9 Scientific And Technical Areas Under Investigation For 2019

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that nine distinct scientific and technical investigations have been launched for 2019.

These investigations are made public so that individuals and companies with devices or claims of innovation within these areas will have the opportunity to submit achievements for review. The Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards Committee has started investigations into the following areas:

  • Professional desktop monitors with self-calibration
  • Head-mounted facial acquisition systems
  • Wireless video transmission systems used in motion picture production
  • Frameworks enabling high-performance ray-geometry intersections
  • Hair simulation toolsets
  • Audio repair and restoration software for motion pictures
  • Automatic dialog post-synchronization systems
  • Costume, prop, hair and makeup tracking and inventory communication tools for physical production
  • Post-production tracking and scheduling systems

“The science and technology of filmmaking is constantly evolving and advancing. Each year, the Academy researches technology that has had a significant impact on the motion picture arts. This year, we are examining a distinct group of technologies, which includes hair simulation, facial capture and audio repair,” said Doug Roble, chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee. The current awards cycle will commence with a series of exhaustive investigations, conducted by a committee made up of industry experts with a diversity of expertise, and culminate with the Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony in June.”

The deadline to submit additional entries is Tuesday, September 17, at 5 p.m. PT. For more information on the Scientific and Technical Awards or to submit a similar technology, click here.

After thorough investigations are conducted in each of the technology categories, the committee will meet in the spring to vote on recommendations to the Academy’s Board of Governors, which will make the final awards decisions.

The Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation will be held on Saturday, June 20, 2020.


Boxing’s Quiet Superstar Live On SuperSport

everal years ago, local boxer Ryno Liebenberg remarked that Vasiliy Lomachenko was the best fighter he had ever seen.

“He’s got it all, he’s impossible to beat,” said the former SA champion.

Lomachenko has come on since, winning a world championship in the fewest professional fights (three) and becoming a three-weight champion in his 12thfight. All but one of his bouts has been for a championship.

The two-time Olympic champion, who had 396 amateur fights with a single defeat, this weekend faces 2012 Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell for the WBA “super”, WBC and WBO lightweight belts in London.

The action will be broadcast live on SuperSport 5 from 21:00 on Saturday.

It’s a stacked card overall, also featuring Alexander Povetkin vs Hughie Fury, Charlie Edwards vs Julio Cesar Martinez for Edwards’ WBC flyweight title, plus Joshua Buatsi vs Ryan Ford.

Lomachenko-Campbell is likely Loma’s most intriguing match at the weight given that Campbell is taller and has a greater reach.

The Ukrainian agrees that Campbell represents a big challenge.

“Guys are bigger than me, they have a bigger reach, they are taller. It is harder. I don’t think about knockouts. I just get in the ring and do my boxing. If I can, I will take it.

“I can’t speak English easily so I can’t open my personality in English. I can’t be a superstar but I can be the best boxer in history — this is my goal.”


kykNET Is Joining The Bok Squad In Japan

The Rugby World Cup is (literally) kicking off on 20 September.

The Rugby World Cup is (literally) kicking off on 20 September and the Bok squad is leaving soon for Japan to compete against some of the best rugby teams in the world for the title of rugby world champions. There is so much more excitement than just the Rugby World Cup that awaits viewers – kykNET is sending a team to Japan to show viewers the excitement in the country during the Rugby World Cup.

In the show, In Japan, Ja!, the two presenters, Vanes-Mari du Toit and Hamilton Wessels, follow the Bok squad to Japan in their search for a third World Cup title. For 10 weeks, these two will travel around Japan, visit some of the country’s most popular tourist attractions and experience the spirit of the Rugby World Cup 2019.

Vanes-Mari, a former Protea netball player, is known as one of Kwêla’s field presenters and will also be seen early in 2020 as the presenter of kykNET’s reality show, Hoor my, Sien my, Soen my. “In Japan, Ja! is a combination of comedy, lifestyle and travel. I look forward to showing viewers what happens in Japan during the World Cup from a fan and supporter’s view,” she says.

Hamilton Wessels, or, as his friends call him, Hammie, is singer Robbie Wessels’ brother. He is one of the Virseker Beker presenters and has played a role in movies, such as Poena is Koning, 100m Leeuloop and Durban Poison. “To watch a Bok game is special. To watch it live at a stadium is next level. To tour with the Bok squad in Japan is an experience I can’t describe in words. I’m beyond excited and will make sure that the Bok squad brings the Cup home, even if it means I must go onto the field and play myself. Japan, I hope you are ready for the guy with the moustache.”

