Must-watch Showmax True-crime Trailer “Original Sin: My Son The Killer”

Showmax has just dropped the harrowing trailer for Original Sin: My Son The Killer, a true-crime feature documentary premiering on the African streamer on Friday, 22 March 2024. Abacus Media Rights is handling international sales.

Original Sin follows Thea Pretorius, the mother of Gerhard Jansen van Vuuren, who murdered his 25-year-old girlfriend Andrea Venter in front of her neighbours, security guards and CCTV cameras. He then escaped authorities in South Africa and Brazil for years, assuming three different identities and starting families with multiple women. After initially helping him escape, Thea slowly had to come to terms with her son being a killer. As she admits in the trailer, “He’s capable of worse things.” 

“Every 63 seconds a woman becomes a victim of gender-based violence in South Africa,” says director John Gutierrez, whose debut feature Sons of the Sea was named Best South African Film at the Durban International Film Festival. “Before Andrea was murdered, she was hunted by Gerhard. She did everything that could be expected of her, including filing a restraining order and moving cities, but it wasn’t enough.”

Former South African Police Service head profiler Dr Gérard Labuschagne says in Original Sin that this is the case that “stands out the most” in his career.  

The cat and mouse chase across two continents is interwoven with CCTV footage of Andrea’s murder; footage from Gerhard’s trials; and interviews with both their families, as well as the Brazilian Federal Police, Rio de Janeiro Interpol and the South African police and legal teams on the case. 

Thea’s perspective is central. “She’s asking herself how her little boy with ‘a gentle spirit’ became a murderer, and what her responsibility is,” says John, who also edited Peter Bogdanovich’s Grammy-winning Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream. “Thea is both Gerhard’s mother and a survivor of gender-based violence herself, so she’s deeply conflicted.” 

Original Sin is a co-production between Showmax, who kickstarted the current true-crime wave in South Africa with the record-breaking, SAFTA-winning Devilsdorp; Rogan Productions (BAFTA winner Uprising, International Emmy winner Freddie Mercury: The Final Act and Realscreen winner Putin: A Russian Spy Story); and Electric Shadow Company (BAFTA nominee McQueen and Hot Docs Jury winner Name Me Lawand), in association with Red Earth (Narcoworld: Dope Stories) and Combined Artists, the South African production company behind the iconic investigative journalism show Carte Blanche and the SAFTA-nominated true-crime series Strangers You Know

Original Sin is produced by South African Sarah Laita and Jay Taylor from Electric Shadow Company and Mark Hedgecoe and James Rogan from Rogan Productions, with Jana Marx (Devilsdorp) as editorial producer. 

“As a South African now living in London, this story is close to my heart,” says Sarah. “I was back in South Africa in 2020 during one of the lockdowns when I first heard about this story and was captivated by it. Beyond all its twists and turns, it’s a deeply moving family drama that shows how gender-based violence and femicide continue to be a deep problem not only in South Africa but around the world.”

Mark adds, “Original Sin is a story which works at two levels. On the one hand it is the compelling account of a resourceful and clever murderer going on the run, and the authorities’ urgent efforts to track him down. But it also gives powerful insight into the many women who were his victims – most obviously Andrea, who he killed, but also his mother, Thea. It’s this that gives the story real depth.”


Showmax, launched in 2015 and available in more than 40 markets across the continent, is a leading African streaming service. It offers a unique combination of original African content, first and exclusive international series, popular movies, premium documentaries and the best kids’ shows, and a mobile-only product to watch the Premier League (PL).

Further details:


The Electric Shadow Company (ESC) is a London-based production company that develops, finances, produces and distributes feature films, TV series and documentaries to a global audience. 

ESC produced the re-imagining of The Crow, directed by Rupert Sanders and starring Bill Skarsgård, which Lionsgate will release this summer. They are in post-production with Return to Silent Hill, directed by Christophe Gans, and sci-fi survival thriller The Occupant.

Recent productions include Carol Morley’s Out of Blue, BAFTA-nominated Boiling Point, and feature documentary Name Me Lawand, which won the Jury Prize at Hot Docs in 2023.

Further details:


Founded in 2013, Rogan Productions has fast become a world leader in the field of high-end, global documentary. Led by James and Soleta Rogan and supported by some of the best talent in the documentary industry, Rogan has won and been nominated for over 40 major awards in the past 5 years alone.

Recent credits include the BAFTA award-winning series Uprising, BAFTA-nominated Freddie Mercury: The Final Act and BAFTA-nominated, Realscreen award-winning series Putin: A Russian Spy Story. Rogan Productions recently released the landmark biopic Becoming Frida Kahlo for BBC Arts to critical acclaim and the widely-lauded Rose Ayling Ellis: Signs For Change for BBC One.

Further details:


Abacus Media Rights (AMR) acquires and distributes a diverse slate of premium, multi-genre programming in the international market. At the same time, the company also works with producers to facilitate pre-sales and development finance as well as broadcaster commissions. Embracing a fully transparent reporting ethos throughout, AMR focuses on building strong client relationships and generating positive solutions at every stage of the process, from initial financing to worldwide broadcast to successfully deliver scripted and non-scripted entertainment that counts to a global audience.  

Abacus Media Rights is an Amcomri Entertainment company. Amcomri Entertainment Inc (NEO Exchange Canada: AMEN) (FRANKFURT: 25Y0) (New York OTC: AMNNF) is a global independent producer, distributor, sales agent, and financier of film and TV content –- breaking down the barriers for independent filmmakers and taking their stories global.

Further details: 

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB | Actor | Armourer | Tech Enthusiast With over two decades in the film industry, I'm a seasoned actor and skilled armourer. I hold numerous certifications in acting and filmmaking, complemented by degrees and diplomas in IT and technology, giving me a unique blend of creative and technical expertise. When I'm not on set or in the workshop, you'll find me immersed in the world of gaming and VR, fuelling my passion for cutting-edge technology. Connect with me: X / Twitter Facebook Instagram Mastodon Threads Explore my work on SAMDB IMDb