Turner Appoints New Leadership For The EMEA Region

TURNER is pleased to announce a new organisational chart for its activities in France, French-speaking territories, Africa and Israel. This region is piloted from Paris. Jaime Ondarza, Senior Vice President for Southern Europe and Africa, who has headed French market activity since 2010, assumes operational responsibility as General Manager.

Jaime Ondarza has made two appointments to lead TURNER’s commercial and editorial activity in these major markets.

Guillaume Coffin is promoted to the position of VP Head of Commercial and Business Development, covering all sales activities for the group in the region made up of France, French-speaking territories, Africa and Israel. These include channel distribution, advertising, content sales and digital media income. “Guillaume has done fantastic work in sales for TURNER, he has a strong reputation in the market and possesses strong strategic and negotiating skills,” says Jaime Ondarza, “I am thrilled that he has accepted this new responsibility.”

Julien Borde is joining TURNER in the newly created position of Head of Channels for the region. He will be in charge of all editorial activity for TURNER’s kids and general entertainment brands, a brief that includes content, marketing, communication and digital media. In the words of Jaime Ondarza, “Julien has a long track record in the area of kids and entertainment programming, with proven competence in content production, programming, acquisition, digital media and marketing. I am delighted to welcome Julien to our editorial team.”

Guillame Coffin, Jaime Ondarza, Julien Borde

Guillaume Coffin has been at TURNER for most of his career. As Director for Sales and Business Development his brief has grown to include Africa and Israel since 2014, expanding from responsibility for France and French territories under his management since 2013. From 2011 to 2013 he was Director for Distribution, after heading the Digital Media project from 2008 to 2011. Guillaume Coffin started out at Orange as project manager for performance management and improvement, then as project manager for music products in the content division from 2004 to 2008. He is a graduate of the prestigious École des Mines, Paris.

Before joining TURNER Julien Borde was managing director for digital services programming at France Télévisions. He previously held positions at the company, including managing director in charge of the SVOD project and secretary-general for programs at France 3. He first joined France Télévisions in 2005, as head of the kids unit at France 3, before assuming responsibility for kids at France Télévisions. From 1997 to 2005 he was successively deputy director under the director of programs, with responsibility for broadcasting and programs, then executive director for programs and production at Disney Channel France. A graduate of Science Po Bordeaux and the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce Paris, with a Master’s degree in Media, Julien Borde began his career as a programmer at the Canal J channel.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure Jumpstarts 2018 In Nu Metro’s 4DX Theatres

Nu Metro’s multi-sensory 4DX theatres are speeding into 2018 with this week’s number one-movie at the South African box office – MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE, now showing in Nu Metro 4DX nationwide.  MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE in 4DX is a thrilling and fun experience from start to finish, taking this heart-racing adventure to new levels of cinematic experience with the next-generation 4DX format.

4DX gives moviegoers the thrill of running with the main characters, making audiences a part of the Big Screen-action. The vibration and movement of the 4DX motion chair is calibrated in perfect sync with every scene as the runners continue their endless pursuit through the maze.

MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE in 4DX boasts high-flying action, which includes a spectacular helicopter explosion – perfectly amplified for viewers to feel as if they are in the movie itself. The elaborate movements of the 4DX motion chair have been optimized for the chase scenes, and are combined with 20 different 4DX environmental effects: air shots, wind, warm air and lots more.

In the epic finale to the MAZE RUNNER-saga, Thomas leads his group of escaped Gladers on their final and most dangerous mission yet. To save their friends, they must break into the legendary Last City, a WCKD-controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Anyone who makes it out alive will get answers to the questions the Gladers have been asking since they first arrived in the maze.

MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE in 4DX follows on the runaway box office success of JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE in 4DX since the end of December.

From this Friday, 2 February – showtimes in some of Nu Metro’s 4DX theatres will alternate between JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE and MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE.

After MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE, the next release in Nu Metro’s 4DX theatres will be Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER from 16 February 2018.

Read more about Nu Metro 4DX.

Celebrate Hollywood’s Finest With M-Net Movies Oscars Pop Up DStv Channel 109

Get the popcorn ready for a dazzling M-Net Movies Oscars pop-up treat on channel 109 on DStv.

Starting tomorrow, Thursday 1 February until Wednesday 28 February, this channel will air the most iconic movies that will transport viewers into the heart of their characters’ stories, desires, fears and wonders.

Friday, 2 February 2018

The English Patient at 20:00
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe
Director: Anthony Minghella

One of the most acclaimed films of all time – it won nine Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting actress, from 12 nominations – is a romantic tale told almost entirely in flashbacks. It is based on an equally successful novel by Michael Ondaatjie.

A nurse in Italy during World War II stays behind when her mobile medical unit is called upon to move to a new location. She vows to take care of a burnt and disfigured patient, who is not expected to live long. A new arrival casts doubt on the patient’s claim to be suffering from amnesia.

Saturday 3 February 2018

About Schmidt at 12:00
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Dermot Mulroney, Kathy Bates
Director: Alexander Payne

Jack Nicholson delivers a magnificent performance in a poignant tale of a man who finds meaning to a life he had deemed to be over after the trauma of losing his partner. Both Nicholson and Kathy Bates received Oscar nominations for their roles.

Warren Schmidt feels alone in this world after the death of his wife. He embarks on a rather challenging road trip to his estranged daughter’s wedding. It exposes the ideas has had about life to be way off the mark.

