“I liked the idea of exploring the inner psyche of somebody who kills for a living. And how he qualifies his notion of what he’s doing from what other people might ‘misperceive’ it as.” says director David Fincher of The Killer, who re-unites with screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker, with whom he created the indelible serial killer thriller Se7en.

A streamlined thriller about an assassin discovering his limits, The Killer is the twelfth feature of director David Fincher.

The Cinema has long been fascinated with the mysterious lone wolf assassin, from Le Samouraï (1967) to The American (2010) .

In contrast to an unknowable, glamorous figure, The Killer makes us privy to his inner thoughts, as well as his bland, practical reality.

“We thought it would be interesting if the ‘cool’ assassin movie tropes were all taken away,” says Fincher.
There are no nightclubs or bespoke suits here – this man shops in airports, stays in chain hotels and does
everything he can to blend in. “I wanted him to be somebody that you wouldn’t notice on the street,” says
Fassbender of his cold-eyed antihero. “He’s not a person you could identify just by looking at him, but
once you get inside his head…”

Adapted from the acclaimed graphic novel written by “Matz” (Alexis Nolent), The Killer explores the
boundaries of the revenge movie. “In a revenge movie, you want to see people get their revenge,” says Fincher. “We just used the idea to ask: ‘Or do you?’”

The audience shares the point of view of the title character, hearing his personal maxims as he attempts
to re-order his life.

“Stick to your plan. Anticipate, don’t improvise. Trust no one. Never yield an advantage. Fight only the battle you’re paid to fight…”

But as The Killer travels target to target, from France to the Dominican Republic to America, we find life – and death – doesn’t always follow the rules

Paris, night. An unnamed man in unremarkable clothes, The Killer (Michael Fassbender) watches from the floor of an empty office, across from the plush apartment of his target, rifle at hand. Measured, and controlled, he takes every step to ensure the job goes flawlessly… It doesn’t. The Killer flees, following his strict personal mantra of dispassionate action. But his employers want him erased. By attacking his home, they disturb his sanctuary and, with it, his sense of self. This – he will not abide, traveling through the Dominican Republic and the United States, eliminating anyone who might disrupt his hard-won peace again

What drew David Fincher to the ruthless French comic book, and the inspiration of its creator…

David Fincher first read The Killer shortly after the 2007 publication of an English-language edition of the
acclaimed French comic book series, which first appeared in 1998 and still runs today, 25 years on.

A provocative look into the mind of a sardonic assassin, The Killer is fueled by the dark humor and righteous anger of author Alexis “Matz” Nolent and the pristine and distinctive drawing of artist Luc Jacamon.

“He told me he loved the comic book, what it said, how it unfolded – everything,” says Nolent, who remembered Fincher’s enthusiastic reaction through the years that followed.

Whether it was timing or taste, attempts to adapt the material didn’t come to fruition until Fincher turned to his long-standing collaborator, screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker

Screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker

Fincher and Walker had first worked together on Se7en, the unforgettable 1995 serial killer movie which marked Walker’s screen debut and the first Fincher feature to fully display the talent of the director, who had made his name in music videos.

Walker also contributed uncredited rewrites on other Fincher films The Game (1997) and Fight Club (1999) and the pair speak frequently.

“Andy and I have talked for a long time about the idea of intercepted thoughts,” says Fincher. “How honest is their introspection?”

While the source material is quite expansive in what it covers – both in terms of story and politics –
the screenplay strips things back to become a more straightforward story of delivering retribution. But within that simplicity, there is an interesting contrast between what the nameless assassin says he believes – as expressed through his voiceover – and how he actually behaves.

“I love the idea of the code amongst assassins,” says Fincher. “But from a storytelling standpoint, what made this rise to the level of ‘We should do this next’ was how it dealt so specifically with subjectivity. You are inside this guy’s head.”

David Fincher during the filming of The Killer. Cr. Netflix ©2023

The audience is given access to the innermost thoughts of a hired killer, but also sees how his theoretical view of the world contrasts with reality.

“If you’re tapped into their thoughts, how do they reconcile what they do with what they believe?”

From The Adventures of Tintin to Asterix to Métal hurlant (a.k.a. Heavy Metal), comic books – or graphic novels, as the collected works are known – in France have long displayed a variety and received a level of respect that has only more recently been mirrored in America. There is great creative freedom within the medium, and it also provides a unique way to deal with perspective.

The difference between thought and reality, which so appealed to Fincher, drew Nolent to write the story in this format in the first place, after starting it as a traditional prose novel.

“I realized it would be more interesting as a graphic novel,” says Nolent. “Because of the discrepancy I wanted between what you read and what you see. You see how The Killer acts, but you are inside his head. What he does and what he thinks do not match.”

Seeing life through the eyes – and scope – of an assassin puts the audience in an interesting position, as
they may inevitably find themselves rooting for someone whose behavior is, put mildly, questionable.

Fincher admires Melville’s movie, while cinephiles may also see shades of Alfred Hitchcock in The Killer,
with its sardonic tone and opening stakeout, which recalls the voyeurism of Rear Window (1954). The
wry commentary of the title character, though, should not blind you to his savagery. The Killer is the story’s protagonist, but hardly its hero, whatever some people might think.

“A lot of readers tell me they agree with him,” says Nolent. “Or, they thought like that but never
expressed it. Sometimes they take the extra step of thinking The Killer is likable – this is not the intention.”

Michael Fassbender as an assassin in The Killer. Cr. Netflix ©2023

Fassbender certainly doesn’t want viewers to admire or aspire to his character.

“It should be terrifying when he does things,” says the Irish actor. “Just a blank face shooting at you. No emotion is involved. It’s just empty. This is hopefully a character that makes you feel ill at ease. I don’t want him to be cool.”

As well as appreciating Andrew Kevin Walker’s screenplay – and Fincher’s films overall – Fassbender
saw it as an opportunity to learn, exploring the methods of another director. When he worked with Malick on Song To Song, he knew it would be a free-wheeling, improvisational experience. “I thought, ‘It’ll be like going back to school, it’s a workshop.’” In contrast, he knew of Fincher’s specificity and desire to execute material in a particular, precise way. “So with Fincher, doing multiple takes, I thought, ‘It’s time for me to see this other way of shooting.’”

The actor loved it, finding working with the director a true partnership. “He’s been so generous and
collaborative from the beginning. It’s nice to be included like that. And it helps us move forward quickly. When I’m looking at the monitor, especially with technical stuff, like a fight sequence, he shows me exactly what he’s looking for and hopefully I can get there more efficiently.”

Michael Fassbender as an assassin in The Killer. Cr. Netflix ©2023

It’s useful to have an actor who is secure in himself when so many other elements need to be aligned to
capture a take that comes close to matching what Fincher has in mind.

“It was an interesting experience directing the movie because I knew that it was all about witnessing
behavior,” says Fincher, reflecting on following the central character.

“How do you show somebody who’s in it for the long haul, is not expending energy on shit they don’t need, who’s completely focused on their prey?”

David Fincher and Michael Fassbender during the filming of The Killer. Cr. Netflix ©2023

The Killer doesn’t interact with many people, Fincher notes, but you witness how he moves through the world, “and his world is supposed to be in parallel to ours. My hope is that if the movie affects people they start to question who’s in line behind them at Home Depot.”

The authenticity of Hunter Killer started with its source material: the novel “Firing Point,” written by George Wallace, the highly experienced, retired commander of the nuclear attack submarine the USS Houston, along with the award-winning journalist and best-selling author Don Keith.

The film takes the classic submarine thriller—with all its nail-biting tension, claustrophobia, physical and psychological pressure—into the post-Cold War era when flash coups and counter-reactions can alter the balance of world power overnight.

Deep under the Arctic Ocean, American submarine Captain Joe Glass (Gerard Butler, Olympus Has
Fallen , 300 ) is on the hunt for a U.S. sub in distress when he discovers a secret Russian coup is in the offing, threatening to dismantle the world order. With crew and country on the line, Captain Glass must now assemble an elite group of Navy SEALs to rescue the kidnapped Russian president and sneak through enemy waters to stop WWIII.

As the steely Captain Glass comes face-to-face with his stoic Russian counterpart, Captain Andropov (Michael Nyqvist), it becomes clear that the wary, distrustful bond between them may be all that stands between the world and nuclear catastrophe.

The cinematic appeal of the book was so strong that chatter about a film adaption began.

The book’s action-packed plot, based on Wallace’s extensive knowledge, twisted and turned through a Russian nationalist coup, a Black Ops Navy SEAL mission and an attack submarine captain faced with decisions that could halt—or instantly ignite— WWIII. Complex as it was, the story was so teeth-grittingly plausible it kept readers up late at night. Even more than the thrills, readers were transported into life on a nuclear sub, immersed into the cramped, sundeprived, nerve-shredding ambience where steadiness and honor are the only bedrock to be found.

The cinematic appeal of the book was so strong that chatter about a film adaption began. For more than a century, filmmakers have been drawn to the deepest deep.

Indeed, the submarine movie has been a popular genre since the earliest days of commercial motion pictures.

From the silent Secret of the Submarine in 1915 to a flood of nerve-wracking WWII sub movies to the groundbreakingly visceral German film Das Boot to the blockbuster adaptations of Tom Clancy’s The Hunt For Red Octob er and Crimson Tide in the 1990s, the tightly contained space inside a sub full of soldiers facing extremes of confinement, anxiety and danger has been rife with the stuff of drama.

But in the wake of vast changes in submarine technology—and in the world—in the new millennium, no film had yet submersed itself into life on a 21st Century naval submarine.

Arne Schmidt is an assistant director and producer, known for Chain Reaction (1996), RoboCop (1987) and xXx (2002).

This changed when screenwriters Arne L. Schmidt and Jamie Moss adapted “Firing Point” into Hunter Killer . Compressing the 700-plus-page novel into a taut exploration of the battle to stop a war both on land and below the water.

Comments producer Toby Jaffe, “I love any movie that transports you into a world you don’t really know— and Hunter Killer really does that. We approached it as both a highly entertaining dramatic thriller and an opportunity to take the audience into the world of submarine culture in a way that is authentic and contemporary to our times. Our focus from the start was on making the film as true to life, timely and of the-moment as we could.”

Jamie Moss is an actor and writer, known for Ghost in the Shell (2017), Street Kings (2008) and Last Man Home.

Everyone involved was drawn to the exhilarating idea of merging what would usually be three different kinds of thrillers—an edge-of-your-seat submarine thriller; a hazard-filled SEALs expedition into enemy territory; and a clashing of the minds in a military War Room—into one portrait of a world hurtling towards war.

Taking Command

Donovan Marsh

To make that mix come alive on the screen in a very 2018 way, the producers went in search of a young director with a fresh POV. They found what they were looking for in an unlikely place: South Africa, where Donovan Marsh had just come to the fore with his stylish, award-winning crime drama iNumber, Number. “We were very excited to find a young filmmaker who was ready and excited to bring a different sensibility to the submarine thriller,” says Jaffe.

Marsh’s furiously paced, hyperkinetic style seemed to lend itself to breaking open the closed-in spaces of a submarine.

As hoped for, the script grabbed Marsh’s attention and sparked a driving passion. “I felt it was the best military thriller I’d ever read,” he recalls.

“The essence of any great thriller is that you can’t predict what’s going to happen next, and as I read this script, I was genuinely on edge all the way. Plus it had such great, tough characters facing huge dilemmas that are too real.” In line with the producers, Marsh immediately envisioned going to whatever lengths he could to create an authentically 21st Century submarine immersion for audiences. “I wanted the interior of our submarine to look precisely like a real nuclear submarine. I wanted everything on our sets to be so real that a submariner wouldn’t know the difference,” explains Marsh. “And I wanted people to talk in the way they talk aboard submarines—because even though the audience might now know exactly what that terminology is, they know when the dialogue and atmosphere has that crack of realness.”

The filmmakers all knew that the authenticity could only really be set in motion with the support and involvement of the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense. Driven by deep respect for the real men and women who defend the oceans in near invisibility, the filmmakers secured an early agreement to partner with the U.S. Navy in nearly every aspect of the production. “Early on, we approached the Department of Defense and the Navy to ask for their help,” explains Jaffe. “We were very grateful to be given so much, including the chance to spend time on working submarines and to have Navy technical advisors on set at all times assuring we could recreate the latest submarines down to the knobs and dials and get all the little details right, down to the lingo and commands.”

Featuring an all-star cast led by Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman and Common, the film’s action moves from deep sea to land and back again. But most of all, Hunter Killer , authentically captures the 21st Century world of the so-called “silent service,” the men and women who serve by patrolling the deep, while their boldest exploits often go unheard and unseen.

Says Butler: “When I first read this script a few years ago, I loved it immediately. It’s a classic story with a heck of a lot of great action, a heck of an intricate plot and a whole cast of fantastic characters who are heroes from different walks of life. It felt like an exciting way to revive the submarine thriller for these times. And right now, this story couldn’t feel more relevant.”

Summarizes director Donovan Marsh, “ Hunter Killer is about a fictional event—but it could easily occur in today’s world. There have been many recent news articles about how Russian and American submarines are chasing each other under water in dangerous ways. Yet, because it’s happening under the ocean, the public never knows what’s going on. That’s how our movie begins: with two submarines ghosting each other through the ocean … resulting in an incident that quickly escalates to the brink of war. I think audiences will be thrilled, they’ll be moved and they’ll have a good deal of fun, all while watching a story highly significant to what’s happening in 2018.”

Romeo et Juliette

Ryan Reynolds, left, and Director John Krasinski on the set of Paramount Pictures’ “IF.”
Director Wes Ball on the set of 20th Century Studios’ KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Photo by Jasin Boland. © 2024 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Andrew Kevin Walker

John Lee Hancock, directing and producing The Little Things from a script he wrote almost 30 years ago, wanted to approach the gritty nature of the job as a means of exploring both the intellectual and psychological sides of solving crimes. MORE

American actor and screenwriter Jason Fuchs is the mind and words behind some big name productions, namely Ice Age: Continental Drift, Wonder Woman, Pan and I Still See You

“My advice for aspiring writers is write, write, write. Always be writing. Work harder than the next guy, but be a generally decent human. Far more than my talent, the keys to my very limited success have been temperament and hard work. As a writer, you have to have the ability to be punched in the face repeatedly and come back for more with a smile on your face. It requires tremendous resilience. Every success I’ve had in the business has been the result of a lot of failure. Pan is a great example. I’ve had as much if not more rejection than anybody in the history of the business, but I’ve been able to push back, get up and keep going.”

Jason Fuchs

Their screenplay was a major meta-shift, a fictional version of the real-life author about a reclusive spy novelist who gets catapulted into real-world espionage when the plots of her books get a little too close to the activities of a nefarious spy.

“My primary motivation is to craft a compelling narrative,” Mathhew Vaugh. “I don’t aim to reinvent the genre, but to provide a fresh perspective. I direct as if I were an audience member, thinking about what I would like to see or what unexpected elements I can incorporate to keep it feeling new.”

Early in the scripting process, Vaughn and Fuchs decided that the film would fuse the real world, in which Elly Conway is on the run with Aidan, and the world she created, in which Argylle, the unstoppable secret agent, holds sway. As the danger for Elly escalates, the lines between her imaginary world and the real one blur with increasing speed and frequency. As a result, the audience is catapulted into a cinematic rocket ride where convention and expectation are constantly upended.

“I prefer movies that provide escapism, a combination of glamour and grit,” Vaughn says. “For me, beauty is essential. When I used to watch Bond movies as a kid, I felt I was on an adventure—going places I had never gone and seeing people I had never seen. It was an astonishing feeling and I have tried to recreate that type of feeling with this film.”

The greater the spy, the bigger the lie. Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard) the reclusive author of a series of best-selling espionage novels, whose idea of bliss is a night at home with her computer and her cat, Alfie. But when the plots of Elly’s fictional books—which center on secret agent Argylle and his mission to unravel a global spy syndicate—begin to mirror the covert actions of a real-life spy organization, quiet evenings at home become a thing of the past. She’s accompanied by Aidan, a cat-allergic spy (Sam Rockwell), Elly (carrying Alfie in her backpack) races across the world to stay one step ahead of the killers as the line between Elly’s fictional world and her real one begins to blur. Elly’s imagined book characters agent are Argylle (Henry Cavill), best friend Wyatt (John Cena), their fearless field tech, Keira (Ariana Debose), Fowler, a senior member of agent Argylle’s organization (Richard E. Grant) , and Argylle’s elegant, lethal nemesis Lagrange (Dua Lipa). The film’s real-world characters are Ritter, the director of the evil spy organization known as The Division (Bryan Cranston), Elly’s mother, Ruth (Catherine O’hara), Saba Al-Badr, the mysterious “Keeper of Secrets (Sofia Boutella), former CIA deputy director Alfred Solomon (Samuel L. Jackson), Alfie is played by Chip, the real-life cat of supermodel Claudia Vaughn (née Schiffer).

In 2020, with the world in lockdown, visionary filmmaker Matthew Vaughn—the director and producer of The Kingsman films, Kick-Ass, Stardust and Layer Cake, and the producer of Snatch; Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Rocketman and Tetris— sat down at his home outside London and decided to stage a film-appreciation class for his wife, Claudia Vaughn (née Schiffer), and their two daughters, who were around 10 and 15 years old at the time. “Because it was lockdown, it gave me license to keep screening movies for them to watch,” Vaughn says. He showed them movies such as John Hughes’ 1986 high school comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but it was the 1984 Robert Zemeckis comedy-adventure Romancing the Stone, starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, which made the biggest impression on them. “It played like gangbusters,” Vaughn says.

He then screened Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic North by Northwest for them, in which an ordinary man (albeit one who looks like Cary Grant) gets swept up in an extraordinary, espionage-tinged adventure. His girls went crazy for it. “And I thought, ‘I want to make a movie like that for my daughters,’” Vaughn says.

As it turned out, the answer—or rather, the genesis of one—would soon land on his desk in the form of a manuscript for an unpublished spy novel by an unknown author. Elly Conway’s book, Argylle, was, Vaughn says, the best spy thriller he had ever read. But the structure of the novel was straightforward, focused on a young secret agent named Argylle, and Vaughn is not a straightforward filmmaker. Throughout his career, Vaughn has used source material as a cliff from which he can make daring, often breathtaking, creative and narrative leaps, and Argylle would be no exception.

Far from a traditional adaptation, the film of Argylle would use the world and characters of the book as inspiration only, functioning as a springboard for an entirely new, original film.

L to R: Sam Rockwell as Aiden and Bryce Dallas Howard is Elly Conway in ARGYLLE. © Universal Pictures / All rights reserved

Fuchs and Vaughn collaborated closely, and at all hours, to make sure that every aspect of the script was as sharp, unexpected, witty and thrilling as possible.

“What I admire about Matthew’s approach to development is his secure and confident style,” Fuchs says. “From the beginning, it was clear that the elements that excited me about the story were the same things that excited him. Our notes and the development process flowed organically. Matthew’s fearlessness as a storyteller encouraged me to take bolder and unconventional paths, even if it pushed me out of my comfort zone.”

Out of the comfort zone is exactly where Vaughn thrives, and where he loves to transport audiences – as he’s done as director and producer of The Kingsman films, Kick-Ass, Stardust and Layer Cake, and the producer of Snatch; Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Rocketman and Tetris.

“The cinema remains one of the last places where we, as a society, can connect on a deeply human level,” Vaughn says. “It’s a place where we can come together and experience the rollercoaster of emotions, the highs and lows, as a collective. This film, in particular, was made for the big screen. It’s grand and filled with unexpected moments you won’t see coming. When you’re in a theater, surrounded by fellow audience members, and those moments hit, the reactions create an unforgettable experience. It’s more fun, more immersive. It is pure escapism, something we all need in a world that is not always sunny. A little ray of sunshine, even in a dark room, is a good idea.”

Although Vaughn had made a series of spy thrillers with the two Kingsman movies and their prequel, The King’s Man, he was drawn to the chance to embrace a new world of spies and double-crosses, and a completely new tone. “There’s a fantasy world of spies that I’ve been portraying in many movies for years,” says Vaughn. “The joke here is that this is the real world, and Aidan and Elly are normal, accessible people.”

Dua Lipa and Henry Cavill in ARGYLLE. © Universal Pictures / All rights reserved

Novelist by day, cat mom by night, Bryce Dallas Howard was immediately wowed by the screenplay. “This is a spy thriller like you’ve never seen before, and I couldn’t believe it when I was reading it,” Howard says. “I thought, ‘I think I can play this character.’ And then I thought, ‘Wait, I think I am this character.’ As a 40-year-old woman, it’s not every day you get a part like this sent your way. It feels like a small miracle, so empowering and satisfying and fun. It is the best script I have ever read and the best part I have ever gotten to play.”

In every way that Elly Conway’s imaginary secret agent, Argylle, is smooth and confident, real-life secret agent Aidan.

Sam Rockwell as Aiden, Alfie, Bryce Dallas Howard is Elly Conway in ARGYLLE. © Universal Pictures / All rights reserved

Rockwell was happy to dive into Aidan’s world head-first. “I was very excited by the first read of the script,” Rockwell says. “We added a kind of Han Solo humor to Aidan. He is an amalgam of anti-heroes I have watched over the years, including Bill Murray, Jack Nicholson, Richard Pryor and even Mercutio. He pretends to be a bit of a cad, but he’s just posing as Mercutio. He is really Romeo at heart.”

All that analysis came in handy on set and forged a bond between Rockwell and Vaughn. “We connected as nerdy cinephiles, trading references back and forth,” Rockwell says. “Then, on set, Matthew would say, ‘More Bill Murray,’ or ‘More Jack Nicholson,’ which was this shorthand from the movies we’d been talking about.” Rockwell also appreciated Vaughn’s willingness to think about the characters, and the casting of those characters, in unconventional ways. “Matthew’s casting is so punk rock,” Rockwell says. “He’s willing to take a chance, to go outside the box—which is probably why I was there.” 

As the leader of a sinister rogue spy organization known as The Division, Bryan Cranston, was equally captivated by Fuchs’ screenplay. “Matthew had incredible confidence in Jason Fuchs’ work, and when I read the script, I was blown away by the audacity of the plot, but I was also thoroughly entertained,” Cranston says. “On set whenever anyone questioned a line or description in the script, Matthew would yell out, ‘Fuchs!’ The similarity to a ubiquitous expletive made me laugh every time!”

Cranston contributed a personal element to the script in the scene where Ritter is introduced, in memorable fashion, talking about his beloved shotgun, Clementine. “I remembered the stories of my grandfather having this shotgun that was a family heirloom. It was old and probably would implode if fired,” says Cranston. “But I threw out the idea that Ritter named his shotgun after his mother, Clementine. It is our version of Rosebud, an homage, if you will. The shotgun is particularly important to him – and it worked!”

As Elly Conway’s long-suffering mother and de facto book editor Catherine O’Hara loved how the film’s tone and the audience’s expectations of the characters keep shifting and evolving through the screenplay. “Every twenty pages another anvil drops,” O’Hara says. “It’s really exciting, and I couldn’t stop reading.”

Handsome, charming, with a flattop haircut, Argylle is, as imagined by Elly Conway in her novels, a world-class spy who will stop at nothing to bring justice to those who deserve it. He is the epitome of espionage cool and director Matthew Vaughn needed to cast an actor who would be convincingly chivalrous, noble, larger-than-life and able to deliver both the dramatic and action demands of the role.

There was only one choice: Henry Cavill, reteaming with Vaughn for the first time since Stardust

Henry Cavill is Agent Argylle in ARGYLLE. © Universal Pictures / All rights reserved

“Matthew is a great storyteller,” says Henry Cavill, “He knows what he wants and his eye for detail is extraordinary. He and I have a great shorthand; we’ve known each other for years and he always brings a sense of unique fun to anything he’s working on. He’s a good, straightforward communicator, and as an actor, that’s what I need. At the end of the day, it’s about trusting your director and leader, and Matthew is someone you can trust.”

Once Cavill read the film’s script, he realized that the story was different from anything he’d read before. “It was unique in its own space,” Cavill says. “It was refreshing to see something new, bold and willing to take risks. There is a tendency these days for a good product to come out and then, for the next ten years, everything is just like that product, but not quite. Matthew’s projects are never like that. Argylle is about as far from generic as you can get.”

From conception, the look and style of director Matthew Vaughn’s Argylle was as integral and essential as the film’s characters and plot.“I firmly believe in branding, and when it came to the movie, I looked into what Argylle signified,” Vaughn says.

“It was an old word referring to a gravy boat, which didn’t quite fit what we wanted to convey. So, we decided to redefine and modernize the Argylle brand. We wanted it to be cool, pop-y and the first thing that comes to mind when you see the argyle pattern anywhere in the world. We have integrated this pattern throughout the film, creating a vibrant, bold and colorful visual identity for Argylle. In my view, Kingsman is a quieter, more elegant brand, while Argylle is exuberant and daring. These two universes balance each other out. We now have these two distinct brands, each with its own character and appeal. Perhaps one day they will intersect, but for now, they remain distinct and far apart.”

Throughout the production of Argylle, production designers Daniel Taylor and Russell De Rozario employed a dynamic collaboration.

L to R: Henry Cavill, Dua Lipa, and John Cena in ARGYLLE, © Universal Pictures / All rights reserved

Music in the films of Matthew Vaughn is as important and integral as plot, character and design.

From the score to the soundtrack, every musical element serves the storytelling, narratively and emotionally. Never has this been truer than it is for the exuberant, daring and thrilling musical landscape of Argylle.

“To capture a ‘feel good’ feeling for this film, I turned to the most feel-good music I could think of, which, for me, is disco,” Vaughn says. “It’s the kind of music that, whenever it’s played, is almost impossible not to make you smile and tap your feet. We have incorporated a range of disco tracks into the film, including classics and even an original disco piece that truly captures the essence of the era.”

With Argylle, Vaughn was keen to craft a screen romance that fizzed with banter and chemistry, redolent of those movies he had watched with his wife and daughters during lockdown. As Elly Conway and Aidan go on the run, they find themselves slowly drawn together, in spite of all the danger. “It is a love story deep down,” Vaughn says. “It’s a weird one, but it is one.”

And as their relationship deepens, one song in particular becomes increasingly important to them and their story. “We needed a love song that we would play three times, and the meaning would change each time,” Vaughn says. Vaughn tried multiple tracks, but in the end the song he went with is a little piece of music history all by itself. At the heart of Argylle’s soundtrack and score is the just released new, and final, song from The Beatles, “Now and Then.” At the time Vaughn heard it, it was unreleased. Argylle will mark its cinematic debut, and the song’s very existence is something of a miracle.

Argylle’s innovative approach to music and storytelling promises a spy thriller unlike any other.

Henry Cavill, Matthew Vaughn, Bryce Dallas Howard, Chip the Cat and Claudia Schiffer attend a special ARGYLLE experience presented by Universal Pictures, Apple Original Films and MARV on January 22, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Antony Jones/Getty Images for Universal Pictures, Apple Original Films, and MARV)



ARCHIVE: 2014 / 2015 /2016 /2017 /2018 / 2019 / 2020 / 2021/ 2022


Films Listed Alphabetically

1960 was a passion project for SAFTA-winning and Annie Award-nominated composer Bruce Retief who drew on the spirit of the greats of Sophiatown with director King Shaft. Read more / Now on Showmax

57 SECONDS – Tech blogger Franklin Fausti (Josh Hutcherson) is set for a once-in-a-lifetime interview with
Anton Burrell (Morgan Freeman), a visionary tech guru at his newest product launch. Suddenly, Franklin thwarts an assassination attempt, saving Burrell’s life, and in the aftermath, Franklin picks up a mysterious ring that Burrell has dropped. Franklin soon discovers the ring allows its possessor to travel 57 seconds into the past. A rewind button. It doesn’t take him long to shift the odds in his favor: he seduces his new girlfriend Julia and takes easy money in casinos. Read more

65 – After a cataclysmic crash on an unknown planet, pilot Mills (Adam Driver) quickly discovers he’s actually stranded on Earth… 65 million years ago. Now, with only one chance at rescue, Mills and the only other survivor, Koa (Ariana Greenblatt), must make their way across an unknown terrain riddled with dangerous prehistoric creatures in an epic fight to survive. Read more

A GOOD PERSON – Allison is a young woman with a wonderful fiance, a blossoming career, and supportive family and friends. However, her world crumbles in the blink of an eye when she survives an unimaginable tragedy, emerging from recovery with an opioid addiction and unresolved grief. In the following years, she forms an unlikely friendship with her would-be father-in-law that gives her a fighting chance to put her life back together and move forward. Written, directed, and produced by Zach Braff, it stars Florence Pugh, Molly Shannon, Chinaza Uche, Celeste O’Connor, and Morgan Freeman. Read more

A HAUNTING IN VENICE – It is all Hallows’ Eve in an eerie Venice in the years following World War II, where celebrated sleuth, Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh), now resides, retired, and living in self-imposed exile. Poirot receives a visit from an old friend, the world’s number-one mystery writer Ariadne Oliver (Tina Fey), who has something she just has to show him, and promises it is not a crime. She wants
him to join her at a séance and help her prove that it is not real. When one of the guests is
murdered, the guests in attendance are all considered suspects, thrusting the Belgian detective
into a sinister world of shadows and secrets. Read more

A MAN CALLED OTTO – Based on the # 1 New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove, A Man Called Otto tells the story of Otto Anderson (Tom Hanks), a grump who no longer sees purpose in his life following the loss of his wife. Otto is ready to end it all, but his plans are interrupted when a lively young family moves in next door, and he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol – she challenges him to see life differently, leading to an unlikely friendship that turns his world around. A heartwarming and funny story about love, loss, and life, A Man Called Otto shows that family can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places. Read more

ABOUT MY FATHER – Celebrated stand-up comedian Sebastian Maniscalco wanted to make a movie about his father and co-wrote the screenplay for About My Father, starring with legendary Italian-American two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro in a comedy about a man who is encouraged by his fiancée to bring his immigrant, hairdresser father to a weekend get-together with her super-rich and exceedingly eccentric family. Read more

AIR – The film reveals the unbelievable game-changing partnership between a then-rookie Michael Jordan and Nike’s fledgling basketball division which revolutionized the world of sports and contemporary culture with the Air Jordan brand. This inspirational story follows the career-defining gamble of an unconventional team with everything on the line, the uncompromising vision of a mother who knows the worth of her son’s immense talent, and the basketball phenom who would become the greatest of all time. Directed by Ben Affleck, the film stars Matt Damon as Nike’s basketball expert, Sonny Vaccaro; Ben Affleck as Nike founder and CEO, Phil Knight; Jason Bateman (Ozark) as Rob Strasser and Viola Davis as Michael’s mother, Deloris Jordan. Read more

AFTER EVERYTHING – The fifth and final installment of the After franchise finds Hardin (Hero Fiennes-Tiffin) struggling to move forward. Besieged by writer’s block and the crushing breakup with Tessa, Hardin travels to Portugal in search of a woman he wronged in the past – and to find himself. Hoping to win back Tessa (Josephine Langford), he realizes he needs to change his ways before he can make the ultimate commitment. Read more

ALISON / ANGELIENA – Director-writer-producer Uga Carlini changed lives in a profound way with the poignant documentary Alison and, her inspirational and life-affirming film Angeliena. Watch Alison on showmax.com / Watch Angeliena on Netflix.

