FRANKIE EN FELIPÉ – Franklin Blaze (Bradley Olivier) is a hard-working, successful man from a poor background, which he hides from his fiancée, Kim Fortuin (Kim Syster), and colleagues. When his half-brother, Felipé Baadjies, sneaks out of his house, his impending wedding and work reputation are in jeopardy. The desperate Felipé (Solomon Cupido) threatens to expose his brother Frankie’s secret if he does not help him with money he owes a cruel loan shark. Frankie tries to appease Felipé by including him in the wedding, a decision he soon regrets. Felipé is not the kind of fool the wealthy, sophisticated Fortuin family wants near their daughter. In cinemas from 23 February / READ MORE / THE FILM FACTORY
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. 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. Read interview with Director Jason Howes.
“Writing something so close to home, yet fictional, was an interesting new challenge,” says screenwriter Gabe Gabriel who wrote and stars in Runs in the Family, directed by his father Ian Gabriel. “While based on my own complex, but positive relationship with my father as a young trans man coming into his own in South Africa, the story had to eventually separate itself from us and become its own magical thing in order to really take off.” Now on Netflix
DIE ONDERONSIE ([The Quarrel]
When five ex band-mates come together for their annual reunion, a dead body stirs up suspicion and violence among the friends. With tjommies like these, who needs enemies?
The debut feature film from Philip Nolte (2023 SAFTA winner Sex in Afrikaans, Silwerskerm award winner Vossie Vergas Homself), the dark comedy co-stars SAFTA nominee Simoné Pretorius (Hotel), Binnelanders stars Pietie Beyers and Lindsey Cele, and Getroud Met Rugby stars Adrian Steyn and former Mister World South Africa Sean van Noordwyk. Watch Onderonsie on SHOWMAX
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
The Kandasamys are back in Kandasamys: The Baby and there’s a new addition to the family legacy! Now on Netflix
Interviews with South African Filmmakers and Screenwriters
“At the heart of our vision for Luma Animation and for Headspace, is the notion that everyone deserves to be the hero of their own story, not forgetting that, ultimately, we rely on the support of friends and collaborators to triumph,” Paul Meyer and Gerhard Painter, who directed this vibrant South African CGI Sci-Fi action-adventure from a screenplay they co-wrote with Daniel Buckland and Ronald Henry. Now in cinemas. Read more
1960 was a passion project for SAFTA-winning and Annie Award-nominated composer Bruce Retief (Freedom Road, Khumba, Zambezia), who drew on the spirit of the greats of Sophiatown for the score and wrote and produced the film alongside Khaya Maseko.
When the remains of an apartheid-era policeman are discovered 60 years after he went missing, Lindi, a retired jazz singer, revisits her past to help with the investigation. But how much does she know, and what is she holding back?
Zandile Madliwa (Gwyneth in The Kissing Booth movies) stars as the young Lindi, while Ivy Nkutha (Generations, Faith’s Corner) plays the older Lindi, who tells her story to Detective Kuda Maseko (Sisa Hewana from Isidingo) in the modern-day timeline. Now on Showmax. Read more
In a world where darkness tries to dim her light, a teenager rises against all odds by taking a bold step that changes her life forever in Dark Beauty. The film is directed by screenwriter Germain Atabe Ayum, who also wrote and directed Mzamo, a 2020 feature film now airing on Mnet – DStv, and received a silver award from International Independent Film Festival, USA, in 2020. Dark Beauty was also selected by Silicon Valley African Film Festival in California, for best feature film in 2022, and nominated by Sotambe International Film Festival for best director in 2022. Now showing in cinemas.
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.
In Horisonne Melissa, a psychologist who learns that her controlling ex-lover, Melchior van Staden (Chameleon), has set up Horisonne, a mindfulness retreat where he seems to be brainwashing young men and women. Even worse, her estranged 18-year-old daughter, Adri, is now the cult leader’s right-hand woman. Going to the retreat herself, Melissa risks her life to try to save her daughter from Melchior’s power. Directed by SAFTA winner André Velts (Die Pro, Raaiselkind, Vergeet My Nie), Horisonne is now streaming on Showmax here.