Up at 14:15
Cast: Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai
Director: Pete Docter

In a daring move, animation giant Pixar let go of every proven ingredient of a winning formula: no heroes this time; no princesses; minimal action. A senior citizen is the main character. The result? A beautiful human drama that was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar!

Carl, a childless widower, rekindles a dream of a trip to the South American wild, which he abandoned at the death of Ellie, his long-time partner. By tying millions of balloons to his home, he takes to the air and discovers an uninvited travelling companion.

Arrival at 18:00
Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker
Director: Denis Villeneuve

Eight Academy Award nominations for a science fiction thriller is unheard of, and underlines the power of a strong story told at a fast pace in any genre. The Oscar nominations included Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Spaceships from an unknown planet have landed on earth, and war appears to be unavoidable. A professor of linguistics must find a way to communicate with the invaders to stave off conflict.

Read the SAMDB review of Arrival.

Flight at 20:00
Cast: Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman
Director: Robert Zemeckis

Double Oscar winner Denzel Washington narrowly missed out on his third statuette for his performance in this acclaimed film about a man in a life-and-death battle with his addictions and his conscience.

Airline pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) saves the lives of 96 passengers and crew with a brilliant crash landing. Or so says the preliminary report. But then the evidence mounts that he was drunk in the cockpit and responsible for the six deaths that occurred.

Hell or High Water at 22:15
Cast: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges
Director: David Mackenzie

Oscar winner Jeff Bridges stars in a dark modern-day Western crime thriller, for which he received an Academy Award nomination – one of four attracted by the film. It was one of the Top Ten films of 2016, on the American Film Institute’s list.

Two brothers, Toby and Tanner, resort to bank robbery to save the family farm. Tanner, wild by nature, takes chances that put the operation at risk, despite Toby’s efforts to restrain him. Two Texas Rangers believe they are on the verge of making an arrest.

Read the SAMDB review of Hell or High Water.

Sunday 4 February 2018

Gandhi at 11:00
Cast: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Candice Bergen
Director: Richard Attenborough

An epic that nearly swept the boards in the main categories at the 55th Academy Awards, winning in eight of the 11 categories for which it received nominations. This included Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor (Ben Kingsley).

It is the year 1983. A young Indian in South Africa is made painfully aware of the injustice of society when he is forced to leave the first-class compartment of a train because he isn’t white. It sparks a life-long non-violent battle to eradicate prejudice and inequality.

Happy Feet at 14:15
Cast: Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman
Director: George Miller

An all-star voice cast that includes Robin Williams, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman adds spice to a jolly tale of a penguin with an unusual talent  that won Warner Brothers its first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Each male emperor penguin has a unique song, called a heartsong, with which to woo and conquer a female penguin. But Mumble is different, due to a little accident while he was still in his egg. He cannot sing at all, but his tap-dancing prowess might just yield  a surprisingly positive outcome.

Hidden Figures at 16:00
Cast: Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe
Director: Theodore Melfi

A biopic of three female African-American mathematicians who worked for NASA during the space race, making the computations that assured John Glenn’s safe launch into orbit. It receives three Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress.

Katherine Gobel, a black woman, surprises her NASA bosses with her astonishing mathematical skills, proving that their prejudices are baseless and unfounded. But many racial and gender barriers remain in place – until talent and determination break them down for good.

Read the SAMDB review of Hidden Figures.

Toy Story 3 at 18:05
Cast:  Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack
Director: Lee Unkrich

In this Oscar-winning third instalment of the series, the story takes a hilarious twist when a spot they see as a safe haven turns out to be a place where tiny tots cause havoc and toys with a reputation for kindness turn out to be violent maniacs.

Andy has gotten too old for his toys, and decides to store them in the attic while he attends college, but they accidentally end up in a box headed for the trash heap. They escape, and make their way to a day care centre, where a teddy bear rules with an, um, iron fist.

Manchester by the Sea at 20:00
Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler
Director: Kenneth Lonergan

An unforgettable tragedy, Shakespearian in its depth and reach, that earned Casey Affleck the Best Actor Oscar at the 89th Academy Awards. Director Kenneth Lonergan won for Best Original Screenplay.

Lee is a handyman who keeps to himself and shows no sign of needing company or friendship. He is rocked by news of his brother’s death – and the fact that he has been appointed guardian to his teenage nephew. Old wounds are ripped open to a heart that will never heal.

Read the SAMDB review of Manchester by the Sea.

Saturday 10 February 2018

Out of Africa at 12:08
Cast: Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer
Director: Sydney Pollack

A tale of romance and adventure that won no fewer than seven Academy Awards… and many observers felt leading lady Meryl Streep was unlucky not to be named Best Actress. It was the most successful film of legendary director Sydney Pollack’s career.

A Danish baroness is not only struggling to adapt to the unexpected troubles she encounters as a plantation owner and philanthropist in colonial Kenya, but is trapped in a loveless marriage. A big-game hunter turns her world upside down.

The King’s Speech at 14:54
Cast: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter
Director: Tom Hooper

A story built upon one man’s inner struggle defeated a host of action-packed cinematic rivals to claim four of the “Big Five” awards at the Oscars in 2012: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor (for Colin Firth) from 12 nominations.

