Local Crime Docu-Series ‘Night Guard’ Goes Global With Hulu Deal

South African unscripted television is going global, with Season 1 of NV Studios’ Night Guard now available for streaming on global service hulu, in the USA. The addition of Night Guard to the hulu platform marks NV Studios as the only South African TV production company to have a presence across the major international streaming and broadcast services.

Night Guard, which premiered on FOX Crime in 2014, tells the story of three brothers – Emile (Moolie), JP and Zane Eblen – who have taken over their father’s security business of the same name. The Fourways-based, SWAT-style reaction unit comprises more than 500 guards who work around the clock to ensure the safety of clients, around the province. The docu-series was tailor-made for FOX Crime and showcases the raw reality faced by those charged with protecting the personal safety and security of their clients against an increasingly brazen criminal element.

NV Studios CEO Damien Brown says that the addition of the show to hulu’s high-quality global stable of content is an indicator of the excellence of South African TV productions. “It’s important for South African content producers to tell our stories, our own way – and it’s immensely gratifying to be recognized for doing so at a level that puts us up alongside the world’s best,” he says. “As one of the premier TV production companies in the country, we’re committed to delivering high-quality shows to the local and global markets that tell our story, our way – from gritty series like Night Guard to affirming conservation stories like Keeping Up with the Kruger, which documents the incredible work done by rangers, vets, research teams and conservation units in one of the world’s premier safari destinations”.

The first season of Night Guard is available on hulu right now.

About NV Studios

NV Studios is a production company based in Johannesburg, London and Los Angeles. We develop original content and package entertainment products that reflect a global direction. With over 10 years of experience in the international market, we seek to redefine entertainment and offer a unique perspective to partnering and producing solutions.

Four Emmy Firsts In Nominations

The penultimate series of Game of Thrones topped the list of Emmy nominees, with 22 nominations, including Best Drama Series.

This is hardly a surprise: all six previous seasons were nominated for Emmys, 110 in all, with Game of Thrones winning 38 times – the record for any drama series.

But before you write this year’s awards off to been-there-done-that, here are four firsts to root for from this year’s nominations:

Issa Rae is up for Best Actress In A Comedy for ‘Insecure’
Despite a rare 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Insecure’s first season was snubbed at last year’s Emmy awards, where Issa memorably announced on the red carpet that, “I’m rooting for everybody black.” This year, Rae is up for her first ever Emmy, against Pamela Adlon in Better Things, Rachel Brosnahan in The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, Tracee Ellis Ross in Black-ish, Allison Janney in Mom, and Lily Tomlin in Grace and Frankie. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, who’s won the category for the previous six years, wasn’t eligible this time, as the final season of the show was delayed while she underwent treatment for cancer. Issa Rae plays Issa Dee in Insecure, a comedy about being the opposite of the stereotype of the strong, confident black woman. Both seasons of Insecure are available to stream only on Showmax in Africa.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is up for Best Supporting Actor In A Drama for ‘Game of Thrones’
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones, earned his first ever Emmy nomination, in the Supporting Actor In A Drama category. He’ll be competing against Peter Dinklage, who plays his younger brother Tyrion in the show. Dinklage has been nominated for all seven seasons, winning twice, for season one (2011) and season five (2011). So this could be the year that Dinklage scores a hat-trick  or Coster-Waldau takes the stage for the first time. They’re up against Joseph Fiennes in The Handmaid’s Tale, David Harbour in Stranger Things, Mandy Patinkin in Homeland and Matt Smith in The Crown. Last year’s winner, John Lithgow, wasn’t in competition as he didn’t appear in season two of The Crown. Incidentally, Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) is also nominated, for Supporting Actress In A Drama, making this the first year that all three Lannister siblings are in line for Emmys. All seven seasons of Game of Thrones are available to stream only on Showmax in Africa.

Jessica Biel is up for Best Actress In A Limited Series or Movie for ‘The Sinner’
Jessica Biel earned her first ever Emmy nomination for her role in The Sinner, based on Petra Hammesfahr’s bestselling novel. She plays Cora Tannetti, a  young mother who commits a public act of violence but has no idea why. The Sinner has a 94% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says, “Smartly unpredictable and led by powerful performances from a talented cast, the darkly compelling The Sinner sinks its hooks in fast and doesn’t let go.” Biel is up against Laura Dern in The Tale, Michelle Dockery in Godless, Edie Falco in Law and Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, Regina King in Seven Seconds, and Sarah Paulson in American Horror Story: Cult. Last year’s winner, Nicole Kidman, wasn’t eligible as Big Little Lies’ second season is only due in 2019. The Sinner is coming soon to Showmax.

