News, reviews and upcoming events in film, television and theatre in South Africa.
Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.
Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.
Catch him on Twitter: twitter.com/andrewgerm_za
And IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm5390453/
Ever asked yourself the age- old question of ‘where did I come from?’ and ‘how did my family end up living in South Africa?’
This April, the HISTORY Channel on DStv 186 has your back, with a look at the dynamics of researching your genealogical line in South Africa, The brand-new once off local documentary special Your People My People takes four South African strangers on a quest to trace their ancestry and discover the science and history behind DNA testing which ultimately shaped who they are. One will be blindsided, while for another the result will expose surprising links to an historical global figure.
The locally produced show, hosted by renowned news and TV personality Pat Pillai and magazine editor Les Aupiais, is a journey of discovery using science to reveal the history of four ordinary South Africans: radio personalities Minnie Ntuli and Jason Mccall together with Sashica Ramlutch and Keandre Brahim.
The four travel to places and spaces in history and participate in activities based on their gene pool. From an emotional reenactment of the Battle of Blood River, to spending a sun-beaten day as indentured labourers, they learn as much about themselves as they do each other.
“Your People My People” is about a group of South Africans that journey into the past based on the results of a DNA test that maps their identity,” says producer Julie Laurenz. “They are really hoping to dig up the truth about their ancestry, why their families ended up in Southern Africa and how their story fits into history.”
This once off special airs on Sunday April 19 at 20:15 and will inspire HISTORY viewers to embark on their own journey of self-discovery.
Also new to HISTORY is the Rise of Extremism Stunt featuring premiere documentaries every Saturday at 20:15. It kicks off on April 4 with ISIS: The Rise of Terror, which delves behind the origins of the Islamic State, what they want to achieve, and how their shocking and violent tactics have redefined warfare in the 21st century. Focusing on fateful turning points in history, this documentary looks at amongst others; America’s 8-year war in Iraq and the unrepentant ISIS fighter who justifies beheadings.
This is followed on April 11 by White Supremacy: Going Under, which tells the extraordinary stories of three people who infiltrated white hate groups in an effort to bring them down from the inside. These individuals unknowingly become part of fighting something far larger – the fight against the tight network of American white supremacy groups that is growing bolder and stronger every day.
Divided States on April 18 is a mini-series that documents the blatant acts of anti-Semitism, homophobia and racism which appear to be on the rise in America. Against the backdrop of the current state of hate in America, we find and explore the lives of characters who have experienced hate in their own lives and have emerged from that experience transformed to spread a positive message.
The look at extremism will culminate on May 2 with America On Fire, where we find Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Charlie Leduff going deep inside the American militia movement to uncover their roots, motivations and goals, in an increasingly polarized world.
In this challenging time of social distancing, HISTORY DStv 186 remains committed to bringing you the best in storytelling with local commissions, documentaries, factual re-enactments, award-winning specials and series. We are #hereforyou.
A MILLION LITTLE PIECES is the adaptation of the notorious 2003 bestseller with the same name by James Frey, which offered a visceral account of the author’s time at a rehabilitation centre in the 1990s.
An alcoholic and a drug addict, 23 year-old James has two options: treatment or death.
After waking up on a plane with a smashed up face and no memory of the past few weeks, he heads to rehab where he discovers much more than detox and therapy. As James endures the white-knuckle journey of mending his broken body, he heals his broken soul by connecting with other kindred spirits who also yearn and fight for a better life.
A MILLION LITTLE PIECES is the latest film from acclaimed director Sam Taylor-Johnson and stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a tour de force performance. Based on the best-selling book by James Frey with a screenplay by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson, the film also stars Billy Bob Thornton, Juliette Lewis, Giovanni Ribisi, Charlie Hunnam and Odessa Young.
While A MILLION LITTLE PIECES doesn’t hold back from displaying the harsh and horrible realities of addiction, it is not only a study of addiction, but also of recovery, love, friendship and hope. It aims to offer a realistic look at how a young man pulls himself back from the brink of self-destruction.
“You don’t laugh as hard or cry as intensely as you do when you’re going through recovery,” explains the writer-director. “It was important to think about the balance of that in a way, the balance of the darkness and the light… The biggest thing I’d like is for people to come away with hope and optimism rather than despair.”
A MILLION LITTLE PIECES is distributed by Filmfinity (Pty) Ltd. and will be released in South Africa on DSTV Box Office on 3 April 2020.