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE – Relentlessly pursued by a cruel Gestapo officer who seeks to possess the stone for his own selfish means, Marie-Laure and her father soon find refuge in St. Malo, where they take up residence with a reclusive uncle who transmits clandestine radio broadcasts as part of the Resistance. Yet here in this once-idyllic seaside city, Marie-Laure’s path also collides with the unlikeliest of kindred spirits: Werner, a brilliant teenager enlisted by Hitler’s regime to track down illegal broadcasts, who instead shares a secret connection to Marie-Laure as well as her faith in humanity and the possibility of hope. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner over the course of a decade, it tells a story of the extraordinary power of human connection — a beacon of light that can lead us through even the darkest of times. Netflix. Read more

ANATOMY OF A FALL – Sandra, (Sandra Hüller)  a German writer, lives with her husband Samuel and their visually-impaired son Daniel in a remote mountain chalet in the French Alps. When Samuel falls to his death in mysterious circumstances, the investigation cannot determine whether it’s suicide or foul play. Sandra is ultimately arrested for murder and the trial puts their tumultuous relationship and her ambiguous personality under the microscope. As her young son takes to the stand, doubt starts creeping in between them. Read more

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA – Super Heroes Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) return to continue their adventures as Ant-Man and The Wasp. Together, with Hope’s parents Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and Scott’s daughter Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton), the family finds themselves exploring the Quantum Realm, interacting with strange new creatures and embarking on an adventure that will push them beyond the limits of what they thought possible. Read more

ANYONE BUT YOU – After an amazing first date, Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben’s  (Glen Powell) fiery attraction turns ice cold – until they find themselves unexpectedly reunited at a destination wedding in Australia. So they do what any two mature adults would do: pretend to be a couple in the romantic comedy. Read more

AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM – Having failed to defeat Aquaman the first time, Black Manta, still driven by the need to avenge his father’s death, will stop at nothing to take Aquaman down once and for all. This time Black Manta is more formidable than ever before, wielding the power of the mythic Black Trident, which unleashes an ancient and malevolent force. To defeat him, Aquaman will turn to his imprisoned brother Orm, the former King of Atlantis, to forge an unlikely alliance. Together, they must set aside their differences to protect their kingdom and save Aquaman’s family, and the world, from irreversible destruction. Read more

ASSASSINS – South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha (who was born in Durban)  stars opposite Bruce Willis in the action-packed sci-fi thriller Assassins. A private military operation led by (Willis) invents futuristic microchip tech that enables the mind of an agent to inhabit the body of another person to carry out covert, deadly missions. But when an agent (Mustafa Shakir) is killed during a secret mission, his wife (Mbatha) takes his place in an attempt to bring the man responsible to Justice. The film is directed by Jesse Atlas who makes his directorial feature debut. Read more

ASTEROID CITYAsteroid City is a dot-on-the-map desert town in the American Southwest. The year is 1955. The town’s most famous attraction is a gigantic meteor crater and celestial observatory nearby. This weekend, the military and astronomers are welcoming five science award-winning children to display their inventions. Not far away, over the hills, mushroom clouds from atomic tests are seen. What begins as a celebration to honor the achievements of the Junior Stargazers receives an unexpected visitor: an alien. Asteroid City is locked down and a fake cover story is concocted by the Army, but the precocious geniuses, in a way that calls to mind the youngsters of Spielberg classics, have a plan to get the word to the outside world. Read more

BABYLON is an original epic set in 1920s Los Angeles led by Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Diego Calva, with an ensemble cast including Jean Smart, Jovan Adepo and Li Jun Li. A tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess, it traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood. Read more

BACK ON THE STRIP – After losing the woman of his dreams, Merlin moves to Las Vegas to pursue work as a magician, only to get hired as the front man in a revival of the notorious Black male stripper crew, The Chocolate Chips in Back On The Strip. Led by Luther — now broke and broken — the old, domesticated, out-of-shape Chips put aside former conflicts and reunite to save the hotel they used to perform in while helping Merlin win back his girl. It stars Spence Moore II, Tiffany Haddish, JB Smoove, Faizon Love, Wesley Snipes, and Kevin Hart, and is directed and co-written by Chris Spencer in his feature film directorial debut. Read more

THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN – Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, it follows lifelong friends Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson), who find themselves at an impasse when Colm unexpectedly puts an end to their friendship. A stunned Pádraic, aided by his sister Siobhán (Kerry Condon) and troubled young islander Dominic (Barry Keoghan), endeavours to repair the relationship, refusing to take no for an answer. But Pádraic’s repeated efforts only strengthen his former friend’s resolve and when Colm delivers a desperate ultimatum, events swiftly escalate, with shocking consequences. Read more

BARBIE – “As a writer and a director, I’m always looking for a fun challenge, says writer-director Greta Gerwig, who has established herself as one of Hollywood’s most important voices. “Barbie has so much recognition, so much love, and of course a 60-plus-year history, which was exciting for me. As with Little Women, Barbie is a property we all know, but to me she felt like a character with a story to tell, one that I could find a new, unexpected way into, honoring her legacy while making her world feel fresh and alive and modern.” Read more

BEAU IS AFRAID – The surrealist black comedy- horror stars Joaquin Phoenix as the titular character, an anxiety-ridden man who embarks on a surreal odyssey home after his mother suddenly dies, confronting his greatest fears along the way. The film also includes a supporting ensemble cast that includes Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan, Kylie Rogers, Parker Posey, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Hayley Squires, Michael Gandolfini, Zoe Lister-Jones, and Richard Kind. It is written, directed, and co-produced by Ari Aster who induced nightmares with his films Hereditary and Midsommar. Read more

BEAUTIFUL DISASTER – Abby Abernathy, a college freshman, is eager to focus on her studies and start a new social life. But her plans are quickly derailed when she meets Travis “Mad Dog” Maddox, a bad-boy brawler and campus playboy. Travis is exactly what Abby needs – and wants – to avoid. The more Abby gets to know Travis, she realizes he lives by a code of honor and isn’t quite the bad boy he appears to be. The more Travis gets to know Abby, he realizes she’s even smarter and more complicated than he thought. The pair struggles to resist their attraction to each other – and ultimately, their friendship heads toward something that will expose Abby’s past and force them to reconcile their true feelings. Read more

BEYOND THE LIGHT BARRIER – Uga Carlini explores the extraordinary life of Elizabeth Klarer, a South African meteorologist who devoted herself to proving the existence of Akon, her extraterrestrial lover from the planet Meton in the Proxima Centauri solar system and is streaming on Amazon Prime. It opened at Encounters Documentary Film Festival. There it was a Aiaha Award finalist, which rewards excellence in documentary filmmaking by African women as well as special mention for the Al Jazeera Best Documentary Award for the Best African Documentary. It also won Best Foreign Documentary at Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto, Canada as well as Best Feature Documentary at the 8 & HalFilm Awards, London Movie Awards and a Silver Award at the Hollywood Gold Awards. The script also won Best Feature Documentary Screenplay at the Writers Guild of South Africa Screenwriters Muse Awards. Read more

BIG GEORGE FORMAN – From Olympic Gold medalist to World Heavyweight champion, boxer George Foreman leads a remarkable life in Big George Forman. He finds his faith, retires and becomes a preacher. When financial hardship hits his family and church, George steps back in the ring and regains the championship at age 45, becoming the oldest heavyweight champion in boxing history. This biographical sports drama is directed by George Tillman Jr. and features Khris Davis as Forman. It also stars Jasmine Mathews, John Magaro, Sullivan Jones, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., Sonja Sohn, and Forest Whitaker. Read more

BLACK DEMON – Stranded on a crumbling rig in Baja, a family faces off against a vengeful megalodon shark. When oilman Paul Sturges (Josh Lucas) takes his family to Bahia Negra, the crown jewel of Baja their boat is ferociously attacked by a massive black shark. This shark is unlike any other creature; a shark of legend, known as The Black Demon. Under constant attack by the giant monster and with the time literally ticking away, Paul must find a way to somehow get his family back to shore alive. Read more

BLACK PHONE – When 13-year-old Finney (Mason Thames) is abducted by a sadistic man, he discovers that he can communicate with other victims through a mysterious telephone. Meanwhile, his sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) has psychic dreams about the kidnapping and is intent on finding her brother. Read more / On Showmax

BLUE BEETLE marks the DC Super Hero’s first time on the big screen. Recent college grad Jaime Reyes returns home full of aspirations for his future, only to find that home is not quite as he left it. As he searches to find his purpose in the world, fate intervenes when Jaime unexpectedly finds himself in possession of an ancient relic of alien biotechnology: the Scarab. When the Scarab suddenly chooses Jaime to be its symbiotic host, he is bestowed with an incredible suit of armour capable of extraordinary and unpredictable powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the Super Hero Blue Beetle. Read more

BOETIE BOER: INSIDE THE MIND OF A MONSTER is a riveting story that’s been waiting for more than two decades finally gets an audience on Showmax. Even among its grisly true-crime counterparts, the true story of Stewart “Boetie Boer” Wilken stands apart, and you’ve probably never even heard his name. You won’t soon forget it. The five-part Showmax Original documentary Boetie Boer takes us back in time to 1990 in South Africa: as the African National Congress is unbanned and Nelson Mandela is released after 27 years in prison, Stewart “Boetie Boer” Wilken starts his killing spree in Port Elizabeth, now Gqeberha. As journalist Brett Adkins says in the trailer, “When he was arrested, it sounded like something out of a movie. Suddenly we had a serial killer.” “Wilken was a highly unusual serial killer,” says director Jasyn Howes, who won Best SA Short Documentary at Jozi Film Festival for Dula. “Unlike most serial killers, he had more than one type of victim: predominantly female sex workers and young boys, usually street children, across multiple races. He also claimed to engage in necrophilia and cannibalism with his victims.” on Showmax

THE BOOGEYMAN – A terrifying entity preys on the suffering of two little sisters who are still reeling from the recent death of their mother in The Boogeyman.  This chilling supernatural horror is  based on the 1973 short story of the same name by Stephen King and directed by Scott Beck. Read more

BOOK CLUB: THE NEXT CHAPTER– In this romantic comedy four elderly best friends take their book club to Italy for the fun girls’ trip they never had. When things go off the rails and secrets are revealed, their relaxing vacation turns into a once-in-a-lifetime cross-country adventure. Read more

BUTTERFLY TALE – This Canadian-German animated feature film is set along the diverse, picturesque, and ever-changing backdrop of the great Monarch butterfly migration. ​A heartwarming tale of a gutsy and loveable yet inept, one-winged butterfly, named Patrick who stows away in a milkweed trailer in order to be part of the journey of a lifetime. With his best friend, a goofy caterpillar named Marty, and Jennifer, a butterfly who is afraid of heights, Patrick will become an unlikely hero. But first he must face his fear, embrace his uniqueness and triumph over adversity while battling changing weather patterns, humans and three evil birds bent on revenge. Read more

CAT PERSON – When Margot, a college sophomore (Emilia Jones – CODA) goes on a date with the older Robert (Nicholas Braun – SUCCESSION, ZOLA), she finds that IRL Robert doesn’t live up to the Robert she has been flirting with over texts. CAT PERSON is a razor-sharp exploration of the gender divide, the quagmire of navigating modern dating and the dangerous projections we make in our minds about the person at the other end of our phones. Read more

CATS IN THE MUSEUM – Inspired by the true story of the legendary four-legged inhabitants at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, this animated film. When Maurice the mouse saves Vincent the cat during a shipwreck, they meet the famous group of cats who has to protect works of art from rodents at the museum. Vincent wants to be one of them, but Maurice is his friend. In Cinemas / Read more about The Hermitage Museum / Hermitage Cats

COCAINE BEAR – Inspired by the 1985 true story of a drug runner’s plane crash, missing cocaine, and the black bear that ate it, the wild dark comedy COCAINE BEAR finds an oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists and teens converging in a Georgia forest where a 500- pound apex predator has ingested a staggering amount of cocaine and gone on a coke-fueled rampage for more blow … and blood. Read more

THE CREATOR – Joshua (John David Washington), a hardened ex-special forces agent grieving the disappearance of his wife (Gemma Chan), is recruited to hunt down and kill the Creator, the elusive architect of advanced AI who has developed a mysterious weapon with the power to end the war…and mankind itself. Joshua and his team of elite operatives journey across enemy lines, into the dark heart of AI-occupied territory, only to discover the world-ending weapon he’s been instructed to destroy is an AI in the form of a young child (Madeleine Yuna Voyles). Read more / Writer-director Gareth Edwards talks about what it takes to be a Filmmaker

CREED III – It’s been years since Adonis Creed shocked the world by coming from nowhere to win the heavyweight title his late father, Apollo Creed, and mentor, Rocky Balboa, once held. Having defeated such opponents as Viktor Drago and Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler, Adonis, aka Donnie, has retired as World Heavyweight Champion to run the Delphi Academy with his former cornerman Tony “Little Duke” Burton, with current champ Felix Chavez in residence as Delphi’s star boxer. Read more

DEAD MAN WALKING – American composer Jake Heggie’s compelling masterpiece, the most widely performed new opera of the last 20 years, arrives in cinemas in a haunting new production by Ivo van Hove. Based on Sister Helen Prejean’s memoir about her fight for the soul of a condemned murderer, Dead Man Walking matches the high drama of its subject with Heggie’s beautiful and poignant music and a brilliant libretto by Tony and Emmy Award–winner Terrence McNally. Read more

DEAR DAVID – Shortly after comic artist Adam (Augustus Prew) responds to Internet trolls, he begins experiencing sleep paralysis — while an empty rocking chair moves in the corner of his apartment. As he chronicles increasingly  malevolent occurrences in a series of tweets, Adam begins to believe he is being haunted by the ghost of a dead child named David. Encouraged by his boss to continue the “Dear David” thread, Adam starts to lose his grip on what is online…and what is real. Read more

DEMON SLAYER – In the Anime Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – To the Swordsmith Village a teenage boy whose entire family was brutally murdered by a demon while he was away, has to rid the world of monsters, and with the hope of potentially saving his sister, Tanjiro trains for years to become a demon hunter and protect those who can’t fight for themselves. Read more

THE DIVE – Two sisters go diving at a beautiful, remote location. One of the sisters is struck by a rock, leaving her trapped 28 meters below. With dangerously low levels of oxygen and cold temperatures, it is up to her sister to fight for her life. It is directed by Maximilian Erlenwein from a screenplay by Erlenwein and Joachim Hedén. It stars Louisa Krause and Sophie Lowe. Read more / In Cinemas /

DOG – It follows the misadventures of two former Army Rangers paired against their will on the road trip of a lifetime. Army Ranger Briggs (Channing Tatum) and Lulu (a Belgian Malinois. dog) buckle into a 1984 Ford Bronco and race down the Pacific Coast in hopes of making it to a fellow soldier’s funeral on time. Along the way, they’ll drive each other completely crazy, break a small handful of laws, narrowly evade death, and learn to let down their guards in order to have a fighting chance of finding happiness. On Showmax. Read more

DON’T WORRY DARLING – Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack (Harry Styles) are lucky to be living in the idealized community of Victory, the experimental company town housing the men who work for the top-secret Victory Project and their families. When cracks in her idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something much more sinister lurking beneath the attractive façade, Alice can’t help questioning exactly what they’re doing in Victory, and why. Just how much is Alice willing to lose to expose what’s really going on in this paradise? Now on Showmax. Read more

DREAM SCENARIO – Hapless family man Paul Matthews (Nicolas Cage) finds his life turned upside down when millions of strangers suddenly start seeing him in their dreams. But when his nighttime appearances take a nightmarish turn, Paul is forced to navigate his newfound stardom, in this wickedly entertaining
comedy from writer-director Kristoffer Borgli (Sick of Myself) and producer Ari Aster. Read more

DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEFS – A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers undertake an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people.It brings the rich world and playful spirit of the legendary roleplaying game to the big screen in a hilarious and action-packed adventure. Read more

EL CONDE is a dark comedy/horror that imagines a parallel universe inspired by the recent history of
Chile. The film portrays Augusto Pinochet, a symbol of world fascism, as a vampire who lives hidden in a ruined mansion in the cold southern tip of the continent. Feeding his appetite for evil to sustain his existence. After two hundred and fifty years of life, Pinochet has decided to stop drinking blood and abandon the privilege of eternal life. He can no longer bear that the world remembers him as a thief. Despite the disappointing and opportunistic nature of his family, he finds new inspiration to continue
living a life of vital and counterrevolutionary passion through an unexpected relationship. Read more / On Neflix.

ENCOUNTERS – a landmark four-part series that travels the globe to explore four extraordinary true stories of encounters with otherworldly phenomena. As told from the perspective of firsthand experiences – in the places where the sightings occurred – and guided by cutting-edge scientists and military personnel, the series goes beyond the science to highlight the profoundly human impact of these encounters on lives, families, and communities. Read more / Watch Netflix.

THE END WE START FROM – When an environmental crisis sees London submerged by flood waters, a young family is torn apart in the chaos. As a woman and her newborn try and find their way home, the profound novelty of motherhood is brought into sharp focus in this intimate and poetic portrayal of family survival. This British survival film directed by Mahalia Belo and starring Jodie Comer, with Benedict Cumberbatch, Katherine Waterston and Mark Strong. It is adapted by Alice Birch from the novel of the same name by Megan Hunter. Read more

EPIC TAILS -This animated adventure is set in a port city of ancient Greece where the population is threatened by the wrath of Poseidon. A brave young mouse Pattie and the cat who adopted her will help old Jason and his Argonauts to save the city by facing mythical creatures. When Poseidon, god of the sea, steals the golden fleece and threatens mayhem and destruction, it’s plucky pipsqueak Pattie to the rescue. Read more

EMPIRE OF LIGHT – Set in and around a faded old cinema in an English coastal town in the early 1980s, it follows Hilary (Olivia Colman) a cinema manager struggling with her mental health, and Stephen (Micheal Ward), a new employee who longs to escape this provincial town in which he faces daily adversity. Both Hilary and Stephen find a sense of belonging through their unlikely and tender relationship and come to experience the healing power of music, cinema, and community. On Disney Plus Read more

EQUALIZER 3: THE FINAL CHAPTER – In the vigilante action thriller Denzel Washington is back in action as a retired U.S. Marine and former DIA officer. When he moves to Southern Italy to escape from his past, he discovers that his new friends are under the control of the Sicilian Mafia and he unleashes his past self to protect them. It’s the final instalment of the Equalizer trilogy. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the film also stars Dakota Fanning, David Denman, Sonia Ammar, and Remo Girone. Read more

THE EXCORCIST: BELIEVER – 50 years since the blockbuster’s theatrical launch, The Exorcist: Believer marks a new beginning that takes audiences into the darkest heart of inexplicable evil. shocking audiences around the world. Now, a new chapter begins. From Blumhouse and director David Gordon Green, who shattered the status quo with their resurrection of the Halloween franchise, comes The Exorcist: BelieverRead more

EXPENDABLES 4 – In this action film the mercenaries are assigned on a mission to stop Rahmat, who runs a terrorist organization, from smuggling nuclear warheads that will ignite a conflict between Russia and the U.S. Directed by Scott Waugh from a screenplay by Kurt Wimmer, Tad Daggerhart, and Max Adams, based on a story by Spenser Cohen, Wimmer, and Daggerhart, it’s the fourth instalment in The Expendables film series and stars an ensemble cast including Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, and Randy Couture reprising their roles from previous films, with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Megan Fox and Andy Garcia joining the cast. In Cinemas / Read more about the Expendables Film Series

FAST & FURIOUS 10 (FAST X) – Over many missions and against impossible odds, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family have outsmarted, out-nerved and outdriven every foe in their path. Now, they confront the most lethal opponent they’ve ever faced: A terrifying threat emerging from the shadows of the past who’s fueled by blood revenge, and who is determined to shatter this family and destroy everything—and everyone—that Dom loves, forever. In 2011’s Fast Five, Dom and his crew took out nefarious Brazilian drug kingpin Hernan Reyes and decimated his empire on a bridge in Rio De Janeiro. What they didn’t know was that Reyes’ son, Dante (Aquaman’s Jason Momoa), witnessed it all and has spent the last 12 years masterminding a plan to make Dom pay the ultimate price.  Dante’s plot will scatter Dom’s family from Los Angeles to the catacombs of Rome, from Brazil to London and from Portugal to Antarctica. New allies will be forged and old enemies will resurface. But everything changes when Dom discovers that his own 8-year-old son (Leo Abelo Perry, Black-ish) is the ultimate target of Dante’s vengeance.  Read more

FERRARI – It is the summer of 1957. Behind the spectacle of Formula 1, ex-racer Enzo Ferrari is in crisis. Bankruptcy threatens the factory he and his wife, Laura built from nothing ten years earlier. Their volatile marriage has been battered by the loss of their son, Dino a year earlier. Ferrari struggles to acknowledge his son Piero with Lina Lardi. Meanwhile, his drivers’ passion to win pushes them to the edge as they launch into the treacherous 1,000-mile race across Italy, the Mille Miglia. Michael Mann’s ‘Ferrari’ stars Adam Driver and Penelope Cruz. Read more

FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S – The film follows Mike (Josh Hutcherson; UltramanThe Hunger Games franchise) a troubled young man caring for his 10-year-old sister Abby (Piper Rubio; Holly & IvyUnstable), and haunted by the unsolved disappearance of his younger brother more than a decade before. Recently fired and desperate for work so that he can keep custody of Abby, Mike agrees to take a position as a night security guard at an abandoned theme restaurant: Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. But Mike soon discovers that nothing at Freddy’s is what it seems. With the aid of Vanessa Shelly, a local police officer (Elizabeth Lail; YouMack & Rita), Mike’s nights at Freddy’s will lead him into unexplainable encounters with the supernatural and drag him into the black heart of an unspeakable nightmare. Read more

THE FLASH – Worlds collide in The Flash when Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past. But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation, and there are no Super Heroes to turn to. That is, unless Barry can coax a very different Batman out of retirement and rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian… albeit not the one he’s looking for. Ultimately, to save the world that he is in and return to the future that he knows, Barry’s only hope is to race for his life. But will making the ultimate sacrifice be enough to reset the universe? Read more

FREELANCE – Ex-special forces operative Mason Pettits (John Cena) is stuck in a dead-end desk job when he’s reluctantly recruited by former military buddy Sebastian Earle (Christian Slater) to take on a simple freelance gig providing security for washed-up journalist Claire Wellington (Alison Brie). He begrudgingly escorts Claire on assignment to interview the ruthless—but impeccably dressed—dictator, Juan Venegas (Juan Pablo Raba), when a military coup breaks out just as she’s about to get the scoop of a lifetime. Now, the unlikely trio must figure out how to survive the jungle AND each other in order to make it out alive! From Pierre Morel, the dynamic director of Taken and Peppermint, Freelance is written by Jacob Lentz. Read more

GOLDA – The film depicts the life of Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel. During the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir must navigate overwhelming odds, a sceptical cabinet, and a complex relationship with U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as millions of lives hang in the balance. Directed by Guy Nattiv and written by Nicholas Martin, the film stars Helen Mirren, Zed Josef, Claudette Williams, Henry Goodman. Read more

GRAN TURISMO – In Neil Blomkamp’s sports drama Gran Turismo a teenage Gran Turismo player whose gaming skills won him a series of Nissan-sponsored video game competitions aspires to be an actual professional race car driver. It is based on the Polyphony Digital racing simulation video game series, while inspired by the true story of Jann Mardenborough. The film stars Archie Madekwe as Mardenborough alongside David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Darren Barnet, Geri Halliwell Horner and Djimon Hounsou. Read more

GREATEST DAYS – We follow five best friends who have the night of their lives seeing their favorite boy
band in concert. Twenty-five years later their lives have changed in many different ways as they reunite for one more epic show by their beloved band, to relight their friendship and discover that maybe their greatest days are ahead of them. Read more

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.3 – In this third and final film in the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, the superhero team is still reeling from the loss of Gamora. Peter Quill must rally his team to defend the universe and protect one of their own. If the mission is not completely successful, it could possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.  Written and directed by James Gunn. Now on Disney+ Read more

HANS STEEK DIE RUBICON OOR – The South African film centers on Hans Kraaienburg, a 90-year-old man whose life is turned upside down when he is forced to move to an old age home. Based on the former journalist-turned-author Rudie van Rensburg’s best seller, it is adapted by filmmaker couple Corné (director) and Rene van Rooyen (screenwriter), following their success of Vaselinetjie, Toorbos, as well as the popular drama series Alles Malan. The acting legends in the family comedy include Pierre van Pletzen, Tobie Cronjé, June van Merch, Sandra Prinsloo and Nicola Hanekom. In Cinemas / Read more

HAUNTED MANSION – In Disney’s comedy Haunted Mansion a woman and her son enlist a motley crew of so-called spiritual experts to help rid their home of supernatural squatters. They each arrive at this home for different reasons, unaware that whoever enters will be unable to leave without one of its ghosts forever joined at the hip with them. Once they learn the gravity of the situation the hard way, they realize they must find a way to work together as a team to free themselves and the Mansion from the grip of the spirits. Inspired by the classic theme park attraction the film is directed by Justin Simien and stars Rosario Dawson, Chase W. Dillon, LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, and Jamie Lee Curtis.  Read more

HEADSPACE – a CGI action adventure from South Africa. A colourful science fiction action comedy. A freak accident sends the Space Protection Force and their microscopic spaceship inside 14-year-old Norman’s brain. They can see what he sees and hear what he hears.  The nanosized crime-fighting aliens must enlist Norman’s help to save Earth from Zolthard, an evil intergalactic villain who has taken control of Principal Witherington. Norman and the aliens, together with his friends from school must go to great lengths to conceal the presence of alien life at their high school, all the while fighting the galactic struggle between good and evil. After all, Zolthard still has a school to run, and Norman still has a life to live and homework to hand in! Read more

HEARTSTOPPER – “As a writer, it’s magical to know that something you’ve written has had a profound impact on someone’s life,” says Alice Oseman, the creator and writer of the heartwarming Netflix series Heartstopper. “I’m always so happy to hear that it has helped anyone on their own journey, whether that’s a young person hoping to come out themselves, or a parent who is unsure how to support their child, or anyone else who connected to the scene for whatever reason.” Read more / Watch Seasons 1 & 2 of Heartstopper on Netflix

THE HONEYMOON – When Kat’s (Kajal Bagwandeen) fiancé calls off their wedding the night before the big day, the ambitious but insecure Katya is devastated. Her long-time best friends, Noks (Tumi Morake) and Lu (Minnie Dlamini) persuade Kat to go on her honeymoon to Zanzibar with them. What was meant to be a holiday away from their problems, soon turns to a holiday into their problems – will their friendship survive a wild time in paradise? Read more

THE HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS & SNAKES – The new big-screen adventure follows a young Coriolanus (Tom Blyth), the last hope for the once-proud Snow family, whose failing lineage has spelled a fall from grace in a postwar Capitol. With his livelihood threatened, Snow reluctantly accepts the assignment to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler) — a Tribute from the impoverished District 12 — in the 10th Hunger Games. But after Lucy Gray’s charm captivates the audience of Panem, Snow sees an opportunity to shift both their fates. With everything he has worked for hanging in the balance, Snow unites with Lucy Gray to turn the odds in their favor. Battling his instincts for both good and evil, Snow sets out on a race against time to survive and reveal whether he will ultimately become a songbird…or a snake. Read more

HYPNOTIC – In this science fiction action thriller a detective learns that his missing daughter and a string of high-profile bank robberies might be connected. He must go on a mind-bending journey to find his daughter and stop the secret government agency behind the madness. Read more

INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY – It’s 1969, and Indiana Jones is ready to call it quits. Things change after a surprise visit from his estranged goddaughter Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), who is seeking a rare artifact that her father entrusted to Indy years earlier—the infamous Archimedes Dial, a device that purportedly holds the power to locate fissures in time. An accomplished con artist, Helena steals the Dial and swiftly departs the country to sell the artifact to the highest bidder. Left with no choice but to go after her, Indy dusts off his fedora and leather jacket for one final ride. Read more

THE INSEPARABLES – When the lights go down in Central Park’s old theater, the puppets come to life in this animated film. Among them is Don, who is tired of playing the fool day after day. He dreams of being a real hero for once and takes courage to venture outside the theater on a quest to discover the big world and live a life of his own! Along the way, he meets DJ Doggie Dog, an abandoned stuffed animal who wants to become a rap star. It’s the start of a great adventure of friendship in the heart of New York City to turn their dreams into reality: even the smallest characters can play heroic roles! Read more

INSIDIOUS: THE RED DOOR –  The final chapter of the Lambert family’s terrifying saga. To put their demons to rest once and for all, Josh (Patrick Wilson) and a college-aged Dalton (Ty Simpkins) must go deeper into The Further than ever before, facing their family’s dark past and a host of new and more horrifying terrors that lurk behind the red door. Read more

THE INSPECTION – A young, gay Black man (Jeremy Pope), rejected by his mother and with few options for his future, decides to join the Marines, doing whatever it takes to succeed in a system that would cast him aside. But even as he battles deep-seated prejudice and the grueling routines of basic training, he finds unexpected camaraderie, strength, and support in this new community, giving him a hard-earned sense of belonging that will shape his identity and forever change his life. Read more

JOHN WICK 4 – The neo-noir action thriller John Wick: Chapter Four is the fourth instalment in the John Wick franchise and stars Keanu Reeves as John Wick, who uncovers a path to defeating the High Table, but before he can earn his freedom, Wick must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and forces that turn old friends into new foes. Read more

JOIKA – Joika is based on the true story of Joy Womack, who made history as an American ballerina who was accepted into the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. At fifteen years old she left her family home in Texas to travel to Moscow to follow her dream – to become a Prima Ballerina at the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet Company. Read more

JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM – A unique new entry into the collection of holiday classic movies, this epic Christmas musical is unlike any before it. A young woman carrying an unimaginable responsibility. A young man torn between love and honor. A jealous king who will stop at nothing to keep his crown. This live-action Christmas musical adventure for the entire family weaves classic Christmas melodies with humor, faith, and new pop songs in a retelling of the greatest story ever told—the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus. Directed by Adam Anders. Screenplay by Adam Anders & Peter Barsocchini. Website

JOY RIDE – Asian American adoptee Audrey (Ashley Park, Emily in Paris) is living the dream. Raised in the picturesque small town of White Hills, she has a successful law career, a close relationship with her parents, and her longtime best friend, Lolo (Sherry Cola, Good Trouble), literally lives in her backyard. But Audrey is ready for more. To become a partner at her law firm and leave White Hills behind, she just needs to close one important deal with a client in China. Sounds straightforward enough, until Lolo encourages Audrey to use the trip to locate her birth mother. Instead of soaring to new heights in her career, Audrey finds herself and her friends on a life-changing journey across Asia with her friends, learning much more about themselves and each other, and what it means to truly know and love yourself in all ways possible. Read more