Prince Albert becomes heir to the British throne when his brother, King Edward, abdicates to marry an American divorcee. Albert fears his stammer will make him the laughing stock of the Kingdom. His wife, Elizabeth, calls upon a famous speech therapist to tackle the problem head-on.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Girl, Interrupted at 11:20
Cast: Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Clea DuVall
Director: James Mangolded

Angelina Jolie stole the limelight and won an Oscar for her work in a film that appears to have been written for Winona Ryder, whose stellar performance in the lead was overlooked by members of the Academy. Jolie’s acclaim was universal – she picked up numerous other awards.

A young girl is admitted to a psychiatric hospital after swallowing a handful of pain tablets. She ends up in a ward filled with people who both repel and fascinate her – and none more so than an angry, mean-spirited girl with whom she forms a powerful bond.

Saturday 10 February 2018

La La Land at 16:52
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt
Director: Damien Chazelle

A musical romantic comedy for which its creator had nearly given up hope of finding financial backing. It was a hit at the box office and equalled the record for most Oscar nominations – 14 – of which it won six, including Best Director, making Damien Chazelle, at 32, its youngest recipient.

Los Angeles is a tough city, especially for those who dream of finding fame and fortune there. Two such people, a pianist and an actress, meet and fall in love. Now they must reconcile their dreams and their passion for each other.

Read the SAMDB review of La La Land.

Sunday 11 February 2018

Gone with the Wind at 13:30
Cast: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell
Director: Victor Fleming

The biggest box office hit in the history of cinema, when adjusted for monetary inflation, is also one of the most successful at the Academy Awards, winning ten from 13 nominations. Vivien Lee, chosen from 1 400 candidates for the role of Scarlett O’Hara, was named Best Actress.

A beautiful, strong-willed woman faces the challenges of life bravely, but her love of an unavailable man tears her apart. On the first day of the American Civil War, a stranger arrives unannounced. Nothing will remain the same.

Saturday 10, February 2018

Gravity at 19:00
Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Director: Alfonso Cuarón

A collision in space like the one portrayed has not yet happened, but most certainly could, say the experts. Production was taxing: Sandra Bullock spent up to 10 hours per day in a gigantic mechanical rig.  It won seven Oscars, including Best Director and Best Original Score.

Flying debris from the explosion of a Russian satellite smashes into the space shuttle Explorer, leaving its surviving crew members, who had been out on a spacewalk, little chance of returning home safely. They have only each other to rely on.

Read the SAMDB review of Gravity.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

The Aviator at 17:10
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Alan Alda
Director: Martin Scorsese

Director Martin Scorcese joins forces with two of the top-rated actors of recent times, Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett, in a biopic of the Hollywood and aviation legend Howard Hughes. Blanchett won an Oscar; DiCaprio missed out, and had to console himself with a Golden Globe.

Howard Hughes is regarded as a genius. He is not only a daring pilot, but has also created a cinematic masterpiece, Hell’s Angels. But as is so often the case, the brilliant mind is haunted by mental illness that threatens to push him over the edge.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Schindler’s List at 20:30
Cast: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley
Director: Steven Spielberg

An epic historical drama, which is regarded as one of the best films ever made, earned Steven Spielberg his first Oscar for Best Director. It was nominated for a whopping 12 Academy Awards, and received seven, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Score.

A factory owner in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II is shocked by the plight of Jews, and sets out to intervene by offering them employment. He manages to save 1 200 lives.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Fences at 20:00
Director: Denzel Washington

Cast: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson
Double Oscar winner Denzel Washington received his seventh nomination for his performance in a period drama that also received a Best Picture nomination. Veteran Viola Davis, playing Washington’s wife, garnered universal praise and won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

A man whose dreams of football glory was crushed by racism allows his bitterness to deny his son the opportunities he had missed out on. It threatens to tear the family apart.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Traffic at 23:50
Cast: Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Director: Steven Soderbergh

A political crime drama that exceeded everyone’s expectations – except that of director Steven Soderbergh, who knew he had a winner on his hands. It won four Oscars, including Best Director and Best Supporting Actor, the latter for Benicio del Toro.

A judge who vows to lead a crackdown on drug peddlers and users alike is shocked to find that his own daughter is addicted to crack cocaine. Meanwhile, a key informant has to flee for his life and the wife of a drug lord is drawn into his dirty business while he is serving time in prison.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Precious at 22:20
Cast: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton
Director: Lee Daniels

Actress Mo’Nique won more than an Oscar at the 82nd Academy Awards for her performance in a heart-rending tale about a family wracked by pain, betrayal and abuse: she earned the respect of her peers, who gave her a standing ovation as she walked to the podium to collect her statuette.

Fate has never been kind to Precious, a black American teen. She has repeatedly been raped by her otherwise absent father, twice becoming pregnant as a result. He mother holds her responsible and showers her with abuse. A gentle teacher sets out to help her recover from the traumas.

Friday 16 February 2017

An Officer and a Gentleman at 22:05
Cast: Richard Gere, Debra Winger, Louis Gossett Jr
Director: Taylor Hackford

A romantic drama that became a huge hit and earned Louis Gossett Jr his one and only Oscar. Richard Gere, in the lead as an officer-in-training, was the public’s darling at the time, but there is no denying that his charm was overshadowed by Gossett’s depiction of a gruff drill sergeant.
A navy brat who seems to lack the discipline to become and officer and aviator is swept off his feet by a beautiful girl. He will have to make tough decisions regarding his future, or risk losing both his paramour and his military career.