Fun and games await these two – Hamilton is excited to taste Japanese wasabi and meet a real ninja. They have undertaken to try new dishes – who of the two will be brave enough? And Hamilton, who loves to play pranks, might have a few surprises up his sleeve…

Sumo wrestling, the Tsukiji Fish Market, Harajuku girls, real ninjas, the Bok fan zones and the excitement of the Rugby World Cup – viewers can forward to this, and so much more, in In Japan, Ja!

In Japan, Ja! consists of 10 episodes and will be broadcast Saturdays 18:30 from 14 September on kykNET (DStv 144). Proudly sponsored by Nedbank Travel Card.

Die Rugby Wêreldbeker skop af op 20 September en die Springbok-span, wat pas aangekondig is, vertrek binnekort Japan toe om teen die beste rugbyspanne vir die gesogte titel van wêreldkampioenne mee te ding. Daar wag egter veel meer opwinding as net die Rugby Wêreldbeker op kykers – kykNET stuur ‘n span saam Japan toe om vir kykers ‘n blik van die opwinding in dié land tydens die Wêreldbeker te gee.

In die program, In Japan, Ja! gaan die twee aanbieders, Vanes-Mari du Toit en Hamilton Wessels, die Bokke volg op hul soektog na ‘n derde Wêreldbekertitel. Vir tien weke gaan dié twee saam in Japan kuier, van die land se gewildste toeristebestemmings besoek en die gees van die Rugbywêreldbeker 2019 beleef.

Vanes-Mari, ‘n voormalige Protea-netbalspeler, is veral bekend as een van Kwêla se veldaanbieders en sal vroeg in 2020 gesien word as aanbieder van die kykNET realiteitsprogram, Hoor my, Sien my, Soen my. “In Japan, Ja! is ‘n lekker kombinasie van komedie, leefstyl en reis. Boonop kry kykers die geleentheid om saam met ons die Bokke beter te leer ken op hul missie om die Wêreldbeker te wen. Ek sien ook vreeslik uit daarna om vir kykers ‘n blik te gee van wat in Japan tydens die Wêreldbeker gebeur, vanuit ‘n fan en ondersteuner se oogpunt,” meen sy.

Hamilton Wessels, of soos vriende hom noem, Hammie, is die sanger Robbie Wessels se broer. Hy is een van Virseker Beker se aanbieders en het ook al sy lyf akteur gehou in flieks soos Poena is Koning, 100m Leeuloop en Durban Poison. “Om ‘n Bok-wedstryd te kyk, is spesiaal. Om dit op ‘n stadion te kyk is next level. Om saam die Bokke vir die Wêreld Beker in Japan te toer is ‘n ervaring wat ek nie in woorde kan beskryf nie. Ek is uit my vel van opgewondenheid en gaan seker maak die Bokke bring daardie Beker huis toe, al moet ek tokse aantrek en self op draf. Japan, ek hoop julle is gereed vir die ou met die snor.”

Groot pret wag op dié twee – Hamilton is opgewonde om Japannese wasabi te proe en ‘n regte ninja te ontmoet! Hulle het ook onderneem om nuwe disse te probeer – watter een van die twee gaan braaf genoeg wees? En grapjas Hamilton het dalk ook ‘n paar verrassings wat hy beplan…

Sumo-stoeigevegte, die Tsukiji-vismark, Harajuku-meisies, regte ninja’s, die Bokke fan zones en natuurlik die opwinding van die Rugby Wêreldbeker – dit alles, en nog baie meer, kan kykers van In Japan, Ja! verwag.

In Japan, Ja! bestaan uit 10 episodes en word Saterdae om 18:30 vanaf 14 September op kykNET DStv kanaal 144 uitgesaai. Met trots geborg deur Nedbank Travel Card.


Tydelik Terminaal

Tydelik Terminaal is a 13-episode light drama about 22-year-old honours student, Kittie Claasen, who must redefine her life after she is diagnosed with cancer.