KANDAHAR -For screenwriter Mitchell LaFortune, the genesis of the story began as he pulled stories from his time as a Defense Intelligence Agency officer who had served multiple deployments in Afghanistan, telling the story of a CIA Black Ops agent and his Afghan interpreter who must evade deadly forces as they escape Iran after a whistleblower reveals the agent destroyed a nuclear facility. Read more

THE KILLER – Paris, night. An unnamed man in unremarkable clothes, The Killer (Michael Fassbender) watches from the floor of an empty office, across from the plush apartment of his target, rifle at hand. Measured, and controlled, he takes every step to ensure the job goes flawlessly… It doesn’t. The Killer flees, following his strict personal mantra of dispassionate action. But his employers want him erased. By attacking his home, they disturb his sanctuary and, with it, his sense of self. This – he will not abide, traveling through the Dominican Republic and the United States, eliminating anyone who might disrupt his hard-won peace again. Netflix. Read more

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON – At the turn of the 20th century, oil brought a fortune to the Osage Nation, who became some of the richest people in the world overnight. The wealth of these Native Americans immediately attracted white interlopers, who manipulated, extorted, and stole as much Osage money as they could before resorting to murder. Based on a true story and told through the improbable romance of Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Mollie Kyle (Lily Gladstone). Read more

KNOCK AT THE CABIN – The film centers on a gay couple, Eric (Jonathan Groff) and Andrew (Ben Aldridge) and their adopted daughter Wen (Kristen Cui), who are vacationing at a remote cabin in the woods, when their house is surrounded by four armed strangers: Leonard (Dave Bautista), Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird), Adrianne (Abby Quinn) and Redmond (Rupert Grint.) Taken hostage, the family is informed that these four strangers—who also do not know each other—have all been haunted and tormented by a shared prophecy: that the world will end unless the family in this cabin chooses one member of the family to die. Whether these four people are crazy or correct doesn’t resolve the problem. Both scenarios are horrific. Read more

LADYBUG AND CAT NOIR: THE MOVIE – Based on the global blockbuster TV series Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, which first made its debut in 2015, the much-anticipated feature adaptation centers on the origin story of star-crossed Parisian teens, Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste, who become the powerful superheroes, Ladybug and Cat Noir, and join forces to protect the City of Lights from a dangerous supervillain known as Hawk Moth. Read more

LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER – The final novel written by the imperious D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover remains a towering achievement in English literature and had frequently been adapted on stage, screen, and radio since it was first published in 1928. And yet a feature-length movie version has not been seen for almost two decades. Producer Laurence Mark set out to change that with a fresh, modern look at a classic story of a passionate affair that crosses the class divide. Read more / On Netflix

THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER – Bram Stoker’s literary classic, Dracula, has fascinated audiences, both on the page and the screen, for more than a century. Based on a single chilling chapter from Stoker’s classic novel, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the terrifying story of the merchant ship Demeter, which was chartered to carry private cargo—fifty unmarked wooden crates—from Carpathia to London. Strange events befall the doomed crew as they attempt to survive the ocean voyage, stalked each night by a merciless presence onboard the ship. When the Demeter finally arrives off the shores of England, it is a charred, derelict wreck. Read more

LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND – In this apocalyptic thriller from award-winning writer and director Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot), based on the National Book Award-nominated novel by Rumaan Alam, Amanda (Academy Award winner Julia Roberts) and her husband Clay (Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke), rent a luxurious home for the weekend with their kids, Archie (Charlie Evans) and Rose (Farrah Mackenzie). Their vacation is soon upended when two strangers — G.H. (Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali) and his daughter Ruth (Myha’la) — arrive in the night, bearing news of a mysterious cyberattack and seeking refuge in the house they claim is theirs. The two families reckon with a looming disaster that grows more terrifying by the minute, forcing everyone to come to terms with their places in a collapsing world. Read more

THE LITTLE MERMAID – For the live-action musical The Little Mermaid screenwriter David Magee, director-producer Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca drew inspiration from Hans Christian Andersen’s source material and John Musker & Ron Clements’ screenplay for Disney’s animated film The Little Mermaid, reimagining and enhancing the story to create a very modern story. Read more

THE LOST KING – Guided by instinct and spectral visions, an ambitious writer and amateur historian defies the academic establishment to unearth Richard III’s long-missing remains in a Leicester car park in the sensational British comedy-drama. Read more

LOVE ACTUALLY – This re-release follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England. Read more

LOVE AGAIN– What if a random text message led to the love of your life? In this romantic comedy, dealing with the loss of her fiancé, Mira Ray sends a series of romantic texts to his old cell phone number… not realizing the number was reassigned to Rob Burns’ new work phone. A journalist, Rob is captivated by the honesty in the beautifully confessional texts. When he’s assigned to write a profile of megastar Celine Dion (playing herself in her first film role), he enlists her help in figuring out how to meet Mira in person… and win her heart. Read more

THE MARVELS – An unlikely trio must team-up and learn to work in concert to save the universe. Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and taken revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. But unintended consequences see Carol shouldering the burden of a destabilized universe. When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary, her powers become entangled with that of Jersey City super-fan, Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel, and Carol’s estranged niece, now S.A.B.E.R. astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau. It stars Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani. Nia DaCosta directs from a screenplay screenplay is by Nia DaCosta and Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik. Read more

MAY DECEMBER – Twenty years after their notorious tabloid romance gripped the nation, a married couple buckles under the pressure when an actress arrives to do research for a film about their past. Despite what began as a shocking affair, then 36-year old Gracie (Julianne Moore) and 13-year old Joe (Charles Melton) now lead a seemingly picture-perfect suburban life some 20 years later. Their domestic bliss is disrupted when Elizabeth (Natalie Portman), a famous actress, arrives in their tight-knit community to research her upcoming role as Gracie. As Elizabeth ingratiates herself into the everyday lives of Gracie and Joe, the uncomfortable facts of their scandal unfurl, causing long-dormant emotions to resurface. Read more

MEG 2 – Get ready for the ultimate adrenaline rush in Meg 2: The Trench that takes the action to higher heights and even greater depths with Jason Stratham leading a research team on an exploratory dive into the deepest depths of the ocean. Their voyage spirals into chaos when a malevolent mining operation threatens their mission and forces them into a high-stakes battle for survival. Pitted against colossal, prehistoric sharks and relentless environmental plunderers, they must outrun, outsmart, and outswim their merciless predators. This Sci-fi-horror is directed by Ben Wheatley and is based on the novel The Trench by Steve Alten. It also stars Wu Jing, Sophia Cai, Page Kennedy, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Skyler Samuels, and Cliff Curtis. Read more

M3GAN is a marvel of artificial intelligence, a life-like doll programmed to be a child’s greatest companion and a parent’s greatest ally. Designed by brilliant toy-company roboticist Gemma (Get Out’s Allison Williams), M3GAN can listen and watch and learn as she becomes a friend and teacher, playmate and protector, for the child she is bonded to. When Gemma suddenly becomes the caretaker of her orphaned 8-year-old niece, Cady (Violet Mcgraw, The Haunting of Hill House), Gemma’s unsure and unprepared to be a parent. Under intense pressure at work, Gemma decides to pair her M3GAN prototype with Cady in an attempt to resolve both problems—a decision that will have unimaginable consequences. As M3GAN and Cady develop an unbreakable bond, Gemma grows more and more terrified that the very creation she invented to help Cady heal is learning at an exponential rate…and that M3GAN may be perceived “threats” to Cady that do not exist. Read more

MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE – “Magic” Mike Lane (Channing Tatum) takes to the stage again after a lengthy hiatus, following a business deal that went bust, leaving him broke and taking bartender gigs in Florida. For what he hopes will be one last hurrah, Mike heads to London with a wealthy socialite (Hayek Pinault) who lures him with an offer he can’t refuse…and an agenda all her own. With everything on the line, once Mike discovers what she truly has in mind, will he—and the roster of hot new dancers he’ll have to whip into shape—be able to pull it off? Read more

MASTER GARDENER – Writer-director Paul Schrader captures the racial tensions of contemporary America. Narvel Roth (Joel Edgerton) is the meticulous horticulturist of Gracewood Gardens. He is as much devoted to tending the grounds of this beautiful and historic estate, as he is to pandering to his employer, the wealthy dowager Mrs Haverhill (Sigourney Weaver). However, chaos enters Narvel’s spartan existence when Mrs Haverhill demands that he take on her wayward and troubled great-niece Maya (Quintessa Swindell) as a new apprentice, unlocking dark secrets from a buried violent past that threaten them all. Read more

MAYBE I DO is a multi-generational romantic comedy. Michelle (Roberts) and Allen (Bracey) have reached the point in their relationship to take the next steps toward marriage. Thinking it is a good idea to invite their parents to finally meet, they set a dinner and make it a family affair. To everyone’s surprise, the affair takes on a whole new meaning as the parents already know each other all too well – they’ve been cheating on their spouses for months…with each other. Trapped in this precarious predicament, they try to hide their dalliances from the kids while confronting their spouse’s lovers head-on. Let the games begin! “After a career of writing and producing over 700 episodes of television, two plays on Broadway, one Off-Broadway and one movie which was nominated for Best Picture, I wanted to write a screenplay about what I felt was the most important aspect of my life… As we take on love vs marriage and hope one survives the other, giving our audience something to talk about with the people they’ve chosen to love. Read more

MIGRATION – This holiday season, Illumination, creators of this year’s record-shattering The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and the blockbuster MinionsDespicable MeSing and The Secret Life of Pets franchises, invites you to take flight into the thrill of the unknown with a funny, feathered family vacation like no other in the action-packed new original comedy, Migration. The Mallard family is in a bit of rut. While dad Mack is content to keep his family safe paddling around their New England pond forever, mom Pam is eager to shake things up and show their kids—teen son Dax and duckling daughter Gwen—the whole wide world. After a migrating duck family alights on their pond with thrilling tales of far-flung places, Pam persuades Mack to embark on a family trip, via New York City, to tropical Jamaica. Read more

THE MIRACLE CLUB – There’s just one tantalising dream for the women of Ballygar to taste freedom and escape the gauntlet of domestic life: to win a pilgrimage to the sacred French town of Lourdes, and all for free. When a group of women get their ticket of a lifetime after the riotous church talent competition. As they confront one another and embrace their past, these women realise that the miracle they have all been looking for is right in front of them: in the strength of their friendships and unshakeable togetherness. Read more

THE MOTHER– A deadly female assassin, on the run from dangerous men, comes out of hiding to protect the daughter she gave up years before. Jennifer Lopez stars as The Mother in Netflix’s character-driven action epic also starring Lucy Paez, Omari Hardwick, Joseph Fiennes, Gael García Bernal and Paul Raci. Niki Caro directs from a script by Misha Green, Andrea Berloff and Peter Craig. Jennifer Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Marc Evans and Roy Lee produce. Molly Allen and Misha Green are executive producers. Read more

MRS. CHATTERJEE VS NORWAY – In the Indian Hindi-language drama an immigrant Indian mother fights the Norwegian foster care system and legal machinery to win back custody of her children. It is based on the true story of an Indian couple whose children were taken away from them by Norwegian welfare services in 2011. Read more

MISSING – From the minds behind Searching comes a thrilling roller-coaster mystery that makes you wonder how well you know those closest to you. What do you do when a loved one disappears thousands of miles from home – and you have no way to get there to search for them? For 18-year-old June, the answer lies in the digital world she inhabits every day. Read more

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: DEAD RECKONING PART ONE – Over six installments and 27 years of the Mission: Impossible franchise, Mission: Impossible –Dead Reckoning Part One celebrates an extraordinary 16-year working relationship between writer-director Christopher McQuarrie and actor Tom Cruise. “We eat, sleep, and breathe movies all the time. We’re constantly taking all of the knowledge that we have acquired both separately, and together, and trying to apply it to something beyond our capabilities, something beyond what we have done before,” says McQ. Read More / Q & A with writer-director Christopher McQuarrie

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 3 – “I had never realized this would be my career and that I would be able to connect with absolute strangers on the topic of family,” says writer-director Nia Vardalos about My Big Fat Wedding 3, that has taken the world by storm since its first chapter was launched in 2002. “It’s so wonderful that people see their own experiences reflected in mine. It makes me feel very connected to being a family and how everyone is experiencing our same issues.” Read more / In cinemas

NAPOLEON – A spectacle-filled action epic that details the checkered rise of the iconic Napoleon Bonaparte. Against a stunning backdrop of large-scale filmmaking orchestrated by legendary director Ridley Scott, the film captures Bonaparte’s relentless journey to power through the prism of his addictive, volatile relationship with his one true love, Josephine, showcasing his visionary military and political tactics against some of the most dynamic practical battle sequences ever filmed. Read more

NEXT GOAL WINS – Based on a true story, it follows the American Samoa soccer team, infamously known for their brutal 31-0 loss in 2001. With the World Cup Qualifiers approaching, the team hires down-on-his-luck, maverick coach Thomas Rongen (Michael Fassbender) hoping he will turn the world’s worst soccer team around in this heartfelt underdog comedy. Read more

NO HARD FEELINGS – Maddie (Jennifer Lawrence) thinks she’s found the answer to her financial troubles when she discovers an intriguing job listing: wealthy helicopter parents looking for someone to “date” their introverted 19-year-old son, Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman), and bring him out of his shell before he leaves for college. But awkward Percy proves to be more of a challenge than she expected, and time is running out. She has one summer to make him a man or lose it all. Read more

THE NORTHMAN – Young Prince Amleth is on the cusp of becoming a man when his father is brutally murdered by his uncle, who kidnaps the boy’s mother. Fleeing his island kingdom by boat, the child vows revenge. Two decades later, Amleth is a Viking berserker raiding Slavic villages, where a seeress reminds him of his vow: avenge his father, save his mother, kill his uncle. Traveling on a slave ship to Iceland, Amleth infiltrates his uncle’s farm with the help of Olga, an enslaved Slavic woman — and sets out to honor his vow. Now on Showmax. Read more

NUN II – 1956 – France. A priest is murdered. An evil is spreading. The sequel to the worldwide smash hit follows Sister Irene as she once again comes face-to-face with Valak, the demon nun. An elevated horror film that expands on the 2018 hit The Nun; unveiling the evil demon’s shocking untold origin as two young nuns risk it all to unravel the deadly mystery behind her return and drive. Read more

NYAD Nyad recounts a riveting chapter in the life of world-class athlete Diana Nyad. Three decades after giving up marathon swimming in exchange for a prominent career as a sports journalist, at the age of 60, Diana (four-time Academy Award nominee Annette Bening) becomes obsessed with completing an epic swim that always eluded her: the 110 mile trek from Cuba to Florida, often referred to as the “Mount Everest” of swims. Determined to become the first person to finish the swim without a shark cage, Diana goes on a thrilling, four-year journey with her best friend and coach Bonnie Stoll (two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster) and a dedicated sailing team. Netflix. Read more

OLDBOY – Park Chan-Wook’s Korean neo-noir action thriller Oldboy is not only considered one of the best revenge thrillers of all time but is also widely regarded as one of the best films of all time. A fully restored and remastered version of the film has been released in cinemas for its 20th Anniversary. In the film, Oh Dae-Su (Choi Min-sik), an obnoxious drunk abducted on a rainy night in 1988, wakes up in a strange, windowless hotel room. Kept under lock and key for an unknown reason, Oh Dae-Su’s invisible captors keep him fed and systematically sedated to avert suicide, providing only a colour television to keep him company. Read more

ONE TRUE LOVES – Emma and Jesse are living the perfect life together, until Jesse disappears in a tragic helicopter crash on their first wedding anniversary. Four years later, Emma finds happiness again as she’s about to marry her best friend. However, when Jesse miraculously resurfaces, Emma soon finds herself torn between two great loves. It is based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Taylor Jenkins Reid and stars Phillipa Soo, Simu Liu and Luke Bracey. Read more

OPPENHEIMER – “I want to take the audience into the mind and the experience of a person who sat at the absolute center of the largest shift in history,” says writer-director Christopher Nolan, whose Oppenheimer is an epic thriller that thrusts audiences into the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it. Read more

PAIN HUSTLERS – Liza Drake (executive producer and star Emily Blunt) is recruited to the failing Zanna pharmaceutical company by charming-but-shady salesman Pete Brenner (Chris Evans). The pair work to convince physicians like Dr. Lydell (Brian d’Arcy James) to write prescriptions for their miracle, fentanyl-based drug Lonafen — who’s sublingual delivery method to provide fast pain relief to cancer patients was developed by Dr. Jack Neel (Andy Garcia) in the wake of his wife’s death. Liza, who takes the gig in part out of concern for paying for medical care for her daughter Phoebe (Chloe Coleman), also ropes her mom Jackie (Catherine O’Hara) into the scheme. As they succeed in their mission via dubious tactics, including a regulation-flouting “speaker program,” Zanna’s fortunes rise, lifting Liza and Pete with them. But the human costs are grave as their greed grows. Netflix. Read more

THE PALE BLUE EYE  is set at West Point in 1830. A world-weary detective (Christian Bale) is hired to investigate the murder of a West Point cadet. It features a surprising secondary protagonist in a young Edgar Allan Poe, played to perfection by Harry Melling. Together, Bale’s Landor and Melling’s Poe must work together to discover the identity of a killer who has taken the life—and removed the heart—of a West Point cadet. Netflix. Read more

PAW PATROL: THE MIGHTY MOVIE – Following the success on the big screen of 2021’s Paw Patrol: The Movie, Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie brings everyone’s favourite pups back to cinemas nationwide with new and mightier super-suits, vehicles, and fun adventures. Read more

PAST LIVES – at once strikingly intimate and bracing in its scope, is broken into three parts spanning countries and decades: first with Nora (Moon Seung-ah) as a young girl in Korea, developing an early bond with her best friend, Hae Sung (Leem Seung-min), before she immigrates with her family to Toronto; then, following Nora in her early 20s (Greta Lee) as she re-connects virtually with Hae Sung (Teo Yoo); and finally, more than a decade later, when Hae Sung visits Nora, now a playwright married to an author, Arthur (John Magaro), in New York. Read more

PETER PAN & WENDY – London, England, circa 1911 – It is the last night at home for 13-year-old Wendy Darling (Ever Anderson), and she is riding a wave of emotions. In a burst of defiance she tells her parents (Alan Tudyk and Molly Parker) that she doesn’t want to leave home, nor does she want to become an adult. Far, far away in Never Land, Peter Pan (Alexander Molony) has heard Wendy’s plea, and for the carefree and spirited boy it is a proclamation, a call to action, and an opportunity to expand his loyal band of followers, the Lost Boys. On Disney Plus. Read more

PLANE – Pilot Brodie Torrance (Gerard Butler) saves his passengers from a lightning strike by making a risky landing on a war-torn island, only to find that surviving the landing was just the beginning. When most of the passengers are taken hostage by dangerous rebels, the only person Torrance can count on for help is Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), an accused murderer who was being transported by the FBI. In order to rescue the passengers, Torrance will need Gaspare’s help and will learn there’s more to him than meets the eye. Read more

POLITE SOCIETY – A martial artist-in-training believes she must save her older sister from her impending marriage. After enlisting the help of her friends, she tries to pull off the most ambitious of all wedding heists in the name of independence and sisterhood. This British action comedy is written and directed by Nida Manzoor and stars Priya Kansara and Ritu Arya. Read more

THE POPE’S EXORCIST – Inspired by the actual files of Father Gabriele Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican, the film follows Amorth as he investigates a young boy’s terrifying possession and seeks to cast out one of the most intransigent demonic possessions of his storied career, the priest will uncover the truth behind a centuries-buried secret and bring to light a much larger conspiracy, despite warnings from the Vatican. Read more

PUNCH – the feature debut of the New Zealand writer-director Welby Ings. Seventeen-year-old Jim is a small-town boxing hero who carries the hopes and dreams of his father Stan on his shoulders. His growing relationship with a local boy, Whetu, forces him to confront the truth about his sexuality and choose his own future. Jim’s (Jordan Oosterhof) potential as a boxer is a promise, to himself and to his alcoholic father, Stan (Tim Roth). Jim, a high school student, could finally leave his rural life. He could become the boxing star his father never managed to be. The closer Jim gets to a local queer outcast, Whetu (Conan Hayes), though, the more his priorities shift away from being in the ring. Read more

RALLY ROAD RACERS – A plucky underdog story. This CG animated feature tells of a loris named Zhi who enters a no-holds-barred car race across China’s historic Silk Road to save the last Loris Village (including his Granny’s home) from demolition and development by a psychotic toad named Archibald Vainglorious. Read more

RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE-The groundbreaking film Red, White & Royal Blue is based on the LGBT romance novel by Casey McQuiston and was adapted by celebrated playwright-screenwriter Matthew Lopez, who makes his directorial feature debut, and co-written by screenwriter Ted Malawer. Read more / Prime Video

RENFIELD – Nicholas Cage plays Count Dracula in this horror-comedy. Renfield, the tortured aide to his narcissistic boss, Dracula, is forced to procure his master’s prey and do his every bidding. However, after centuries of servitude, he’s ready to see if there’s a life outside the shadow of the Prince of Darkness. When he falls in love with Rebecca Quincy, a traffic cop, and decides to finally stand up to his creator in hopes of finally breaking free of his servitude. Read more

RETRIBUTION – In the action-packed thriller Retribution a bank executive receives a bomb threat while driving his children to school that his car will explode if they stop and get out.  This remake of the 2015 Spanish film “El Desconocido.” Is directed by Nimród Antal and  stars Liam Neeson, Noma Dumezweni, Lilly Aspell, Jack Champion, Embeth Davidtz and Matthew Modine. Read more

RUBY GILLMAN, TEENAGE KRAKEN – Sometimes the hero you are meant to be lies just beneath the surface. DreamWorks Animation dives into the turbulent waters of high school with a hilarious, heartfelt action comedy about a quirky teenager who discovers that she’s part of a legendary royal lineage of mythical sea krakens and that her destiny, in the depths of the oceans, is bigger than she ever dreamed. Read more

RUN – Up-and-coming director Aneesh Chaganty and producers Natalie Qasabian and Sev Ohanian, the latter co-writing Run with Chaganty, offer a fresh perspective and unique spin on the style of Alfred Hitchcock’s work while providing mounting paranoia that culminates in a shocking twist. On Netflix. Read more

RUNS IN THE FAMILY – A modest tailor and single Indian dad, Varun (Ace Bhatti) and his transmasculine son, River (Gabe Gabriel) take a road trip across South Africa to break River’s estranged mother, Monica (Diaan Lawrenson), out of a rehab clinic. Tensions are high as the dysfunctional new family unit adjusts on their way back home where River is set to compete with his best friend, Ollie (Cleo Wesley), in a drag competition that could win him his gender-affirming surgery. In River’s absence, however, Ollie breaks their leg, dashing their hopes for victory. Monica suggests that Varun take their place as River’s drag partner, and father and son take up the challenge with River training Varun in the ways of drag. But as the competition ramps up, Varun, Stan, and Monica’s shady past catches up with them. Read more

RUN RABBIT RUN – How would you cope if your child began to act completely out of character; and started to talk about a previous life? This question sits at the core of Run Rabbit Run, where the fearless voice of the Australian novelist Hannah Kent wanted to explore the tragedy of a mother losing connection to her young daughter. Read more / Watch on Netflix

SALVAGE SALVATION – Sheriff Church (Robert De Niro) and Detective Zeppelin strive to keep the peace in their rough town, where residents’ only two interests are the church or oxycodone. Newly engaged Shelby John (Jack Huston) and Ruby Red want a fresh start. They decide to have a family together and get clean, with the support of Peter, Ruby’s brother-in-law (John Malkovich).When Shelby discovers his beloved Ruby dead on their porch he embarks on a vengeful killing spree to right all the wrong done to Ruby by every link in the drug dealing chain. Directed by Randall Emmett and starring Jack Huston, Robert De Niro, John Malkovich, Willa Fitzgerald, and Quavo. Read more

SARAFINA! – The re-release of Sarafina! In cinemas pays homage to the vital role women performed during the struggle. Sarafina is a young black South African struggling for freedom during the apartheid. While she has remained relatively silent in her opposition of the racist government in her country, the movement to make the language of Afrikaans the official language in her school leads her to protest in the streets with her fellow students. Her anti-government views become even more intense when her favourite teacher is arrested for protesting. Read more

SAW X – John Kramer (Tobin Bell) is back in SAW X, the most intriguing, unexpected, and chilling installment of the global horror franchise. Exploring the untold chapter of John / Jigsaw’s most personal game, the film is set between the events of Saw I and II. A sick and desperate John travels to Mexico for a risky and experimental medical procedure, which he hopes will be a miracle cure for his cancer. But he discovers the operation is a scam to defraud the most vulnerable. Armed with a newfound purpose, John returns to his unique work, turning the tables on the con artists in his signature visceral way, through terrifying and ingenious traps. Read more

SCREAM VI – The film finds Sam, her half-sister Tara (Jenna Ortega) and their friends, twins Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad Meeks-Martin (Mason Gooding), having relocated from Woodsboro to New York City after the most recent Ghostface killings left them as the only survivors in their group of friends. The trauma from the experience – which involved Sam’s boyfriend Richie and Tara’s best friend Amber as the masterminds of the killing spree, motivated by the fact that they wanted to reinvent the Stab franchise by creating new source material while using Sam’s connection to Billy as the basis to frame Sam for the murders – has affected each of them differently. Read more

THE SECRET GARDEN – Playwright and screenwriter Jack Thorne had loved the book The Secret Garden as a child and when re-reading it when he adapted it for film, he adored it even more as an adult. “It’s such a bold book,” he says, “such a beautifully twisted book that celebrates a very destructive girl who finds herself again. When I re-read it I was surprised by how dark it was, and I love it for that.” Read more / Now on Showmax

SHAZAAM! FURY OF THE GODS – Billy Batson and his foster siblings, who transform into superheroes by saying “Shazam!” are back in the superhero fantasy. The siblings are forced to get back into action and fight the Daughters of Atlas. They must stop them from using a weapon that could destroy the world. Read more

SILENT NIGHT – The Joel Kinnaman-led actioner is Woo’s first American film in two decades, an absence he chalks up to no longer being sent quality scripts. On its surface, it’s a classic tale of vengeance, as Kinnaman’s Brian Godlock stops at nothing to avenge the gang-related death of his 7-year-old son. The quest is made all the more intriguing by Godlock’s inability to speak, having suffered a life-altering injury during his failed attempt to go after the offending gang in the immediate aftermath of his son’s death. While recovering from a wound that costs him his voice, he makes vengeance his life’s mission and embarks on a punishing training regimen in order to avenge his son’s death. Read more

THE SON – Laura Dern and Hugh Jackman play Kate and Peter, divorced parents of seventeen-year-old Nicholas (Zen McGrath), who struggle to help their child as he succumbs to a deep sadness. Vanessa Kirby co-stars as Peter’s second wife Beth, who must balance her stepson’s needs with those of her own newborn boy. Read more

SOUND OF FREEDOMSound of Freedom is based on the incredible true story and shines a light on even the darkest of places. After rescuing a boy from ruthless child traffickers in, a federal agent learns the boy’s sister is still captive and decides to embark on a dangerous mission to save her. With time running out, he quits his job and journeys deep into the Colombian jungle, putting his life on the line to free her from a fate worse than death. Directed and  co-written by Alejandro Monteverde, the film stars Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino, and Bill Camp. Read more

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE – This computer-animated superhero adventure is the sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and is set in a shared multiverse of alternate universes called the “Spider-Verse”. Miles Morales is unexpectedly approached by his love interest Gwen Stacy to complete a mission to save every universe of Spider-People from the Spot, who could cause a catastrophic disaster. Read more

SPINNING GOLD – This biographical drama depicts the life and career of record producer and Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart, who was credited with discovering many iconic musical acts such as Donna Summer, Kiss, Village People; and signing and pushing acts including Gladys Knight and the Pips and the Isley Brothers to greater heights. Bogart launched Casablanca Records in the 1970s, and with a rag-tag team of young music lovers, he rewrote history and changed the industry forever. Written and directed by Timothy Scott Bogart.  It stars Jeremy Jordan as Neil Bogart. Read more

THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE – Based on the world of Nintendo’s Mario games, the film invites audiences into a vibrant, thrilling new universe unlike any created before in an action-packed, exuberant cinematic comedy event. While working underground to fix a water main, Brooklyn plumbers Mario (Chris Pratt; Jurassic World and The LEGO Movie franchises) and brother Luigi (Charlie Day; It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) are transported down a mysterious pipe and wander into a magical new world. But when the brothers are separated, Mario embarks on an epic quest to find Luigi. Read more

SUZUME – This Japanese animated fantasy adventure depicts a high school girl and a mysterious young man trying to prevent a series of disasters across Japan. As the skies turn red and the planet trembles, Japan stands on the brink of disaster. However, a determined teenager named Suzume sets out on a mission to save her country. Able to see supernatural forces that others cannot, it’s up to her to close the mysterious doors that are spreading chaos across the land. A perilous journey awaits as the fate of Japan rests on her shoulders. Read more

TALK TO ME – A high-concept horror that reflects current society with a classic lens. A group of friends discover how to conjure spirits using an embalmed hand, they become hooked on the new thrill, until one of them goes too far and opens the door to the spirit world, forcing them to choose who to trust: the dead or the living. Read more

TÁR – We meet Tár at the height of her career, as she’s preparing both a book launch and much-anticipated live performance of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. Over the ensuing weeks her life begins to unravel in a singularly modern way. The result is a searing examination of power, and its impact and durability in today’s society. Read more

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM – The Heroes in a Half Shell first cowabunga-ed onto the big screen back in 1990 and returns in the animated adventure.  After years of being sheltered from the human world, the Turtle brothers set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers through heroic acts. Their new friend April O’Neil helps them take on a mysterious crime syndicate, but they soon get in over their heads when an army of mutants is unleashed upon them. Read more

THANKSGIVING – After a Black Friday riot ends in tragedy, a mysterious Thanksgiving-inspired killer terrorizes Plymouth, Massachusetts – the birthplace of the holiday. Picking off residents one by one, what begins as random revenge killings are soon revealed to be part of a larger, sinister holiday plan. Will the town uncover the killer and survive the holidays…or become guests at his twisted holiday dinner table? Read more

THE THORN – The epic story of God’s love for the world and the spiritual battle for all humanity. Often described as cirque meets the passion of Jesus, The Thorn combines dance, martial arts, aerial acrobatics, and emotionally powerful performances witnessed live by 1M+ people for 25 years. This unique blend of theatrical performing arts and live-action cinema will engage audiences in the ultimate story of love, sacrifice, and redemption like never before. Read more