Ted Danson is up for Best Actor In A Comedy for ‘The Good Place’
Like Insecure, The Good Place’s first season was universally praised by critics, but snubbed by the Emmys. This year, it was second time lucky though, with Ted Danson cracking the nod to be nominated as Best Actor In a Comedy and Maya Rudolph up for Best Guest Actor. The Good Place is about Eleanor (Kristen Bell), who wakes up and finds out that she has died and ended up in an afterlife called The Good Place, designed by Michael (Danson) as a paradise populated only by people who have spent their lives doing good things – which clearly means Eleanor was put there by mistake. It’s been 25 years since Danson last won at the Emmys, for Cheers in 1993; to win his third, he’ll need to beat last year’s winner Donald Glover (Atlanta), Anthony Anderson in Black-ish, Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bill Hader in Barry, and William H. Macy in Shameless. The Good Place S1-2 is coming soon to Showmax.

Showmax has a number of other Emmy nominees coming soon, including Best Comedy nominee Silicon Valley S5 and Best Drama nominees The Handmaid’s Tale S2 and Westworld S2. Exact dates will be announced soon.

See the full Nominations list for Emmy 2018.

Hit Mermaid Horror ‘Siren’ Now Streaming First On Showmax

Forget everything you learned in The Little Mermaid: the happy ending the mermaids in Siren are looking for has nothing to do with marrying a prince and becoming human.

Instead Eric Wald, who created Siren with Dean White (The 100, The Shield),  cites Jaws and Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides as inspirations for the hit series, which reinstates mermaids as the kind of predators who were once famous for luring sailors to their death with their siren songs.

Siren follows Ryn (Game of Thrones’ Eline Powell), a mermaid who arrives in the seaside town of Bristol Cove looking for her sister but who is soon wreaking havoc and making friends. As The New York Times wrote, “She’s nothing like Ariel.” Or as Refinery 29 put it, “On Siren, The Little Mermaid grows up and fights back.”

Marine biologists Ben (Alex Roe) and Maddie (Fola Evans-Akingbola) must work together to find out who and what drove this primal hunter of the deep sea to land – and if there are more like her.

Siren has a 94% critics rating and an 84% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus is that, “Siren turns traditional lore on its tail with a unique, well-paced show that presents dangerous, violent mythical creatures in a surprisingly empathetic and exciting light.”

Freeform has already ordered a second season of this fish-out-of-water story, which Paste described as “gruesome and great;” TV Guide called “one of the more surprisingly fun shows of the season, with the potential to be great;” and Forbes labeled “The Vampire Diaries for mermaids.”

Zimbabwean-South African actress Sibongile Mlambo plays Donna, one of the mermaids, and was singled out as a “scene-stealer” by Shadow & Act. Based in LA since 2015, the Black Sails and Teen Wolf star is having a great year, with roles in the Netflix series Lost in Space and the Palme d’Or nominated indie thriller, Under The Silver Lake.

Freeform (formerly ABC Family) is also on a roll at the moment. In addition to Siren’s success as the number one new drama with young adults in the States, another first on Showmax, Cloak & Dagger, had the best-ever digital debut of any project in Freeform history, grown-ish ranked as a the number one cable comedy with young adults in the States, and Freeform placed first in digital viewing and as the most social cable network.

This success has been driven not just by the way the network has embraced strong, complex women on-screen, from Ryn in Siren to Tandy in Cloak & Dagger, but also by the diversity behind the scenes: half of Freeform’s episodic directors are female, diverse, or LGBTQ; 60% of series writers are female or diverse; and every original series on the network has a female producer.

Dive into the 10 episodes of Siren’s here, first and only on Showmax in Africa.

 

Fifth And Final Season Of ‘The Fosters’ Now First And Only On Showmax

The fifth and final season of the hit family drama The Fosters is now first and only on Showmax, which also has the first four seasons available to binge for latecomers.

Hailed as “one of TV’s most diverse and important shows” by PopBuzz, The Fosters follows a multi-ethnic family of adopted and biological teenagers being raised by two moms. Stef Adams Foster, a dedicated police officer, and her wife, Lena Adams Foster, a school vice principal, have built a close-knit, loving family with Stef’s biological son from a previous marriage, Brandon; their adopted twins, Mariana and Jesus; and adopted siblings, Jude and his half-sister Callie.