Saturday 17 February 2017

Ordinary People at 11:30
Cast: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Timothy Hutton
Director: Robert Redford

Acting legend Robert Redford’s directorial debut showed beyond any doubt that that he was cut out for the job: It won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. Timothy Hutton was named Best Supporting Actor (in his first film) and Alvin Sargent won for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The death of the first-born son in a well-to-do family sends the lives of his family members – an embittered mother, a soft-hearted father and a guilt-ridden brother – to the brink of collapse.

All the President’s Men at 18:00
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden
Director: Alan J. Pakula

The political thriller based on the Watergate scandal, which brought down American President Richard Nixon, won three Academy Awards from eight nominations. It stars Hollywood legends Dustin Hoffmann and Robert Redford.

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein accidentally discover that what appears to be a minor break-in at the Democratic Party Headquarters is linked to an effort by the rival Republicans to cover up a massive unlawful conspiracy.

Little Miss Sunshine at 20:15
Cast: Toni Collette, Abigail Breslin, Alan Arkin
Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

A jewel of a family road trip comedy drama that earned 12 times its budget at the box office. The family in question is as dysfunctional as can be, and includes a heroin-snorting grandpa, a suicidal gay house guest and a teenager who has taken a vow of silence.

Olive is six years old and aspires to become a beauty queen. She is thrilled to learn she has qualified to take part in the Little Miss Sunshine contest. The only way to make it there on time, is to bundle the whole family into their VW van and hit the road. California, here we come!

Inglourious Basterds at 22:00
Cast: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth
Director: Quentin Tarantino

Director Quentin Tarantino’s genius as an entertainer is in full bloom in a violent black comedy about a group of Jewish-American soldiers on a mission to hunt down and kill high-ranking Nazis. It received eight Oscar nominations among a host of other awards.

A Nazi war hero takes an interest in Shosanna Dreyfus, a Jewish refugee whose family was killed before her eyes. She sees an opportunity for revenge and arranges a screening at her movie theatre that will be attended by Nazi leaders. Then the Inglourious Basterds step in.

Sunday 18 February 2017

Scent of a Woman at 13:00
Cast: Al Pacino, Chris O’Donnell, James Rebhorn
Director: Martin Brest

Al Pacino delivered the performance of his life in a drama that became the most talked-about film of 1992. It has lost none of it force or charm. Pacino was named Best Actor at the Academy Awards – his only win from seven nominations.

A teenager from a poor neighbourhood faces a moral dilemma: he must either snitch on his fellow students or face an abrupt end to his dreams of gaining entry to Harvard. An unexpected trip to New York with an irascible blind former soldier confirms that his morals are indiputable.

Crazy Heart at 18:05
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell
Director: Scott Cooper

One of the most popular Hollywood actors in recent decades, Jeff Bridges, finally won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a country music drama that also featured the Best Original song. Not bad for a film originally slated for direct-to-video release! Now it’s called an instant classic.

Bad Blake’s days as a country music hero are long gone and now he struggles to eke out an existence. On top of that, he has given up on love. A young journalist encourages him to take a long, hard look at the man he has become.

Training Day at 20:00
Cast:  Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Tom Berenger, Scott Glenn
Director:  Antoine Fuqua

Denzel Washington delivers another Oscar-winning performance as a corrupt cop in a thriller set in the crime-ridden shadowy sections of Los Angeles. The film drew rave reviews from leading critics and was a huge box office success as well. Ethan Hawke was also nominated for an Academy Award.

Rookie cop Jake Hoyt is keen to join the elite narcotics squad of the LAPD, but during a day-long trial alongside a seasoned veteran, Sergeant Alonzo Harris, he sees he is being set up by his crooked would-be mentor to take the blame for a heinous crime.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

The Colour of Money at 11:00
Cast: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Director: Martin Scorsese

Paul Newman finally won at Oscar on his eighth nomination – in a reprise of the role of “Fast Eddie” Felson he played in The Hustler 25 years earlier! Novelist Walter Tevis wrote a screenplay based on his book of the same name, but only the title survived in the final version.

Eddie Felson’s pool hustling days are over. When he meets a flamboyant amateur, who works in a toy store, he persuades him and his girlfriend to join him on the road and make some serious money as a pool hustler.

Ray at 15:35
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington
Director: Taylor Hackford

Jamie Fox became only the second person to win a Best Actor Oscar, a BAFTA, a Critics’ Choice award, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award when he delivered a masterful portrayal of blues music legend Ray Charles, at the same time putting his prowess as a singer on display.

Ray Charles’s life was a struggle from the start. He was raised on a sharecropping plantation and went blind shortly after witnessing his brother’s death. His progress in the music industry was hampered by heroin addiction before he developed the style that rocketed him to world fame.

The Revenant at 22:00
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson
Director: Alejandro G Iñárritu

A gripping historical survival drama that shone at the Academy Awards with three major winners:  for Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio finally bagging a long-overdue Oscar), Best Director and Best Cinematography.

Frontiersman Hugh Glass survives an ambush by an Indian tribe as well as an attack by a grizzly. Members of his hunting expedition leave him for dead, and he must find his way back to safety on his own – and track down the man who betrayed him.