The global spread of the Corona virus has affected our daily lives, most of us now have to stay safe at home. To turn the lockdown into something positive, the team at Blender will provide free daily content for everyone: video streams, tutorials and a new cool open project “Settlers”.
Blender Today, Everyday – live stream
You might be familiar with Pablo Vazquez hosting the Blender Today weekly show, where he shares the latest Blender updates. Starting this week, Pablo will be creating DAILY content, providing a mix of news, guest appearances from the community and a very relaxed vibe while talking about Blender. Join the live stream on YouTube (and soon on more channels) at 5PM (CET) and watch the videos as they drop online!
Python for Artists and More
While the development team is constantly busy developing new features and improving the existing ones, Blender developer Sybren Stüvel is also going to extend his popular Scripting for Artists series, on Blender Cloud and on YouTube, free for everyone! As videos get published, make sure you leave him a comment about what you’d like to see next.
Next to that, Blender developer Sergey Sharybin will also share some insights on Blender development – stay tuned!
Settlers. A new free and open project
The Blender Animation Studio team is working the production of their latest short film: Coffee Run. Since the project will soon reach the end of production, it’s time to look at what to do next. Introducing: Settlers!
Settlers is a new kind of project, a small “playground set” that everyone can use to create adventure and exploration scenarios. Escape from the daily routine and make your own world! Settlers will be freely available on Blender Cloud and will consists of:
A set of rigged characters
Environments and props
Plus all the behind the scenes and source files, starting from concept art, to final rigs and animation
We will keep these projects running for at least a few weeks, until we will be able to go back to a normal life, working together at the studio. Until then #stayhome, let’s keep each other company online!
Currently the most popular show on IMDB, sci-fi drama Westworld is a dark wild west odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the birth of a new form of life on Earth. And this season, they’re knocking it “out of the park”.
Returning for season 3 are Golden Globe nominees Evan Rachel Wood (Dolores) and Thandie Newton (Maeve), Golden Globe winner Jeffrey Wright (Bernard/Arnold), People’s Choice nominee Tessa Thompson (Charlotte), Screen Actors Guild nominees Luke Hemsworth (Ashley) and Rodrigo Santoro (Hector), and Oscar nominee Ed Harris as The Man in Black.
New faces this season include Golden Globe nominee Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Vincent Cassel (Ocean’s Twelve, Black Swan), Emmy winner Lena Waithe (Ready Player One), Tommy Flanagan (Sons of Anarchy) and Grammy winner Kid Cudi. (Psst! Early trailers also feature certain as-yet-unannounced actors … Are they? Aren’t they? With Westworld, seeing is never believing.)
Westworld has won seven Emmys and been nominated for four Golden Globes, among other accolades.
SANDITON S1 Binge now
Emmy and BAFTA-winning writer Andrew Davies (House of Cards, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Les Misérables) brings Jane Austen’s unfinished last novel vividly to life.
Sanditon’s a place that’s changing fast. This once-sleepy fishing village is transforming into a fashionable spa resort. Changing alongside it is the impulsive and unconventional Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams from Reign), who swaps her quiet rural home for the intrigues and dalliances of a seaside town on the make.
As Indiewire put it, “Sanditon is sexy escapism for winter, tart and political, gorgeous and honest. Austen would have loved it.”
MCMILLION$ Binge now
Imagine going out for a burger and coming home with $1 million. That’s the tantalising prize McDonald’s offered its US customers in the ‘90s, and who could resist, right? But when you play and play and never seem to win big, it can start to feel like the game is rigged. Of course, you know it isn’t. Or is it?
Mcmillion$ is the story of the biggest scam in the history of fast food. It ran for over a decade, had links to organised crime and netted $24 million worth of illegal profits. But it wasn’t until the FBI received an anonymous tip-off in 2001 that anyone began to suspect something was rotten over at McD’s. Dogged and unorthodox investigative work, undercover sting operations and fake interviews turned up a network of co-conspirators from ordinary folks to psychics, strip club owners, shifty ex-cons and even the Mafia. But despite the numbers involved, the trial was less sensational than it might have been, and received relatively little publicity. That was because of its start date – 10 September 2001, just one day before the 9/11 attacks, which would dominate the news in subsequent months. Now, McMillion$ constructs a detailed account of the scam and how it was uncovered.
McMillions has a 87% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes: The Wall Street Journal calls it “a terrific story and a captivating, snowballing, six-part docuseries”, while The Hollywood Reporter says, “McMillion$ tells a quirky and frequently hilarious tale filled with enough twists and turns that you’ll swear it came from the keyboard of a Carl Hiaasen or Elmore Leonard.”
THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED Binge from 10 April
18 years after he was sentenced to life plus 30 years in jail, this true-crime investigation takes a fresh look into the case against Adnan Syed, who was convicted of the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. The four-part HBO docuseries from Oscar, Emmy and Bafta-nominated director Amy Berg (Deliver Us from Evil) follows on from the breakout investigative journalism podcast Serial, which brought international attention to the trial and to Syed’s continued insistence that he did not kill Hae.
The Case Against Adnan Syed was nominated for a 2019 Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Nonfiction Program and has an 82% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As Daily Telegraph (UK) put it, “As testament to a tragedy, Berg’s documentary was wrenching. As a quiet indictment of true crime and its ghastly razzmatazz, it was devastating.”
PRIMAL S1 First on Showmax | Binge from 13 April
From the creator behind the Emmy-winning series Samurai Jack, Genndy Tartakovsky, Primal follows a caveman at the dawn of evolution and a dinosaur on the brink of extinction. The two creatures, one on the way out and one on the way in, become each other’s only hope of survival in a treacherous world.
Primal has an 8.7/10 score on IMDB and a 100% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus is, “Epic in every sense, Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal is a stunning feat of visual storytelling.”
“Epic yet intimate, Primal is awash in eye-popping imagery,” says Hollywood Reporter. “Primal is vicious stuff. It’s a rarely pausing saga of bone-breaking, head-severing, tooth-extracting, face-smashing brutality… Tartakovsky has long been a distinctive force in TV animation and this is another winner, a spare storytelling experiment that plays like nothing else in the current landscape.”
INSECURE S4 From 22:30, Mondays from 14 April
Created by A Black Lady Sketch Show exec producer Issa Rae and Black-ish exec producer Larry Wilmore, Insecure centres on friends Issa (Rae in a Golden Globe, Emmy and Critics Choice nominated performance) and Molly (Black Reel awards nominee Yvonne Orji). The show has a 97% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus hails Insecure as “an insightful, raunchy, and hilarious journey through the life of a twentysomething black woman that cuts through stereotypes with sharp wit and an effusive spirit.”
As The Peabody Awards put it, “Rae delivers a ground-breaking series that captures the lives of everyday young black people in Los Angeles with a fresh and authentic take. Breaking away from tired and familiar representations of ‘diversity’ on television, this series offers a fun and intimate portrayal of work, relationships, and the ordinary experiences of the two young black women at its center.”
Insecure was nominated for two Emmys for cinematography and for Show of the Year at the MTV Movie and TV Awards. It was also named TV Program of the Year at the 2018 American Film Institute Awards.
NOUGHTS + CROSSES From 2330 on Thursdays. Binge from 16 April
“Over 700 years ago, the Aprican Empire invaded Europe. Aprica colonised the continent and reached as far as Albion. Albion has been under Aprican rule ever since.”
So begins Noughts + Crosses, a controversial six-part BBC One series based on Malorie Blackman’s multi-award-winning novel.
South African Masali Baduza (Trackers) and BAFTA winner Jack Rowan (Born To Kill, Peaky Blinders) play Sephy and Callum, two star-crossed lovers in the tradition of Romeo and Juliet. Sephy is the privileged daughter of the Home Secretary, Kamal Hadley, while Callum’s mother, Meggie, is the Hadleys’ housekeeper. While Sephy and Callum grew up together, they may as well have lived in different worlds.
Shot largely in Cape Town, the series also stars Paterson Joseph (Peep Show, The Leftovers) and South African actress Bonnie Mbuli (Invictus, Wallander) as Sephy’s parents, Kamal and Jasmine, with BAFTA nominee Helen Baxendale (Cold Feet, Emily in Friends) and Tribeca winner Ian Hart (Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter) as Callum’s parents, as well as Josh Dylan (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, The End of the F***ing World) as his brother Jude.
THE OUTSIDER From 23h30 on Thursdays, from 23 April
Repeatedly the most popular show on IMDB in March, HBO miniseries The Outsider is based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King and follows police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn from Bloodline), who is still grieving the recent death of his own son when the mutilated body of 11-year-old Frankie Peterson is found in the Georgia woods.
The mysterious circumstances surrounding the horrifying crime lead Ralph to bring in unorthodox private investigator Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo, nominated for two Oscars and two Golden Globes this year for Harriet), whose uncanny abilities he hopes will help explain the unexplainable.