Winner of a Television Academy Honours Award, a Teen Choice Award for Breakout Show, and a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Drama Series, The Fosters is created by Bradley Bredeweg and Peter Paige (Queer As Folk) and executive produced by Jennifer Lopez (Shades of Blue, American Idol, What to Expect When You’re Expecting). The series has a 97% critics rating and a 89% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

TVFanatic praised The Fosters as “one of the best family dramas on television” for being “bold, relevant, and fearlessly tackling real life, occasionally controversial, issues with grace, tact, and without being too preachy… Thought-provoking television, representative of the diverse world that we live in… It makes us invested in the family, so much so, that we feel like we’re a part of it ourselves.”

Similarly, St Louis Post-Dispatch wrote, “Intelligent enough for adults, accessible enough for younger viewers and entertaining enough for both, it’s a great show for parents and kids to watch together, and will give them plenty to talk about.”

Spoiler alert for latecomers: the new season picks up immediately after the dramatic cliffhanger season four finale, with Jesus knocked out by Mariana’s ex-boyfriend Nick and Callie trapped in the car with Troy Johnson, who she fears is the true killer of Martha Johnson. Jesus is rushed to the hospital and into surgery, his family anxiously waiting to hear about the extent of his injury. Stef and Lena become so wrapped up with Jesus’ situation that they don’t learn that Callie is in trouble until it’s almost too late. Mariana must deal with her role in Jesus’ injury, while Brandon dreads telling Stef and Mike that he has lost his chance to attend Juilliard. Despite getting in trouble for smoking pot, Jude will continue to date Noah and consider having sex for the first time. Stef works toward making detective, while Lena ends up having to take a leave of absence from her job. Mike will take his relationship with Ana to the next level, asking her to move in with him and his foster son AJ.

The Fosters stars Teri Polo (Meet the Parents) as Stef, Sherri Saum (In Treatment) as Lena, Hayden Byerly (Parenthood) as Jude, Noah Centineo (How to Build a Better Boy) as Jesus, David Lambert (Aaron Stone) as Brandon, Maia (Teen Beach Movie) as Callie, Danny Nucci (Titanic) as Mike, and Cierra Ramirez (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) as Mariana.

The Fosters has been one of Freeform’s most-watched and highest-rated series for its entire run. While this is the final season of The Fosters, Freeform is currently filming a spinoff, Good Trouble, that will follow Callie and Mariana after they move out of home and in with each other in Los Angeles.

“It’s just so, so lovely,” wrote Vulture at the end of season five. “We are not worthy… How lucky we were to have such an earnest family drama that wasn’t afraid to tackle tough subject matter these past five years. It will be missed.”

Binge: www.showmax.com/eng/tvseries/twry6acg-the-fosters

5 Reasons ‘Younger’ Is The RomCom To Keep You Warm This Winter | Showmax

If you’re late to one of the most popular rom-coms on Showmax, Younger is the story of single-mom Liza Miller (Tony winner Sutton Foster, who was nominated for a Critics Choice Award this year for the role). Divorced at 40, she reboots her career and love-life by pretending to be in her late-twenties. Soon she has her dream career in publishing, but as her personal and professional lives become irreversibly intertwined, keeping her secret becomes increasingly difficult.

Things come to a head in season five, now first on Showmax, with Sutton and her co-star Peter Hermann (Charles) both warning during a recent fan Q&A that “all hell is about to break loose.”

Here are five reasons Younger is the romcom to keep you warm this winter.

It’s the new Sex and the City – but better

Younger has frequently been compared to Sex and The City: not just because both shows were created by Darren Star, but because they’re both New York-set series about dating and female friendship, featuring designer outfits. As The Daily Beast wrote, Younger is “the Sex and the City replacement we all craved… one of the best TV shows about dating since the days of Carrie Bradshaw.”

But Younger is more ambitious than Sex and the City, making the women’s workplace much more central, while poking fun at both millennial’s quirks and how ageist our society is, all while reminding audiences how lies are contagious. It’s also always topical: this season features a #metoo subplot that critiques earlier episodes of the show. As San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “As funny as it is, it’s actually more mature than the writing on Sex and the City.”

It puts the romance back into romantic-comedy

For much of the first four seasons, Liza’s been caught in a love triangle between the much-younger tattoo-artist  Josh (The Following’s Nico Tortorella) and her boss Charles (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’s  Peter Hermann), trying to decide between being age-inappropriate or work-inappropriate. TV.com called Younger “a breezy and sometimes surprisingly daring romantic comedy featuring one of the best – if not the best – love triangles on TV.”