Saturday 24 February 2018

As Good as it Gets at 12:15
Cast:  Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear
Director: James L Brooks

Playing grumpy old men comes naturally to Jack Nicholson. The Oscar winner is regarded as one of the greatest actors of his generation, and the sparks fly when his character encounters a feisty waitress, played by Helen Hunt, who has to put up with his eccentric behaviour every day.

Melvin is a great novelist who hates more or less everybody and suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder.  His perfectly structured life is turned on its head by a shocking incident… and then Carol, the only person who can tolerate his behaviour, has to move away to take care of her son.

Sunday 25 February 2018

All About Eve at 12:35
Cast: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

The only film in the history of cinema to have received four female acting nominations (from a total of 14, which has been matched but never beaten). It won six, and nearly seven decades on is still regarded as one of the best films ever made.

A young aspiring actress befriends her idol, becomes part of her circle of friends, and slowly but surely starts making moves to replace her in a stage play. Only the director sees through her evil plot.

Sunday 25 February 2018

The Artist at 15:00
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman
Director: Michel Hazanavicius

The first mainly silent film since 1927 and the first French Production to win the Academy Award for Best Picture is a sparkling comedy about the transition from silent films to “talkies” in 1920s Hollywood. Jean Dujardin became the first Frenchman to take the Oscar for Best Actor.

Silent film hero George Valentin’s popularity is slipping while his protégé, Peppy Miller, rises to superstardom. George simply cannot understand why directors no longer cast him as romantic lead. Everyone around him has a pretty good idea, but no one says a word.

Saturday 24 February 2018

Erin Brockovich at 16:40
Cast: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, David Brisbin
Director: Steven Soderbergh

A drama based on a true-life David vs Goliath story of a woman who took on a huge gas and electric company – and won. Julia Roberts, by far the most popular actress of the 90s, delivered the best performance of her career in the title role, for which she was rewarded with an Oscar.

A legal secretary with no formal legal training becomes aware of an energy company’s disregard for the environment, dumping toxic waste with impunity. Almost single-handedly, she brings them to book.

Saturday 24 February 2018

Silver Linings Playbook at 14:35
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro
Director: David O Russell

One of the most successful romantic comedies of recent times not only took in $236-million at the box office – 11 times its budget – but also became the first film in 31 years to be nominated for all four Academy Awards for acting, with Jennifer Lawrence named Best Actress.

Pat, a teacher, returns after eight months of treatment for bipolar disorder. He wants to win back his wife, even though she had cheated on him, thus sparking an attack on her lover, which resulted in his confinement. Then a young widow enters his life and promises to help him in his quest.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King at 16:40
Cast: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, Cate Blanchett
Director: Peter Jackson

The only film in history to win 11 Oscars from 11 nominations – and the first and so far the only fantasy film to nab the Best Picture award. Not surprisingly, it was a box office smash as well, raking in more than $1.2-billion.

The end is in sight for Frodo and Sam’s treacherous journey to Mount Doom, the only place where the One Ring can be destroyed. Meanwhile, dark lord Sauron is forging a plan to claim Minas Tirath, the capital of Gondor. War is imminent.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

The Blind Side at 18:50
Cast: Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw
Director: John Lee Hancock

A feel-good sports drama based on real-life events that earned Sandra Bullock her first Oscar. It is a film that exceeded Director John Lee Hancock’s expectations, earning more than $300-million at the box office and receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.

Homeless youngster Michael Oher seems to face a life of hardship. But he has grit and determination, and the belief of a caring family helps him overcome his difficult childhood and become a football star.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Argo at 20:00
Cast: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman
Director: Ben Affleck

Argo’s Director Ben Affleck and writer Chris Terrio were among the most celebrated winners at the 2013 Academy awards, with Oscars for Best Film and Best Adapted screenplay, and veteran Alan Arkin was regarded unlucky not to receive an acting award.

Iranian militants invade the American Embassy in their country and take several hostages. Some escape and find refuge in the Canadian Embassy, but they remain in mortal danger. Then a film crew pretending to shoot a sci-fi film enters the country with the purpose of staging a great escape.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Black Swan at 21:00
Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
Director: Darren Aronofsky

Multiple-award-winning actress Natalie Portman finally received full recognition for her talents with a Best Actress Oscar for a striking performance in a low-budget horror which was initially relegated to limited release in theatres – and went on to bag an astonishing $330-million at the box office.

Nina is a dancer who lives her dream when she becomes a contender for a leading role in Swan Lake. She forms a startling connection with her main competitor, as each seems to embody the disparate traits of the White Swan and the Black Swan. Has she met her evil twin?

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Gladiator at 22:00
Cast: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Oliver Reed
Director: Ridley Scott

A stellar cast led by Russell Crowe launched this historical epic to victory in no fewer than five categories at the Oscars, including Best Actor and Best Picture. It marked Oliver Reed’s final screen appearance.

Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) is a general in the Roman army who is betrayed by the emperor’s son and condemned to be a slave. The only way he can regain his honour and freedom, and take revenge on his conqueror, is by becoming the greatest gladiator of them all.

Saturday,24 February 2018

Room at 22:50
Cast: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers
Director: Lenny Abrahamson

A chilling psychological drama that earned universal praise and received four Academy Award nominations. Brie Larson was named Best Actress – one of numerous accolades she received for her performance.