“The Honeymoon unpacks the story of friendship and self discovery,” says writer-director Bianca Isaac, talented and award-winning Producer taking over television with acclaimed drama series Umlilo, Swartwater, Kruispad and Getroud Met Rugby. ” This story does not revolve around getting the guy back or seeking his approval. This love story represents a strong female friendship – something that can be hard to maintain in a world that often; plays women up against each other, and has unrealistic expectations of women being perfect all the time.” Read more / Releasing worldwide on Amazon Prime
In Expiry Date, Musa (Mbulelo Katise) is heartbroken when his proposal is rejected. His younger brother, who doesn’t believe in love, talks him into playing Expiry Date – a game where they date multiple women, with set break-up times. When Musa falls in love, he has to choose between continuing the game or getting into a serious relationship. But after he chooses love, the game is revealed, and all trust is lost. Can he regain her trust and win her back? Set in Maboneng, the film is directed by SAFTA winner Sihle Hlope (Lindela Under Lockdown),and stars Ishmael Songo (Mpande Zulu in The Wife), SAFTA nominees Mapula Mafole (Unmarried, Rhythm City) and Winnie Ntshaba (Generations), and Ntando Duma (The Queen). Now on Showmax.
The new teen drama Promises showcases the extraordinary singing and dancing talents of its young cast as they explore what it is to be young and innocent. In the tradition of Raise Your Voice and High School Musical, Promises is a celebration of the highs and lows, joys and sorrows, special moments and hard-learned lessons experienced by teenagers. It shows how, with determination and the support of others, anyone can triumph over the trials and tribulations of these difficult years. Directed by Michael Kolbe from an original script by Byron John Davis (King of Hearts – The Chris Barnard Story). Now available on Prime Video.
‘The Recce is a film that defies genre, it’s a personal film about survival, love, duty and sacrifice,” says writer-director writer-director Johannes Ferdinand van Zyl. It’s one of the first South African films in decades to explore issues regarding not only the Border War, but also the pain and suffering families had to endure during and after the conflict that lasted almost 20 years. Read more / Watch on Showmax
In The Umbrella Men a ragtag bunch of musicians are forced to rob a bank during the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival in the hope they will save their iconic, but in-debt nightclub in the Bo Kaap. Directed by John Barker from a screenplay by John Barker, Lev David and Philip Roberts. Stars Abduragman Adams Omar Adams Irshaad Ally. watch it on EVOD / Trailer
Pou (Peacock) is a modern South African Afrikaans gothic horror following the psychosexual journey of a young woman into the dark recesses of the Afrikaner psyche and its compromised past. Anna Pohl has grown up in an institutionalized space: a pure, puritanical, Calvinist organisation known as The Foundation. When she transgresses the strict moral code she is sent away to care for one of the Foundation’s founding members, Sarel Cilliers, an Apartheid-era theologian, now ailing on his isolated farm. The farm is riddled with ghosts of the past, both seen and unseen, and with nowhere to run, Anna is totally at the mercy of the strange, dark forces at play. Directed by Jaco Minnaar from a screenplay by Minnaar and David Cornwell. With Tarryn Wyngaard and Johan Botha. Available on Prime Video. Trailer.
Triggerfish’s third animated feature, Seal Team, tells the story of Quinn, a seal who spends his days relaxing in the sun, splashing in the beautiful waters off the coast of Cape Town, and swimming for his life from Great White Sharks. When he decides it’s time for the food chain to bite back, Quinn recruits a ragtag team of like-minded seals brave, stupid, and crazy enough to try and teach those sharks a lesson. It marks the feature film debut of South African writer-director Greig Cameron, working from a story by Wayne Thornley (Adventures in Zambezia) and Brian and Jason Cleveland. Greig describes Seal Team as “a love letter to the silly, over-the-top 80s and 90s action movies that I really wanted to watch when I was a kid but had to sneak into.” Trailer / Available on Netflix.