But the show’s not just about Liza’s love life: this season Kelsey (Hilary Duff) is caught up in a love triangle of her own.  The show’s also been praised for showing love from multiple perspectives: Kelsey’s best friend Lauren (Molly Bernard) is pansexual while Liza’s best friend Maggie (Debi Mazar) is lesbian. The Hollywood Reporter hailed the show’s portrayal of Lauren as “groundbreaking,” adding “The reminder that Lauren is sexually fluid is intentionally subtle. Though Lauren is exploring her sexuality, she doesn’t struggle with it — a representation of bisexual and pansexual characters that is rarely seen on TV.”

You’ll covet the clothing

Last year, Vulture hailed Younger as “one of the most fashionable shows on television… Any fan of TVLand’s Younger will be quick to tell you how utterly and completely fabulous the outfits are in every episode.“ This has been a mixed blessing for the cast. As Molly Bernard (Lauren) said during the recent fan Q&A, “I had about four pairs of shoes when I started working on Younger. I now have a rack that goes over my closet door – a 24 pair rack – and it’s not enough space. This show has ruined me – and my bank account.”

You’ll recognise your favourite authors in fictional form

The New Yorker recently called Younger “a Gossip Girl for the publishing industry – a glossy, winking take on a bounded universe of writers and editors and marketing campaigns.” Book clubs will have fun matching the show’s fictional authors to their real-life inspirations, from Candace Bushnell to George RR Martin to John Green. The likes of Jennifer Weiner and Erica Jong have also appeared as themselves on the show. Interestingly, The Marriage Vacation, a fictional book that has become a key plot-point, is now available to buy in real-life, having been published by Simon & Schuster under the show’s fictional Millennial imprint. As The New Yorker wrote, “The lines between Younger and the actual publishing industry feel pleasurably blurry.”

It’s one of the best reviewed series in the world

Younger has a rare 99% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, not to mention Critic’s Choice, People’s Choice, Teen Choice, and Women’s Image Network nominations.  It keeps getting better too: season four was the highest-rated and most watched run yet, ranking as the number one original ad-supported cable sitcom among women 18-49 and women 25-54, according to Nielsen.

“Younger, one of my personal favourites, has been a huge hit with South African audiences, taking bingeing to all new levels season after season,” says Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content: Africa. “It has released at the perfect time, while hubby is hooked to the soccer so I can indulge. Like Sex and the City, which is also on Showmax, it ticks all the romantic comedy boxes for the winter.”

The first four episodes of season five are now available, first on Showmax, followed by episodes 5-8 on 1 August 2018, with the last three episodes express from the US.

What To Stream On Showmax: July – September 2018

CLOAK AND DAGGER S1

First on Showmax
Marvel’s new series is the story of Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) – two teenagers from very different backgrounds, who find themselves burdened by newly acquired superpowers which are mysteriously linked to one another. The first two episodes premiered 8 June 2018, with weekly episodes now coming express from the US.

YOUNGER S5

First on Showmax
Younger stars Sutton Foster as a 40-year-old single mom re-booting her career and love-life by pretending to be in her twenties. Hilary Duff and Miriam Schor co-star in this hit romcom from the creator of Sex and The City. The first four episodes are now available, first on Showmax, followed by episodes 5-8 on 1 August 2018, with the last three episodes express from the US.

THE FOSTERS S5

First on Showmax
A compelling drama about a multi-ethnic family mix of adopted and biological teenaged kids being raised by two moms: Stef Adams Foster, a dedicated police officer, and her wife, Lena Adams Foster, a school vice principal. A Teen Choice Breakout Show and GLAAD winner. Binge all five seasons now on Showmax (South Africa only).

SIREN S1

First on Showmax
Siren takes us inside the mermaid-obsessed coastal town of Bristol Cove. Following the arrival of a mysterious girl, the battle between man and sea takes a vicious turn as the predatory mermaids return to reclaim their right to the ocean. Look out for Zimbabwean–South African actress Sibongile Mlambo (pictured above) in a leading role as one of the mermaids. 93% critics score and 86% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Binge from 9 July 2018.

NOW ON OR COMING SOON

FEEL LIKE AN AFRICAN TELENOVELA?
The River ep1-100 (new episodes daily, express from 1Magic)
In this hit 1Magic telenovela, the Dlaminis and the Mokoenas are two very different families brought together and divided by the discovery of a diamond in Cullinan, a stone’s throw away from Pretoria. Starring Sindi Dlathu, Hlomla Dandala and SAFTA winners Don Mlangeni, Presley Chweneyagae, and Moshidi Motshegwa.

