There’s a diverse range of local and lekker South African content coming to Showmax this April, from hit rom-coms (Happiness Is A Four-Letter Word) to SAFTA-winning dance films (Hear Me Move); top stand-up comedians like Jason Goliath and Joey Rasdien to hard-hitting documentaries about lions being bred to be killed (Blood Lions). Here are ten of the best, plus a bonus link to the laugh-out-loud The Making Of Tali’s Wedding Diary.
Happiness Is A Four-Letter Word
In this number one box office hit, Mmabatho Montsho, Khanyi Mbau and Renate Stuurman play three friends trying to find love, happiness and success. It’s based on Cynthia Jele’s breakthrough novel, which was described as Sex and the City: Sandton and won the 2011 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best First Book: Africa and the M-Net Literary Prize. Thabang Moleya’s film adaptation took home the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award for Lance Gewer’s cinematography; was nominated for an Africa Movie Academy Award for Best First Film; and was up for two SAFTAs: Best Supporting Actress (Stuurman) and Best Make-Up and Hair (Diane Allen).
Hear Me Move
This local sbujwa dance movie follows Muzi, the son of a pantsula dancer, searching for the truth behind his father’s death… and finding so much more. It won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Editing (CA Van Aswegen), from five nominations, and a SAFTA for Best Sound Design (Basiami Segola), from three nominations. Trailer: https://youtu.be/xM9mLW7lv2c
Jason Goliath Live at Lyric Theatre
Three-time Comics Choice nominee Jason Goliath brings his unique sense of humour and unbridled energy to the stage in this comedy special, filmed at the Lyric Theatre in 2017. Joey Rasdien’s Lyric Theatre performance is also now on Showmax.
Living the Dream with Somizi S1
The extended, uncensored and uncut version of the Comedy Central Roast of Somizi will reach Showmax on 8 May 2018. In the meantime, you can indulge in Somgaga’s reality TV show, getting an inside look at the highs and lows of his fast-paced and flamboyant celebrity lifestyle.
Planet Earth S2
Filmed 10 years on from the original, Planet Earth II is an immersive exploration of the jungles, mountains, deserts, islands, grasslands and cities of the world. IMDB’s top ranked TV series, Planet Earth II won Emmys for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and Cinematography, among other prizes. A number of sequences were shot across Africa, including this epic scene of a Great White Shark breaching and taking down a Cape Fur Seal:
Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week S2
The toughest show is back. This time contestants must survive the training of Poland’s GROM, the US Green Berets and SA’s Recces, who ambush them fresh off the plane en route to base camp and put them through 48 hours of misery in the South African bush, where drinking the stomach contents of a freshly-killed springbok is just a starter
Vallei van Sluiers S4
Vallei van Sluiers is the story of three fruit-farming families in Ceres. The Afrikaans drama was nominated for SAFTAs for Marc Degenaar’s cinematography, Stef Albertyn’s sound design and the script by Johan van Jaarsveld and Louis Pretorius.
Impunity (due 23 April 2018)
Starring Alex McGregor (Blood Drive, Spud) and Bjorn Steinbach (Generation KIll) as young lovers on a murderous rampage, Jyoti Mistry’s Impunity was inevitably compared to Natural Born Killers by The Hollywood Reporter after its world premiere at Toronto, where the festival called it “an eye-opening jolt, casting an unwavering gaze on South Africa’s increasingly troubling surrender to the banality of violence.”
Blood Lions (due 23 April 2018)
Every single day in South Africa at least two to three captive bred or tame lions are being killed in canned hunts; hundreds more are slaughtered annually for the lion bone trade. Environmental journalist Ian Michler takes a hard-hitting look into the reality of the highly lucrative farming of lions – bred to be killed. Named Best Documentary at the International Environment Film Festival (FICMA) in Barcelona and winner of the Genesis Award from the Humane Society in the USA, Blood Lions is a compelling call to action to have these practices stopped.
Once Upon A Road Trip (due 26 April 2018)
Sean’s death leaves behind a twin brother, a lover and a good friend. His last will and testament insists that the three get together on a road trip to plant a cross where he died – and also to try and get along. Directed by David Moore (Going Nowhere Slowly) and starring Tobie Cronje, Louw Venter and Graham Weir, Once Upon A Road Trip was nominated for four Africa Movie Academy Awards and won Best Make-Up.
Sketchbook Studios, who recently won their first SAFTA for SuzelleDIY, has just released The Making of Tali’s Wedding Diary, a hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the making of the debut Showmax Original. Dare we call it a mockumentary on a mockumentary or is that too meta? Regardless, it’ll have you in hysterics, from the early test footage of Tali as a brunette to Kate Normington’s early read-throughs to Ari Kruger directing GoPro sequences from the boot of his car
Check out everything coming to Showmax: blog.showmax.com/everything-coming-to-showmax-sa-in-april