It’s “the best kind of cancer you could possibly get”, Doctor Pillay assures her. In short, it will be six months of total agony, and then… life as usual. The only problem is that it’s her honours year and this speedbump, as she sees it, in her academic career will mean that all her dreams of Pulitzer Prize winning journalism will have to be postponed because of Hodgkin and his untimely disease.

The series revolves around the six months she receives chemo, during which she makes friends in unusual places, tries to finish her studies, and picks up unexpected life experience and knowledge along the way.

Kittie and her two best friends, Mandy and Fanie, find themselves in the crazy in between phase of life before stepping into adulthood. It’s a time of leaving their childhood behind, but still having fun; planning for their future, but uncertain of what this future will look like.

Tydelik Terminaal is inspired by the creator of the series, Elanie Rupping’s own battle with cancer. “I’ve learnt that life’s challenges can sometimes be its greatest gifts, because it creates a sense of empathy through which we can connect with people. The best way I can do this, is through the stories I tell. That is why I used one of the most difficult things that has happened in my life as a vehicle to, hopefully, make people feel that they aren’t alone.”

Etienne Fourie is director the series. “It was a difficult yet fulfilling experience. Tydelik Terminaal is an important and honest story with characters most of us will recognize. It looks at various serious issues, with empathy and humor.”

Carla Smith, who portrays the role of Kittie, is a well-known theatre actress, who has been part of plays, such as Die maan val bewusteloos, Sewe Deugde, nee minder and Fiela se kind. She’s also played a guest roll in the soapie, Binnelanders.

Eve Nthabiseng Rasimeni and Hendrik Nieuwoudt is seen as Kittie’s best friends, Mandy and Fanie. Eve is known for her roles in Isibaya, Rhythm City, Dwaalster and Suidooster. Hendrik’s theatre roles include Made you look, Raponsie and Hoekom is die badkamer vloer nat. He also played a role in the shortfilm, Kloof.

South African legends, Anna-Mart van der Merwe and Frank Opperman, also play a role in Tydelik Terminaal – Julie and Uncle Len. Uncle Len has prostate cancer – Julie, his busy body wife, supports him (and later Kittie) in his battle with cancer.

Almar Müller portrays the role of Joubert, an ex-love who wants to support Kittie; Arno Greef is Drikus, the handsome young law student who challenges Mandy constantly and Ruan Blum is Louis, Fanie’s boyfriend.

Also look out for appearances by Anel Alexander, Zane Meas, Stiaan Smith, Francois Jacobs, Tiffany Barbuzano, Jack Devnarain, Reginah Dube, David Reese and Henriëtta Gryffenberg.

Nouvanaand Films are the producers of Tydelik Terminaal. “We are excited to have the opportunity to once again produce a light drama for kykNET. Tydelik Terminaal takes the viewer along on Kittie’s chemo journey, with a fresh approach to student life and uncomfortable identity questions.”

Tydelik Terminaal will be broadcast on Wednesday at 20:00 from 30 October 2019 on kykNET (DStv channel 144).


Okavango: River Of Dreams

Okavango: River of Dreams, the definitive series on the mystical Okavango premieres on National Geographic Wild this September

An insider’s view of one of the greatest river systems on the planet, produced by multi award-winning South African film makers Beverly and Dereck Joubert.

The Okavango is a river that starts inland and ends inland. It is the only one in the world that goes from nowhere, to nowhere…. but what a journey. One of the last remaining wild places on Earth, the Okavango Delta in Southern Africa was named by UNESCO as the 1 000th World Heritage Site. Okavango, River of Dreams, a three part series which presents the amazing landscapes and wildlife of the Upper Okavango river, will premiere on National Geographic Wild on 5 September 2019 at 18:00 CAT.

Like all wild ecosystems, the Okavango thrives on change and everything is connected to everything else. Lions chase elephants, who chase hippos, who chase crocodiles, who chase barbell fish, who chase insects driven up the grass stalks by rising waters. These circles of life are the real stories that tell the larger story of this river. The river is just the connecting tissue. Okavango, River of Dreams presents an inspiring exploration of the exceptional life in this unique wilderness, which provides refuge to vast populations of wildlife.

This unique series also tells the story of Fekeetsa, a lioness, and her life in this watery world. Fekeetsa, meaning “overcoming challenges”, became a talisman for Beverly Joubert as they shared a parallel journey. At the time of shooting Okavango, River of Dreams, Beverly was recovering from a brutal Buffalo attack. She describes Feeketsa as “a source of strength and perseverance, who inspired me to keep on, as she too was recovering from the same injury. Her resilience and tenacity were incredible to see.”