TILL tells the heartbreaking true story of the historic lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till
— for whistling at a white woman in Money, Mississippi in 1955 — through the eyes of his mother
Mamie Till-Mobley, a widowed single mother who is the head of her household, the only Black woman working for the Air Force in Chicago. Till-Mobley becomes a revolutionary by insisting that the world witness the horror of her brutally maimed son’s body in an open casket viewing as an act of defiance against oppression and hate. “I wanted the world to see what they did to my boy,” she said at the time. Till-Mobley also gave the exclusive rights to Jet Magazine to publish the images of her son’s maimed body which caused the lynching to gain worldwide notoriety. A mother’s audacity became a lightning rod in the Civil Rights Movement and propelled her to reluctantly become an outspoken activist for the NAACP advocating for social justice and education. Read more

TITANIC – Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) is a 17-year-old upper-class American suffocating under the rigid confines and expectations of Edwardian society. Once she meets a free-spirited steerage passenger named Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), he opens her eyes to the world that lies outside her gilded cage, and they embark on a love affair that echoes across the decades. Nothing on Earth can come between them, not even something as unimaginable as the sinking of the Titanic. Declared “unsinkable,” her precious cargo of more than 2,200 men, women and children began their journey from Southampton, England to New York City with a sense of anticipation, awe and optimism. Yet this “ship of dreams’’ ultimately carried over 1,500 people to their death in the ice-cold waters of the North Atlantic in the early hours of April 15, 1912. Read more

TO CATCH A KILLER – This thriller centers on a talented but troubled cop (Shailene Woodley) who is recruited by the FBI to help profile and track down a murderer. It is directed by Damián Szifron, and also stars Ben Mendelsohn, Jovan Adepo and Ralph Ineson. The film marks Argentine filmmaker Damián Szifron’s English-language debut. Read more

TOORBOS – After a 6-year’s journey from page to screen, René van Rooyen’s insightful adaptation of Dalene Matthee’s novel Toorbos as a screenwriter, and her astute visual sensibility as a director, delivers an inspirational journey of the heart that showcases the best of South African filmmaking. Now on showmax.com  Read more

TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS -An ex-military electronics expert and an artifact researcher are swept up in a three-way conflict between the Maximals, Predacons and Terrorcons as they aid Optimus Prime and the Autobots in a war to protect Earth from Unicron’s arrival. It’s the is the seventh instalment in the Transformers film series. Serving as both a standalone sequel to Bumblebee (2018) and prequel to the 2007 film. Read more

TROLLS BAND TOGETHER – After two films of true friendship and relentless flirting, Poppy and Branch are now officially, finally, a couple (#broppy)! As they grow closer, Poppy discovers that Branch has a secret past. He was once part of her favorite boyband phenomenon, BroZone, with his four brothers. When Branch’s bro Floyd is kidnapped for his musical talents by a pair of nefarious pop-star villains, Branch and Poppy embark on a harrowing and emotional journey to reunite the other brothers and rescue Floyd from a fate even worse than pop-culture obscurity. Read more

THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY is the story of an unremarkable man who sets off on a remarkable journey. Harold lives a life without purpose until he learns an old friend is dying and vows that in walking across England to see her, his journey can keep her alive. A story of rediscovery and transformation, it is an uplifting reminder that you’re never too old to take a chance, and that kindness is less rare than you think.  Based on the 2012 New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller of the same name, this heartfelt and original take on the coming-of-age narrative will resonate with audiences of all ages. This British drama is directed by Hettie Macdonald and stars Jim Broadbent and Penelope Wilton. Read more

THE WHALE – In Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, Brendan Fraser gives a virtuosic performance as Charlie, an English teacher living with severe obesity whose time is running out. As he makes a last bold attempt to reconcile with his broken family, Charlie must confront, with his full heart and fierce wit, long-buried traumas and unspoken love that have haunted him for decades. Read more

WISH – Walt Disney Animation Studios’ all-new musical-comedy is set in the magical kingdom of Rosas, where Asha, a sharp-witted idealist, makes a wish so powerful that it is answered by a cosmic force—a little ball of boundless energy called Star. Together, Asha and Star confront a most formidable foe—the ruler of Rosas, King Magnifico—to save her community and prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things can happen. Read more

THE WOMAN KING – The remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s with skills and a fierceness, unlike anything the world has ever seen. Inspired by true events, The Woman King follows the emotionally epic journey of General Nanisca as she trains the next generation of recruits and readies them for battle against an enemy determined to destroy their way of life. Some things are worth fighting for… Now on Showmax. Read more

THE WONDERFUL STORY OF HENRY SUGAR – Almost 20 years ago writer-director Wes Anderson was inspired to adapt Roald Dahl’s story The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. “ The story completely hooked me as a child, but if you take away his words, well, I guess, it’s not a movie I felt compelled to do. It’s a great Dahl story, but if I do it using his words, his descriptions, then maybe I know how to do it.” Watch on Netflix

WONKA – Starring Timothée Chalamet in the title role, this irresistibly vivid and inventive big screen spectacle will introduce audiences to a young Willy Wonka, chock-full of ideas and determined to change the world one delectable bite at a time—proving that the best things in life begin with a dream, and if you’re lucky enough to meet Willy Wonka, anything is. Read more

X: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MALCOLM X – The Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live high-definition cinema simulcasts continues with Anthony Davis’s groundbreaking and influential opera X: The Life and Times Of Malcolm X.  

The acclaimed action-movie specialist, John Woo, is back with an entirely different approach: a movie without dialogue. What inspired his return after an absence of 2-decades, is a riveting screenplay for Silent Night, crafted by Robert Archer Lynn, which Woo describes as: “Surprise, surprise, and surprise. The script is full of surprises so that’s one of the biggest reasons I took it. I enjoyed the script because I like challenges.”

“I think the script is really well written,” says Woo. “Even though it had no dialogue, it had great drama and a very, very good story. And that’s the script I’m always looking for. In the old times, I had been established as a big movie director, but all those much smaller-scale [projects] and much better scripts—they never came to me. And then my partner always said, ‘Those movies are too small for you. Don’t do it.’ So I was so frustrated. And after 20 years, I found Silent Night so exciting, even though it was my first independent film, and I feel that the script was such a great idea.”

The script, he thought, would give him a chance to flex one of his biggest strengths. “I’m very good at the visuals,” he said. “I think for Silent Night , it could allow me to use my visuals and my sound to tell a story, to express myself. Also it could make the audience more involved with the characters. Even though there’s no dialogue, then the audience will [pay] more attention to their face and look straight at the eyes and can feel what they feel and to see what they see. I think there’s a lot of good things about it. It’s a new experiment for myself. I feel like Alfred Hitchcock has said, ‘Each film, each movie is your new experiment.'”

Woo’s over-the-top action style has been the stuff of legend for many decades, but now, at 77, the Hong Kong filmmaker has changed up his approach, beginning with the virtually dialogue-free revenge thriller Silent Night, which redefines the action genre with visceral, thrill-a-minute storytelling.

The Joel Kinnaman-led actioner is Woo’s first American film in two decades, an absence he chalks up to no longer being sent quality scripts. On its surface, Silent Night is a classic tale of vengeance, as Kinnaman’s Brian Godlock stops at nothing to avenge the gang-related death of his 7-year-old son. The quest is made all the more intriguing by Godlock’s inability to speak, having suffered a life-altering injury during his failed attempt to go after the offending gang in the immediate aftermath of his son’s death. While recovering from a wound that costs him his voice, he makes vengeance his life’s mission and embarks on a punishing training regimen in order to avenge his son’s death.

“Making a film without dialogue is more difficult. It’s not an easy job to do. You have to think more than usual. You need to find new ways, new style, and a very unique language to tell the story. Unique visual language to tell the story. The sound, the vision. Using the vision instead of the language. It’s not easy work. It needs a lot of thought,” says Woo.

The ability of the cast to portray and breathe life into each of Silent Night’s characters is bolstered significantly by the many talents of the distinguished John Woo, from whom they discovered much more than what they were expecting.

Says Joel Kinnaman: “John is not just an iconic film director. He is the master of the camera. I’ve never worked with a film director that can tell so much of the story just in the way that he moves the camera. And I can also tell and understand why he wanted to do this film that doesn’t have dialogue because it just opens up so many opportunities to design these beautiful shots and instead of just shooting this scene where you have the coverage, closeups, mediums shots, wide shot and then you cut it all together, here we’re very sparse with the coverage. A lot of the scenes are just one or two set ups. And you tell the whole scene in how we stage it and how the camera moves. It’s gonna be a very artistic film. I grew up watching subtitled films but there is always a nuance in the language that gets lost. You can still get the experience but some of the nuance is amiss. [In ‘Silent Night’] this doesn’t happen. You are watching the same movie as everyone else as it is told visually.”

John Woo behind the scenes of Silent Night

Despite his considerable experience in the action genre, John Woo still feels compelled to reinvent himself by returning to a genre he had mastered long ago

“Basically, the action is pretty much the style. It’s exciting, it has style. I tried to make something different, more of a street fight vibe. The audience can feel the punch, the power, the anger. The movie has no language, so all we need is strong visuals to tell a story. Besides the fight, we’re trying to use the sound, the heat of the punch, even the car crash. It became a new type of language”.

This project encompasses facts and characters that each represent a particular perspective of the same story. The varying tones of each perspective is what strengthens the overall attitude of the film. This was no easy task though, as it required arduous investigation by the different department heads, which include production design, costume design, and even make-up design. These essential departments were the backbone of this movie’s handcrafted personality.

Grant Armstrong’s production design team on Silent Night were able to completely transform various locations, such as a gas station and a mall, to perfectly fit the aesthetic of the story. They even created a complex set from scratch that is the backdrop of crucial fight scenes in the film. His design tasks involved extensive research into typical gang street art, which practically decorates every space you’ll see on screen.

In a similar fashion, Mariestela Fernández’s costume designs required proper research in order to showcase each character’s personality through their clothing. Fernandez worked to accurately represent the working class of a difficult neighborhood as well as allow the costume designs to depict the evolution in the script, and specifically of each character’s mission.

Her research also informed her about gangs and how dress-codes apply to those groups, so it became important for her to correctly style characters according to the groups they represent on screen.

The work of the costume department is very interconnected with that of the makeup and special effects department in order to create a cohesive being. Together, they mold the appearance of characters down to specifically tattoos, which are evident on Playa’s face. For Torres’s character, the departments would spend up to two hours of preparation perfecting Playa’s aesthetic for filming.

With John Woo’s guidance, Nayeli Mora and Carlos Segui created each of the tattoos that create Playa. They even had to redesign some of the tattoos in order to fit Woo’s vision shortly before production began.

Thanks to these departments and their collaboration with the director and director of photography Sharon Meir, we visually see the shift in the nature of the story through the characters. We start with a warm, colorful, familiar beginning that is then transformed as the family tragedy develops, revenge is taken, and we are taken into increasingly darker paths. Depicting those changes through the characters reveals the deepness and development of this story.

Joel Kinnaman as Godlock in Silent Night. Photo Credit: Carlos Latapi

The importance of the visuals of this story and its characters is highlighted by the fact that there is no “spoken” dialogue in this film. Each character has to rely on their ability to communicate through available tools and skills that don’t require speaking.

This style sets Silent Night apart from the traditional silent film; it’s also an action movie, which only increases its level of complexity.

The design departments certainly had their work cut out for them, as did the actors. Everyone who performed in front of the camera for this project had to be cognizant of the story they were embodying and perform in a nontraditional capacity for an action film. They each had their own experiences with this form of performance and described it as such:

“Acting without dialogue is very freeing. It’s where you show truly what kind of actor you are. Sometimes when I watch movies, I put mute on them just to see if I would understand their acting, what they’re saying. However, this is beyond. I’ve never seen a thriller with so much action and so much drama with no words.”  ~Catalina Sandino.

Joel Kinnaman and John Woo behind the scenes of Silent Night

“I think a lot of people imagine that doing a film without dialogue is somehow easier, workwise. I don’t have to learn lines, and I have to admit it’s kinda nice to not have to learn any lines, but it’s actually a lot more demanding. It forces you to prepare so much more in a lot of the other aspects. I talked about it with the camera guys as well because everything else becomes so much more important: the camera movement, the intensity of your inner life, what’s expressed in your eyes, body language. Everything else becomes so much more important because you remove that one element. It really demands intense preparation. It’s very exciting and experimental in some ways.” ~Joel Kinnaman.

“A silent film sometimes is pretty hard I think. I did many characters that did not talk too much, but here it is the tone for the whole movie. It’s some kind of environment, a way to go inside of the fiction that is not normal, and so it was a bit difficult, because sometimes we react to the things that happen to us with words. Just like “hey”, “you”, “fuck” or whatever. Like, all the time we answer with language in some way. But here it was the main thing this movie had, an action movie. It is complex to see what it is you need to do to go in the correct zone, in the correct way, to act in this film.” ~Harold Torres.

“I thought it was gonna be challenging but it didn’t seem to be. It was kinda one of those things that once I got the rhythm, I understood the character, the story. Just being in it and finding emotion in certain scenes. I just one hundred percent got it. It wasn’t challenging at all. I was really surprised.” ~Scott Mescudi.

John Woo acknowledges the kind of cast a film such as this one requires, when there is no spoken dialogue and explains what he was looking for: “We also need a lot of talent to join and help. They need vision. The use of proper tone to use it as a language. To understand what it is all about. The message you want to send. When we make a film without dialogue, I’m forcing myself to find a new style, a new language even though there’s no language in the script. Give the actors creative freedom. They can find any language to express themselves. Use more focus on facial performance. Speaking is an easy way to make people understand everything. They need to use their eyes and expression to tell what they’re feeling. The actors love it. They always try to make a great performance through their eyes and facial expression. So this is hard for them. Besides, we have an incredible story. It’s interesting and it’s a story that makes you think.”


John Woo’s illustrious career as a filmmaker began in Hong Kong where he spent over two decades at the center of a thriving film industry, directing over twenty-six feature films. He was known primarily as a comedy specialist until the mid-1980’s before creating a series of inspired romantic and violent gangster dramas that broke box-office records.

Woo was born in Guangzhou, China and came to Hong Kong with his family at age four. He was educated at Matteo Ricci College and at age nineteen, began making experimental films. In lieu of film school, Woo sought entry-level positions in the flourishing Hong Kong film industry. In 1971, he began working as an assistant director at Shaw Brothers. Just two years later he made his directorial debut with ‘The Young Dragons.’

A Better Tomorrow Films is John Woo’s newly named headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Woo’s latest film ‘Silent Night’ starring Joel Kinnaman is currently in post-production while his next project for Universal, ‘The Killer’ will go into pre-production January 2023. In addition to being known for his Hong Kong hits ‘The Killer’, ‘Hard Boiled’, and ‘A Better Tomorrow’, Woo’s credits include ‘Hard Target’ for Universal, ‘Broken Arrow’ for Twentieth Century Fox, ‘Face/Off’ for Paramount Pictures, MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE II for Paramount Pictures, ‘Paycheck’ with Paramount Pictures, ‘Windtalkers’ and producing ‘Bulletproof Monk’ with MGM and ‘The Big Hit’ for Sony. 

Television credits include ‘Red Skies’ for USA Network and ‘The Robinsons: Lost In Space’ with Fox for the WB Network.  Independently produced projects include ‘Blood Brothers’, ‘My Fair Gentleman’, ‘Reign of Assassins’, ‘Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale,’ the blockbuster hit ‘Red Cliff,’ and ‘The Crossing.’  Woo has also directed numerous commercials including ones for Nike, Asahi and Volvo while also directing the short film ‘The Hire’ for RSA’s BMW short film series

Transmedia properties include the animated film ‘Appleseed: Ex Machina’,the award-winning ‘John Woo Presents: Stranglehold’ with Midway Games, ‘John Woo’s 7 Brothers’ with Virgin Comics and critically-acclaimed game app ‘Bloodstroke’ by developer Chimera Entertainment.

John Woo has received 15 nominations and 19 awards including the 2015 Samurai Award from the Tokyo International Film Festival, 2012 UNESCO Award, 2010 Career Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival and the 2009 Outstanding Abroad Director from the Huabiao Film Awards.

A Better Tomorrow Films operates in both Los Angeles and Beijing with feature film and television projects for their respective markets but always with the eye of the global marketplace.  Woo named his company with the hope and promise of new and exciting projects to come.

Filmmaker Eli Roth’s ode to 80s slasher-horror Thanksgiving began in 2006 when he created a fake trailer that would appeal to the grindhouse crowd. 17 years later horror fans were still begging for the best horror movie never made.

Roth’s inspiration for Thanksgiving began in when his friends Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez were working on their double feature Grindhouse. To add to the double-feature experience, Tarantino asked his friends – including Roth – to create fake trailers that would appeal to the grindhouse crowd. And Roth knew exactly what he wanted to do.

It was conceived as a phony, all-killer-no-filler trailer to be sandwiched between “Planet Terror” and “Death Proof” in Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s 2007 exploitation tribute double feature. 

In his youth and teenage years, Roth and his friend Jeff Rendell took in a steady diet of horror films, consuming VHS after VHS of carnage, chaos, and gore. And one special subgenre kept them busy. “We came of age in the early 80s, the golden era of the holiday slasher movie,” he recalls. “Black Christmas, Halloween, My Bloody Valentine, April Fool’s Day, New Year’s Evil… When we saw Silent Night, Deadly Night, we cheered the mayhem while the Santa Claus killer yelled, ‘PUNISH!’”

“This, to us, was cinema at its peak,” Roth continues.

But for the native of Newton, Massachusetts, one holiday eluded him: Hollywood never made the Thanksgiving slasher pic. “It’s hard to oversell the importance of Thanksgiving in Massachusetts,” he says. “Every school group goes to Plimoth Patuxet to see what life was like back in 1620. But where others saw a butter churner, we saw opportunities for amazing kills.”

With his fake trailer, Roth saw the opportunity to create Thanksgiving – the 1980s holiday slasher that somehow Hollywood had forgotten to make. Rendell and Roth wrote it, and as Roth was completing filming on Hostel Part II, he had access to locations, actors, even fake heads from that film to immortalize it. When Grindhouse promised Thanksgiving as a preview of coming attractions, audiences loved it. And that was that.

After a Black Friday riot ends in tragedy, a mysterious Thanksgiving-inspired killer terrorizes Plymouth, Massachusetts – the birthplace of the holiday. Picking off residents one by one, what begins as random revenge killings are soon revealed to be part of a larger, sinister holiday plan. Will the town uncover the killer and survive the holidays…or become guests at his twisted holiday dinner table?

For 17 years, Roth would hear from fans wondering if he would ever make the movie for real

Roth was game, but there was just one problem: “We didn’t have a plot,” he says, noting that the fake trailer is simply a stringing together of stabbings, beheadings, and mayhem, themed to the holiday. But a trailer does not a movie make, and Roth and Rendell kept looking for ways to make it real.

“We were so thrilled with how the trailer turned out, we continually found ourselves reverse engineering the story to fit in the gags. How would we decapitate a turkey at the parade? How can we roast a human turkey?” he notes. “We knew we had to make Thanksgiving a real slasher film, one that could exist whether you had seen the trailer or not.” It was clear that there was no way to make these iconic sequences work as an actual movie – which meant that if Thanksgiving was going to become real, they would need another approach.

With that in mind, they focused on the gestalt of the fake trailer, rather than the individual sequences themselves.

“We began with the working premise that Thanksgiving 1980 was the film the Grindhouse trailer was made from, and it was so shocking that every print was destroyed, and the only element that survived was the one trailer,” he says. “The new film we were making would be the reboot of that movie, starting again from scratch, but cherry picking elements we knew would work in the story we were telling today.”

During the many years of writing, rewriting, and getting it right, Roth says it is the fan sites who kept the Thanksgiving dream alive.

“Each year the horror sites would trot it out and lament that we never made it,” says Roth. “I must thank them for this – it kept us going when we were burned out on the idea or couldn’t figure out how to make it great. Finally, after a few story breakthroughs, the idea really began to click, and we worked it out.”

Having finally cracked the code, Roth took his pitch to Spyglass.

It was fortuitous: when Gary Barber, Chairman and CEO of Spyglass and executive producer of Thanksgiving, launched Spyglass, he set out to ramp up the new venture’s production pipeline and recognized the value in horror franchises.

“Spyglass has successfully relaunched long-running horror franchises, including Scream and Hellraiser, and we saw Thanksgiving as a film that could break new ground in the slasher genre as it combines signature throwback elements with fresh humor that makes audiences want to come back for seconds,” says Barber.

Having received his greenlight, Roth turned to casting and production while Spyglass partnered with TriStar Pictures to release the film worldwide, with Spyglass handling select international territories.

The heart of any slasher movie is the kills, and Eli Roth – the genre’s maestro – would make sure that Thanksgiving reflected his best work

“Every kill had to meet our standards of scare and gore; if the movie didn’t deliver on its promise, we’d be dead,” says Roth. And Roth had the added pressure of having done it already. “I found myself not just trying to match what I did in the trailer, but trying to top it in every way possible,” he continues.

Which is why early on, Roth began discussing the project with prosthetics genius Adrien Morot. “His craftsmanship is second to none. Adrien and his wife Kathy made the most incredibly realistic and beautiful heads and body parts I have ever seen. They were so beautiful! But of course, no matter how beautiful the fake head, it must be smashed in with a meat tenderizer.”

It’s a responsibility Roth takes very seriously. Getting to make a horror movie is, for him, standing on the shoulders of giants. “We look at the kills and say, okay, how can we outdo ourselves? And not just ourselves, but every other movie? It’s a badge of honor for us to get the best kill. Every time you make a horror movie, you have a chance to enter into the pantheon of horror greats. The opportunity is there if you take it. So with every death, we try to truly make it a classic.”

And Roth knows when it has that special something. “I have to have that ‘ugh’ feeling… I have a very, very, very high tolerance for movie gore, so if a scene is upsetting me, then I know it’s gonna work for a general audience.”

Another reason why Roth works so well and closely with Morot is they have a shared love for practical effects. “When I think of all of my favorite kills from all of my favorite movies, none of them are digital,” says Roth. “They’re all practical makeup effects. It’s a different emotional response.”

For Roth, a complicated kill is always nerve-wracking until the last drop of blood has been spilled. “I’m always most excited on a day when we’re filming a kill scene, I have this nervous pit in my stomach and I can’t relax until I know we have the kill on camera,” he says. “The timing of the head falling off, the swing of the axe, the way the blood pumps – a million things can go wrong. But when they go right there’s nothing like it.”

As for his own goals, Roth says it’s simple. “Now, hopefully, every year, at every dinner, for the rest of time, when someone reveals the turkey, they will say in a sister voice, ‘Dinner…is served!’ And everyone will scream.” 

ELI ROTH (Director / Story by / Producer) burst onto the film scene at the 2002 Toronto Film Festival with his directorial debut Cabin Fever. Made independently for $1.5 million dollars, the film sparked a frenzied seven-studio bidding war and went on to be Lionsgate’s highest grossing film that year. Roth’s follow-up film, Hostel, which he wrote, produced, and directed, and was presented and executive produced by Quentin Tarantino, earned him critical praise and was a massive worldwide hit, spawning a successful sequel, Hostel Part II, also written and directed by Roth. 

In 2015, Lionsgate released Roth’s Sundance hit thriller Knock Knock, which stars Keanu Reeves as a happily married man whose life is quickly turned upside down by Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas in her English language screen debut. Additionally, Roth co-wrote, produced, and directed The Green Inferno, which was shot on location in the Amazon, filming deeper into the jungle than any previous film. From 2015-2017, Roth hosted Discovery Channel’s hugely popular Shark Week and its late-night talk show “Shark After Dark,” both of which hit new network high ratings with Roth hosting. 

Roth also directed the critically acclaimed #1 family film The House with a Clock in Its Walls,starring Cate Blanchett and Jack Black for Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, and the gritty hit action film Death Wish starring Bruce Willis for MGM and Annapurna. 

As an actor, Roth has appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof segment of Grindhouse (in which he also wrote and directed the popular faux trailer Thanksgiving, which played between the features in the film) and Inglourious Basterds, in which he portrayed Sgt. Donnie Donowitz; he also directed the propaganda film-within-the-film, Nation’s Pride. Roth and his cast members received the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble, as well as the Broadcast Film Critic’s Choice Award and the People’s Choice Award. Most recently Roth appeared as the scene-stealing Live Nation head Andrew Finkelstein in Sam Levinson’s The Idol for HBO

As a producer, Roth has produced the hit films The Last Exorcism, The Man with the Iron Fists,Jon Watts’ directing debut Clown, and the hit Emmy-nominated Netflix series “Hemlock Grove,” which ran for three seasons. Roth hired an unknown Damien Chazelle to write the sequel to The Last Exorcism, starring Julia Garner and Ashley Bell. Roth’s critically acclaimed docuseries “Eli Roth’s History of Horror” ran for three seasons on AMC; his other series include “A Ghost Ruined My Life,” “My Possessed Pet,” “The Haunted Museum” starring Zak Bagans, and “Urban Legend,” all for Discovery Plus and HBO Max.

Roth’s critically acclaimed documentary Fin, a harrowing documentary detailing the destructive practices of the shark fin trade, premiered to rave reviews in July 2021 as part of Discovery’s Shark Wee. It went on to win Best Documentary at the Ischia Global Film Festival. 

Roth recently finished directing and co-writing the film adaptation of the hit videogame Borderlands for Lionsgate; the film reunites Roth with stars Cate Blanchett and Jack Black alongside an all-star cast including Kevin Hart, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Gina Gershon. 

Roth co-created the DreamWorks Animation kids’ series “Fright Krewe” with James Frey, which premiered in October 2023 on Hulu and Peacock and features an all-star cast including Melanie Laurent, Vanessa Hudgens, and Roth. The series was just renewed for a second season.

An avid shark lover, Roth spends his time promoting shark conservation, working as a board member of the Environmental Media Group. He is currently in post-production on another environmental documentary.

JEFF RENDELL (Story by / Screenplay by / Producer), a native of Newton, Massachusetts, became friends with Eli Roth in kindergarten. Their shared love of film as kids resulted in the creation of countless movies made in their basements. Every weekend they were shooting wacky comedy skits or something horror related.

Although Rendell’s continued interest in film had him attend Emerson College film school, he ended up working most of his adult life in the rare autograph business and then for his father’s World War II museum. The museum provided a connection to the film business in 2009 when Rendell brought several authentic World War II items to be used for Inglourious Basterds.

Filmmaker Scott Derrickson steeps himself in the horror genre and fearfully awakens the senses of those who indulge in the Supernatural and Uncanny realms. When he read the short story The Black Phone, written by Stephen King’s son Joe Hill more than fifteen years ago, he was hooked and knew that he had to bring the story to life on film.

In 2012, filmmakers Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill partnered with producer Jason Blum and actor Ethan Hawke to make Sinister, widely considered the most terrifying film of the 21st century thus far. The team was eager to work together again, and as Derrickson began exploring options, he revisited Joe Hill’s bestselling short story The Black Phone, which was released in 2005 as part of his short story collection, 20th Century Ghosts.

Filmmakers Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill (right)

Scott Derrickson Q&A

Derrickson and Cargill have become among the industry’s most esteemed horror auteurs in large part because their films are about far more than scares. “If you can imagine removing all the genre elements from a great genre film and you’ve still got a great drama…that’s worth watching,” Derrickson says. “If you take away the action, set pieces, scary scenes and thrills and you’ve still got a great film there? Then you’re onto something that has the potential to connect with the audience in a memorable way.” More than memorable, their films are unforgettable.

“Modern Horror is not often subtle,” Christopher Golden wrote in the Introduction of 20th Century Ghosts. “Most of those who practice the art of the unsettling far too often go for the jugular, forgetting that the best predators are stealthy. “

When 13-year-old Finney (Mason Thames) is abducted by a sadistic man, he discovers that he can communicate with other victims through a mysterious telephone. Meanwhile, his sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) has psychic dreams about the kidnapping and is intent on finding her brother.

“I happened to stumble into a bookstore around the time the book came out,” says Derrickson, the writer-director of Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and Marvel’s Doctor Strange.

 “At the time, I didn’t know who Joe was, let alone that he was Stephen King’s son. I stood in the bookstore and read this short story and thought, ‘Wow, this guy is great.’ It was only about 20 pages long, but I thought the concept was fantastic and such a good idea for a movie. I never forgot about it. I’d bring it up on occasion and continued to think about turning it into a film, but the timing was never right. Then, about a year and a half ago, the time just felt right, so my writing partner, C. Robert Cargill, and I optioned the title from Joe, and we wrote the script.”

Cargill was equally enamored with Hill’s short story. “Scott slid me ‘The Black Phone’ and I loved it so much that I immediately bought the rest of the book and blew through it,” Cargill says. “It had a bit of everything in it, and that’s exactly what you want when you sit down to read a horror story.”

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Inspiration for the tale came from a specific memory from Hill’s childhood

Both the short story and the film follow 13-year-old Finney, who is abducted by an infamous child abductor and serial killer known as The Grabber in a small town in northern Denver. Locked in the killer’s basement, Finney discovers that he can hear the killer’s previous victims through a disconnected black rotary phone on the wall. The inspiration for the tale came from a specific memory from Hill’s childhood.

“I grew up in Bangor, Maine, in a very old house,” Hill says. “There was a phone in the basement that wasn’t connected to anything, and I found that phone creepy and unsettling. It didn’t make sense for a phone to be in a basement with a dirt floor and crumbling concrete walls. As a kid, the worst thing I could imagine was that phone ringing.”

Derrickson had always had an interest in creating a film that explored the emotional complexity and pain of childhood and the ability of children to overcome tragedy. “François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows has one of the best child performances I’ve ever seen in a film,” Derrickson says. “It not only showed the traumas that can haunt one’s childhood but also the resilience of children. I knew I wanted to make something in that spirit, but I couldn’t find a story that felt like it would capture that feeling. That is, until I read The Black Phone. After I came across that, Cargill and I started to talk about how we could combine that same concept with this short story.”  

The result is a film that transcends genre. “Scott and I believe that great genre films take a genre that you already love and tell that story, and intercept it with a different genre,” Cargill says. “Here, we wanted to write a coming-of-age film that got interrupted by a horror movie.”

In most films about child abduction or serial killers, the victim needs to be rescued by an intrepid, driven detective or another adult. In The Black Phone, the well-meaning adults are essentially useless and the kids – Finney himself, the voices of the dead boys on the phone, and especially Finney’s younger sister, Gwen – are the only people who can possibly save Finney from certain torture and death. Beyond the blood-chilling terror, it’s a film about the strength of children, their ability to believe in unseen forces, and the power of family and love to endure even the darkest, most unthinkable events.

In Joe Hill’s short story, The Grabber was inspired by John Wayne Gacy, a serial killer known as the Killer Clown, who murdered at least 33 young men and boys between 1972 and 1978. “When I was thinking about that kind of predator, I was envisioning someone with echoes of Gacy,” Hill says. “And there was another child killer in the late ’90s outside of Boston that I read about in the paper, and it has haunted me my whole life. I don’t know why it made such a deep impact, but it did. One of the things we turn to fiction for is to get the justice that we don’t get in real life. In real life, these awful things happen and there’s no way to fix it, so we fix it the way we can, with stories.”