FEEL LIKE A SAFTA-WINNING PRISON DRAMA?
Lockdown S1-2 (binge now)
Set in a women’s prison where power and survival mean everything, this fast-paced drama will take you into the lives of the inmates as they battle demons that hold them prisoner in every sense of the word. Lockdown won SAFTAs this year for Best Script: Drama and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. It was also nominated for Best Cinematography and Production Design. Season three comes to Mzansi Magic on 9 July 2018, so now is the perfect time to catch-up on one of the most acclaimed local series of recent years.

MISSING MONICA FROM ‘FRIENDS’?
Cougar Town S1-6 (binge now)
Courtney Cox (aka Monica from Friends) was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress In A Comedy or Musical for her role as a fortysomething divorcée with a teen son who considers reentering the dating pool, which just happens to be full of younger men… A three-time People’s Choice nominee.

NEED TO LAUGH ABOUT MARRIAGE?
Togetherness S1-2 (binge now)
Some people have it all figured out. These are not those people. In this hit comedy from the Duplass Brothers, a sputtering marriage becomes more complicated when the husband’s friend and the wife’s older sister move in. Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures) and Peter Gallagher (The OC) were both nominated for Critics Choice awards for their roles in Togetherness, which has a 90% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.

MISSING JON SNOW?
Gunpowder S1 (binge now)
Kit Harington (Jon Snow in Game of Thrones) and Liv Tyler (Lord of the Rings) co-star in Gunpowder, a three-part miniseries about British activist Guy Fawkes and a group of provincial English Catholics who plan to blow up the House of Lords and kill King James I in the early 17th century.

NEED SOME TIME WITH MEGHAN MARKLE
Suits S7 (binge now)
Now Meghan Markle is royalty, she’s given up her role as Rachel Zane in Suits, so this is her last season in the hit legal series. 88% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.6 rating on IMDB, where it’s one of the 200 top-ranked shows.

JUST FINISHED BROOKLYN NINE-NINE?
Alone Together (due 01/08, first on Showmax)
Stand-up comedians Esther Povitsky (one of Variety’s “10 comics to watch in 2017”) and Benji Aflalo star as platonic friends who are both millennial misfits overlooked in Los Angeles’ vain and status-obsessed culture. Co-creators include Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Andy Samberg and his Emmy-winning Lonely Island collaborators Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone.

THINK YOUR FAMILY IS DYSFUNCTIONAL?
Succession S1 (due 06/08, first on Showmax)
The Roy family controls one of the biggest media and entertainment conglomerates in the world. But what will the future hold for them once their aging father (Emmy-winner Brian Cox) begins to step back from the company? This HBO show was created by Oscar-nominee Jesse Armstrong, who was nominated for a Writers Guild of America award for his work on Veep and won a BAFTA for Peep Show.

NEED MORE HARLOTS – WITH ADDED LIV TYLER?
Harlots S2 (due 03/09, first on Showmax)
Margaret Wells (Oscar-nominee Samantha Morton) struggles to reconcile her roles as brothel owner and mother to daughters Charlotte (Screen Actors Guild winner Jessica Brown Findlay) and Lucy (Eloise Smyth). When her business comes under attack from Lydia Quigley (Oscar-nominee Lesley Manville), a rival madam with a ruthless streak, Margaret must fight back – even if it means losing her family and possibly her life. 95% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes.

AND SO MUCH MORE…
This is just a small selection of the confirmed series coming to Showmax; many more will be added as contracts are finalised in the coming weeks. Please note schedules are subject to change. Let us know if you need updated lineups or more information and high-res pictures on any of these titles.

Browse everything coming to Showmax in July

Five African-linked Highlights To Stream on Showmax Now

June is a particularly strong month for African content on Showmax. Here are five of the best June additions you can stream right now:

Revolting Rhymes

Premise: It’s based on Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake’s beloved collection of rebooted fairy tales, starring a pistol-packing Red Riding Hood, her resourceful best friend Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf, seven jockeys with gambling debts, three little property developing pigs, and a prince who doesn’t get the girl this time…

Why you should watch: Roald Dahl wrote all your favourite children’s books, like Matilda, The BFG, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, James and The Giant Peach and Fantastic Mr Fox. This BBC Christmas special was partly animated in Cape Town at Triggerfish.

Accolades: Revolting Rhymes was nominated for an Oscar and won everything else, including the International Emmy Kids Award for Animation; Best Animation at the BAFTA Children’s Awards; Best Animated Special at the Annie Awards; and Best One-Off Special at Kidscreen.

Big Men

Premise:  A fast-paced tour through the high-powered world of African oil deals. Or as Variety called it “a real-life Chinatown or There Will Be Blood.”

