good Friday
Karen Zoid, Khaya Mthethwa, Nicholas Nicolaidis and other top vocalists perform with full philharmonic orchestra

Fans of classical music – and those who want to relax with some soothing sounds on the long weekend – can tune into M-Net channel 101 on Friday afternoon at 15:00. M-Net has secured the rights to screen Starlight Classics, the classy outdoor concert that has been run by Rand Merchant Bank for the past 19 years.

The spectacular concert featuring the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is directed by The Voice SA series director Darren Hayward and showcases some familiar M-Net faces such as Voice SA coach Karen Zoid, Season 1 finalist Thembeka Mnguni and Idols Season 10 winner Khaya Mthethwa. Other famous classical musicians and singers in the line-up include Pumeza Matshikiza, Jacques le Roux, Nicholas Nicolaidis, pianist Charl du Plessis and the Mzansi Youth Choir.

Starlight Classics, which is attended by over 4000 people and is held twice a year, is an innovatively Afro-symphonic music experience which literally takes place under the stars and is the brainchild of renowned South African conductor and maestro Richard Cock and Rand Merchant Bank.

In this once-off concert music fans of all ages can sit back and enjoy classical themes such as Puccini’s “O Soave Fanciulla” by South African opera star Pumeza Matshikiza and Tenor Jacques le Roux, as well as musical mash-ups like Karen Zoid’s “Aeroplane Jane” accompanied by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. Khaya Mthethwa will perform a thrilling cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” with the backing vocals of the Mzansi Youth Choir, Thembeka Mnguni gives a blistering rendition of the Gloria Gaynor smash hit “I Will Survive” and there will be an out-of-the-ordinary duet of Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s “Ebony and Ivory” as covered by Jacques le Roux and Khaya Mthethwa. Viewers can also look forward to an epic Prince and David Bowie tribute and a finale performance featuring all of the artists of the evening.

“Since 1998, RMB’s vision has been has been to broaden the reach of the diverse Afro-symphonic blend of music that has become its innovative signature. It’s about distinctly African energy collaborating with orchestral excellence, with the resulting whole being far greater than the sum of the performing parts” says Carolynne Waterhouse of RMB marketing. The concerts are RMB’s way of going to a sincere effort to ultimately strengthen and grow South Africa’s creative economy. “Starlight Classics has become a strong “arts and culture” brand that represents the endless potential for South Africa’s creative economy to be prosperous,” Waterhouse adds.

This year’s show was recorded at the picturesque Vergelegen Wine Estate in Cape Town.