“This series is based on the premise that someone’s paradise is someone else’s hell. And it is. A lioness hunts in the swamp and turns a lechwe antelope’s life upside down, as her baby is killed. However, the lioness carries this kill back to her own cubs and saves their lives. This series is designed to be a poetic balance of adoration for the magic of the Okavango and an understanding of the science it presents us to unravel” said Dereck Joubert.

Okavango, River of Dreams is produced by National Geographic explorers-in-residence, Beverly and Dereck Joubert. They have lived in the Okavango for 35 years, a place that has given them nine Emmy Awards, a Peabody and a range of others, as well as a few scrapes and bruises, 21 scorpion stings, three snake bites, four elephant attacks, a nearly deadly buffalo attack, malaria, and airplane crashes. “The result is a die-hard understanding of what this magical, but harsh place, is all about and our quest to reveal the real Okavango” continued Joubert.

“We are extremely fortunate to have one of the world’s most pristine wilderness areas right here in Southern Africa. The Okavango has captured the imagination of wildlife enthusiasts for decades, as the more exploration is done, the more intrigue it presents. We look forward to another magnificent production by Beverly and Dereck Joubert” said Evert Van Der Veer, for Media Networks, The Walt Disney Company Africa.

Join National Geographic Wild on this magical journey of the Okavango and understand why it is sometimes referred to as the place of the ‘Untamed Spirit’. Perhaps it will speak to your own wild side, on 5, 6 and 7 September 2019 at 18:00.


Welcome To Huis Lelieveld

Molly (Lizz Meiring) from Molly en Wors and Ouboet en Wors is no longer a dentist assistant – she is now matron of a retirement village!

In Willie Esterhuizen’s latest comedy, Huis Lelieveld, Molly is appointed as matron of the retirement villiage, Huis Lelieveld. Viewers can ook forward to old favourites, as well as a few new actors.

In the last episode of Ouboet en Wors, Molly was informed that Dr Proctor is emigrating, and her services are no longer needed. However, she didn’t let this setback have her down in the dumps and so, she ended up at Huis Lelieveld. Molly’s husband, Wors (Willie Esterhuizen), come to visit regularly to visit his wife and to find out who of the personnel or residents are giving her grief.

Gielie (Wynand van Vollenstee), who viewers have gotten to know in Ouboet en Wors as Wors’ handyman and driver, also got a job at the retirement village – after all, he has a very soft heart, especially for the elderly.

Viewers can look forward to seeing Hélène Truter returning as Tannie Poppie, one of the residents of Huis Lelieveld. “Poppie knows everything. And she shares it directly with the viewer. She likes spreading gossip, without feeling bad about it. I love this character, because she isn’t afraid to voice her opinion,” says Hélène.

Huis Lelieveld’s residents include Fleur Pot (Elma Potgieter), Gielie’s mom, Martha Goosen (Karin van der Laagt), Brand Louw (Cobus Visser) and Blaartjie Louw (Yvonne Schoeman). From a hip retired lady and a snob without money to someone who equally loves baking and moaning – these residents still have plenty of life in them.

Viewers will also get to know the Huis Lelieveld personell very well. Pastor Dou Droel (Matt Stern), who has a weakness for women, Spanner Proes (Reginald Hufkie), the factotum with an interesting life away from the retirement village, and Koekie de Kok (Lara Lourens), Pastor Droel’s assistant and part time exotic dancer, are characters viewers will enjoy a lot.

Willie Esterhuizen is the writer and producer of the series. “Viewers will see that elderly people are young people in aged bodies, who still know how to have fun. The production team really enjoys working with the experienced actors. What a privilege!

Huis Lelieveld will be broadcast on Wednesdays at 20:30 from 30 October 2019 on kykNET (DStv channel 144).

Molly (Lizz Meiring) van Molly en Wors en Ouboet en Wors het haar werk as tandartsassistent verruil vir dié van matrone! In Willie Esterhuizen se nuutste komedie, Huis Lelieveld, kry Molly werk as matrone van die aftreeoord Huis Lelieveld, en kan kykers uitsien om ‘n paar ou gunstelinge, sowel as nuwe gesigte te sien.

