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8 SA classics now on Showmax, from Oscar entries to iEmmy nominees

12/11/2018

9 November, 2018 - 08:03

Based on the continued success of local content on its platform, Showmax has been ramping up its catalogue with a steady stream of South African classics recently, from Oscar entries Noem My Skollie and Thina Sobabili to two-time International Emmy nominee IsThunzi to Vaya, which was recently released in the USA by Ava DuVernays Array. Here are eight highlights to add to your Watchlist straight away...

Noem My Skollie | Call Me Thief by Daryne Joshua

Premise: Based on the life story of the scriptwriter, John W Fredericks, Noem My Skollie is about Abraham, who survives jail by telling stories - becoming the prison cinema.

Why you should watch: 1. The story behind the film is just as moving as the film itself: John quit his job as a security guard at age 50 to focus on telling stories, started working on the screenplay in 2000, completed his first draft in 2002, and was 70 when he heard that his film had become South Africas Oscar entry. Choosing not to watch the film and be part of Johns happy ending puts you in the same class as the Grinch who stole Christmas. 2. Its the film debut of director Daryne Joshua, whos been getting more rave reviews this year for Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies story.

Accolades: Noem My Skollie was South Africas Foreign Film Oscar entry for 2017. It also won five South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs), including Best Actor (Dann Jaques Mouton) and Best Supporting Actor (Abduraghmaan Adams).

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTr3ZNLJt-U

Thina Sobabili | The Two Of Us by Ernest Nkosi

Premise: In Alexandra township, Thulas will do anything to protect his sister, Zanele, after witnessing her abuse as a child. When Zanele falls for the charms of an older man, Thulas is determined to protect his sister by putting an end to the relationship.

Why you should watch: 1. Shot over just seven days, this is a reminder of how powerful raw, low-budget filmmaking can be. 2. The excellent lead performances from Emmanuel Nkosinathi Gweva (Vaya) as Thulas, Busi Mtshali (Lockdown) as Zanele, and Richard Lukunku (Happiness Is A Four-Letter Word) as Skhalo. 3. Mpho Nthangenis haunting, SAFTA-winning score, featuring vocals from Bongeziwe Mabandla.

Accolades: Thina Sobabili was South Africas Foreign Film Oscar entry for 2016, after winning Audience Awards at both the Pan African Film Festival and the Jozi Film Festival.

Trailer: https://youtu.be/Uv0y8n0Pu0E

IsThunzi S1 by Rapid Blue

Premise: Mzansi Magics first teen drama follows Winnie, Londi, Noxolo and Thishiwe as they pursue their dreams and form a bond that will not only push them over the edge, but also grow them in ways they never could have imagined.

Why you should watch: As Winnie, Thuso Mbedu has been nominated for the International Emmy Award for Best Actress two years in a row. This year, shes competing against the likes of two-time Oscar nominee Emily Watson - and gets our vote.

Accolades: In addition to two International Emmy nominees, Thuso also won best actress at the SAFTAs this year.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuhfkhutxlI

Vaya by Akin Omotoso

Premise: Based on real accounts, Vaya is the story of three strangers who board a train for Johannesburg, where they will be let down by the very people they expected to protect them.

Why you should watch: Ava DuVernay, the first black female director to be nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe, acquired the international rights for this New York Times Critics Pick via her distribution company Array. Ahead of its world premiere at Toronto, the festivals artistic director Cameron Bailey praised Vaya for its brilliant performances and Kabelo Thathes sizzling camerawork. Similarly, The Los Angeles Times praised the magnetic, star-in-the-making Zimkhitha Nyoka, Omotosos fleet pacing and Kabelo Thathes marvelously textured cinematography.

Accolades: Five 2017 African Movie Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Screenplay. Best South African Film, Durban International Film Festival, 2017.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST2G1EbA8HA

Vuil Wasgoed | Dirty Laundry by Morne du Toit

Premise: Wim and Kevin are two slackers who make money washing rich peoples clothes, which they party in at night. Then they discover a severed finger in one pocket and land in serious hot water...

Why you should watch: 1. Its full of twists and laughs, like watching an early Guy Ritchie movie, like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch, in Afrikaans. 2. Vuil Wasgoed was the second-most popular South African film at the cinema last year. 3. Its based on a Silwerskerm-winning short film.

Accolades: Winner of five awards at Silwerskerm 2017, including Best Director (Morne du Toit) and Best Actor (Bennie Fourie).

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpwEbsmSV6E

Vaselinetjie by Corne van Rooyen

Premise: Called Vaselinetjie for her white skin, Helena was raised by her loving brown grandparents in a remote rural village. Yet when welfare learns shes not their biological family, she is sent away to an orphanage in Johannesburg.

Why you should watch: 1. Vaselinetjie was the third-most popular South African film at the cinema last year. 2. Its based on Anoeschka von Mecks multi-award-winning novel.

Accolades: Best Film, Silwerskerm, 2017.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oQnlGr3p8M

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Alison by Uga Carlini

Premise: Raped. Disemboweled. Nearly decapitated. Dumped on the outskirts of a nature reserve, dead - or so they thought. She needed a hero that night, so thats what she became. This is Alisons tale.

Why you should watch: Variety called Alison, an uplifting portrait of her against-all-odds survival and the long journey of rebuilding a life that, by all measures, should have been cut short on that dark December night... A courageous
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