From the much anticipated first seasons of Unfollowed to Desert Rose and the 2022 DIFF award winner film 1960, these hits are streaming on Showmax this month.
1960 | Stream from 3 August
When the remains of an apartheid-era policeman are discovered 60 years after he went missing, Lindi, a retired jazz singer, revisits her past to help with the investigation. But how much does she know, and what is she holding back?
1960 premiered as the opening night film at last year’s Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), where it went on to win Best South African Feature Film. The DIFF jury called it “a powerful historical re-imagination that lays bare some of the chasms of trauma in our history and the effect that this has generationally,” adding, “The film offers a sensitive portrait of a powerful woman with full agency and highlights a narrative sensitive to gendered erasure.”
Zandile Madliwa (Gwyneth in The Kissing Booth movies) stars as the young Lindi, while Ivy Nkutha (Generations, Faith’s Corner) plays the older Lindi, who tells her story to Detective Kuda Maseko (Sisa Hewana from Isidingo) in the modern-day timeline.
1960 was a passion project for SAFTA-winning and Annie Award-nominated composer Bruce Retief (Freedom Road, Khumba, Zambezia), who drew on the spirit of the greats of Sophiatown for the score and wrote and produced the film alongside Khaya Maseko. Co-producer and cinematographer Michael Mutombo directed the present-day scenes, while King Shaft (Uzalo, Skeem Saam, Isibaya) directed the 60s timeline.
From 3 August 2023, fans of South African films can also stream the road trip movie Gat In Die Muur, which earned Tinarie van Wyk Loots (Troukoors, Desert Rose, Recipes for Love and Murder) the 2021 SAFTA for Best Actress in a Feature Film.
The Greyling siblings reunite at their family home in the Namaqualand desert in the Northern Cape after one of them reneges on a decade-long deal to settle the debts they took on when their father (Neil Sandilands from DAM and Sweet Tooth) abandoned them and disappeared. To get out of ruthless debt collector Eugene Van As’s crosshairs, they need to come up with the cash or find their father – before Van As and his thugs take them all down.
Desert Rose is from the writer (Rohan Dickson) and producer (Quizzical Pictures) of the hit local crime series Reyka, which was nominated for Best Drama Series and Best Actress at last year’s International Emmys. SAFTA nominee Cindy Lee (The Girl From St. Agnes) directs.
SAFTA winner Tinarie Van Wyk Loots (Gat In Die Muur, Fynskrif, 4 Mure), Moffie lead actor Kai Luke Brummer, Amalia Uys (Die Byl), and SAFTA nominee Christia Visser (Tess, Kaalgat Karel) co-star as the Greyling siblings, alongside the likes of SAFTA winners Brendon Daniels (Skemerdans), Inge Beckmann (Stam and 8), Craig Urbani (Isidingo) and Tarryn Lamb (Suidooster), not to mention SAFTA nominee Roeline Daneel (Krotoa) and Danny Ross (Skemerdans, Nommer 37).
Fans of local drama should also look out for kykNET’s Spoorloos S4: Die Eiland, which is now available to binge. Stefan Claassen (singer Bobby van Jaarsveld from Liefling and As Jy Sing) is a young architect whose life is thrown into chaos following a chance encounter with his long-lost first love, Emma (Izel Bezuidenhout from Dis Ek, Anna, Dominee Tienie and Flatland). When she goes missing just hours later, Stefan becomes the prime suspect in her murder. At the upcoming Silwerskerm Festival Awards for Film and Television, Van Jaarsveld and Bezuidenhout are up for Best Actor and Actress respectively, with Hannes van Wyk (Egoli) also nominated as Supporting Actor.
Produced by G.O.A.T (Life With Kelly Khumalo), Unfollowed is an eight-part documentary series that unpacks the growing phenomenon of cancel culture and its impact in South Africa. The trailer has already had over 2.3m views on Twitter alone – a Showmax record.
Hosted by Newzroom Afrika’s Thembekile Mrototo, each episode of Unfollowed will focus on a different South African celebrity. The Showmax Original will start with singer Lady Zamar. In 2017, Lady Zamar opened a case of rape against Sjava, who maintained his innocence. The National Prosecuting Authority declined to prosecute, citing insufficient evidence. In the first episode of Unfollowed, Lady Zamar will reflect on everything that happened, as well as the continuous backlash she still receives on social media. Journalists, activists and legal experts will also weigh in.
In addition to Lady Zamar, presenter and musician Jub Jub, influencer Mihlali, presenter Nonhle Thema, poet and musician Ntsiki Mazwai, media personality Phat Joe, comedian Tol Ass Mo, and actress Zoe Mthiyane will also give us their raw, first-hand takes on what it really means to have your reputation attacked and your career hanging in the balance.
The Showmax Original This Body Works For Me is back. The 18SNL reality series about the South African adult entertainment industry topped the charts on Twitter and Showmax during its first season, thanks to its mix of fun, drama, sisterhood and sexiness.
Bubbly, Gina, Primadonna and Wandi all return in Season 2, joined by newcomers Dione Xanthe, Diamond and Lebo, the first trans woman on the show.
This Body Works For Me is produced by POP24, who are also behind the smash-hit Showmax Original reality series The Mommy Club, which becomes available to binge on 21 August 2023.