In die laaste episode van Ouboet en Wors, is Molly ingelig dat Dr Proctor emigreer en is sy werkloos gelaat. Sy het egter nie in sak en as gaan sit nie en só eindig sy op by Huis Lelieveld as matrone. “Molly is soos onkruid – orals, ongelooflik sterk en ‘n kanniedood,” meen Lizz Meiring oor dié geliefde karakter wat sy vertolk. Molly se man, Wors (Willie Esterhuizen), kom loer gereeld in om te hoor hoe dit met sy dierbare vrou gaan en watter van die personeel of inwoners haar lewe moeilik maak.

Gielie (Wynand van Vollenstee), wie kykers in Ouboet en Wors as Wors se goedgelowige nutsman en drywer leer ken het, kry ook werk by die aftreeoord, want hy het ‘n baie sagte hart – veral as dit by die oumensies kom.

‘n Groot bederf wat vir kykers voorlê, is Hélène Truter wat terugkeer as Tannie Poppie, een van die inwoners van Huis Lelieveld. “Poppie weet álles. En sy deel dit direk met die kyker. Eintlik skinder sy net. Skaamteloos. Ek’s mal oor haar want sy’s nie bang om haar opinie te lug nie,” sê Hélène.

Die inwoners van Huis Lelieveld sluit in Fleur Pot (Elma Potgieter), Gielie se ma, Martha Goosen (Karin van der Laagt), Brand Louw (Cobus Visser) en Blaartjie Louw (Yvonne Schoeman). Van ‘n hupse afgetredene en ‘n snob sonder geld tot ‘n bakster en klaagster – dié spul inwoners is die spreekwoordelike ‘oud, maar nog nie koud’.

Daarmee saam gaan kykers ook die Huis Lelieveld-personeel goed leer ken. Dominee Dou Droel (Matt Stern), wat onder sensuur geplaas vanweë sy swakpunt vir vrouens is, Spanner Proes (Reginald Hufkie), die kleurryke faktotum wat ‘n interessante lewe buite die oord het, en Koekie de Kok (Lara Lourens), Ds Droel se assistent en deeltydse paaldanseres, gaan sorg vir hope pret.

Willie Esterhuizen is weer die skrywer en vervaardiger van die reeks. “In die reeks sal julle sien dat oumense is maar net jongmense, in ouer lywe, en nog net so vol streke en dinge. Vir ons almal in die produksie is dit ‘n fees om saam met akteurs met soveel ondervinding te werk. Wat ‘n voorreg!”

Huis Lelieveld word vanaf Woensdag 30 Oktober om 20:30 op kykNET DStv kanaal 144 uitgesaai.


Sharjah Fringe Calls For International Applications

The producers of the inaugural edition of the UAE’s 2020 Sharjah Fringe have put out a global call for producers of children’s and family theatre to apply to be part of the first Fringe Festival in the region.

The Fringe, due to take place from 16 January – 1 Februrary 2020, is seeking work that will “inspire, entertain, thrill and amaze” a young audience and their families.

“We’re looking for theatre, dance, music, magic, puppets, circus acts and everything in between,” Nobesuthu Rayi, Executive Producer of the Fringe said. “The programme has space for about 60 shows that will be staged across Sharjah in our three Fringe hubs. Performances can be in Arabic, English, or be non-verbal, and will be scheduled in venues that seat anywhere from 100 to 1000 audience members.”

The Fringe is modelled on similar successful events held across the world, where artists are given spaces to perform in exchange for a nominal registration and venue hire fee, and earn the bulk of their box office takings. As an added incentive, though, producers are making travel and accommodation grants available to productions who want to minimize the risk of taking part. “It’s an untested formula in this part of the world and we want artists and audiences to have as positive experience as possible,” Rayi said, adding that the grants of between US $500 and $2700 could be applied for.

The Fringe is being co-produced by South Africa’s National Arts Festival and UAE-based Dolphin Creative, on behalf of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq). “Shurooq have recognized the dual value of Fringe Festivals – firstly to transform an arts landscape by offering opportunities for artists and audiences to find each other, and secondly to give residents and tourists new ways to explore a city and its culture,” Fringe CEO Tony Lankester said. “We’ve seen the massive economic and transformative impact some of the biggest Fringes have – in Edinburgh, Adelaide and Edmonton for example. It will take a while for the Sharjah Fringe to reach the scale of those events, but the energy and philosophy of independent, accessible and relaxed theatre is the same.”