Why you should watch: The documentary has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, who write, “A good movie gives you a ticket to a secret world and Big Men delivers again and again, taking you into rooms you have no business entering. You’ll eavesdrop on meetings about oil deals worth billions of dollars and watch heavily armed militants preparing to strike.”

Accolades: Big Men won the prestigious Edward R Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Association of America for the “best TV interpretation or documentary on international affairs.” It was also nominated for three News & Documentary Emmy Awards.

Runtime: 1hr39

Versnel

Premise: Two paramedics are on a twelve-hour night shift, treating a patient with multiple stab wounds, when they get hijacked in Cape Town…

Why you should watch: This is based on a true story, which makes it even scarier. The cast is amazing too: SAFTA winner Brendon Daniels (Four Corners) is the patient and Trix Vivier (Waterfront) and Clayton Evertson (Shooting Stars) are the paramedics.

Accolades: Winner of Best Short Film (12 minutes) and Best Screenplay (12 minutes), Silwerskerm, 2017.
Runtime: 12m

Highway Rat

Premise: An adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestseller, The Highway Rat is a swashbuckling tale of a greedy rat who craves buns and biscuits and comes to a sticky end.

Why you should watch: In 2015, Donaldson (The Gruffalo, Room On The Broom, Stick Man) topped the UK book sales charts for the sixth consecutive year – with sales exceeding £10m – the first author to do so. People’s Choice winner David Tennant (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) leads an impressive cast in the title role. And did we mention this was also animated in Cape Town at Triggerfish?

Accolades: Audience Award for 3-6 year olds at New York International Children’s Film Festival; in competition last week at Annecy, the world’s top animation festival.

Runtime: 25m

Point of Order

Premise: Inspired by the shenanigans in the South African Parliament, Point of Order is a comedy panel show that allows SA’s top comedians and special celebrity guests to talk politics like real MPs, perhaps with a little more sense and sensibility.

Why you should watch: It’s produced by Both Worlds, best known for the two-time International Emmy nominee, ZANews’ Puppet Nation. It stars all your favourite comedians, including Savanna Comics Choice winners Tumi Morake, Deep Fried Man, Loyiso Gola and Mark Banks, and many of your favourite celebs too.

Accolades: Season one won the SAFTA for Best Game Show in 2017, with Tumi Morake nominated as Best Presenter. Season two, which is now on Showmax in its entirety, was nominated in both categories again this year.

Runtime: 25 episodes of 28m episodes across two seasons

Other African-linked highlights now available on Showmax include Deon Opperman’s whistleblower thriller series Fluiters, starring Marius Weyers and Sandra Prinsloo; the hit animations Madagascar and Madagascar: Escape To Africa; and the soccer documentaries Men In The Arena, about two Somalis with big dreams, and We Must Go, the story of the Egyptian national team’s attempt to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Check out everything coming to Showmax in June at blog.showmax.com/everything-coming-to-showmax-sa-in-june/.

Marvel’s Cloak And Dagger: “The Superhero Show Of The Summer” Is Now First And Only On Showmax

Cloak & Dagger, Marvel’s new series, is the story of Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) – two teenagers in New Orleans from very different backgrounds.

MARVEL’S CLOAK & DAGGER – “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” is a coming-of-age series based on the beloved comic book characters. Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson come from starkly different backgrounds, each growing up with a secret they never dared share with another soul. ©2018 MARVEL & ABC Studios.

When they were younger, both survived the destruction of a Roxxon Corporation offshore lab during a hurricane – but now find themselves burdened by newly acquired superpowers which are mysteriously linked to one another.

Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone can engulf others in darkness. They quickly learn they are better together than apart but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging.

The first two episodes are now first and only on Showmax in Africa, with the rest of the 10-episode season coming in weekly episodes express from the US.

AUBREY JOSEPH, OLIVIA HOLT – MARVEL’S CLOAK & DAGGER

At the time of writing, the series had an 86% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where it topped their preview of ‘Summer’s Supercharged Superhero TV: What’s Worth Watching.’

Vulture called it “the superhero show of the summer… Trust me. You won’t find a more gently realized, naturalistically performed, and moodily moving meta-human saga anywhere else on the dial. It’s a calm, dreamlike, blissfully tender take on the holes within us — be they caused by systemic injustice, familial collapse, self-medication, or any number of other supervillains — that no amount of radioactive mutation can fill.”