Hill was thrilled with their adaptation. “The short story always wanted to be a novel, but I couldn’t see how to extend the story without taking it to places I didn’t want it to go,” Hill says. “It was fascinating to watch Scott and Cargill solve the puzzle of it to make it bigger, richer and full of characters who each have their own stories and wisdom to add.”

Once the script was finished, Jason Blum’s Blumhouse was the duo’s first and only stop. “We didn’t take the script anywhere else,” Derrickson says. “We told Jason that we’d love for them to produce this, and instead of replying, he sent me a rotary black phone in a display case, which, I guess, was his way of saying yes.”

“The first time I saw Sinister, I knew there was someone disturbing with a wild imagination behind the camera, which of course, is a great quality for a horror filmmaker,” executive producer Ryan Turek says.

“That film really cemented Scott and Cargill in the genre as filmmakers with a keen sensibility to keep audiences on their toes. And with The Black Phone, they’ve done it again, except this time, looking at the traumas and dangers of being a kid growing up in the ’70s and ’80s. Kids had a lot more freedom back then, which made them a lot more susceptible to danger, but it also kept kids on their toes. And the film does a great job of inserting the audience into that experience and keeping them on their toes, too.”

For Hill, the recreation of that era in the film proved particularly vivid and personal. “I remember 1978 looking like that and kids and parents behaving that way, and I don’t think that’s something that’s represented in film very often,” Hill says. “We often see nostalgia cast in a rich golden light that makes everything look a lot better than it really was, sanding off all the rough edges and the ugliness that really was.”

Derrickson wanted emotional veracity, not just technical accuracy, in every frame. “The trick was to capture not just what the era looked or sounded like, but what did it feel like?” Derrickson says. “I wanted The Black Phone to feel like how the late ’70s felt to me when I was 12 and 13.”

For Gen Xers, children of the ’70s, this was a time without anti-bullying initiatives, where, for boys in particular, learning to defend yourself against mean kids was considered a normal rite of passage.  “My earliest memory up until high school was the violence of the neighborhood that I lived in,” Derrickson says. “The primary feeling that I remember having as a child was fear. I was the youngest kid on the street full of bullies.”

Across the country, the era was also tinged with terror, as serial killers such as the Manson Family, Hillside Strangler, Zodiac Killer, Son of Sam, John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy dominated national news and reshaped American nightmares. “I remember when going into elementary school, at least where I grew up in North Denver, there was a new presence of serial killers,” Derrickson says. “It was the mid ’70s, and everyone was telling urban legends about the worst kinds of serial killers. All of these horrors had become such a real presence in everyone’s psyches.”

By the 1980s, child murders routinely gripped headlines, beginning with the 1981 kidnapping and decapitation of 6-year-old Adam Walsh in Florida. Seemingly overnight, American childhood changed forever. “When Adam Walsh was killed, every kid in the country knew his name, knew how he died and the horrible story of how they found the body,” Cargill says. “It gave us all nightmares, and it actually led to a line in the script: ‘You go from being an unknown kid for so long, and then everyone knows your name.’ That’s very much reflective of the era that we all grew up in.”

It is perhaps no surprise, then, that the seeds of Derrickson’s artistic future were planted here, too. “Growing up and feeling a lot of fear as a kid and understanding that emotion, my love for horror ultimately originated there,” Derrickson says. “Watching horror and making horror, for me, has always been about confronting something that I’m afraid of. I love the non-denial in the genre. Looking into the eyes of something unspoken or that’s unspeakably scary in the world or in nature, I’ve always found it an incredibly cathartic experience, both as a viewer and as an artist.”

“Joe Hill’s short story is very compact and simple,” Derrickson says. “But despite the simplicity of the structure, I felt tremendously empathetic for the lead character. I was excited to expand on that character even more and provide the audience with the opportunity to feel the fear that he feels. We auditioned a lot of kids, and we were lucky to find Mason for the role of Finney. He really carries the film with a very nuanced, powerful, and demanding performance.”

Several aspects of Finney and his life are drawn from Derrickson’s own childhood memories.

One of the first scenes in the film sees Finney watching the 1959 William Castle horror classic The Tingler. “I built haunted houses in my basement as a kid,” Derrickson says. “I was that kid watching The Tingler, and I never forgot it. It was the first horror movie that I remember stumbling on, on my own. It’s a black-and-white film and that scene when, suddenly, bright red crimson blood appears, that burned into my brain and I never let it go. Not a week goes by that I’m not thinking about the images from that movie. Children have a fascination and innate need to take those horrific things in. I think it’s an instinctive reckoning with how scary it is to be a human being, especially for a child.”

Joe Hill

Joseph Hillström King (born June 4, 1972), better known by the pen name Joe Hill, is an American writer. His work includes the novels Heart-Shaped Box (2007), Horns (2010), NOS4A2 (2013), and The Fireman (2016); the short story collections 20th Century Ghosts (2005) and Strange Weather (2017); and the comic book series Locke & Key (2008–2013). He has won awards including Bram Stoker Awards, British Fantasy Awards, and an Eisner Award. In 2019, In the Tall Grass, co-written with his father Stephen King, was released as a Netflix Original film.

Die Ontwaking (‘The Awakening’), a grisly, action-packed thriller that investigates the mind and motivations of an acutely intelligent serial killer, and marks the directorial debut of acclaimed production designer Johnny Breedt (Paljas, Hotel Rwanda, A Long Walk to Freedom, Sergio Replicas Redeeming Love).

Daniel Dercksen shares a few thoughts with producer and writer-director Johnny Breedt

Well done on a film that really hits home and allows us to reconnect with the darkness that lurks in society.  Your views on this?

I learned from Anthony Minghella that making films that had elements of the darker side of life is way more interesting than most. He always chose this as an essential key to the projects that he took on and although he never made that many films, most were brilliant.

Die Ontwaking is an incredibly provocative and alluring title. Tell me about it.

A few years ago I decided I wanted to direct a film in Afrikaans and I popped into a book store to look for inspiration,” says Breedt. “That’s when I came across Chris Karsten’s ‘Abel se Ontwaking’. I read it on a flight to the USA and I could not put it down. I just knew that it could be turned into a fantastic film. The thriller genre is much darker than what I had in mind for my first feature film, but that was also what attracted me to the project. I wanted to challenge myself as a scriptwriter and director and this was the perfect vehicle. I was determined to take the audience with me into places that make people feel uncomfortable.”

Even though it is quite clear from the book title, that Abel Lotz is the serial killer, I wanted to make it not as obvious in the title, so I dropped the first part and decided on “Die Ontwaking” instead. The publishers of the book then very cleverly brought the book out again with my title and Gys De Villiers on the cover.

Production Designer and filmmaker Johnny Breedt talks about Sergio and how the Corona Pandemic has severely impacted the entertainment industry.

What inspired you to write the screenplay, produce the film and then sit in the director’s chair?

I really wanted to be challenged as a filmmaker and wanted to do the same with my audience, take them to a place where they do not necessarily want to go. Honestly, I did not think my first film as a director would be a psycho thriller, but I did know that I was not going to make what everyone else was doing. Producing the film is an entity on its own, especially raising the funds and then delivering the film within that budget. I always wanted to be a director, way before I ended up designing films, so the transition was easy for me. I was also fortunate to work alongside directors like Phillip Noyce, Carrol Ballard, Terry George, and Anthony Minghella, so I really learned from some of the best.

Was it an easy story to write?

No. At first, I thought adapting a book would be easier than starting with an original screenplay, but boy was I wrong. I have written a number of original scripts and they seemed easier as I was the sole creator of the story and the characters. It was difficult to take someone else’s story and characters and try and make them my own. The way I got around it was I eliminated a lot of the backstory details that were in the book. These played off mostly during the Boer war and I figured that if a younger audience were going to be attracted to the story, then I should lose the Boer war story. I also changed some of the characters and added in some of my own ideas and this then started taking the shape that i was after. Chris Karsten wrote a beautiful, almost poetic novel and I butchered to make it work cinematically, but still kept the original concept intact where possible. Chris was very impressed with the final outcome of the film.

Did you write the screenplay with any particular actors in mind? If so, how did this influence your writing of the screenplay?

No…I think that would be a huge mistake…..never write a screenplay for a specific actor. I actually spoke to a couple of actors about playing Abel Lotz, before deciding to go with Gys.  The screenplay must always come first and then the cast and rest follow, well that’s how I feel about it.

Tell me about your cast and how they influenced the film from page to screen.

I had a wonderful mixture of both experienced cast and some new actors. Gys definitely brought Abel’s character to life and he took a different direction than what I had originally imagined. At first, I was a little apprehensive about that, but I soon realized that he was going to give me a character that people would be expecting for a film of this genre. Personally, I think this role was made for Gys and it is one of his best by far. Paul Eilers did the same with his character, as did Gerard Rudolf and Morne Visser. The experience that they brought to the show was incredible and I could see how the younger actors were feeding off them during filming.

Gys De Villiers

You decided to not keep the identity of the killer a secret, but rather take us into his warped life and allow us entry into his mindscape. Still, you manage to maintain an incredible and tangible tension from start to finish.

That was tricky to do. I remember when I first shopped this around to a number of local producers; they all hated the fact that the killer was revealed early. I tried to change that and the result was that Gys’ character only made his first appearance in the middle of the second act and I knew that was going to sink me. So then, I changed who the film was about and made Ella Neser the protagonist and it became her story and how she and her colleagues try to solve this case. That way the audience knows who the killer is, but the detectives don’t….that made a huge difference.

Did you set out to write and direct the film?

Yes. I love writing and I love directing. Sure I would also direct other people’s scripts, but feel closer to the process this way.

Writing and directing a story you feel passionate about is ideal for any storyteller.

If you don’t have a passion or you don’t follow that passion, you die. I follow this mantra in life, not only in writing and directing but in everything I tackle.

The film has a hushed intensity, filled with whispers that set a somber tone. Was this your intention?

Some of it yes…..I wish I had done that even more, but I was often left with 15 mins to complete a scene. The actors were great with this as well and I often kept rolling the cameras, even once the shot was completed and I was surprised at what actors do after they feel they have delivered what was expected on the written page. This is a technique I will keep using. For me, the reality is essential in my films and actors do very real things when they think you are not watching.

There is also a sense of a privileged and sterile existence. Your views on this?

I did not want this to look like an Afrikaans film and rather opted for an almost Scandinavian or European feel to it, but at the same time, the language of the film and the story had to be South African.

The film is filled with incredible sadness and hostility between the characters. Your views on this?

This is life! Abel is a serial killer but we the audience will also have pity on the man. Ella loses the love of her life and then gets tossed into what she thinks will be a simple murder case, only to learn it is a serial killer, Fred Langer is pissed off with his boss as he made Ella the lead detective on his case and Silas Suals just wants to retire. I tried to create a sense of this young woman trying to fit into what is recognized as largely a “man’s world” and with that, you get animosity, hostility, and sadness.

Do you see yourself as a writer or director? What is your main focus?

I am a writer-director, but as I said before I would do either. I am really a storyteller, but I do have an addiction too for carrying out both roles.

Do you find that your celebrated career as a production designer has helped you in writing the screenplay? 

Yes of course. I have worked on over 60 productions and have read hundreds of screenplays in the process. The production design is about creating incredible images that tell a story and we often forget that that is what a film is….moving images. Although good directors don’t have to have been production designers, they are still involved in a large way, in the overall look of the film. They achieve this together with the cinematographer and production designer. In my case, I am able to use my design skills to my advantage, but what I will say, one can never be both on a film. I distanced myself more from the design job on Die Ontwaking and vice versa when I work as a production designer on other projects.

Johnny Breedt

Have you always wanted to be a filmmaker and where did it start for you? When was the first moment that you knew you wanted to be a storyteller and storymaker?

I knew at a very early age that I wanted to do this as a career. At first, my father was not keen and of course today he is my biggest fan. I used to talk a lot of shit when I was younger and people were always amazed by what came out of my mouth and that has never changed. Oddly I would describe myself as an introvert who has the ability to bullshit in a way that people listen.

What excites and motivates you as a filmmaker?

I like stuff that is realistic and I like to take risks, that really motivates me. I really love taking a script from concept to the end product, as a designer or as a director. Writing is where it all starts of course…..without the script we have nothing.

How do you see the current state of the local film industry?

I am excited to see new genres slowly creeping in and some great talent emerging. What we have to be careful of is making crap just because we can. Audiences are not as stupid as many distributors would like to think and they will start to demand great content. Of course, there will always be a place for romantic comedies, but if we want to be more than just a nation that has talent, and rather is known as a nation that makes its own great films, we will have to get our audiences to appreciate local cinema more. Why will Afrikaners watch horror in English but not in Afrikaans? That’s why I don’t specifically make” Afrikaans films”….I make “South African films” that hopefully can stand their own ground internationally, they just happen to be in Afrikaans.

What advice do you have for writers who want to break into the industry?

Never give up, have more than one script, and don’t be afraid to rewrite!

What do you hope audiences will take home from watching Die Ontwaking?

I really hope that people still talk about the film and its characters a day or two after watching it. Although the film is graphic and dark, it is still just a film and i can only hope that people will enjoy it.

Tell me about your future plans.

I am currently busy writing three scripts. “The Border” which is set during the Angolan bush war (also an adaptation), “Toorberg” (adaptation), and a personal story entitled “Hotel Boys” which depicts the life and struggles of two teenage boys growing up in one-star hotels in Apartheid South Africa

How difficult is it to produce a film independently in South Africa and then send it out into the world?

It is extremely difficult. It took me two years to get my film screened in my own country and we have only recently managed to get a foreign sales agent on board. We just never gave up trying and now the rewards are great. When my films go to the cinemas on the 26th of Feb, I will truly feel like I have moved up into the position of director. I was extremely fortunate that I had Charon Landman, a local businesswoman as the benefactor of my film. If it were not for her financial role as executive producer, together with the DTI, this would not have been possible.

Until you know what you are trying to say, your story isn’t complete

The writing process is a search for meaning, a theme, what the story is really about, what gives it meaning and a purpose for being, besides making millions of dollars for stars and movie studios.

The theme is a unifying idea or motif, repeated or developed throughout a work.

Once you have something you want to write about (Idea), defined the Premise and Concept, and know what your genre is, you need to know what the intention, objective or controlling idea – theme – of your story is.

  • The story is what happens
  • The plot is how the what happens
  • Character is who the what happens to
  • The setting is where what happens
  • The theme is why what happens

You have to have a clear understanding of what story it is you are trying to tell.

A good analogy is trying to sweeten a glass of ice tea. Mix regular sugar and it will sink to the bottom, making it bitter except for the bottom, which will be too sweet. Try it with Equal, and the tea will be sweet throughout. Sweetness is your message, and it must be completely diluted to disappear into the beverage of entertainment. Karl Iglesias, The 101 Habits Of Successful Screenwriters

All great writing is about something

Professional writers do not commit several years to a story unless they have something to say.

Because writers are great observers and often sensitive souls, successful screenwriters are able to recognise and offer insights into the human condition.

Great stories have powerful themes, but they are told in an entertaining way.

So what exactly is theme?

  •  The theme is the glue that holds your story together and resonates throughout the telling of your story.
  • It makes writing meaningful: It opens up the story’s inner value system (Internal Content), so that writers can make a conscious connection with what the story really wants to communicate to them and through them.
  • It is the underlying Universal Human Question your story deals with.
  • It gives us a reason why we should care; it reflects the characters’ desires, conflicts, and actions that give us a reason why we care about how the story turns out and reveals itself at the end.
  • It underlies the story: if you want to express that ‘Greed is Bad’, write a story in which greed destroys people’s lives.
  • It connects characters: all the main characters in your story reflect the theme in some way. If the theme is ‘Redemption’, some characters start out fallen and are redeemed; some are fallen and are never redeemed, and some are already redeemed.
  • It leaves the reader and audience with an understanding of why the problem and the actions of the characters are relevant.
  • It is the abstract issue and feelings that grow out of the dramatic action.
  • It gives meaning to the activity of the plot and purpose to the movement of the characters.
  • Your sense of theme will give focus to your story material.

Examples of themes from groundbreaking films:

In Jaws a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island. The police chief Martin Brody wants to close the beaches, but mayor Larry Vaughn overrules him, fearing that the loss of tourist revenue will cripple the town. Ichthyologist Matt Hooper and grizzled ship captain Quint offer to help Brody capture the killer beast, and the trio engages in an epic battle of man vs. nature. Theme: Nature is still bigger than you

In The Sixth Sense Young Cole Sear is haunted by a dark secret: he is visited by ghosts. Cole is frightened by visitations from those with unresolved problems who appear from the shadows. He is too afraid to tell anyone about his anguish, except child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe. As Dr. Crowe tries to uncover the truth about Cole’s supernatural abilities, the consequences for client and therapist are a jolt that awakens them both to something unexplainable. Theme: Guilt versus redemption

In Chinatown Los Angeles private eye J.J. “Jake” Gittes is hired by Evelyn Mulwray to investigate her husband’s activities, he believes it’s a routine infidelity case. Jake’s investigation soon becomes anything but routine when he meets the real Mrs. Mulwray and realizes he was hired by an imposter. Mr. Mulwray’s sudden death sets Gittes on a tangled trail of corruption, deceit and sinister family secrets as Evelyn’s father becomes a suspect in the case. Theme: Decency is not enough to defeat corruption

Braveheart tells the story of the legendary thirteenth-century Scottish hero named William Wallace who rallies the Scottish against the English monarch and Edward I after he suffers a personal tragedy by English soldiers. Wallace gathers a group of amateur warriors that is stronger than any English army. Theme: Freedom is worth dying for

Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, the mob drama The Godfather, based on Mario Puzo’s novel of the same name, focuses on the powerful Italian-American crime family of Don Vito Corleone. When the don’s youngest son, Michael, reluctantly joins the Mafia, he becomes involved in the inevitable cycle of violence and betrayal. Although Michael tries to maintain a normal relationship with his wife, Kay, he is drawn deeper into the family business. Theme: Family is the most important thing

Star Wars is an American epic space opera franchise, centred on a film series created by George Lucas. It depicts the adventures of various characters “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” Theme: Faith can defeat empires

In Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler ageing wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson is long past his prime but still ready and rarin’ to go on the pro-wrestling circuit. After a particularly brutal beating, however, Randy hangs up his tights, pursues a serious relationship with a long-in-the-tooth stripper, and tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter. But he can’t resist the lure of the ring and readies himself for a comeback. Theme: The downward spiral of a man who desperately wants to live a life he has never known, a life outside fame, an ordinary life outside his extraordinary existence.

Explore the theme of your story fully with The Write Journey

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A MILLION COLOURS – (2011) A Million Colours, also called Colors of Heaven, is a 2011 film directed by Peter Bishai and co-written with Andre Pieterse. It is based on the lives of Muntu Ndebele and Norman Knox, actors in the film Forever Young, Forever Free, also known as e’Lollipop. It follows them from the success of the film around the time of the Soweto Uprising, through to the election of Nelson Mandela. Apartheid tests the friendship between actors Norman Knox (Jason Hartman) and Muntu Ndebele (Wandile Molebatsi).

ABRAHAM – (2015) Abraham is undoubtedly one of the best South African films ever made, a profound and consummate masterwork from industry legend, Jans Rautenbach that marks his first film in 30 years. Dann-Jaques Mouton delivers a riveting performance as Abraham, an artist and dreamer from Kannaland in the early 1980’s;  an area in the Little Karoo that stretches from the Swartberg in the north to the Langeberg in the south, and from the Anysberg in the west to the Gamkaberg in the east. Abraham is a dedicated husband and father who struggles to provide for his young wife Katie (a superb performance by Chantell Phillipus) and their four year old daughter. But through his creative determination and undying passion he finds patronage in Jong Jans (Hannes Muller) and his wife, Almeri (Franci Swanepoel). Abraham is one of the best South African films ever made

ANDER MENS -(2018) A side-splitting action comedy, with a series of unfortunate events happening to a very unfortunate and mediocre man. Daniel Niemand is the kind of dumpy little sad-sack that even flies don’t buzz around. And that’s on a good day. But all that’s about to change after his wife leaves him for their marriage counselor and he unknowingly becomes integral in a high-level police ploy to capture a local crime syndicate. Welcome to the worst week in Daniel Niemand’s life. Quentin Krog talks about the explosive new SA Film Ander Mens

BALLADE VAN ROBBIE DE WEE – (2013) From crime writer Deon Meyer comes a chilling, suspenseful movie about a desperate music manager and his newest client:a young, naive, promising singer – who may also be a murderer. Music producer Len (Neil Sandilands) has it all, but his perfect life begins to crumble when he is caught embezzling his music artists’ money. He gets a second chance when young, up and coming artist Robbie de Wee (Marno van der Merwe) enters his life. But all is not as it seems. Director: Darrell Roodt.

BALLADE VIR ‘N ENKELING– (2015) Based upon the book written by South African author Leon van Nierop, and the 1980s TV series it spawned, this drama focuses on the mysterious disappearance of celebrated writer Jacques Rynhard (Armand Aucamp), and the investigative hunt for him launched by journalist Carina Human (DonnaLee Roberts). Christia Visser, Rolanda Marais and Jacques Bessenger co-star. Written by Leon van Nierop, and directed by Quentin Krog.

BANG BANG CLUB – The Bang-Bang Club is a 2010 Canadian-South African biographical drama film written and directed by Steven Silver and stars Ryan Phillippe as Greg Marinovich, Malin Åkerman as Robin Comley, Taylor Kitsch as Kevin Carter, Frank Rautenbach as Ken Oosterbroek and Neels Van Jaarsveld as João Silva. They portray the lives of four photojournalists active within the townships of South Africa during the apartheid period, particularly between 1990 and 1994, from when Nelson Mandela was released from prison to the 1994 elections. It is a film adaptation of the book The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War co-written by Greg Marinovich and João Silva who were part of the group of four photographers known as Bang-Bang Club, the other two members being Kevin Carter and Ken Oosterbroek.

BEAT THE DRUM (2003) A young South African orphan named Musa (Junior Singo) leaves his AIDS-ravaged village in KwaZulu-Natal, taking along only a drum given to him by his father, for the gritty streets of Johannesburg in search of work and his uncle. The trip proves to be enlightening for young Musa, who is faced with the culture shock of urban society. Meanwhile, a wealthy lawyer from a privileged family learns he has AIDS, and a truck driver’s dangerous sexual proclivities endanger his wife. Beat the Drum, written and produced by W. David McBrayer and directed by David Hickson, is a South African film starring Clive Scott and Owen Sejake. McBrayer has said that he wrote Beat The Drum to “help give a voice to the voiceless. I simply wanted to be an honest witness to the plight of these kids. When there is a tear in the human fabric we should all feel it.”

BLACK BUTTERFLIES – (2011) Black Butterflies is an English-language Dutch drama film about the life of South-African poet Ingrid Jonker. Poetry, politics, madness, and desire collide in the true story of the woman hailed as South Africa’s Sylvia Plath. In 1960s Cape Town, as Apartheid steals the expressive rights of blacks and whites alike, young Ingrid Jonker finds her freedom scrawling verse while frittering through a series of stormy affairs. Amid escalating quarrels with her lovers and her rigid father, a parliament censorship minister, the poet witnesses an unconscionable event that will alter the course of both her artistic and personal lives.

BLOEDBROERS – SEASON 1 – (2015) Set during an incredibly tumultuous period of the Afrikaners’ development between 1914 and 1948, the story follows the lives of four young men–Willem, P.G., Gerhard, and Bennie–poor white miners who become involved in the 1914 Rebellion by chance. When the Rebellion is unsuccessful, the four young men find themselves at a crossroads: do they continue as before, or do they fight for freedom and a better future? We follow their lives and see how each one falls in love and starts his own family, survives through the chaos of the 1922 mine workers’ rebellion, the Depression of the 1930s, the uncertain times during World War II, and the buildup to the infamous 1948 election. But to share blood and swear to be blood brothers is one thing. To honour that oath through all the twists and turns of life is something completely different, especially when your life choice stands in stark contrast to that of your blood brother. Written by Deon Opperman. Director: Jozua Malherbe

BOERE OP DIE AARDSDREMPEL In remote Patagonia, a 100-year-old community of Afrikaans Boers struggles to keep their language and culture alive, while longing to be reunited with their distant families in South Africa. Genre:Documentary (2016) Richard Finn Gregory

BOND OF BLOOD: THE PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON -(2015) Bond of Blood is a modern version of the biblical story of the prodigal son. It tells the tale of a father, David, who owns a wine farm in Stellenbosch, and his two sons. The younger son, Luke, an aspiring stock trader, wants to get out of farming and move to the city. To do so, he needs money and asks his father for half of his inheritance. The older son, Chris, is passionate about the farm and the wine that they produce. The younger son leaves for Johannesburg where he subsequently squanders all his money on gambling, alcohol, drugs and general bad decisions. He ends up homeless, living on the streets. He finally comes to his senses and decides to return home. His father and mother welcomes him back with open arms and forgives his transgressions. The older brother, who had remained on the farm, resents the mercy shown. Director:Christopher-Lee Dos Santos / Writer:Jacob Teunissen. Starring Rowan Cloete, J.P. du Plessis, Sarah Kozlowski

CITY OF VIOLENCE – (2013) Also known as Zulu. Policemen Ali Sokhela and Brian Epkeen investigate the brutal murder of a young white woman, apparently provoked by the availability of a new illegal drug and somehow connected to the disappearance of black street children. Crime film directed by Jérôme Salle and starring Orlando Bloom and Forest Whitaker. It was selected as the closing film at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. The film is partly based on Project Coast, the program for biological and chemical weapons of the South African apartheid regime, and the book Zulu by author Caryl Férey, winner of the French Grand Prix for Best Crime Novel of 2008.

DIE LAASTE TANGO – (2013) De Wet, a 34-year old, workaholic detective is burnt out, having immersed himself in an investigation involving the ruthless murder of 9 girls. De Wet captures the psycho-killer Basson and, in a fit of rage, brutally beats the suspect, thus compromising the killer’s conviction by putting him in hospital. De Wet’s boss sends him away to the isolated town of Loxton in the middle of the Karoo to cool off while the controversy of his indiscretion blows over. In this small community, De Wet meets Ella, a passionate and beautiful woman who is dying of cancer. His only goal is to fight boredom until he’s allowed to resume his detective duties, Ella’s dying wish is to dance one last tango before her life is over. De Wet reluctantly agrees to help her fulfill her dream, and in doing so, realizes his own need for healing and inner peace. Written and directed by Dean Meyer.

DIE ONGELOOFLIKE VERHAAL VAN HANNA HOEKOM – (2010) Based on the favourite Afrikaans children’s novel, Hanna is 14 going on 15 and is part of a rather unconventional family. They go on holiday to the Cederberg for a family reunion, which leads to plenty of surprises and reconciliation. Hanna is an intelligent and imaginative young girl who’s earned herself the nickname “Hoekom,” because she’s forever questioning things. When her eccentric mother decides that the family – including her gay biological dad, actor stepfather, detestable half-brother and two stepbrothers – should spend their winter holiday in a remote house on a mountain, they end up stranded with nowhere to go and no-one to turn to except each other. Director: Regardt van den Bergh / Writer: Gustav Kuhn, Marita van der Vyver / Stars: Anna-Mart van der Merwe, Gys de Villiers.

DIE PRO – (2015) (“The Pro”) tells the story of a young surfer, Tiaan Nothnagel, that has to come to terms with the accidental death of his best friend, Dirkie Lawrence, just before their last year at school. After Dirkie’s death, Tiaan swears off surfing for good, as he can’t stand to be reminded of everything that he and Dirkie shared. But then, Dirkie’s twin sister (who went to live with their dad after their parents split up the previous year) arrives in town on a mission of her own: to be selected to go on Wave-Seekers, a fictional World Surf Tour and something that Tiaan and Dirkie dreamt of doing themselves. But for her to succeed, she needs Tiaan’s help, and by implication, she needs him to get back on his surfboard…He eventually gets back on and gets first place for wave seekers. Director: Andre Velts / Writer: Tiaan van Niekerk / Stars: Edwin van der Walt, Reine Swart, Vilje Maritz

DIS EK, ANNA – a 2015 South African Afrikaans-language drama produced by Palama Productions based on novels by Anchien Troskie: Dis ek, Anna (It’s me, Anna) and Die Staat teen Anna Bruwer (The State vs Anna Bruwer). Set in modern-day South Africa, it tells the story of Anna Bruwer, who avenges years of abuse suffered at the hands of her stepfather and the court case that ensues. Written by Tertius Kapp. Produced by Niel van Deventer. Directed by Sara Blecher and starring among others Charlene Brouwer, Marius Weyers, Nicola Hanekom, Morne Visser, Drikus Volschenk, Elize Cawood and Eduan van Jaarsveld. Read more

DIS KOUE KOS SKAT – (2016) After Clara Brand discovers that her husband Bernard is cheating on her with her friend and colleague Anais, things take a turn for the worse. With a collapsing marriage and a ruined friendship, Clara moves herself and her children from Johannesburg and Cape Town in an attempt to start fresh. Here she rediscovers her passion for food, begins new friendships, and re-enters the dating world (often with catastrophic results) for the first time in 20 years, all while plotting revenge on the people who wronged her. Director: Etienne Fourie / Writer: Marita van der Vyver, Etienne Fourie (based on Van Der Vyfer’s novel) / Stars: Anna-Mart van der Merwe, Deon Lotz, Elsabe Zietsman

DISTRICT 9 – A 2009 science fiction action thriller film directed by Neill Blomkamp in his feature film debut, written by Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, and produced by Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham. It is a co-production of New Zealand, the United States, and South Africa. The film stars Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, and David James, and was adapted from Blomkamp’s 2006 short film Alive in Joburg. In 1982, a massive star ship bearing a bedraggled alien population, nicknamed “The Prawns,” appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years later, the initial welcome by the human population has faded. The refugee camp where the aliens were located has deteriorated into a militarized ghetto called District 9, where they are confined and exploited in squalor. In 2010, the munitions corporation, Multi-National United, is contracted to forcibly evict the population with operative Wikus van der Merwe in charge. In this operation, Wikus is exposed to a strange alien chemical and must rely on the help of his only two new ‘Prawn’ friends.

EERSTE WATER – (2017) This documentary considers the complex interplay between the individual psyche, the social fabric, and the arid land which sustains life in the Karoo. Local Prince Albert residents tell of their divergent lives: of devotion to caregiving betond the bounds of family; of the philosopher farmer’s relationship with the land; of losing parts of oneself; and of relationships whilst at the mercy of a system that is failing/ Directed by Helene Smit, Adriaan de la rey and Lodewyk Barkhuizen. Filmed in Prince Albert.