Artists have until the end of September to submit their proposals for inclusion in the programme. A briefing document and application form can be found at


Shurooq is an independent government entity under the Emiri decree no. 2, that facilitates partnerships and connects investors with relevant opportunities. Shurooq aims to create authentic destinations that are committed to enhancing the quality of life for citizens and residents, as well as foster an environment where businesses thrive and ideas flourish. Shurooq strives to encourage investment in Sharjah by adopting the best international standards in providing quality services that help attract investors from both the region and the world.


South Africa’s National Arts Festival, staged annually in Grahamstown since 1974, has grown to become Africa’s largest arts events. Staging over 2500 performances over 11 days, the Festival comprises both a curated Main programme and an open access Fringe, and presents work across all genres – but predominantly theatre, dance, classical music, film, jazz, comedy and family theatre. In 2018 it reported total attendance of just over 200 000 across all its events and programmes.

Recent studies by the Rhodes University Department of Economics indicate that the Festival is one of the region’s biggest drivers of the local economy – contributing R94m (approx. US$6.6mm) to the GDP of the City and R374m (US$26.4m) to the GDP of the Eastern Cape Province.


Dolphin Creative is a unique creative agency and production company specializing in street arts with offices in Dubai, Jeddah, Singapore, Shanghai, Istanbul and Mumbai. Formed in 2010 the company has produced over 10 000 street arts events in 18 cities across 12 countries, with a talent pool of over 1000 specialist artists and management.


Sparkling New Comedy Explores Culture

Although the arrangement is nothing new, ‘blesser’ is a South African term for an older man who has multiple girlfriends he lavishes with gifts, in exchange for sex and companionship. In turn, the girlfriends post photos on social media of expensive shoes, clothes and piles of cash, tagging the pictures #blessed.

Connie Chiume and Kenneth Nkosi

That’s the subject at the heart of the slick and hilarious new comedy ‘Blessers’, by actor and director Rea Rangaka, known for ‘Ode in Blood’ (2013), ‘For the Lovers Only’ (2012) and ‘iNumber Number’ (2017). ‘Blessers’ releases in cinemas on 25 October 2019.

The film stars award-winning actor and comedian Kenneth Nkosi (‘Skeem’, 2011; ‘Paradise Stop’ (2011); ‘District 9’ (2009) and ‘White Wedding’ (2009), as Jacob Mofokeng, a middle-aged businessman who has become accustomed to his routine, a life which includes his wife, Michelle (Sonia Mbele of ‘Generations’ fame), his daughter Natasha (Six Nyamane), his work and his fun.

As a powerful CEO, with a big house, a successful spouse, a family, and expensive recreational habits, Jacob feels like life will always be easy. Along with George, his colleague and partner-in-crime, the two dominate the boardroom as well as the bedroom but as it turns out, they do not quite control their homes. Caught knee-deep in the word of blessers, Jacob and his family are about to learn a few hard lessons and discover that they are perhaps not that #blessed.

Entrepreneur Thabo Molefe, better known as Tbo Touch, make his big screen debut in the movie. The Touch HD radio owner plays the role of flamboyant Mthakathi the Fixer, who lives in a R48 million penthouse. He throws extravagant parties where he introduces blessers to slay queens.

‘Blessers’ is written by Tbo Touch, Sasa Nqabeni and Kumaran Naidu. It’s produced by Masechaba Rose Molefe and Malebo Manamela.

“The film was the brainchild of Tbo Touch and Touch HD,” says Rangaka. “My role was to make it happen. It has an interesting way tonally, of dealing with some really dark material like the concept of blessers, cheating, and the sex trade, and making it palatable. We’ve seen and lived with the events on screen all around us. The film is ‘funny ha ha’, but even funnier as in ‘oh snap!’

‘Blessers’ will be released in cinemas nationwide and is distributed by Indigenous Film Distribution.


Surprise Box Office Hit “Ellen: Die Storie Van Ellen Pakkies” Is Now On Showmax

Ellen: Die Storie van Ellen Pakkies, South Africa’s entry for the foreign film category of the 2019 Golden Globes, is now streaming on Showmax. Here are five reasons to add this local classic to your watchlist:

1 – Ellen is based on a heart-breaking true story

In 2007, the death of 20-year-old tik addict Abie Pakkies created a stir in South Africa and the world. The most disturbing part of the case was that the murderer was his mother, Ellen.