Jack is a five-year-old boy held captive along with his loving mother in a single room, which he believes is the only life there is.  His perceptions are changed irrevocably, and his mom devises a risky escape.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Shakespeare in Love at 00:35
Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush
Director: John Madden

An inventive make-believe love story featuring the greatest writer in the history of the English language – about whom we know virtually nothing!  It won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Gwyneth Paltrow), Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench), and Best Original Screenplay.

William Shakespeare is suffering from writer’s block – and a deadline is looming. Then he meets a beautiful young woman and is instantly smitten. The words start gushing forth.

See the complete list of Oscar Nominees.

South African Highlights To Stream On Showmax In February

There’s a wealth of local and lekker South African content coming to Showmax this February, from edge-of-your-seat thrillers to Huisgenoot Tempo and Africa Movie Academy Award winning films. Highlights include:

Pretville (due 08/02)

Named Afrikaans film of the year at the Huisgenoot Tempo Awards, Pretville is a 1950-set musical love story from the team that brought you the record-breaking box office hit Liefling, Die Movie. The film won SAFTAs for Best Production Design (Bathoni Robinson) and Best Make-up (Charlie Runge, Lee-Anne Nourse).

A Small Town Called Descent (due 08/02)

After a young Zimbabwean man is murdered in South Africa, three Scorpions arrive at a small town called Descent to investigate. Set against the backdrop of the 2008 xenophobic attacks, this is the debut film of award-winning South African director Jahmil XT Qubeka (Of Good Report) and stars the likes of SAFTA winners Vusi Kunene (IsiBaya, Soul City), Hlubi Mboya (Dora’s Peace) and Fana Mokoena (The Lab). It won Best Director at the Pan African Film Festival and Best Visual Effects at the Africa Movie Academy Awards from six nominations.

The Borrowers (due 08/02)

The tiny borrowers live beneath the floorboards in harmony with humans, until an evil lawyer takes over the house. Well, he never reckoned on the tiny people fighting back. Starring Golden Globe nominee Stephen Fry (Bones), BAFTA nominees Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who) and Robert Sheehan (Misfits), and Emmy nominee Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe), The Borrowers was shot in South Africa at Cape Town Film Studios.  It’s adapted from Mary Norton’s classic children’s book.

The Forgotten Kingdom (due 12/02)

Atang (Zenzo Ngqobe) returns to a mountain village in Lesotho to bury his father. Expecting to return to the city quickly, he instead befriends an orphan herd-boy, is stirred by memories of his youth, and falls for a childhood friend, Dineo (Nozipho Nkelemba). Winner of 13 international awards, including Best Cinematography, Sound and Child Actor (Lebohang Ntsane) at the Africa Movie Academy Awards.

Die Ontwaking (due 19/02)

Top South African production designer Johnny Breedt (Chronicle, Eye in the Sky, Hotel Rwanda) makes his directorial debut with this dark adaptation of Chris Carsten’s acclaimed novel about a serial killer (Gys de Villiers) who collects tattoos.

Jou Show S8-10 (due 22/02)

Funnyman Emo Adams is back to host this repeat SAFTA nominee for SA’s favourite talk show, bringing with him all the fun and games, not to mention fantastic guests and spellbinding performances.

Local Dance Royalty Joins Acclaimed International Choreographer On Dancing With The Stars SA Judging Panel

SA’s Tebogo Kgobokoe and Debbie Turner will scrutinise the dancing pairs’ every move alongside BAFTA nominee Jason Gilkison

This week Sunday (4 February at 17:00), M-Net 101 will whizz viewers off to a glitzy set and gleaming dance floor for the first live broadcast of its much anticipated new reality show extravaganza, Dancing With The Stars SA.

To date the channel has revealed which 12 celebrities will cha-cha, jive and tango their way into the hearts of the voting public. But which professional dancers will pair up with these stars to put their best foot forward? And who are the esteemed panel of judges whose scores will count 50% towards the outcome of the competition?

A couple of weeks ago, M-Net announced that international dance champion, renowned reality show judge, choreographer to A-list stars, creative director of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing  and BAFTA nominee Jason Gilkinson signed up to bring his expertise to Dancing With The Stars SA.  Jason will be joined by legends of the local dance fraternity and the two divas of the dance floor, ‘SA’s Queen of Dance’, Tebogo Kgobokoe and teacher extraordinaire Debbie Turner, who will bring their years of experience, unique style and sharp comments to the show.

“We are honoured that high-in-demand experts like Jason, Tebogo and Debbie have agreed to be part of Dancing With The Stars SA,” says M-Net’s Head of Publicity,  Lani Lombard. “There will also be a fourth judge whose credentials will add gravitas to the show and the dancers have been handpicked to bring on pizazz, personality and perfect moves. It promises to be an extravaganza of note!”

Tebogo, who is known for her unique flair and eye for technique, is a well-known Latin and ballroom champion. She is also an acclaimed coach, choreographer and international adjudicator. Raised as a traditional dancer in the North-West Province, Tebogo has since become a 10-time winner of the South African Professional Latin and Ballroom Championship and seven-time winner of the South African Professional Latin American Championship.With a passion for development and teaching, Tebogo launched the Tebogo Kgobokoe Arts Academy to foster local dance talent.

Debbie launched the Cape Academy of Performing Arts and is the founding Artistic Director of the renowned Cape Dance Company. With a background in competitive Latin, ballroom and neo-classical dance, Debbie has studied and worked with world-famous teachers and choreographers. She starred in lead roles in international productions that include Cats, Dirty Dancing and The Lion King. Debbie is a passionate teacher and visionary, who has gone on to become a key figure in South African dance training.