The cast also includes Golden Globe winner Jason Bateman (Ozark), Emmy nominee Bill Camp (Joker, The Night Of), Oscar nominee Mare Winningham (The Affair, American Horror Story), BAFTA winner Paddy Considine (In America), Critics Choice nominee Julianne Nicholson (Masters of Sex, I, Tonya), and Screen Actors Guild nominee Yul Vázquez (Russian Doll).
Bateman is also among the show’s directors, along with Emmy nominee Andrew Bernstein (The West Wing, Fear the Walking Dead, Ozark). Creator Richard Price was also behind the Emmy-winning The Night Of and was a writer for The Wire and The Deuce, among others.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE…
LOVE DAILY S1 – Romance anthology | 2019 Writers Guild of America nominee for Short Form New Media Original | Binge now
HACKERVILLE S1 – Crime | HBO’s first European co-production, from the creators of the Emmy-winning Deutschland 83 | Binge now
LOVE ISLAND UK S6 – Reality TV | The Cape Town edition of the BAFTA-winning hit show Rue from Euphoria is obsessed with | TBC
To see everything on Showmax in April, click here. Please note this release schedule is subject to change.
Corlea Botha, Nádine, Liezel Pieters, Jennifer Jones, Vicky Sampson and Monique Steyn are currently considered as some of the biggest local female artists in the industry. On 23 August 2020, these six women – with their diverse and powerful voices – will be joining forces with Entertainment & Events Factory to bring the SA’S DIVA SPECTACULAR SHOW to the stage at Sun Arena in Pretoria!
With this show, they want to bring a message of hope to South Africa. A message that can reunite South Africans, specifically because women play such an important role in the lives of children, men and the world in current times.
What makes this initiative even more special is that President Kruger Children’s Home will be part of it and will also be present. 70% of all funds raised will be donated towards this charity.
According to Rex van Deventer, director of Entertainment & Events Factory, he has had the idea of bringing these artists together for a concert for two years. “I am excited to bring this strong concept to South Africa, especially with the focus being on empowering women and the role they play in the lives of our children and country. These six ladies are extremely talented, which is going to make the show even more unforgettable.”
Corlea says that she is very excited about this concert and believes that it is something not to be missed! “We all grew up with the same music and style, so it’s going to be interesting to find the perfect balance between the six of us, but when we do, it’s going to be incredible. I have so much respect for these women, everyone has something totally unique to bring to the table. I cannot wait to witness the audience’s reaction when the six of us are on stage together.”
Liezel Pieters says it takes thorough planning and perseverance to put together such a big production, but working with ladies of this calibre streamlines the process. “It’s a great opportunity to be part of this production, because my passion is to sing and to be on stage. Sharing a stage with such incredible artists, is going to be such a pleasure.”
Jennifer Jones is equally excited! “I cannot wait to share the stage with these fantastic SA Divas and to bring hope to our country! I AM THRILLED… EXCITED… LOOKING FORWARD TO THE SHOW!”
Nádine says that when you are a true artist at heart, your passion is to share something with people. This is what drives you when you are tired and inspires and excites you. “It’s an inexplicable and indescribable thing to be live on stage and to realize that at that moment you are doing what you love and it is working very well. You get to create and capture memories and special moments with a lot of special women and it’s a fantastic opportunity. The audience is going to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the music we are going to sing may not be interpreted in the same way again.”
Vicky Sampson believes that each of them are strong performers in own right and that they are going to create fireworks when they come together on stage. “I am so proud to be part of this event. It’s great to be able to unite with other female artists on one stage. This is something I would love to see more of because I believe that each of us will bring something unique and special to the show. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this initiative.”
“Although coordinating such a large production is challenging, because everyone’s schedules need to be adapted for rehearsals, it is done in such a way that the challenges become an absolute pleasure,” says Rex van Deventer. “This show is going to blow people away!”
Entertainment & Events Factory is also no stranger when it comes to events, artists and celebrities. Other guest artists will also be performing at the concert on 23 August and will be announced soon.
SA’S SPECTACULAR DIVA SHOW will be taking place on 23 August 2020 at Sun Arena in Pretoria from 14h00. Tickets are now available online at iTickets.co.za.
This Pretoria concert will be held annually and other female artists will be invited to participate as guest artists.
Sponsorship and activation packages are available. For enquiries, please contact Rex van Deventer at email@example.com.