Based on this heart-rending true story, Ellen explores how this loving mother became desperate enough to take her own son’s life, and why a judge let her off with a three-year suspended sentence and 280 hours of community service.

Ellen Pakkies consulted on the film, which was partly shot in her own home in Lavender Hill.

2 – Ellen became a surprise box office phenomenon

South Africa has a notoriously escapist movie-going culture: of the most successful South African films of the last five years, two were Leon Schuster comedies (Frank & Fearless and Schuks! Pay Back The Money) and three were rom-coms (Vir Altyd, Pad Na Jou Hart and Keeping Up With The Kandasamys).

So no one was expecting Ellen, which is harrowing rather than hilarious, to make over R6m at the South African box office as the third-highest-grossing local film of 2018 (at a much higher per-screen rate than either Frank & Fearless or Stroomop).

A true word-of-mouth phenomenon, Ellen clearly struck a nerve with everyone who saw it.

3 – Jill Levenberg and Jarrid Geduld give award-winning performances

As Ellen and Abie, Jill Levenberg (aka Mymoena Samsodien in Suidooster) and Jarrid Geduld (aka Twist In Boy Called Twist and Randall in Dwaalster) won both The South African Film and Television Awards and Silwerskermfees prizes for Best Actress and Best Actor respectively.

As Margaret Gardiner wrote on, “Much of the power of the film is provided by the subtle interpretation of the titular character by Jill Levenberg. The emotions of love, desperation, hurt and unceasing hope… are palpable.”

While Levenberg and Geduld give career-defining performances, they’re well-supported by the likes of Clint Brink (Binnelanders) as Ellen’s lawyer Adrian Samuels and Elton Landrew (Suidooster) as her husband Odneal.

4 – Ellen is directed by rising star Daryn Joshua

Ellen is the second film from Daryn Joshua, who directed South Africa’s 2018 Oscar entry, Noem My Skollie; produced and wrote the original story for Nosipho Dumisa’s gripping Cape Flats thriller Nommer 37; and is a writer on Netflix’s upcoming African Original Blood & Water.

Joshua won Best Director at this year’s South African Film and Television Awards, where Ellen also took home Best Score for Quinn Lubbe.

Raised on the Cape Flats himself, Joshua is clearly a talent to watch, as is screenwriter Amy Jephta, who took home her second Best Script award in two years at Silwerskermfees 2018 for Ellen, having won in 2017 for her short film Soldaat.

5 – Ellen is more topical than ever

In July 2019, The South African National Defence Force were deployed to the Cape Flats – an area that Western Cape community safety MEC Albert Fritz labelled a war zone just weeks earlier.

“War is commonly defined by the UN and other such institutions as an act of conflict that has claimed more than 1,000 lives. In the Western Cape, 1,875 people were murdered in the past six months alone,” he said in a statement in June. “This means that many of our most vulnerable residents in the province are living in a war zone.”

Ellen makes it clear the system failed Ellen Pakkies in 2007; statistics like this make it clear the system is still failing mothers on the Cape Flats, 12 years later.

Stream Ellen: Die storie van Ellen Pakkies, in Afrikaans with English subtitles, on Showmax:


Kinky Boots – End Of Year Bookings Now Open – The Fugard

End of year bookings now open. Extended to 2 February 2020.

After months of sold out performances, and an overwhelming response by critics and patrons alike, we are delighted to let our Friends of The Fugard know that you can now plan to see this stunning production as part of your end of year plans!

This brand new, original Eric Abraham and The Fugard Theatre production of the huge-hearted, smash-hit musical has played to sold out houses since opening in June and we are open for business for your end of year pleasure! Kinky Boots is the winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical, Tony Award for Best Original Score, Tony Award for Best Choreography and Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

This mega-hit is a must see for all musical theatre fans.

Charlie Price has reluctantly inherited his father’s shoe factory, Price & Son, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair find that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible, and discover that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

Kinky Boots is the perfect tonic for your end of year function! For corporate hospitality packages please contact Lamees on

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As a Friend of The Fugard, you qualify for a 20% discount on certain performances and seats – call our box office today on 021 461 4554 or email to secure your tickets.