Both Tebogo and Debbie are thrilled to be part of M-Net’s first season of Dancing With The Stars. “I love dance in all its guises and genres, and so look forward to the theatrical fun and excitement of it all,” Debbie says. “Seeing celebrities working in other professions introduced and exposed to competitive dance in this wonderful way will be the highlight for me.”

The series, in which 12 untrained local celebrities compete for the favour of the judges and voting public with the help of highly skilled professional Latin and Ballroom dancers, will run on M-Net channel 101 for 12 weeks, starting on Sunday 4 February at 17:00. Eliminations will take place from the third episode and to vote for your favourite pair,  register on mnet.tv/dwtssavote

Dancing With The Stars SA in produced for M-Net by multi-award winning Rapid Blue and is sponsored by Lottostar.

For more information about M-Net’s impressive new local slate, visit www.mnet.tv

2018 Fugard Bioscope World Arts Cinema Season

Breathtaking new productions from around the world …
From 4 February 2018

For the seventh consecutive year the Fugard Theatre Bioscope is bringing audiences the very best in recorded live screenings featuring the finest productions in theatre, opera and ballet, from the world’s most famous stages.

The exciting 2018 programme combines screenings of classic dramas such as the National Theatre’s Julius Caesar and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, with newer plays such as Young Marx, a comedy from the creative team behind One Man, Two Guvnors. There’s also the ‘shatteringly powerful’ Yerma and Yaël Farber’s hypnotic, visually compelling interpretation of Salomé. Ballet lovers are spoilt for choice with offerings from the Bolshoi Ballet including Romeo and Juliet, Giselle and The Flames of Paris as well as the Royal Ballet productions of A Winter’s Tale, Manon and their Bernstein Centenary.

Read More | Book Now

Burn-out On Binge-Watching? There’s A Show For That

Are you looking for a one-night stand rather than eight-year relationship in your next TV series? If so, look no further than Room 104, now streaming first and only on Showmax.

Clocking in at just 24 minutes per episode, this twelve-part anthology series tells tales of the characters who pass through a single room of a typical American chain motel. The genre, the characters and even the era change each episode – perfect for anyone burnt-out on bingeing after watching all seven seasons of Game of Thrones back-to-back (again) at Christmas.

From the worst babysitting job ever, to a pizza delivery guy caught up in a couple’s twisted games, to a cult priest offering transcendence, to an octogenarian couple returning to Room 104 to relive their first night together – the only thing each episode has in common is its setting and its creators: brothers Jay and Mark Duplass.

The Duplass Brothers  have been hailed as ‘Hollywood’s most low-key power players’ by Rolling Stone; ‘an unlikely Hollywood juggernaut’ by Wired; pioneers of the ‘lo-fi mumblecore movement’ by The Guardian; and ‘indie film darlings’ by Time Out New York.

Their directing credits include the Critics Choice-nominated HBO series Togetherness; the SXSW Audience Award-winning feature The Puffy Chair; and the Berlin-winning short film The Intervention. More recently, the brothers have been just as successful in front of the camera, with Jay nominated for a Critics Choice award for his role as Josh Pfefferman in Transparent and Mark starring in award-winning films like Safety Not Guaranteed; Creep and The One I Love.

“Jay and Mark Duplass are gifted storytellers who have brilliantly reinvented the anthology series for the modern era,” says Amy Gravitt, executive vice president, HBO Programming, announcing that Room 104 has been renewed for a second season. “The format of Room 104 offers endless possibilities and opportunities for new talent to experiment, and I look forward to seeing where the series takes us.”

“We can’t remember the last time we had so much fun making something,” says Jay Duplass. “We’re excited to go even further down the rabbit hole with this show.”

Look out for Golden Globe nominee Sarah Hay (Flesh and Bone) as well as the likes of Mae Whitman (Parenthood), James van der Beek (Dawson’s Creek), Dendrie Taylor (American Vandal), Amy Landecker (Transparent),  Keir Gilchrist (Atypical) and, of course, Jay Duplass himself.

Nordic Noir Comes To Showmax

Seven years ago, her daughter disappeared. Now detective Eva Thörnblad (Moa Gammel) has returned home after her father’s suicide to discover that more children are vanishing – in the same forest.

Jordskott was the highest rated drama of the year on both SVT in Sweden and ITV Encore in the UK, winning the Kristallen award for Best TV Drama in Sweden, as well as the BANFF Rockie Award for Best Serial in Canada. It was also nominated at Camerimage for Best Pilot and was quickly renewed for a second season.

”Despite having next to no violent crime compared to South Africa, the Nordic countries have consistently told some of the best crime stories of the last decade, from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (also on Showmax) to The Killing and The Bridge,” says Candice Fangueiro, head of content: Africa at Showmax. “We’re delighted to introduce South African streaming audiences to the genre and confident that local audiences will relate to the show’s themes of corporate greed, environmentalism and the question of how far you’re prepared to go to protect those you love.”