EGOLI: Afrikaners is Plesierig – (2010) From renowned series creator and writer Franz Marx comes a thrilling story about deep and dark secrets from Niek (David Rees) and Joe’s (Darren Kelfkens) past, which threaten both their present and future. The film followes several months after the TV series ended. Director: Bromley Cawood / Writer: Christo Compion / Stars: David Rees, Darren Kelfkens, Leandie du Randt

ELLEN: THE ELLEN PAKKIES STORY – (2018) Based on true events, the film tells a story of the damaged relationship between a woman and her son, who is addicted to drug abuse. It also narrates the itenary of events that led to the murder of her son, as well as the legal process that followed afterwards. Directed by: Daryne Joshua / Starring: Jill Levenberg, Jarrid Geduld, Elton Landrew. Amy Jeptha talks about writing the screenplay for Ellen, The Ellen Pakkies Story

FANIE FOURIE’S LABOLA – a 2013 South African romantic comedy based on the novel by Nape ‘a Motana. The story of the complications that ensue when an Afrikaans man and Zulu girl fall in love, especially when the traditional custom of “lobola”, or dowry, makes things even more difficult for them. Director: Henk Pretorius / Writer: Henk Pretorius, Janine Eser /Stars: Eduan van Jaarsveldt, Zethu Dlomo-Mphahlele. Read more

FIELA SE KIND – (2019) A story of the walls that separate us and the love that unites, Fiela se Kind tells the tale of a coloured woman in 1890s Southern Africa who finds a white toddler on her Karoo doorstep and raises him as her own. Nine years later,he is discovered and sent to what is believed to be his ‘original’ family. Dalene Matthee’s novel,which spans over 20 years, follows the journey of Benjamin , a boy with two names, and Fiela and Barta, the two women he calls ‘mother’ is masterfully adapted and directed by Brett Michael Innes, a bestselling author and award-winning filmmaker who wowed audiences with Sink. Fiela Se Kind – A South African classic / Writer-Director Brett Michael Innes talks about his masterful adaptation of Fiela Se Kind

FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES – a 2017 South African Neo-Western thriller film written by Sean Drummond and directed by Michael Matthews. iT deals with the struggles and triumphs (over nature, crime and human nature) that affect communities on this new frontier, and the rich characters found in them. It contains many of the archetypes of the classic western – larger than life heroes and villains, an examination of the ideas of ‘good’ vs ‘evil’, conflicting human tendencies towards brotherhood and brutality and the themes of land and ownership, claim and legacy, and the urge to protect our roots – from even ourselves. Five Fingers for Marseilles – A Contemporary South African Western

FREE STATE – (2016) A random act of kindness sparks a forbidden love affair between a white girl and an Indian man during the Apartheid system in South Africa. Director: Salmon de Jager / Writer: Salmon de Jager / Stars: Nicola Breytenbach, Andrew Govender. Writing Studio graduate Sallas de Jager conquers the world with Free State

FRENCH TOAST – (2015) Lisa lives with her father, Izak on a wine farm in Franschoek. Her mother died some time ago, and left a french toast recipe that only a few people know. One day she finds her mothers diary and to her astonishment finds out that she has a brother or sister in France somewhere. She decides to go and find her sibling. Her boyfriend, Theo, is on the verge of asking her to marry him, but understands that she has to go. In France she meets a chef, Jean-Pierre, who works in the Alexandre cafe shop. He is looking for a photographer for his cook book. Because she cant speak French, she decides to help him but then he must help her find her sister or brother. They have fun looking for her sibling but then something happens that makes Jean-Pierre disappear and he asks her not to look for him. Why does he do this? Does she find her sibling? Is Jean-Pierre her sibling? Does Liza go home and marry Theo? Director: Paul Krüger, Anél Stolp / Writer: Tina Kruger / Stars: Lika Berning, Thierry Ballarin, Deon Lotz.

GETROUD MET RUGBY – (2011) The tale of two broken people, rugby players whose paths cross in order to find themselves. Reghart Venter is a mechanic from the wrong side of the tracks. He was a promising rugby player, but lost his way. After several charges of fighting and assault he gets a final ultimatum – pull himself together or go to jail. Reghart’s sentence is community service – practicing rugby with a fallen hero of the Stryders Rugby team, Fafa Beltrame. “Fast Fafaâ? was once the fastest wing in the country, and a hit with the ladies. Fafa lost his way after he and his wife, Kiki, separated after losing their daughter. Fafa seeks refuge in a bottle, and, in the process, alienates everyone who cares for him. When Reghart is unwillingly dragged by his friends to Pottie’s Place (the local bar), he meets Lize. For the first time in his life, there’s something against which he can’t fight: His heart. Director: Cobus Rossouw / Writer: Deon Opperman, Cobus Rossouw /Stars: Altus Theart, Izak Davel, San-Marie Nel

HANSIE – (2008) “How do you start over once you have betrayed a nation’s trust?” The news of Hansie Cronjé’s involvement with Indian bookmakers and his resulting public confession rocked the international sporting community. An unprecedented rise to glory was followed by the most horrific fall. A tarnished hero fueled the nation’s fury. Hansie, once South African cricket’s golden boy, had been stripped of everything he had held dear: a glorious captaincy, the support of his former team mates and the respect of a nation. In its place the stinging rejection of cricket administrators and the humiliating dissection of his life on international television, made his retreat into depression inevitable. Hansie’s bravest moment in finally confessing his involvement with bookies had suddenly become a tightening noose around his neck. Hansie explores the very human drama of a man who, after losing everything he has worked for, begins the painstaking journey back to choosing “life”. Director: Regardt van den Bergh / Writer: Dylan Ben-Israel, Frans Cronjé / Stars: Frank Rautenbach, Sarah Thompson

HOND SE DINGES – (2009) A mad-cap Afrikaans comedy set in a small town on the platteland. The plot revolves around a dog, and a diamond, and the assorted people who would like very much to get their hands on that diamond. Director: Johan Heyns / Writer: Johan Heyns, Johann Potgieter, Frank Opperman / Stars: Ivan Botha, Tinarie van Wyk Loots, Marcel van Heerden.

INVICTUS is a 2009 biographical sports drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. The story is based on the 2008 John Carlin book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation about the events in South Africa before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The Springboks were not expected to perform well, the team having only recently returned to high-level international competition following the dismantling of apartheid—the country was hosting the World Cup, thus earning an automatic entry. Freeman and Damon play the South African President Nelson Mandela and François Pienaar, respectively. François was the captain of the South Africa rugby union team, the Springboks.

IZULU LAMI – A 2009 South African film. The movie was shot in the Zulu language; only a few sentences of English are spoken. When their mother dies, the ten-year-old girl Thembi and her younger brother go to the city of Durban, but are lost in the city alone in a confused state. Director: Madoda Ncayiyana / Writer: Julie Frederikse, Madoda Ncayiyana / Stars: Sobahle Mkhabase, Sibonelo Malinga,

JAGVELD – (2016) The action is relentless in this pulsating South African movie. A woman who witnessed the murder of a policeman must now escape the six men hunting her. Gentle, beautiful, pacifist Emma should have been easy prey. But life is full of surprisesThe cast include Neels van Jaarsveld, Bouwer Bosch, Leandie du Randt and Tim Theron. The script was written by best-selling author, Deon Meyer. Directed by Byron_Davis.

THE JAKES ARE MISSING – Janice and Donald Jakes have fallen out of love and into Police Protection. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time sends Simon Jakes, and his parents to a journey where they will rediscover what it means to love each other. Director:  Figjam / Writer: Bianca Isaac / Cast: Jody Abrahams, Nicole Bailey, Grace Bapela / Read more

JAKHALSDANS – Mara moves to the Karoo to work as a school teacher. When she discovers that her school is in financial trouble, she organises a music concert in the hope that the country’s biggest Afrikaans music stars will heed her call. A 2010 South Africa-English language movie, directed by Darrell Roodt (as Darrell James Roodt) and written by Deon Meyer. With Theuns Jordaan, Elizma Theron.

JOHNNY IS NIE DOOD NIE – With Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie,  writer-director Christiaan Olwagen delivers a refreshing film that is as radical as the Voëlvry music movement that rebelled against the autocratic dictates of the apartheid government and changed the hearts of a generation of South Africans who wanted to break free from oppressive separatism. In the film a group of friends gather to celebrate the life and music of Johannes Kerkorrel, the lead singer of the Gereformeerde Blues Band, shortly after his suicide. Bonus Features: Behind the scenes interviews with the cast and crewJohnny Is Nie Dood Nie puts the ‘lekker’ back in local films /

JONATHAN -(2016) Jonathan, a dreamer and wannabe stand-up comedian in his late 20’s, still lives with parents. After another failed open mic performance he gets drunk and crashes his father’s car on the way home. This is the last straw for his loving but fed up parents and his father kicks him out of the house. Having nowhere to go he becomes a car-guard. After a very hostile reception by the other car-guards, the eldest car-guard decides to take Johnathan under his wing and teaches him the finer art of being a car-guard and more importantly, he teaches Jonathan about life and how to survive as an outcast. Jonathan also falls in love with a girl way out of his league. Will he be able to apply the lessons learned to make peace with his family, earn the forgiveness of his mentor and win the heart of the most beautiful girl he ever met? With Rikus de Beer,  Writer-director Sallas De Jager, a proud graduate of The Writing Studio, talks about his new film Jonathan

KALUSHI – (2017) South African filmmaker, Mandla Walter Dube, makes his feature directorial debut with the human drama Kalushi – The Solomon Mhlanga Story. Sacrificing his short life, through a brutal death in the hands of South Africa’s apartheid police has made Mahlangu a celebrated struggle hero in the revolutionary fight or freedom. “Our movie follows the journey of this young man who, at the outset, is not at all involved in the politics of South Africa and was not involved in the student uprising on June 16, 1976.  He was trying to make a living as a hawker on the streets of Mamelodi and on the trains in Pretoria. When he had the hero’s call, he refused it, and then, something tragic happens to him which changes the entire course of his life.  When we are hit with adversity we have to start making certain decisions to help us change.  You either going to change or change is going to change you.” Kalushi – The Solomon Mhlanga Story

KANARIE – (2018) If there’s one South African film you have to add to your collection, it’s the sublime  Kanarie, marking the heavenly collaboration with director Christiaan Olwagen. It’s a life-changing film and alters jaded perceptions, a heart-breaking journey into the life of a conscripted soldier in South Africa in the 80s, who finds self-love and affirmation of his true identity through the love of another young man. Kanarie is a one of those rare films you cannot resist falling head-over-heels in love with. The insightful bonus features includes Afrikaans doccies on the film’s origin, auditions and the characters, and English doccies on the story, music and film’s history. There is also the music video ‘Nader My God By U’. The film can viewed in Afrikaans, or with English subtitles. Kanarie – A heart-warming South African coming-of-age musical drama / Charl-Johan Lingenfelder talks about the astounding new South African film Kanarie

KANSASAMYS: THE WEDDING -(2019) Like viewers get drawn into the inimitable characteristics of a Harlem or Bronx in New York, so too will Kandasamys transport them into the vibrant and colourful suburb, allowing them a first-hand authentic experience of the local nuances of Indian South African culture, especially since at the heart of the story is a big, fat Indian South African wedding! Light-hearted, and entertaining, the story is supported by an array of colourful characters that celebrate the rich way of life in Chatsworth, and serves as a reminder of the important value of the mother, Producer-director and writer Jayan Moodley talks about Kandasamys: The Wedding

KEEPING UP WITH THE KANDASAMYS – (2017)The film opens a window into the lifestyle and subculture of modern-day Indian South Africans; their aspirations, dreams, challenges and the things that make them laugh and love. Directed by Jayan Moodley (White Gold). Keeping up with the Kandasamys – A New South African Comedy

KROTOA -”Identity, a sense of belonging and reconciliation are strong, universal themes in this powerful tale,” says producer-director Roberta Durant of Krotoa,  the poignant story of a feisty, bright, young eleven-year old girl, who is removed from her close-knit Khoi tribe to serve Jan van Riebeeck  at her uncle’s trading partner. Krotoa – A Powerful South African Film

KYK NET VIR TANNIE – (2016) A mockumentary featuring the life and time of Evita Bezuidenhout. Written by and starring Pieter-Dirk Uys, direct6ed by Gerrit Schoonhoven.

LEADING LADY – (2014) Jodi, an idealistic British drama teacher, travels to a South African town to prepare for a major film role. In rehearsals Jodi’s interactions with quirky locals may teach her that there is more to life than lights… camera… and action! Director: Henk Pretorius / Writer: Henk Pretorius, Tina Kruger / Stars: Katie McGrath, Bok van Blerk, Gil Bellows.

LIEFLING – (2010) Liefling Marais is an adventure-loving young girl with a passion for life. She lives on a farm in Hartbeespoort with her father Simon, mother Linda, grandfather Karel, brother Kobus, and housekeeper Katy. Simon is a professor at the university and in his class are three friends: Jan, Pieter and Gert, who also live on the outskirts of the city in Hartbeespoort. In the December holidays ,Jan, a civil engineering student raised by his grandmother, has his eye on Liefling, but spoilt little rich girl Melanie has other plans up her sleeve. Fate intervenes and brings lovers, friends, and enemies together in a sumptuous musical celebration that will have audiences laughing, crying, and singing along. Director: Brian Webber / Writers: Erik Holm, Linda Korsten, Paul Krüger / Starring: Lika Berning, Bobby van Jaarsveld

LIFE, ABOVE ALL -A 12-year-old girl (Khomotso Manyaka) fights prejudice when her family is ostracized by a South African community. A 2010 South African drama film directed by Oliver Schmitz. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. The film was selected as the South African entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards and made the final shortlist announced in January 2011. The film was adapted from the 2004 novel Chanda’s Secrets by Allan Stratton. Writer: Dennis Foon, Oliver Schmitz, Allan Stratton / Stars: Khomotso Manyaka, Keaobaka Makanyane,

LOOKING FOR LOVE – (2018) A single, unaccomplished Zulu woman must find Mr. Right in the pitiless concrete jungle that is Jo’burg before she turns 40. Following a disastrous drunken display at her younger sister’s wedding, BUYI DUBE (38) has her parents worried that she’s wasting her life working meaningless jobs. They insist that she takes her head out of the clouds and focus on finding herself a good man and settling down. Director: Adze Ugah / Stars: Celeste Ntuli, Trevor Gumbi, Phindile Gwala. Read more

‘N MAN SOOS MY PA – In ‘n Man Soos My Pa we follow the lives of 3 fathers from the 70’s to the year 2015. It tells the affecting story of fathers whose flawed humanity destroys their families, and whose love for their relations ultimately sets them on a powerful path of transformation and redemption. It’s about guiltless children and compassionate women who are subjected to their atrocious and immoral behaviour and have to build their own lives on broken dreams, and through their sacrifices shine a bright light on the importance of family. Review: ‘n Man Soos My Pa / Daniel Dercksen in conversation with writer-director Sean Else about ‘n Man Soos My Pa

MATERIAL – (2012) Cassim is a young Muslim man who works in his father’s fabric shop in Johannesburg. However, Cassim wants to be a stand-up comedian, which his father disproves of. When he gets a gig at a local bar, he has to find a way of keeping it a secret. Directed by Craig Freimond and written by Craig Freimond, Ronnie Apteker, Robbie Thorpe, Rosalind Butler and Riaad Moosa.

MAYFAIR – (2018) Mayfair takes the classic gangster film – one that peels back the layers of moral hypocrisy beneath the crime boss’s veneer of respectability – and locates it in Mayfair, Johannesburg, in 2016. ‘Mayfair’ tells the story of prodigal son Zaid Randera (Ronak Patani) who returns home to Mayfair in Johannesburg, where his overbearing father Aziz (Rajesh Gopie) – a businessman and occasional money launderer – is facing death threats. Screenwriter Neil McCarthy talks about the New South African film Mayfair / Gangster tale Mayfair a new South African film by award-winning director Sara Blecher

MEERKAT MAANTUIG – (2018) Meerkat Maantuig is inspired by the youth novella Blinde Sambok by renowned South African author Riana Scheepers. Writer-director Hanneke Schutte, decided to use the book as a point of departure and turn it into a cinematic story set in the majestic forests of Magoebaskloof, South Africa. Gideonette de la Rey is a fearful 13-year-old girl who believes in a family curse that has been passed down from generation to generation. Scared and desperate she’s unable to escape this story that has shaped her identity. Ultimately, it’s only by facing her fears that she’s able to transcend it. Writer-director Hanneke Schutte talks about Meerkat Maantuig, a truly unique South African film.

MODDER EN BLOED – (2016) It’s a poignant story of man versus himself when incarcerated with other Boer prisoners-of-war on the island of St. Helena in the Atlantic Ocean, but also the story of Afrikaner men tortured emotionally and physically by a monstrous British tyrant during the Anglo Boer War of 1899-1902, as well as the story of a British woman who redeems herself through the horrors she witnesses. These three narratives are neatly woven into a tapestry of suspense and drama, where the humanity of tortured souls is tested and the evil of dark souls are confronted. Review: Modder en Bloed (Blood and Glory) / Interview: Writer-director Sean Else talks about Modder en Bloed / Interview: Storymaker Henk Pretorius Lives His Dream With Modder & Bloed

MY FATHER’S WAR – (2016) Examining war and its effect on family. A son who has a strained relationship with his dad begins having vivid dreams that show him what his dad went through.  Edwin van der Walt is wonderfully hateable as wild-child rebel Dap Smit in South African coming-of-age war drama. Director: Craig Gardner. Cast: Edwin van der Walt, Stian Bam, Erica Wessels, Fumani Shilubana. Writer-director Craig Gardner talks about My Father’s War

MY HUNTER’S HEART – (2010) This documentary was shot over three and a half years, the film explores the world’s most ancient shamanic culture which is severely threatened as their traditional way of life and skills have been taken away from them. It tracks the Khomani San of the Southern Kalahari, the oldest living indigenous tribe in the world, who are genetically linked to every human being on Planet Earth. In modern times, their traditional nomadic way of life has changed and westernisation has severed their link to the land and the animals. The film follows younger members of the clan, /Urugab and his family, as they embark on an epic journey to try to recapture some of the knowledge and skills of their ancestors. Director: Craig Foster, Damon Foster / Writer: Craig Foster, Damon Foster / Stars: Urugab Kruiper, Sanna Witbooi, Tina Swarts

NOBODY’S DIED LAUGHING – (2016)  A documentary celebrating the life and work of South African activist and artist Pieter Dirk-Uys. The film takes the audience on a journey from South Africa to Berlin, London, Los Angeles and Geneva to highlight the importance of standing up for what you believe in with the power of laughter. Director: Willem Oelofsen, Geoffrey Butler Stars: Eric Abraham, F.W. de Klerk, Sophia Loren

NOEM MY SKOLLIE -(2016) The riveting Noem My Skollie delivers on the themes of friendship, betrayal, forgiveness, acceptance, the desire for a better life, hope and love, and is set on the Cape Flats and in Pollsmoor prison, based on the life of John W. Fredericks, who also wrote the screenplay at the age of 60. Noem My Skollie tells the story of four teenagers, AB (Austin Rose) and his three best friends Gimba (Ethan Patton), Gif (Joshua Vraagom) and Shorty (Valentino de Klerk) who grow up on the impoverished ganglands of Cape Flats in the 1960s. From Real Life To Reel Life: Noem My Skollie – the true story of a young man in 1960’s Cape Town who became a storyteller in jail.

NUL IS NIE NIKS NIE -(2017) Director Morné du Toit’s remarkable Nul is nie niks nie is an inspiring, heart-warming story about life, death and the continued hope that can be found somewhere between the two. This heart-warming story is about life, death and everything in between. The film tells the story of three friends (Hoender, Drikus and Chris) who set out to make Drikus’ last wish come true – to make a zombie movie. During their filmmaking process Hoender starts to deal with the loss of his father, he makes new friends, works on his self-confidence and realises that he has a lot to offer. Drikus’ love of life and determination brings the surrounding lifeless community together and gives them a new lease on life. Director Morné du Toit talks about Nul Is Nie Niks Nie

ONCE UPON A TIME A ROAD TRIP – (2013) Sean’s death leaves behind a twin brother, a lover and a good friend. His last will and testament insists that the three get together on a road trip to plant a cross where he died and also to try and get along. His twin brother had for years distanced himself from them because he did not approve of his brother’s cabaret lifestyle and the friends he kept. They set off on a road trip through Southern Africa to perform tasks laid down in the will in order to inherit from the estate. They also have to do one final task of performing as a trio, the ‘Manginas’ for one last show with the twin brother taking his brother’s part as a drag artist. Director: David Moore / Writer: David Moore / Stars: Tobie Cronje, Godfrey Johnson, Sue Mitchell * Only available on BluRay

ONTWAKING – (2016) A grisly, action-packed thriller that investigates the mind and motivations of an acutely intelligent serial killer, and marks the directorial debut of acclaimed production designer Johnny Breedt (Paljas, Hotel Rwanda, A Long Walk to Freedom). Interview with Die Ontwaking producer, writer and director Johnny Breedt

PAD NA JOU HART – (2014) Basson has five days to get to his father’s funeral in Cape Town, but he needs to complete certain tasks on this trip before he can call the family company his own. On the road he meets free-spirited bohemian Amory. As they journey across South Africa’s breathtaking landscape, they meet wonderful characters who allow for hilarious moments and life-changing experiences. Their trip takes a sudden bad turn when a villainous figure appears. Basson and Amory are faced with disappointment and heartache. On the road called life, it is inevitable that you will take some wrong turns. But no matter how hard the road might be, en route to true love is where you will find your true north. Directed by Jaco Smit With Ivan Botha, DonnaLee Roberts, Marius Weyers.

PALJAS – (1997) A family’s life in the Karoo (a semi-desert area in South Africa) is changed when a travelling circus leaves behind a clown. Director: Katinka Heyns / Writer: Chris Barnard / Stars: Ellis Pearson, Jan Ellis, Marius Weyers, Aletta Bezuidenhout, Ian Roberts

PAWPAW VIR MY DARLING – (2016) Family. You want to live without them, but can’t survive without them. That’s the essence of writer-director Koos Roets’ quirky satire ‘n Paw Paw Vir My Darling, which takes us on a humorous and heartfelt journey into the hearts and souls of a needy Afrikaner family living in the fictional Damnville in 2003. Based on an idea which Roets skilfully adapted from Jeanne Goosen’ bestseller that offered  an intelligent and her sharp observation and understanding of the pshyce of characters and their reactions to the social, cultural and political mileu in which they find themselves, the film adaptation aptly celebrates the core of Goosen’s work. Writer-director Koos Roets talks about ‘n Pawpaw Vir My Darling

PLATTELAND – (2011) Featuring a stellar cast of actors and musician and putting a vibrant new spin on some of the most popular Afrikaans hits of the past few years, Platteland tells the story of Riana van Niekerk, who is desperately fighting to save her family’s farm from Mike Ferreira. He has his own agenda and is determined to drive Riana from the land and seize her farm. When Dirk Pretorius, a drifter with his own secrets, arrives in town, new alliances are formed and love blossoms in unexpected ways. Directed by Sean Else / Written by Deon Opperman and Sean Else / Starring Liane May, Bok van Blerk, Steve Hofmeyr

DIE REBELLIE VAN LAFRAS VERWEY – In Chris Barnard’s poignant drama Die Rebellie Van Lafras Verwey Tobie Cronje takes on the title role of a man who has worked as a clerk in the Civil Service in Pretoria for thirty years. By day he sorts files and whiles away the mundane hours writing grandiose propaganda speeches and drilling imaginary platoons in the washroom, but unbeknownst to his colleagues he is also a clandestine parcel courier for a secret organization that recruited his services to complete their covert mission. The bonus features include a behind the scenes featurette.  Watch The Trailer

RECCE – (2018) writer-director Johannes Ferdinand (Ferdi) van Zyl film poignantly shows that without a past, there is no future.After the SADF wrongfully declares young RECCE Henk Viljoen dead behind enemy lines, it’s up to him alone to use every skill and tool in his arsenal to make it back to his grieving wife. With the enemy hot on his trail and a lethal gunshot wound in his gut, Henk’s chances for survival are looking slim as he navigates the treacherous war-torn African landscape. The Recce – A New South African War Drama / Writer-Director Johannes Ferdinand van Zyl talks about his astounding new South African Film The Recce

ROEPMAN – (2011) Tells the story of a 1966 railway community, told through the eyes of an eleven-year-old boy, called Timus. Director: Paul Eilers / Writer: Piet de Jager, Salmon de Jager, Jan van Tonder / Stars: Paul Loots, John-Henry Opperman, Deon Lotz

SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS – (2016) Shepherds and Butchers is a 2016 South African drama film directed by Oliver Schmitz. It is an adaptation of the debut novel of the same name by Chris Marnewick, a New Zealand-based author and former South African High Court barrister and judge. Nearing the end of apartheid in South Africa, a young white prison guard (Garion Dowds) embarks on a seemingly motiveless shooting that sees to the death of seven unarmed black men. A British-born lawyer assigned to his case (Steve Coogan) sets out to prove his actions were a direct result of psychological trauma from his volatile work environment. The defense attorney is an ardent opponent of the death penalty. Shepherds and Butchers puts death penalty on trial and changes history

SINK – (2016) ‘Sink’ is a contemporary drama that explores the themes of entrapment, loss and forgiveness against the backdrop of the current South African class structure and the experience of foreign nationals in the country. It tells the compelling story three people trying to deal with a tragic situation: Rachel (Shoki Mokgapa), is a mother trying to come to terms with the loss of her child and the bitterness that she feels towards the people responsible; Michelle (Anel Alexander), a woman trying to deal with the arrival of her own child and the guilt that she feels towards her involvement in the death of another’s; and Chris (Jacques Bessenger), a man trying to juggle both of the above as well as a relationship with a co-worker that threatens his marriage. Interview: Storyteller and Storymaker Brett Michael Innes Talks About Sink

SKEMERSON – (2019) The film tells the story of a young man, Sella (Beyers) who decides to take his own life. He is a doctor whose mental state has been triggered by the trauma of losing his mum after he nursed her for some time. Not only is his grief overwhelming but he also feels responsible for her death and blames himself. He stands on the 216m high Bloukrans Bridge, the iconic arch bridge located near Nature’s Valley, about to meet his fate, when he hears a young woman’s laugh. Emma (Anneke Weidemann), is taking care of her frail mother (acclaimed actress Elize Cawood), who is dying and does not have long to live. Their meeting is the beginning of a weekend that will change their lives forever. Skemerson’ is produced by Niel van Deventer (Dis Ek, Anna) and Pietie Beyers. The film stars Pietie Beyers (Binneland, Sy Klink Soos Lente), Elize Cawood (Vir Altyd, Die Wonderwerker) and Anneke Weidemann (Die Wonderwerker, Die Ongelooflike Avonture van Hanna Hoekom).  Skemerson encapsulates the experience of grief and loss in all its different forms

SOMERSON – (2015) A thirty something couple decide to break away on a last gasp holiday in an attempt to get their marital spark back. A dream holiday in paradise might be the answer but an accident along the way sends them on an unexpected adventure. Directed byClinton Lubbe / Written by Kuan Jacobs, Zandeli Meyer and Lourens van der Merwe.Stars: Reynard Slabbert, Juanita de Villiers, Bok van Blerk.

STROOMOP – (2018) Stroomop follows the lives of five very unique, very diverse women who are all trying to keep their heads above water on this river we call life, but who are actually busy drowning under the weight of the definition of being perfect … Perfect mother, perfect woman, perfect career, perfect weight, perfect hair … (Yes, this list can become very very long!) Women who are being tossed about in the biggest waves that sometimes thunder over all of us in life, or who have simply been swept away in an unending stream of worldly expectations and who have completely lost their own identity. Award-winning actor, screenwriter, producer and television presenter Ivan Botha talks about his long-awaited directorial debut Stroomop

STROPERS (The Harvesters) – (2019) An internationally co-produced feature film set within the rural Free State region of contemporary South Africa, an isolated stronghold of the Afrikaans ethnic minority. It is a psychological drama exploring the coming-of-age of a new generation of Afrikaans youth. It tells the story of obedient Afrikaans teenager, Janno, who witnesses his childhood come to an abrupt end on the day his fiercely religious mother, Marie, brings home a mysterious street orphan, Pieter, to foster on the family’s remote cattle farm. Writer-director Etienne Kallos talks about Die Stropers (The Harvesters) / Harvesting The Innocence Of Youth

STUUR GROETE AAN MANNETJIES ROUX – (2013) A teenage girl visits her aunt and uncle on their Karoo farm during the school vacation. She makes a series of discoveries: she finds out who she really is and where she comes from. Three visitors in one week change her life forever, and her uncle’s obsession with the try by Mannetjies Roux is finally explained. Director: Paul Eilers / Writer: Salmon de Jager, Christopher Torr, Simon Torr / Stars: Anna-Mart van der Merwe, Ian Roberts.