Similarly, USA Today raved, “Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger is exactly what a superhero TV show should be… The kind of show that reminds you why we’re drawn to superheroes in the first place… A ray of light (and darkness) in a sea of spandex, that may just be the purest superhero saga on TV… Earnest, simple, and utterly winning – an emotional and stylish teen drama that mixes in mysticism and metaphor. Cloak and Dagger isn’t a joyful series – it’s an often somber coming-of-age story of two kids deeply traumatized but trying to heal – but it’s joyful to watch it unfold. And isn’t that how a superhero should make you feel?”

Olivia Holt – MARVEL’S CLOAK & DAGGER

Black Reel and Image Awards winner (and Emmy nominee) Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees) directed the first episode, while Joe Pokaski (Underground, Heroes, Daredevil) serves as showrunner and executive producer.

We’re arguably living in the golden age of superhero series, where a quick browse through Showmax alone offers you Runaways, Agent Carter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, Arrow, and Flash. But Cloak & Dagger is even winning over critics who aren’t excited by the current glut. As Newsweek wrote, “Whether you’re a Marvel fan or not, it’s undeniably a must-watch if you want something different.” Similarly, Den of Geek said, “Cloak & Dagger is not just one of the best superhero premieres of the year; it is poised to become one of the best TV dramas of 2018.”

Shadow & Act echoed this, “The gritty, experimental and topical reimagining of this teen superhero drama is excellent… dark, moody and fantastic with massive potential. It has a worldliness that might not always appear in a Marvel series; Cloak & Dagger is much more grounded than most of the superhero shows we’ve seen… It’s weird. It’s trippy. And it’s great. You probably haven’t seen TV like this before.”

Stream Cloak & Dagger here,  first and only on Showmax in Africa.

 

2018 Oscar-nominee Revolting Rhymes Now Streaming First And Only On Showmax

“The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers. She whips a pistol from her knickers.”

There’s the story of Little Red Riding Hood that everyone knows and then there’s the Roald Dahl version. Dahl may be best known for bestselling children’s books like Matilda, The BFG, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, James and The Giant Peach and Fantastic Mr Fox, but it’s Revolting Rhymes, his collection of rebooted fairy tales, that is the most fun to read as a parent.

“I guess you think you know this story. You don’t. The real one’s much more gory,” Dahl writes at the beginning of the first story in the collection, a subversive reworking of Cinderella. “The phoney one, the one you know, was cooked up years and years ago, and made to sound all soft and sappy, just to keep the children happy.”

Now Dahl’s wicked sense of humour has been brought to life in Revolting Rhymes, a two-part animated special that is screening first and only on Showmax in Africa. Like Dahl did, the animation has reimagined the familiar stories anew, this time structuring them around the friendship of the pistol-packing Red Riding Hood and her resourceful best friend Snow White. The Big Bad Wolf, seven jockeys with gambling debts, and three little property-developing pigs all feature, as does Cinderella’s fairy godmother, Jack and a beanstalk and his nasty mother.

Whether you’re looking for an animation to enjoy without the kids or a story to discourage your daughter from waiting for a prince to solve all her problems, this is the animated special for you.

Revolting Rhymes was nominated for an Oscar and won 15 of the world’s biggest animation awards, including the International Emmy Kids Award for Animation; Best Animation at the BAFTA Children’s Awards; Best Animated Special at the Annie Awards; and Best One-Off Special at Kidscreen.

Quentin Blake’s illustrations were brought to life in Cape Town by Triggerfish, who animated Revolting Rhymes for Magic Light Pictures alongside Magic Light’s Berlin office.

Revolting Rhymes was directed by Jakob Schuh (Oscar-nominated for The Gruffalo) and Jan Lachauer (Oscar-nominated for Room on the Broom) and co-directed by Bin Han To. It’s voiced by a stellar cast that includes Dominic West (The Affair) as The Wolf; Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) as Red Riding Hood; and Gemma Chan (Humans) as Snow White.

Showmax now has all three of the BBC Christmas specials that Triggerfish has animated for Magic Light Pictures: Stick Man (2015), Revolting Rhymes (2016) and The Highway Rat (2017), which is also first and only on Showmax in Africa.

An adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestseller, The Highway Rat is a swashbuckling tale of a greedy rat who craves buns and biscuits and comes to a sticky end. People’s Choice winner David Tennant (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) leads an impressive cast in the title role. After screening to 7.5m people over Christmas on the BBC, The Highway Rat recently won the Audience Award for 3-6 year olds at New York International Children’s Film Festival.