Why is Nordic noir so popular internationally? According to Moa, it’s because “Scandinavian dramas have this realness to them. They’re about everyday life and relationships and psychology. They’re not like ‘Who is the killer?’ but more like ‘Why is that person a killer?’ If you combine that type of storytelling with the crime fiction that’s somewhat larger than life – murderers and dead bodies and grim storylines – you get a new, fresh mix. That’s what appeals to audience who maybe have seen glossier crime dramas about mobsters or whatever from the US.”

She also suggests that Nordic noir is less obvious than American crime shows. “Audiences themselves are getting to solve the puzzle. Maybe in some American storytelling, they say the subtext but Scandinavian dramas rely on the idea that audiences will see the subtext for themselves. You don’t always have to have someone say ‘I love you’ or ‘I hate you’. You can portray it instead and that makes it more compelling and interesting to watch. Audiences are so smart and they’re used to watching movies and series. They’re used to how stories are portrayed and sometimes they’re one step ahead, so you need to rely on their intelligence.”

She also says part of the appeal is because Nordic noir is known for its strong, complex female characters. “And they’re over 30 or 40,” she says – pointing out that Nordic noir paved the way for female-driven shows like Homeland and An Honourable Woman – and more recently Big Little Lies. “They also feature complex characters over 30 who have something different to them. It feels like people are looking to the Scandinavian countries and seeing the female characters on our shows. It’s amazing that we can inspire them to see, ‘We can do a series with a female lead and people will watch it.’ They’ve maybe been afraid before, like ‘No-one’s going to watch a show or a movie with a female lead because they’re not interested in that’ but they are and we’ve shown that they are.”

Unsurprisingly, Moa says she has no desire to move to Hollywood to further her career. “I’ve met with some American agents and they’re like ‘Maybe you should whiten your teeth…’ I’m not interested in playing a sexy Russian nanny. I’m too old for that anyway.”

Moa has been amazed at the global response to Jordskott. “We’re trying to portray the folk tale soul of Sweden; all of our natural myths and fairy tales that have been told from mouth to mouth. It’s part of our natural soul in a way and it’s amazing that people respond to it abroad. It’s like the local is global. The more local you dare to be, the more of a global allure it is, because it’s something different.”

Dandelions And Stones – On At Alexander Bar

Many people don’t know what to say about death, but what if Death had something to say about us?

This was the question that Jessica McCarthy and local drag sensation Lady Aria Grey asked each other as they sat down to write a script together… and what came out was Dandelions and Stones, a play about death and therapy… and Death going to therapy…. with a healthy dose of drag deliciousness thrown in for good measure, of course.

In Dandelions and Stones the embodiment of Death, collector of souls (who also happens to be a fabulous drag queen) decides to go to therapy to work through her feelings surrounding her job, her relationship with humankind, and her sense of self-worth. Through the conversations between Death and her therapist, the audience are invited to explore the connections between life, death, and time, as well as see mortality from a completely different angle… that of Death herself.

The play is to a large extent the brainchild of actress and writer Jessica McCarthy. It was born out of a combination of her fascination with the drag art form, an existential longing to connect with other humans about the difficult subject of our mortality, and a dark and silly sense of humour. Jessica had been threatening to write a play since she was about 12, and had been in love with drag queens since she was about 10, so Dandelions and Stones has been a long time coming!

Jessica was always a helping hand in the wings when Callum Tilbury was creating his drag character of Lady Aria Grey. With their history and Callum’s knowledge of the drag art form, his broad experience writing plays, and of course his sense of humour, Lady Aria Grey was Jessica’s obvious choice of collaborator in developing the script.

Dandelions and Stones is directed by Beren Belknap, the former creative director of acclaimed theatre company The Space Behind The Couch. Beren’s experience with puppetry, visual theatre, and comedy made him the perfect addition to the Little Kitten production team. The play stars highly acclaimed actor Claire Watling as the therapist, and Jessica herself, debuting her new drag character Lady Anjelica MacDeath. Not only does Lady Anjelica wow us with her fabulous costumes and insights about death, she even performs a new musical number by the cabaret superstar Godfrey Johnson.

Dandelions and Stones will be on at Alexander Bar from the 29th of Jan to the 3rd of Feb at 7pm, with additional 4pm matinees on the 3rd and 4th of Feb. Bookings are now open and there is a discount if you book online!

alexanderbar.co.za/show/Dandelions_and_Stones

Khalo Matabane’s “The Number” Heads To The Pan African Film Festival In LA

THE NUMBER, directed by Khalo Matabane, will have its United States premiere at the prestigious Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) in Los Angeles on Saturday, 10 February.  Established over 25 years ago, PAFF is dedicated to the promotion of cultural understanding among peoples of African descent.

Khalo Matabane said, “The selection of THE NUMBER by the Pan African Film Festival is recognition of the importance and relevance of our South African story to people of African descent and the African diaspora at large. We look forward to sharing this unique story at PAFF.”

THE NUMBER is the extraordinary tale of the nigh-impossible redemption of high-ranking Magadien, a Magistrate of the 28’s, one of the notorious Numbers prison gangs.  It charts his journey as a man who finds his humanity –  from being a hardened prisoner, loyal to his gang, to him turning his back on them and the criminal way of life; to choosing his family and building a relationship with his son.

THE NUMBER received acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival where it had its World Premiere in September last year.

The film has been licensed to the United States, Japan and other territories, and it will be presented to buyers at the Berlin International Film Festival next month,

THE NUMBER will be released in South Africa later this year by Videovision Entertainment through United International Pictures (South Africa).