SY KLINK SOOS LENTE -(2016) What do you do when you meet the girl of your dreams and realise you’re not good enough for her? You lie, of course… Ben (Stiaan Smith), a complacent mechanic meets Linda (Amalia Uys), a beautiful and outspoken auditor in a bar one night. They start chatting and there are immediate sparks, but when Linda asks Ben what he does for a living, he lies and tells her he’s the lead singer in a band. Because not only is Linda out of Ben’s league, her father is also his boss. Linda immediately likes the charming muso, they fall for each other, and Ben has to start a band to conceal his lie and win over the girl of his dreams. “ Sy Klink Soos Lente is an exciting revival of the Afrikaans Romantic Comedy genre / Stiaan Smith talks about writing and starring in Sy Klink Soos Lente

TESS -(2016) Sassy twenty-year-old Tess (Christa Visser) sells her body on Cape Town’s streets.  She survives by popping painkillers by the bunch and through her wry humour.  But her life turns upside down when she falls pregnant. Though Tess tries to run, her past torments her. She begins to question her own sanity. Tess fights back, fighting her demons, searching for the truth. When she abandons her daily ritual of popping pills, awful pictures from her past ambush her mind. But Tess does not allow herself to collapse. Instead, she learns – perhaps because of the baby in her belly – to connect with the people around her. The Congolese refugee next door (Nse Ikpe-Etim0 treats her like a daughter. An impotent client shows her his heart. Tess finds sanctuary among strong women in a belly dance studio, and discovers she can dance up a storm. With new courage she tracks down her childhood friend, Dumi, who helps her to face the truth of her past. Tracey Farren adapted her novel to film, with Meg Rickards in the director’s chair. Bringing Tess to the big screen

THYS & TRIX – (2018) Thys and Trix (Bouwer Bosch and Leandie du Randt Bosch) are siblings and eager yet helpless police officers. Their constant feud results in their expulsion after it causes yet another embarrassment for the police service. Detective Solomons is investigating the activities of a crime syndicate in an exclusive golf estate outside Mossel Bay. Due to their ‘vanilla’ appearance, Thys and Trix are singled out for the first time as the most competent team to lead an investigation. However, the fact that they must pretend to be a married couple to make the investigation credible, complicates the situation. Solomons has to accompany them, but isn’t happy that he’ll be their butler. Soon they have an entire list of suspects. On the list are their neighbours: the Janse van Rensburg’s (the alpha-couple); the Marais’ (the alternative hippie couple); the Le Roux’s (the gay couple) and Heidi (the widower who catches Thys’ eye) Are any of Thys and Trix’s new neighbours perhaps involved with the production and distribution of MTHC, a paralysing hallucinogenic. Thys & Trix – A New South African Comedy With Attitude

TREURGROND – (2015) Treurgrond shows how a farm attack on one family can affect an entire community. Director: Darrell Roodt / Writer: Tarryn-Tanille Prinsloo / Stars: Steve Hofmeyr, Shaleen Surtie-Richards, Jana Stry

TRIOMF – (2008) “Triomf’ is about the ultimate dysfunctional family, the Benades, poor white working class Afrikaner trailer trash on the eve of the country’s first democratic election. On the eve of elections in the newly democratic South Africa, the whole country is restless. In the poor white neighbourhood of Triomf, built on the ruins of the legendary Sophiatown, the Benade family is part of that white marginalized class, rarely shown in South African cinema. Father, mother, son with learning disabilities and uncle Treppie share a decaying house surrounded by promiscuity. Worried about the result of the elections, they plan to escape to the North. In Triomf, vigorous performances from Vanessa Cooke, Lionel Newton, Eduan Van Jaarsveldt, Pam Andrews, Obed Baloyi and Paul Luckhoff give South African film characters we have never been brave enough to show until now. Directed by Michael Raeburn / Screenplay by Michael Raeburn, Malcolm Kohll (Adaptation from the novel by Marlene van Niekerk) Read more

UITVLUCHT – (2015) The story of Anna, a teacher who through an error in judgement loses everything that matters to her in life. In her heartache she finds a job at a farm school called Uitvlucht in the Eastern Cape. As she is confronted with the choices she made in her life she slowly starts experiencing healing and restoration and learns to forgive herself. She starts accepting her circumstances and the fact that someone will love her again. With the support of the teachers and Dok, a kind hearted and friendly farmer, who visits the school and make friends with Anna, she finds the courage to re-build herself and others around her. Besides her own drama, she must also suddenly deal with the alcohol abuse of school parents, molestation and ruthless people who have no respect for their own lives. Director: Regardt van den Bergh / Writer: Clara Joubert van den Bergh, Regardt van den Bergh / Stars: Clara Joubert van den Bergh, Stian Bam, Margot Luyt Regardt van den Bergh talks about his inspirational film Uitvlucht.

VAN DER MERWE – (2017) Van der Merwe, a bumbling farmer from a traditional farming family, struggles to keep his family together when his daughter returns from England with her British fiancé and family. Written and directed by Bruce Lawley and starring Rob van Vuuren, Chanelle de Jager, and Reine Swart. 

DIE VERHAAL VAN RACHELTJIE DE BEER -(2019) A retelling of the tragic yet heart-warming folktale about a young girl who makes the ultimate sacrifice to save her brother’s life, and has been adapted for the big screen by writer-director Matthys Boshoff , based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Brett Michael Innes, who co-wrote the screenplay. The Story of Racheltjie de Beer – A tale for all South Africans / Die verhaal van Racheltjie de Beer – A beloved South African folk tale brought to life on the Big Screen /

VERRAAIERS – (2012) A loving family man and respected Boer-officer, decides to head home, after hearing that the British are planning a scorched earth policy, to protect his wife and family rather than to further participate in the war. Director: Paul Eilers / Writer: Salmon de Jager / Stars: Gys de Villiers, Vilje Maritz, Andrew Thompson

VERSKIETENDE STER – (2015) The story of musical prodigy Phillip Schuman, who has the weight of the real world threatening to shadow the light of his genius. Verskietende Ster Screenwriter Stefan Enslin Reaches For The Stars

VIR DIE VOËLS -(2016) Vir Die Voëls  was inspired by the true story of Irma Humpel (Simoné Nortmann), a surly tomboy who ends up in a wedding dress, in front of the altar, with the boy who relentlessly teased her as a child. She has always believed that independence was the only form of freedom, until Sampie de Klerk (Francois Jacobs) came along and challenged her convictions on all levels. The film is set in the late 1970s and will make you feel nostalgic. It’s a film about a strong, mature woman and an equally strong man who respects that woman enough to fight for her love. It’s a story about inner conflict and preventing external circumstances and emotional baggage from getting in the way of future happiness. Writer-director Quentin Krog talks about the romantic drama Vir Die Voëls


THE WHALE CALLER – (2016) Since childhood, the Whale Caller has been calling the whales to Hermanus Cove. Now he seems more in love with a whale he named Sharisha than with the woman who loves him, Saluni. Director: Zola Maseko / Writer: Zola Maseko, Zakes Mda / Stars: Jarrid Geduld, Amrain Ismail-Essop, Sello Maake Ka-Ncube 

WHITE LION – (2010) A young African boy named Gisani finds himself destined to protect a rare and magnificent white lion cub named Letsatsi who is cast from his pride and is forced to survive on his own. Director: Michael Swan / Writer: Ivan Milborrow, Michael Swan, Janet van Eeden / Stars: Jamie Bartlett, John Kani, Thabo Malema

DIE WINDPOMP – (2014) Die Windpomp is an endearing, humorous and quirky fantasy love story that revolves around a summer romance in a retirement village between 20 year old Hendri and Margot, with an unexpected twist. Director: Etienne Fourie / Writer: Etienne Fourie / Stars: Leandie du Randt, Chris Roland, Roland Reed

WONDERLUS -(2018) In the new Afrikaans romantic comedy Wonderlus, a wedding goes awry and the morning after, friends and foes need to piece together the puzzle of the night before. In search of answers, a groom (Edwin van der Walt) needs to pursue the love of his life, a bride (Mila Guy) has to untangle herself from the past and a waitress (Lea Vivier) tries to escape the present. Writer-Director-Editor Johan Cronje talks about Wonderlus

DIE WONDERWERKER – (2012) Die Wonderwerker tells the story of Eugène Marais, a famous Afrikaans writer, poet and researcher. The story focuses on the few months he spends on the Van Rooyen’s farm, where he falls in love with the 19-year-old Jane Brayshaw. Director: Katinka Heyns / Writer: Chris Barnard / Stars: Dawid Minnaar, Elize Cawood, Marius Weyers

THE WORLD UNSEEN – The World Unseen is a 2007 historical drama film, written and directed by Shamim Sarif, adapted from her own novel. The film is set in 1950s Cape Town, South Africa during the beginning of apartheid. The film stars Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth as two Indian South African women who fall in love in a racist, sexist, and homophobic society.

Films that have been released in cinemas in South Africa from January -31 December 2021.

Listed Alphabetically

Back to Latest and Upcoming Film Releases

How things have changed for film. In the past, films were screened in cinemas and were available on DVD /BluRay. Today films are streamed digitally internationally in cinemas, or on digital platforms/video streaming services that support high-end audio and video standards. Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, and Prime Video all support 4K streaming, for example. Other streaming services top out at 1080p streaming for movies, among them Filmatique, KweliTV, Mubi, Ovid.tv, Peacock, Shudder, and The Criterion Channel.

Top 21 Films Of 2021

Favourite films of 2021

* Films that were released in cinemas (C) and digital platforms/video streaming services (S)

* Scroll down for South African Films / Other films released in 2021

A QUIET PLACE PART 2 (C) In 2018, John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place turned silence into the building blocks of fright and forged from the horror-thriller genre a modern fable of family love, communication and survival. Now, comes the story’s unnerving second chapter, A Quiet Place Part II, directed, written and produced by Krasinski, based on characters created by Bryan Woods & Scott Beck. A visceral sensory experience and exhilarating emotional journey 

ANOTHER ROUND – Four jaded high school teachers embark on a risky experiment to maintain a constant level of intoxication throughout the workday. Mads Mikkelsen is at his scintillating best in this mature blend of comedy, tragedy, and human behaviour. The 2021 Oscar for Best International Feature Film went to Thomas Vinterberg’s black comedy-drama directed by Thomas Vinterberg, from a screenplay by Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm. It also won BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language and European Film Award for Best Film. Read more

ANTLERS (C) – Adapting author-producer Nick Antosca’s short story The Quiet Boy into the emotionally charged horror feature Antlers, the screenplay by Antosca and C. Henry Chaisson blended Native American lore with family drama, with visionary director Scott Cooper exploring a mythical creature who embodied the fears and weaknesses of a small town decimated by the societal issues that so many towns encounter. Dark Secrets lead to terrifying encounters

BEING THE RICCARDOS (S)  – A revealing glimpse of the couple’s complex romantic and professional relationship, the film takes audiences into the writers’ room, onto the soundstage and behind closed doors with Ball and Arnaz during one critical production week of their ground-breaking sitcom I Love Lucy. This biographical drama was written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, and stars Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem star as Ball and Arnaz. It received a limited theatrical release by Amazon Studios prior to streaming worldwide on Prime Video. Read more

BELFAST – The film, which Branagh has described as his “most personal film”, centres on a young boy’s childhood amidst the tumult of Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the 1960s. A nine-year-old boy must chart a path towards adulthood through a world that has suddenly turned upside down. His stable and loving community and everything he thought he understood about life is changed forever but joy, laughter, music and the formative magic of the movies remain. Written and directed by Kenneth Branagh, it stars Caitríona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, Colin Morgan, and newcomer Jude Hill. The film was released theatrically in the United States on 12 November 2021 and releases in South Africa in March 2022. It was named one of the best films of 2021 by the National Board of Review and tied with The Power of the Dog for a leading seven nominations at the 79th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Drama. Read more

BOSS LEVEL (C) –From the zany mindscape of acclaimed filmmaker Joe Carnahan – writer-director of NarcSmokin’ Aces and The Grey – comes n action-drama like no other. A unique and mind-blowing kick-ass action thriller with heart

BREAKING NEWS IN YUBA COUNTY (C) From a crackling screenplay by Amanda Idoko, a young Bronx-born screenwriter, and daughter of Nigerian immigrants, and visionary director Tate Taylor, comes a deliciously wicked, dark and humorous dissection of America’s fixation on fame, notoriety, and victimhood, even while there is actual marginalization happening just out of view. A rich tapestry of satire, sass, sympathy, and mystery

THE CARD COUNTER C) Redemption is the long game in Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter. Told with writer-director Schrader’s (First Reformed) trademark cinematic intensity, the revenge thriller tells the story of an ex-military interrogator turned gambler haunted by the ghosts of his past decisions. After serving time in prison, he reinvents himself as a professional gambler on the American poker circuit, but his actions abroad haunt him to his core, even after he swaps isolation and despair for love and connection. His only solution is to violently reckon with his own past. Exploring the depths of a protagonist’s existential despair

CHARLATAN (S) – Agnieszka Holland’s politically charged drama takes us inside the conflicted life of a non-conformist herbalist – based loosely on the healer Jan Mikolášek (1889–1973), who cured hundreds of people using plant-based remedies – exploring his unshakeable commitment to his calling, the illicit relationship with his assistant, as he perseveres first under Nazi then Communist regimes in Czechoslovakia. This Czech-Polish-Irish-Slovak drama won five awards including Best Film at the 2021 Czech Lion Awards. Read more

CINDERELLA (S) – A modern movie musical with a bold take on the classic fairy tale. Our ambitious heroine has big dreams and with the help of her fab Godmother, she perseveres to make them come true. Written and directed by Kay Cannon, it stars singer Camila Cabello as the title character in her acting debut, alongside Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, Billy Porter, and Pierce Brosnan. It is a jukebox musical, featuring pop and rock hits, in addition to several original songs. Read more

THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT (C)  It reveals a chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that marks the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense.. Keeping the “Conjuring” Universe original and fresh

THE COURIER (C) A true-life spy thriller. An unassuming British businessman forms a covert, dangerous partnership with a Soviet officer to prevent a nuclear confrontation and defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis. A true-life spy thriller

CRUELLA (C) The character of Cruella de Vil captivated audiences with her exuberance, camp sensibilities and quick wit since she was first seen on the pages of Dodie Smith’s book in 1950, and makes a welcome return in Disney’s Cruella, an origin story, revealing the fascinating tale of how gifted, non-conforming young girl evolved into the stylishly villainous Cruella de Vil. A live-action origin story about one of cinemas most notorious and notoriously fashionable villains

DEAR EVAN HANSEN (S) – Evan Hansen, a young man beset by social-anxiety disorder, is ordered by his therapist to write self-addressed motivational letters to himself in order to improve his disposition and communication skills. After one of these missives is stolen by a classmate who subsequently takes his own life, the deceased’s parents believe it to be a genuine note intended for Evan, who ingratiates himself with the family. As this relationship deepens, he begins to truly understand what it means to belong. This coming-of-age musical was directed by Stephen Chbosky from a screenplay by Steven Levenson. It is based on the stage musical of the same name by Levenson, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul. Ben Platt plays the title role, reprising the performance that he originated on stage. The ensemble cast also includes Kaitlyn Dever, Amandla Stenberg, Nik Dodani, Colton Ryan, Danny Pino, Julianne Moore, and Amy Adams. Read more

DIANA THE MUSICAL (S) – Diana is a musical was directed by Christopher Ashley, choreographed by Kelly Devine, and written by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan (the Bon Jovi keyboardist), who created the Tony Award-winning musical “Memphis.” Based on the life of Diana, Princess of Wales. Featuring Jeanna de Waal as Diana, Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles,  Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles and Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth II.  Before opening, the Broadway production was recorded in the summer of 2020 with COVID-19 safety protocols in place and no audience. This capture, also directed by Ashley, was released on Netflix on October 1, 2021. Read more

EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE (S) – The story follows and is based upon the true-life story of 16-year-old British schoolboy Jamie Campbell, as he overcomes prejudice and bullying, to step out of the darkness and become a drag queen. This biographical coming-of-age musical comedy-drama was directed by Jonathan Butterell (in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Tom MacRae based on the stage musical of the same name, which in turn was adapted from the BBC Three documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 by Jenny Popplewell. The film stars newcomer Max Harwood with Sarah Lancashire, Lauren Patel, Shobna Gulati, Ralph Ineson, Adeel Akhtar, Samuel Bottomley, Sharon Horgan, and Richard E. Grant. Following delays of a planned theatrical release by 20th Century Studios, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie was released in select theatres in the United States on 10 September 2021, followed by a worldwide streaming release on 17 September 2021 via Amazon Studios on Amazon Prime Video. Read more

THE FATHER (C) celebrates the unbreakable bond between parent and child. Award-winning French novelist, playwright and director Florian Zeller make his feature film directing debut with The Father, which he adapted for film from his celebrated stage play with British writer Christopher Hampton, his long-time collaborator and translator. A beautifully wrought family drama

THE FRENCH DISPATCH (C) – The French Dispatch is many things—a bounty of stories within stories within memories within frameworks that converges into one organic whole, a cabinet of cinematic wonders of all shapes and sizes in constant dynamic motion, a love letter to the printed word in general and The New Yorker magazine in particular, to France and to French movies…a moving meditation on living far from home. And it is never just one of those elements at a time, but usually all at once. Wes Anderson’s French love letter to internationalism, culture and the blessed art of independent journalism

GODZILLA VS. KONG (C) For decades, cinematic titans Godzilla and Kong have been following their own, separate theatrical journeys…until now. Legends collide as these mythic adversaries meet in a spectacular battle for the ages. This rivalry fuels an epic adventure that spans the globe to bring these two forces of nature, both more powerful than ever before, face to face and fist to fist on land and at sea in a battle to restore balance to the Earth. A monster-sized event film with heart, humour and enough non-stop action to transcend the genre

THE GUILTY (S) – A demoted police officer assigned to a call dispatch desk is conflicted when he receives an emergency phone call from a kidnapped woman. This crime thriller was directed and produced by Antoine Fuqua, from a screenplay by Nic Pizzolatto. A remake of the 2018 Danish film of the same name, the film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Christina Vidal, with the voices of Ethan Hawke, Riley Keough, Eli Goree, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Paul Dano, and Peter Sarsgaard. The film was released in a limited release on September 24, 2021, then digitally on Netflix.  Read more

GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE (C) For Israeli film-maker Navot Papushado, the creative process of Gunpowder Milkshake began with one simple idea. “The story started with a mother who discovers that the daughter she was forced to abandon as a child has followed her into the same dangerous profession,” he says. A Rip-Roaring, Female-Focused Thriller

HALLOWEEN KILLS – That blood-spattered Halloween night in 1978 when masked monster Michael Myers returned for reckoning continues four decades later with Halloween Kills. Fans of Halloween will absolutely be thrilled by Halloween Kills, offering a memorable and truly frightening odyssey into the nightmarish realm of malevolent evil that poignantly leads to a conclusion that will have you re-watch the from the first moment Michael Meyers stepped into our nightmares. A frightening odyssey into the nightmarish realm of malevolent evil

THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD (C) The world’s most lethal odd couple – bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) and hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) – are back on another life-threatening mission. Read more/ Trailer

HOUSE OF GUCCI (C) Producer Giannina Scott chased Sara Gay Forden’s book ‘The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour and Greed’ down twenty years ago. Scott Free, the prolific production company of visionary director/producer Ridley Scott, optioned the feature film rights for House of Gucci. The glitzy rise and fall of the Gucci family through three generations, which included extravagance, greed, betrayal and, eventually, murder, was an irresistible subject. A scandal-ridden real-life family drama

IN THE HEIGHTS – The creator of “Hamilton” and the director of “Crazy Rich Asians” invite you to a cinematic event, where the streets are made of music and little dreams become big.  In the Heights fuses Lin-Manuel Miranda’s kinetic music and lyrics with director Jon M. Chu’s lively and authentic eye for storytelling to capture a world very much of its place, but universal in its experience. Go behind the scenes / Trailer

JUNGLE CRUISE – Dwayne Johnson takes on the role of a gruff, wisecracking skipper at the helm of a ramshackle-but-charming boat with Emily Blunt as a headstrong researcher who enlists Frank’s questionable services to guide her down the deepest and most dangerous parts of the Amazon River, hoping to uncover the mystery of an ancient tribal artefact—a legendary relic with the power to change the fate of humanity. Go behind the scenes

THE KING’S MAN turns back the clock to focus on a time before the eponymous intelligence agency first formed. The very first Kingsmen are tasked with stopping a band of heinous villains who are intent on starting a war that will make them money, but threaten the end of the world as they know it. The King’s Man is a period action spy film directed by Matthew Vaughn from a screenplay by Vaughn and Karl Gajdusek and a story by Vaughn. The third instalment in the Kingsman film series. With Gemma Arterton, Matthew Goode, Ralph Fiennes, Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Feature: An epic origin story featuring a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds

LAMB (S) – A childless couple, María and Ingvar discover a mysterious newborn on their farm in Iceland. The unexpected prospect of family life brings them much joy, before ultimately destroying them. This Icelandic drama was directed by Valdimar Jóhannsson, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Sjón. The film stars Noomi Rapace, and marks Valdimar Jóhannsson’s feature-length directorial debut. After premiering at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, the film was released in Iceland on 24 September 2021. It was selected as the Icelandic entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards. Read more

THE LAST DUEL – From visionary filmmaker Ridley Scott comes The Last Duel, a gripping tale of betrayal and vengeance set against the brutality of 14th century France. Based on actual events, the historical epic unravels long-held assumptions about France’s last sanctioned duel between Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris, two friends turned bitter rivals. Starring Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck. Read more about how The Last Duel was crafted

MALIGNANT is the latest creation from “Conjuring” universe architect James Wan who returns to his roots with this new original horror thriller. In the film, Madison is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.  Read Q & A with James Wan / Trailer

THE MAURITANIAN – a remarkable true story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim) who was captured by the U.S. government and imprisoned for years without trial at Guantanamo Bay (GTMO). A is an inspiring account of survival against all odds. Go Behind The Scenes

MUSIC – The magic that can happen when someone who cannot speak with words finds people who can listen with their hearts. We review Music / Go behind the scenes of Music. / Trailer

MY SON – Driving in the heart of the Highlands, Edmond Murray receives a call from his ex-wife, in tears. Their 7-year-old son went missing from a campsite. Soon it becomes clear that the child was kidnapped and the parents give way to despair. Mystery thriller film was written and directed by Christian Carion. It is an English-language remake of his 2017 French film Mon garçon. With James McAvoy, Claire Foy, Tom Cullen, Gary Lewis.  Read more about My Son – A suspense thriller with ‘orchestrated improvisation’

NEVER GONNA SNOW AGAIN (S) is writer/ director Malgorzata Szumowska’s exquisitely off-beat story about how a masseur and hypnotist gains acceptance and stature in a wealthy gated community, touching on class, immigration, and global warming. This Polish-German comedy-drama stars Alec Utgoff, Maja Ostaszewska, Agata Kulesza, Weronika Rosati, Katarzyna Figura, Andrzej Chyra, Łukasz Simlat, and Krzysztof Czeczot. Read more

THE NIGHT HOUSE – From director David Bruckner comes The Night House. Reeling from the unexpected death of her husband, Beth (Rebecca Hall) is left alone in the lakeside home he built for her. She tries as best she can to keep it together – but then nightmares come. Disturbing visions of a presence in the house calling to her, beckoning her with a ghostly allure. Against the advice of her friends, she begins digging into her husband’s belongings, yearning for answers. What she finds are secrets both strange and disturbing – a mystery she’s determined to unravel. Go behind the scenes / Trailer

NOMADLAND – Frances McDormand plays a woman who embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. Go behind the scenes

NO MAN OF GOD (S) This crime mystery was directed by Amber Sealey and written by C. Robert Cargill, under the pseudonym of Kit Lesser. The film stars Elijah Wood, Luke Kirby, Aleksa Palladino and Robert Patrick. It is based on real life transcripts selected from conversations between serial killer Ted Bundy and FBI Special Agent Bill Hagmaier that happened between 1984 and 1989, and the complicated relationship that formed between them during Bundy’s final years on death row. Read more

NO TIME TO DIE – With the story of No Time To Die taking shape under the guidance of director Cary Joji Fukunaga and of long-time Bond screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, the producers and Daniel Craig also invited contributions from writer and actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, Killing Eve), who brought her unique take on character and story, while also maintaining what Fellow producer Barbara Broccoli describes as Bond’s “essential Britishness”. The 25th Bond movie is an intense, personal story

OSLO (S) Oslo is an American television drama film about the secret negotiation of the Oslo Accords. The film was directed by Bartlett Sher and written by J. T. Rogers, based on Rogers’ play of the same name. It stars Andrew Scott, Ruth Wilson, and Jeff Wilbusch. It was released on May 29, 2021, on HBO. Read more

PIG (C) – A truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she is kidnapped. Written and directed by Michael Sarnoski in his directorial debut. It stars Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff, and Adam Arkin. Trailer

THE POWER OF THE DOG (S) – Charismatic rancher Phil Burbank inspires fear and awe in those around him. When his brother brings home a new wife and her son, Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love. This Western drama was written and directed by Jane Campion, based on the 1967 novel of the same name by Thomas Savage. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Shot mostly across rural Otago, the film is an international co-production between New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The film had a limited theatrical release in Australia and New Zealand and was released to stream worldwide on Netflix on December 2021. It was named one of the best films of 2021 by the American Film Institute, and received seven nominations at the 79th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, as well as ten nominations at the 27th Critics’ Choice Awards, including Best Picture. Read more

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN – An arresting, blackly comedic quasi-thriller. Go behind the scenes /Trailer /

SONGBIRD – A terrifying, hypothetical look into our future, depicting increasing isolation, militarized enforcement, fear and loss. Go behind the scenes of Songbird / Trailer

SPENCER – The marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles has long since grown cold. Though rumours of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. There’s eating and drinking, shooting and hunting. Diana knows the game. But this year, things will be a whole lot different. Spencer is an imagining of what might have happened during those few fateful days. Trailer / A character-driven survival story about an iconic woman’s own declaration of independence

STILLWATER (C)– This American crime drama was directed by Tom McCarthy, based on a script he co-wrote with Marcus Hinchey, Thomas Bidegain and Noé Debré. It stars Matt Damon as an unemployed oil-rig worker from Oklahoma who sets out with a French woman (Camille Cottin) to prove his convicted daughter’s (Abigail Breslin) innocence. The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on July 8, 2021, and was released theatrically in the United States on July 30, 2021, by Focus Features. It received generally positive reviews from critics. Read more

SUICIDE SQUAD – Welcome to hell—a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst Super-Villains are kept and where they will do anything to get out. Go behind the scenes

SUPERNOVA –  Sam and Tusker, partners of 20 years, are travelling across England in their old RV visiting friends, family and places from their past. Since Tusker was diagnosed with early-onset dementia two years ago, their time together is the most important thing they have. As the trip progresses, however, their ideas for the future clash, secrets come out, and their love for each other is tested as never before. Ultimately, they must confront the question of what it means to love one another in the face of Tusker’s illness. British romantic drama film written and directed by Harry Macqueen. The film stars Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci.. Supernova’ is currently available to rent, purchase, or stream via subscription on Kanopy, Redbox, AMC on Demand, Microsoft Store, Vudu, Apple iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, DIRECTV, and Hulu . Trailer

TICK, TICK … BOOM! (S) – On the cusp of his 30th birthday, a promising young theatre composer navigates love, friendship and the pressures of life as an artist in New York City. This biographical musical drama was directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda in his feature directorial debut. Written by Steven Levenson, it is based on the stage musical of the same name by Jonathan Larson. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Robin de Jesús, Alexandra Shipp, Joshua Henry, Judith Light, and Vanessa Hudgens. It was named one of the best films of 2021 by the American Film Institute and was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Garfield) at the 79th Golden Globe Awards. Read more

WHELM (S) – Writer-director Skyler Lawson’s thriller is set deep in the Great Depression where two estranged brothers get tangled in a rivalry between a legendary bank robber and an eccentric young criminal. Through a series of bizarre occurrences, they are forced to claim allegiance to one, as they hunt down the other. As they dig deeper for the truth they find that they are part of a larger historic scheme. Director: This gangster movie has shades of an American Western. Read more

South African Films

ANGELIENA (D) – As the founding member of Towerkop Creations, a boutique film production company that has been specializing in female-driven heroine stories since its inception in 2010, filmmaker Uga Carlini’s Angeliena is story is about the self-love of a formerly homeless parking attendant, who is diagnosed with a fatal disease and dares to put her lifelong dream of travelling the world into motion. Writer-director Uga Carlini talks about her inspirational and life-affirming film Angeliena

BARAKAT (C) (D) The local film tells a story about celebrating life, culture and the importance of family. Go behind the scenes / Q & A with Amy Jephta and Ephraim Gordon / Trailer Read more

DARYN’S GYM (D) A mockumentary comedy from writer-director, Brett Michael Innes, is set in a family gym in Randburg, the film sees the lovable Daryn JNR pitted against the ruthless owner of a multi-national fitness centre as he fights to keep his family legacy alive. Released on eVOD  / Read more about the film

KAALGAT KAREL The streaking local romcom tells of Karel Venter ( Francois Jacobs), a thirty-year-old guy who loves the thrill and accompanying social media stardom of streaking during sports matches. He falls head-over-heels for the paramedic, Rita (Christa Visser), who saves him after a streak gone wrong, but there’s a problem; she’s a strait-laced single mom who has no interest in his streaking shenanigans. It is directed by Meg Rickards, who co-wrote and produced the feature with her husband Paul Egan. Read an interview with director Meg Rickards / Read more / Trailer

KLEIN KAROO 2 – For more than 8 years fans of the film, Klein Karoo has been waiting to find out what has happened in the lives of Frans, Cybil, Bongi, Jackie and the rest. The wait is finally over.  Trailer / Interview with Klein Karoo 2 screenwriter Lize Vosloo

NEW MATERIAL – The sequel to ‘Material’, released in 2012, and awarded as one of the best films to come out of South Africa. The movie combined moments of heart-wrenching family and personal drama with hilarious snippets of stand-up comedy and everyday life in one of the continent’s most cosmopolitan cities. Written and directed by Craig Friemond.

THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT’S A RESURRECTION – A haunting tribute to land, community and ancestry. The first film from Lesotho, made by a Mosotho filmmaker, is directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese. Go behind the scenes / Q & A with Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese / Trailer

Also released

ADDAMS FAMILY 2 – Everyone’s favourite spooky family is back in the animated comedy sequel, The Addams Family 2. In this all-new movie we find Morticia and Gomez distraught that their children are growing up, skipping family dinners, and totally consumed with “scream time.” To reclaim their bond they decide to cram Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester and the crew into their haunted camper and hit the road for one last miserable family vacation. Their adventure across America takes them out of their element and into hilarious run-ins with their iconic cousin, IT, as well as many new kooky characters. What could possibly go wrong? Go behind the scenes / Trailer

ADOPT A DADDY – A humorous approach to the hardships immigrant children go through in France.  Read interview with Xavier De Choudens / Trailer

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS – One day, he crosses paths with Phileas, a reckless and greedy frog, eager to take on a bet to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days and earn 10 million clams in the process.  Seizing the opportunity of a lifetime to explore the world, Passepartout embarks with his new friend on a crazy and exhilarating adventure full of twists and surprises in the animated Around The World In 80 Days. / Trailer

AFTER WE FELL is the third film in the After series, following Tessa’s life as it begins to come unglued. Nothing is what she thought it was. Not her friends. Not her family. The one person she should be able to rely on, Hardin, is furious when he discovers the massive secret she’s been keeping. And rather than being understanding, he turns to sabotage. follows Tessa’s life as it begins to come unglued. Based on the bestseller by Anna Todd, the film is directed by Castille Landon, from a screenplay by Sharon Soboil. Read more / Trailer

BLACK WIDOW – In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Go behind the scenes / Trailer

THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS The Templeton brothers have become adults and have drifted away from each other. Tim is now a married stay-at-home dad. Ted is a hedge fund CEO. But a new boss baby with a cutting-edge approach and a can-do attitude is about to bring them together again … and inspire a new family business. Go behind the scenes

CANDYMAN The horrific nature of the true story behind Candyman is exposed when a visual artist opens a door to a complex past that unravels his own sanity and unleashes a terrifying wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny. The screenplay for Candyman was crafted by Peele (who received an Oscar for his screenplay Get Out, and also stars in Candyman) with Producer Win Rosenfeld and filmmaker Nia DaCosta.  Go behind scenes

CHAOS WALKING – A young man discovers a mysterious young woman who crash lands on his planet, where all the women have disappeared and the men are afflicted by The Noise. Go behind the scenes

CHRISTMAS IS CANCELLED – When Emma finds out that her widowed dad has been dating her high school nemesis, she freaks out and embarks on a hilarious, no-holds-barred mission to break them up during their annual family Christmas festivities. Directed by Prarthana Mohan. With Dermot Mulroney, Janel Parrish, Hayley Orrantia, Mirelly Taylor.

CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG – When middle-schooler Emily Elizabeth (Darby Camp) meets a magical animal rescuer (John Cleese) who gifts her a little, red puppy, she never anticipated waking up to find a giant ten-foot hound in her small New York City apartment in Clifford The Big Red Dog. While her single mom (Sienna Guillory) is away for business, Emily and her fun but impulsive uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) set out on an adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat as our heroes take a bite out of the Big Apple. Based on the beloved Scholastic book character, Clifford will teach the world how to love big!  / An all-new film of unconditional love starring the world’s beloved hound

COME AWAY – What if, the film asks, Lewis Carroll’s Alice and J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan were brother and sister? Go behind the scenes

COMING 2 AMERICA – Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reprise their much-loved characters of Prince Akeem and Semmi. Go behind the scenes

COPSHOP – Screaming through the Nevada desert in a bullet-ridden car, wily con artist Teddy Murretto hatches a plan to hide out from lethal assassin Bob Viddick. He punches rookie officer Valerie Young to get himself arrested and locked up in a small-town police station. However, jail can’t protect Murretto for long as Viddick schemes his own way into detention, biding his time in a nearby cell until he can complete his mission. Copshop is an action thriller directed by Joe Carnahan and written by Kurt McLeod and Carnahan. Go behind the scenes / Trailer

CRITICAL THINKING – The biographical drama is based on the true story of the Miami Jackson High School chess team, the first inner-city team to win the U.S. National Chess Championship. Go behind the scenes

DEMONIC – A young woman unleashes terrifying demons when supernatural forces are at the root of her childhood trauma. A horror-thriller with a high-tech twist, Demonic is written and directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium). Writer-director Neill Blomkamp talks about Demonic – A horror-thriller with a high-tech twist

DEMON SLAYER MOVIE – a dark animated Japanese action film, based on the shōnen manga series. Read more

DUNE (C) A master of complex storytelling for the screen, visionary filmmaker Denis Villeneuve wanted to take audiences to places they’ve never been with DUNE, just as the novel did for him as a young reader, tackling the daunting adaptation as director and co-writer with acclaimed screenwriters Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth.. A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey

ENCANTO – Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Encanto tells the tale of the Madrigals, an extraordinary family who live in a wondrous, charming place called an Encanto. Each child has been blessed with a magic gift unique to them—each child except Mirabel. But when the family’s home is threatened, Mirabel may be their only hope. The film features all-new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, Moana) and is directed by Byron Howard (Zootopia, Tangled) and Jared Bush (co-director Zootopia), co-directed by Charise Castro Smith (writer The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez) and produced by Clark Spencer and Yvett Merino. Bush and Castro Smith are screenwriters on the film.  Read more about how Encanto explores the compelling but complicated relationships within families

ESCAPE ROOM: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS – a sequel to the box office hit psychological thriller that terrified audiences around the world.  In this instalment, six people unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly uncovering what they have in common to survive…and discovering they’ve all played the game before. Directed by Adam Robitel. Produced by Neal H. Moritz. The screenplay is by Will Honley and Maria Melnik & Daniel Tuch and Oren Uziel, with a story by Christine Lavaf & Fritz Bohm. 

ETERNALS – Marvel Studios’ Eternals follows a group of heroes from beyond the stars who had protected the Earth since the dawn of man. When monstrous creatures called the Deviants, long thought lost to history, mysteriously return, the Eternals are forced to reunite in order to defend humanity once again. Following her sweeping Oscar-winning portrait of the American nomadic spirit in Nomadland, writer-director Chloé Zhao takes us on a soulful journey into Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Eternals, introducing 10 Super Heroes never seen before on screen.  Read more about how the film was crafted

EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE A searing psychological thriller about a psychiatrist (Casey Affleck), whose career is thrown into jeopardy when his patient takes her own life. When he invites his patient’s surviving brother (Sam Claflin) into his home to meet his wife (Michelle Monaghan) and daughter, his family life is suddenly torn apart. Read more

EXTINCT – Two Flummels must save themselves, save their species… and just maybe change the course of history. Read more

FAST AND FURIOUS 9 – After the events of The Fate of the Furious, Dominic Toretto and his family must face Dom’s younger brother Jakob, a deadly assassin, who is working with their old enemy Cipher, and who holds a personal vendetta against Dominic in Fast & Furious 9. Go behind the scenes / Trailer

THE FOREVER PURGE – All the rules are broken as a sect of lawless marauders decides that the annual Purge does not stop at daybreak and instead should never end in The Forever Purge. Vaulting from the record-shattering success of 2018’s The First Purge, Blumhouse’s infamous terror franchise hurtles into innovative new territory as members of an underground movement, no longer satisfied with one annual night of anarchy and murder, decide to overtake America through an unending campaign of mayhem and massacre. Go behind the scenes /  Trailer

FREE GUY – In the epic adventure-comedy Free Guy Ryan Reynolds plays a bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game, decides to become the hero of his own story…one he rewrites himself. Go behind the scenes

GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE: Directed by Jason Reitman. With Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Carrie Coon, Sigourney Weaver. When a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.  Read more about crafting the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe

HERE TODAY – A comedy-drama directed and produced by Billy Crystal, from a screenplay that he wrote with Alan Zweibel. Veteran comedy writer Charlie Burnz (Billy Crystal) forms an unlikely yet hilarious and touching friendship with New York singer Emma Payge (Tiffany Haddish) in the new comedy-drama Here Today. Emma — the unlikely recipient of a prize to have lunch with the comedy legend, despite not knowing who he is — gets off to a rocky start with Charlie (think seafood allergy, a hospital visit, and an epi-pen). Before long, each finds in the other a sort of soul mate, forging a deep bond that kicks the generation gap aside and redefines the meaning of friendship, love, and trust. Read more about how the film was inspired by a collaborative friendship of 45 years

I AM WOMAN – The inspiring story of singer Helen Reddy. Go behind the scenes

ICE ROAD The Ice Road has been a 48-year journey writer-Director Jonathan Hensleigh. After a remote diamond mine collapses in the far northern regions of Canada, an ice driver leads an impossible rescue mission over a frozen ocean to save the lives of trapped miners despite thawing waters and a threat they never see coming. Go behind the scenes

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH – It tells of the betrayal of the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party in late-1960s Chicago, at the hands of an FBI informant. Go behind the scenes

KING RICHARD – Based on the true story that will inspire the world, King Richard follows the journey of Richard Williams, an undeterred father instrumental in raising two of the most extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time, who will end up changing the sport of tennis forever.  Two-time Oscar nominee Will Smith (Ali,” “The Pursuit of Happyness, Bad Boys for Life) stars as Richard, under the direction of Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men).  Read more about how this true story of two of the world’s greatest sports legends was crafted

LAST NIGHT IN SOHO – In acclaimed director, Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller Eloise(Thomasin McKenzie), an aspiring fashion designer, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters a dazzling wannabe singer, Sandie. But the glamour is not all it appears to be and the dreams of the past start to crack and splinter into something far darker. A dark-tinged, neon-drenched, new thriller starring Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace, Jojo Rabbit), Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma, The Queen’s Gambit), and Matt Smith (Doctor Who, The Crown). Read more about how writer-director Edgar Wright’s Last Night In Soho was crafted

THE LITTLE THINGS – John Lee Hancock, directing and producing from a script he wrote almost 30 years ago. Go behind the scenes

LOVE SARAH is a heartfelt film about three generations of women who have to save a new bakery from closing doors in London. Go behind the scenes / Trailer

THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS – In The Matrix Resurrections, humanity and the machines made peace with an agreement that the real world humans would stop trying to destroy the Matrix and the Machines would allow anyone who wanted to leave the Matrix. This science fiction action film is produced, co-written, and directed by Lana Wachowski. It is the fourth instalment in The Matrix film series. Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lambert Wilson, and Daniel Bernhardt reprise their roles from previous films in the series. Feature: The long-awaited next chapter in the groundbreaking franchise that redefined a genre

MAYA THE BEE – THE GOLDEN ORB -, Maya’s world expands even further, pulling the rug of familiarity from under her feet as she journeys to a completely new land, with only her faithful best friend Willy, and the enormously popular Arnie and Barney at her side. Go behind the scenes / The Art Of Animation

MIDNIGHT IN THE SWITCHGRASS – The race to find a serial killer who abducts his prey from truck stops brings two law officers together in a deadly race against the clock in director Randall Emmett’s tense action-drama Midnight In The Switchgrass. Florida police detective Byron Crawford (Emile Hirsch) is a man whose faith and sense of duty have guided him in his law-enforcement career. But Byron is haunted by a string of deaths that won’t end until the killer is apprehended. an FBI agent (Megan Fox) working with her seasoned partner (Bruce Willis) needs Byron’s help in understanding the dark corners of Florida, and the M.O. of the murderer. Go behind the scenes

THE MISFITS – Pierce Brosnan plays a brilliant international thief whose daring escape and high-octane car chase, eluding the FBI and police, ends with him being scooped up by a band of modern-day Robin Hoods.  This action heist film is directed by Renny Harlin and written by Robert Henny and Kurt Wimmer. Read more / Trailer

MONSTER FAMILY 2 – To free Baba Yaga and Renfield from the clutches of Monster Hunter Mila Starr, the Wishbone Family once more transforms into a Vampire, Frankenstein’s Monster, a Mummy and a Werewolf in Monster Family 2. Aided and abetted by their three pet bats, our Monster Family zooms around the world again to save their friends, make new monstrous acquaintances and finally come to the realization that ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ – even those with flaws can find happiness.  Take a closer look at how screenwriter David Safier and director Holger Tappe focused on the beauty of the imperfect.

MORTAL KOMBAT – brings to life the intense action of the blockbuster video game franchise in all its brutal glory. Go behind the scenes

NOBODY – explores the idea of a normal person’s capacity for violence. Go behind the scenes

OLD – From writer-director M. Night Shyamalan comes a thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly reducing their entire lives into a single day. Go behind the scenes

PARALLEL MOTHERS – two women, Janis (Penélope Cruz) and Ana (Milena Smit), coincide in a hospital room where they are going to give birth. Both are single and became pregnant by accident. Janis, middle-aged, doesn’t regret it and she is exultant. The other, Ana, an adolescent, is scared, repentant and traumatized. Janis tries to encourage her while they move like sleepwalkers along the hospital corridors. The few words they exchange in these hours will create a very close link between the two, which by chance develops and complicates, and changes their lives in a decisive way. Written and directed by Pedro AlmodóvarFeature: A melodramatic and psychologically fraught relationship between contemporary mothers

PAW PATROL! THE MOVIE – When their biggest rival, Humdinger, becomes mayor of nearby Adventure City and starts wreaking havoc, Ryder and everyone’s favorite heroic pups kick into high gear to face the challenge head-on. While one pup must face his past in the bustling metropolis, the team finds help from a new ally, the savvy dachshund Liberty. Armed with exciting new gadgets and gear, the PAW Patrol fights to save the citizens of Adventure City! Trailer

PERSIAN LESSONS – A young Jewish man pretends to be Iranian to avoid being executed in a concentration camp in the Holocaust drama. Go Behind The Scenes

THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD – Director and co-writer Armando Iannucci revisits Dickens’ iconic hero on his quirky journey from impoverished orphan to a burgeoning writer in Victorian England. Go behind the scenes

PETER RABBIT 2 – Adventuring out of the garden, Peter finds himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated and must figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be in Peter Rabbit 2: The RunawayGo behind the scenes / Trailer

PINOCCHIO – Italian writer-director Matteo Garrone felt he could bring something new to audiences with his live-action version. Go behind the scenes

THE PROTEGE – Rescued as a child by the legendary assassin, Moody (Jackson) and trained in the family business, Anna (Maggie Q) is the world’s most skilled contract killer. But when Moody, the man who was like a father to her and taught her everything she needs to know about trust and survival, is brutally killed, Anna vows revenge. Read more  / Trailer

QUEENPINS – Inspired by a true story, this outrageous comedy tells about a bored and frustrated suburban homemaker, Connie (Kristen Bell) and her best pal JoJo (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), a vlogger with dreams, who turn a hobby into a multi-million dollar counterfeit coupon caper. After firing off a letter to the conglomerate behind a box of cereal gone stale, and receiving an apology along with dozens of freebies, the duo hatch an illegal coupon club scheme that scams millions from mega-corporations and delivers deals to legions of fellow coupon clippers. Go behind the scenes / Trailer

RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON -A lone warrior tracks down the legendary last dragon to restore the fractured land and its divided people. Go behind the scenes

REMINISCENCE – Hugh Jackman plays Nick Bannister, a private investigator of the mind, navigates the darkly alluring world of the past by helping his clients access lost memories. He uncovers a violent conspiracy, and must ultimately answer the question: how far would you go to hold on to the ones you love? Go behind the scenes

RESIDENT EVIL: WELCOME TO RACCOON CITY – Returning to the origins of the massively popular Resident evil franchise, fan and filmmaker Johannes Roberts brings the games to life for a whole new generation of fans. Raccoon City is now a dying Midwestern town. The company’s exodus left the city a wasteland… with great evil brewing below the surface. When that evil is unleashed, a group of survivors must work together to uncover the truth behind Umbrella and make it through the night.   Read more about rebooting the Resident Evil Franchise

RESPECT – Following the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom, Respect is the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice. Go behind the scenes / Trailer

RON’S GONE WRONG – Twentieth Century Studios and Locksmith Animation’s Ron’s Gone Wrong is the story of Barney, a socially awkward middle-schooler and Ron, his new walking, talking, digitally-connected device, which is supposed to be his ‘Best Friend out of the Box.’ Ron’s hilarious malfunctions set against the backdrop of the social media age, launch them into an action-packed journey in which boy and robot come to terms with the wonderful messiness of true friendship. Take a look at how the film was crafted

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS – Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. Go behind the scenes

SING 2 is produced by Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and by Janet Healy. Sing 2 combines dozens of classic rock and pop hit songs, electrifying performances, breathtaking artistry and Illumination’s signature humour and heart into the definitive feel-good cinematic event of the year. Feature: A new chapter in Illumination’s animated franchise arrives with big dreams and hit songs

SOUL – Set in the fast-paced and jazz-centric New York City and the abstract illusionary world of The Great Before, it capitalizes on the contrasts between the big city and the cosmic realm. Go behind the scenes

SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY! NBA champion and global icon LeBron James goes on an epic adventure alongside timeless Tune Bugs Bunny with the animated/live-action event Space Jam: A New Legacy. from director Malcolm D. Lee and an innovative filmmaking team including Ryan Coogler and Maverick Carter.  Go behind the scenes

SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME – For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighbourhood hero is unmasked and no longer able to separate his normal life from the high-stakes of being a Super Hero. When he asks for help from Doctor Strange, the stakes become even more dangerous, forcing him to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man. Spider-Man: No Way Home: Directed by Jon Watts. With Zendaya, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Marisa Tomei.  A powerful culmination of Peter Parker’s Marvel Cinematic Universe origin story

SPIRAL Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson fight a Jigsaw-like killer in Spiral, unwittingly entrapped in a deepening mystery. It is the ninth instalment in the Saw film series. / Go behind the scenes / Trailer

SPIRIT UNTAMED – An epic adventure about a headstrong girl longing for a place to belong who discovers a kindred spirit when her life intersects with a wild horse, Spirit Untamed is the next chapter in the beloved story from DreamWorks Animation. Go behind the scenes / Trailer

THOSE WO WISH ME DEAD is a visceral thriller starring Angelina Jolie as a smokejumper who seeks redemption by saving a young stranger with a deadly secret, the pair finds themselves hunted by assassins as an uncontrollable wildfire closes in on them. In a battle against both humans and nature, where every odd is stacked against you, what lengths will you go to protect others? Go behind the scenes / Trailer

TIME IS UP – Vivien (Bella Thorne) and Roy (Benjamin Mascolo) are two teenagers who appear to have starkly different personalities in Time is up, a film that emerges from a reflection on time and how the circumstances of an event can change the lives of two people who meet and are destined to be together. Read more about this teen romance reflecting intriguing themes of time and memory

TOM AND JERRY – Director Tim Story was eager to take on the classic duelling duo for a modern movie audience. Go behind the scenes

VANQUISH – In this glossy action-thriller a mother, Victoria (Ruby Rose), is trying to put her dark past as a Russian drug courier behind her, but retired cop Damon (Morgan Freeman) forces Victoria to do his bidding by holding her daughter hostage.  Go behind the scenes / Trailer

VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE –  is a superhero film, it is the second film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe and the sequel to Venom (2018). Eddie Brock attempts to reignite his career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady, who becomes the host of the symbiote Carnage and escapes prison after a failed execution. Directed by Andy Serkis. With Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris. Read more about Venom: Let There Be Carnage was crafted

VOYAGERS – The Space-Epic tells of a group of extraordinary young people waking up to sensual desires, to freedom, to power, and the thrilling euphoria that goes with that experience. Go behind the scenes

WEST SIDE STORY tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City. This reimagining of the beloved musical stars Ansel Elgort (Tony); Rachel Zegler (María); Ariana DeBose (Anita); David Alvarez (Bernardo); Mike Faist (Riff); Josh Andrés Rivera (Chino); Ana Isabelle (Rosalía); Corey Stoll (Lieutenant Schrank); Brian d’Arcy James (Officer Krupke); and Rita Moreno (as Valentina, who owns the corner store in which Tony works). Directed by Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tony Kushner.  / Rebooting a Classic

WRATH OF MAN – In the revenge-thriller an undercover crime boss is fearless, ruthless and lethal on a violent collision course. It reunites filmmaker Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham. / Go behind the scenesTrailer

One of the entertainment industry’s most prolific film producers, Randall Emmett, who has produced over 50 feature films since his start as Mark Wahlberg’s assistant in the 1990’s, now makes his directorial debut with Midnight In The Switchgrass, bringing all of his experience, and affinity to this dramatic thriller.

“I hit a wall a few years ago creatively. I just felt like producing-wise, I was kind of creatively dying a little bit. My artistic self kind of was being pushed to the side,” says Emmett, who most recent films as producer includes The Irishman, Force Of Nature, Silence and Lone Survivor and directs Midnight In The Switchgrass from a screenplay by Alan Horsnail.

Alan Horsnail

“It becomes somewhat of a business, and I just kind of wanted to challenge myself again and bring myself back to the child that I grew up as an artist. I said, let me try directing. Every time I thought about directing, I got petrified and nervous and a lot of my director friends said, well, that’s the good thing. That means that you’re doing the right thing and you should really pursue it because as a producer I’m pretty comfortable. I’ve been doing it a long time.”

Randall Emmett

“I was nervous all the way through all the way till probably the last day of shooting, which I think really that fear and that nervousness to put a different hat on after so many decades pushed me to be prepared and work hard and be the best version of myself. That’s where the love for directing now is because I get to bring my artistic self back to the forefront. So that’s kind of in a nutshell, why I transitioned..”

In the tense and based-on-true events dramatic thriller Midnight In The Switchgrass, the strength to keep looking for the weak and the abused can become an all-encompassing struggle.

For a dedicated cop and a driven FBI agent, stopping a serial killer before he abducts and kills yet another vulnerable young girl is fueled by anger, commitment, decency — and past trauma. The path to saving a life leads into a fiend’s shack of horrors, through the underside of American normalcy, and into a realization that not everything is as it seems.

“The underlying theme of this film really is justice, and the search for it,” says Emile Hirsch. who takes on the role of Florida Department of Law Enforcement detective Byron Crawford who is dealing with the repercussions of failing to stop a man who’s been stalking the Florida Panhandle.

“It’s about defeating evil — Byron Crawford is a detective trying to solve the homicides of missing girls who have been brutally murdered, and he essentially shuts down when he can’t do it. He thinks there’s no hope for him to solve them. When Byron meets up with Rebecca Lombardo, the FBI agent investigating the same kinds of crimes, they team up together and try with all they have to track down the killer. It’s a great story, in some ways similar to The Silence of the Lambs, Along Came a Spider, and other terrific serial killer movies that I love.”

Emile Hirsch

“There’s an old proverb about hunting,” Crawford says in Midnight In The Switchgrass. “Lions are born knowing they’re predators. Antelopes understand that they are prey….Humans are the only creatures on Earth who are given a choice.”

“These cops and FBI agents are looking for the truck-stop killer, but they can’t seem to figure out who he is,” says Lukas Haas, who plays the fiend behind the story’s nightmares“How they team up to look for him makes for an interesting story. But the main thing that attracted me to this film was the character of Peter — it’s a very intense role. I’ve never played anyone like this before. I like to challenge myself.”

“This character is definitely outside of my wheelhouse — I’ve played dark characters before, but Peter is particularly bad,” says Haas. “But he has some interesting qualities, too. He’s multifaceted, even though he’s pretty much the worst person I’ve ever played! You start off feeling like Peter is kind of an okay guy — he has a nice family, he’s a good husband and family man. He seems like a nice, quirky, kind of charming guy in his way. I feel like you can’t really pin him down even when you know he’s up to some bad stuff. He’s complex and complicated, which makes him interesting.”

Lukas Haas and Megan Fox in Midnight In The Switchgrass

“I’m hoping this movie can serve to be a voice for the voiceless,” says Caitlin Carmichael, who plays a young girl who is abducted from a truck stop. “There’s an important line said in the film: ‘Are you really looking if nobody is looking for you?’ I think it’s important to use a story like this to bring light to the millions of stories and voices we don’t ever hear,” Carmichael says.

The Covid-19 shutdown impacted so many people and cost so many lives, it’s hard to recall the small ways life and work struggled to adapt in the beginning. The cast and crew of Midnight In The Switchgrass found themselves at the whim of a global pandemic in March and April 2020 — but they persevered, as Randall Emmett worked hard to find a way to finish the job, rally his troops, and do the right thing.

That blood-spattered Halloween night in 1978 when masked monster Michael Myers returned for reckoning continues four-decades later with Halloween Kills.

Fans of Halloween will absolutely be thrilled by Halloween Kills, offering a memorable and truly frightening odyssey into the nightmarish realm of malevolent evil that poignantly leads to a conclusion that will have you re-watch the from the first moment Michael Meyers stepped into our nightmares.

With Halloween Kills fans of the cult horror will get answers to questioned that has haunted them during the four-decade franchise that spawned 13 films.

Michael Myers (aka The Shape) in Halloween Kills, directed by David Gordon Green

Halloween (1978), Halloween II (1981), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) the only entry in the series that does not feature the series antagonist, Michael Myers, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), a direct sequel to Halloween II (1981), ignoring the events of Season of the Witch, which took place in a different continuity from the first two films, Halloween 5 (1989), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) which concludes the “Thorn Trilogy” story arc established in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, set six years after the events of Halloween 5, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) a direct sequel to the first two films, Halloween: Resurrection (2002) a direct sequel to Halloween H20, Halloween (2007) a remake of 1978 film written, directed, and produced by Rob Zombie, Halloween II (2009), a sequel to Zombie’s 2007 remake of 1978’s Halloween, Halloween (2018), a sequel to the 1978 film of the same name, while effecting a retroactive continuity (‘retcon’) of all previous sequels, Halloween Kills (2021), a direct sequel to 2018’s Halloween, and Halloween Ends (2022) set to resolve the story on October 14, 2022.

James Jude Courtney as Michael Meyers in Halloween Kills.

Minutes after Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement, Laurie is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she finally killed her lifelong tormentor. But when Michael manages to free himself from Laurie’s trap, his ritual bloodbath resumes. As Laurie fights through her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster. The Strode women join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage who decide to take matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all. Evil dies tonight.

A trilogy that serves as the definitive companion piece to Carpenter’s 1978 masterpiece

“For me Halloween (1978) a masterpiece of horror because of the simplicity of it. Michael Myers is the essence of evil, and Laurie Strode is the essence of good. So, it’s a very straightforward, wonderfully told and brilliantly executed mythology, says director and co-writer David Gordon Green, who re-united with the returning filmmaking team responsible for Halloween Kills, from a screenplay crafted by Scott Teems (SundanceTV’s Rectify) and Danny Mcbride (Halloween, TV’s The Righteous Gemstones) and Green, based on characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill (Escape from L.A., The Fog).

“If our 2018 Halloween reintroduced the world of Michael and Laurie, which is a story that Halloween Ends will resolve, Halloween Kills is here as a middle chapter to make some noise and see the conflict and chaos that permeates through Haddonfield as fear goes beyond the households and generations of three Strode women,” says Green.

When David Gordon Green woke up on Monday, October 22, 2018, the director discovered that the opening of his Halloween had earned more than $76 million at the domestic box office and shattered records for the genre.

James Jude Courtney as Michael Meyers in Halloween Kills.

In Green’s Halloween, set 40 years after John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic, Laurie Strode refuses to be victim and seeks justice and vengeance against Michael Myers, the monster who stole her youth and haunted her every waking moment since. The intricate tale of unresolved trauma, defiance and empowerment unleashed a newfound fervor in Halloween fans worldwide.

Malek Akkad—whose family’s production company, Trancas International Films, has produced the Halloween series since its inception—and his fellow creative production partners, Blumhouse’s Jason Blum and blockbuster producer Bill Block found that audience response surpassed their wildest expectations.

“The genius of the first film was that all the stars aligned, and we were able to get Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter back together,” Akkad says. “We knew David did an amazing job and we had a great film, but the reception to it was beyond wonderful. It was so satisfying to see not only diehard fans come out, but a broader audience embrace the film.”

It had long been Green’s dream to helm a trilogy that served as the definitive companion piece to Carpenter’s 1978 masterpiece. The plan for two subsequent films, Halloween Kills and next year’s Halloween Ends, began to take shape even before 2018’s Halloween was released. All three films would rely on the 1978 film and no other subsequent sequels as source material, and all three Green films would take place on the same night.

(from left) Director David Gordon Green and Anthony Michael Hall on the set of Halloween Kills.

Green was certain that restarting the clock was the only way to do Laurie’s story justice

“If we have done our jobs correctly, there are four films that will be one hell of an arc,” Green says. “Carpenter’s ’78 film, our 2018 film, then Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends. There are threads thematically beyond just Easter eggs and fan entertainment. Hopefully, there’s substance, relevance and characters that you may have missed—if you blinked in one film—that show up with a bit more substance in the next.”

The filmmakers knew that the success of their first chapter gave them leeway to create the narrative arc for the next two entries.

Joining Danny McBride and Green for writing duties on Halloween Kills would be their close friend Scott Teems.

“When you have a successful film like Halloween, it allows Danny and Scott and me to make a bigger, badder, nastier, crazier next chapter,” Green says. “With Halloween Kills, we’re trying to deliver something for the fans and exercise new muscles for ourselves.”

Danny Mcbride

Green and his longtime creative partner McBride watched the 1978 film so many times that it became obvious which characters should be brought into the story for Halloween Kills.

“It had to do with trying to open the movie up and tapping into this world of Haddonfield,” McBride says.

“We wanted to make it feel more lived in by finding characters that had been established in Carpenter’s original and finding ways to keep them involved in the story.”

As they began putting pen to paper, Green and his cohorts were clear that they wanted to navigate the long-term effects of violence on an entire community.

“With the first film, we explored how Michael Myers’ killing spree on a Halloween night four decades earlier had affected Laurie and how that, in turn, had affected her family,” McBride says. “In Halloween Kills, we were interested in seeing how that same night had affected the town. That’s why David wanted to have this mob story as an integral part of it.”

In Halloween Kills, Laurie is no longer fighting Michael alone, or with only her daughter and granddaughter. She’s got Michael’s other survivors of that night, and all of Haddonfield, fighting with her.

Together, the three screenwriters created an unexpected structure for Halloween Kills.

James Jude Courtney as Michael Meyers in Halloween Kills.

The film begins seconds after the events of the first film, with an injured Laurie having left Michael Myers trapped and burning in her basement. But, simultaneously, it also begins with a scene set during the events of 2018’s Halloween, with citizens of Haddonfield who don’t yet know that Michael is back. In effect, the opening scenes of Halloween Kills seamlessly fuse the two films into one unbroken story.

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Scott Teems

“I find it fascinating to look at dramatic scenarios from multiple perspectives,” Teems says.

What proved fascinating to screenwriters Teems, McBride and Green was to take a look at Carpenter’s seminal 1978 film from another angle. At the end of that film, Dr. Loomis shoots Michael Myers, who falls backward off the balcony. When Loomis looks down onto the grass, the killer is not there. The events in Halloween Kills pick up with what happened after that. Minutes later, we meet young Deputy Hawkins and his partner on the Haddonfield police force as they’re trying to track Michael down. Presumably, Michael has just walked off the lawn after he evaded Loomis and is wandering through the suburbs. Now the entire Haddonfield police force has descended on those neighborhoods, and we’re following them into the night. 

“Entering Halloween Kills in the middle of the first movie—from the point of view of characters we didn’t even know were in Haddonfield—gives it a powerful, tension-filled energy. It reminds the audience that this world is bigger than just Laurie Strode, yet all of these characters have a connection to her that will eventually bring them into the path of true evil.”

The writing trio proved to be an ideal team. “What I love about what Scott brings to the narrative is this tension and energy to move the story forward,” producer Jason Blum says. “David is the captain of our ship, and Danny takes such an aerial view of the trilogy’s events. Together, they were tireless in discovering the core of what this second chapter is. We’ve met Laurie 40 years later and followed her journey through madness, but what about others in Haddonfield who have been traumatized by Michael Myers? What does it look like for them to be suddenly thrust back into his line of sight? I can’t imagine three storytellers who could do better justice to this emotional—and physically consuming—arc.”

Block was equally moved by how the writers were able to parlay their vision for the lost souls of this small town and create a screenplay that was equal parts poignant drama and terrifying thriller. But what surprised the producer most was their ability to weave in vignettes of slight comedy.

“No one knows better than these guys how deeply you need moments of comedic relief among these brutal kills,” Block says. “In other hands, that would look simple and derivative. Danny, Scott and David, however, are able to bring in these brief moments of levity that give the viewers a jarring step away from the murder and mayhem that Michael is leaving in his wake. I remain astonished by their skillset, which seems so simple but is so nuanced and layered.”

Equal parts champion and protector of Laurie Strode, Jamie Lee Curtis sees herself as Laurie’s guardian angel. Embracing and carrying the heroine’s mantle for more than four decades, Curtis as Laurie fought back and survived.

“For Laurie, her journey was complete,” says Curtis, who also serves as an executive producer on Halloween Kills. “She gave it all in the first movie. Her heart, soul, blood, courage, strength, wisdom: her everything. She was a warrior.”

While it took the majority of 2018’s Halloween for anyone to believe Laurie that Michael Myers had returned and was coming for her, Laurie’s decades of preparation for that night allowed her and her family to trap him in a basement prison and burn him alive. Unfortunately, at the beginning of Halloween Kills, Haddonfield’s well-meaning fire-and-rescue force arrive on scene just a little too early for the job to be finished.

 “Audiences got to feel that sense of satisfaction that Laurie had won at the end of Halloween,” Curtis says. “But in order to continue the story, that satisfaction has to be defeated and that bubble has to be burst—because Michael survived.”