Next week, The Highway Rat will compete for Best TV Film at Annecy, the world’s most prestigious animation festival, which runs from 11-16 June 2018 in France. This is the third year in a row that a Magic Light Pictures production with animation from Triggerfish is in line for the award; their previous collaborations Revolting Rhymes and Stick Man won the Grand Cristal Award in Annecy for TV in 2017 and 2016 respectively.

Showmax also has Magic Light’s previous Donaldson/Scheffler adaptations: The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and Room On The Broom, which also all won at Annecy.

Africa’s leading animation studio, Triggerfish has produced two of the top five highest-grossing South African feature films of all time: Adventures in Zambezia (2012) and Khumba (2013). Triggerfish is currently in production on their third feature film, Seal Team, and on Zog, another Donaldson/Scheffler adaptation produced by Magic Light Pictures for BBC for Christmas 2018. Jeremy Collins and Kelly Dillon’s short film, Belly Flop, is also screening at Annecy, as part of the closing ceremony.

Stream Revolting Rhymes here and The Highway Rat here, first and only on Showmax in Africa.

  • ‘Revolting Rhymes’ was nominated for an Oscar and won 15 major international awards
  • • ‘The Highway Rat’ is in competition for Best TV Film at Annecy next week
  • ’Revolting Rhymes’ and ‘The Highway Rat’ both animated in Cape Town at Triggerfish
  • ‘Revolting Rhymes’ & ‘The Highway Rat’ are both first and only on Showmax in Africa

New Titles To Stream For Free: AfriDocs

This month- catch a range of new titles now available to STREAM FREE, anytime, anywhere via www.afridocs.net.  Many of these films have never been available to stream before and reflect a range of stories from across Africa and beyond. The new film, Ethiopiques is a highlight available NOW and is a powerful film about the rise, fall and redemption of a group of spectacular Ethiopian Jazz musicians who in the swinging 60’s ignited an explosive cultural revolution in Addis Ababa.

AfriDocs is the only place to find Africa’s best documentaries available to stream for free, with a library of over 50 titles always available and always free, make sure to

Ethiopiques – Revolt of the Soul | Maciej Bochniak | Ethiopia | 2017 | 70 min

A film about the rise, fall and redemption of a group of spectacular Ethiopian Jazz musicians who in the swinging 60’s ignited an explosive cultural revolution in Addis Ababa. Their music was sublime but this golden era was brought to an end by the military regime that took over the country and forced the musicians into exile and jail. Now, after many years, they are back on a world stage, making up for lost time and still swinging. Our film follows the inspirational figures whose amazing life stories illustrate music’s power of redemption in the face of war and heartbreak.

afridocs.net/watch-now/ethiopiques-revolt-soul/

Punishment Island | Laura Cini | Uganda | 2017 | 56 mins

In remote South-Western Uganda, women who broke the taboo of premarital sex were abandoned on a tiny island to die. About to submerge beneath the waters of surrounding lake Bunyonyi, the island’s last wish is to find survivors before “her” story becomes but a myth.

afridocs.net/watch-now/punishment-island/

Ladies Turn | Hélène Harder | Senegal | 2012 | 52 min

In 2009, in Senegal, where “football is king,” a women’s football street tournament is organised for the first time by the association Ladies’ Turn. Despite the passionate commitment of Seyni, the former captain of the women’s national team, and of the women and men that fight at her side, the game is far from won.  Defying taboos and prejudices, the girls play on the fields for a growing audience. Will they be allowed to go all the way and play the game they love?

afridocs.net/watch-now/ladies-turn/

Light Fly, Fly High | Beathe Hofseth, Susann Østigaard | India | 2013 | 80 min

Thulasi is a young Indian girl who is literally willing to fight for the right to be herself. Coming from a poor background, Thulasi’s life is in many ways pre-determined. Her family wants her to get married, her chances of getting a decent job are slim and being an untouchable, she has to accept her position at the very bottom of the social ladder. But Thulasi is different. She wants to be in control of her own destiny and live life her own way. She wants to be someone. She wants to be a boxer.

afridocs.net/watch-now/light-fly-fly-high/

Scarred: The Anatomy of a Massacre | Judy Kibinge | Kenya | 2015 | 60 mins

In 1984, Kenyan Security forces rounded up 5000 men in a remote part of Northern Kenya, herded them onto a deserted airstrip. Over four days, they were tortured, maimed and killed. Three decades later, scarred survivors narrate the story of their ordeal the country’s first Truth and Justice and Reconciliation Commission traveling all the way to the capital city of Nairobi to see the government administrators they hold responsible also standing to testify. Will justice be served to a community that’s waited three decades long for it?

afridocs.net/watch-now/scarred-anatomy-massacre-african-documentary/