A Zulu Christmas

Showmax counts down to Christmas

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This Christmas, Showmax has put together its biggest ever pile of presents for local audiences, with eight local films; Christmas specials from HBO and Adult Swim; and over 30 international films, including Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians) in the 2019 blockbuster Last Christmas.

ALSO READ: BBNaija winner Laycon set to star in Showmax’s first Nigerian original series

With exactly a month to go to Christmas, there won’t be enough time to watch everything Showmax has lined up for you this year, even if you start right now:

ROBOT CHICKEN: SANTA’S DEAD (SPOILER ALERT) HOLIDAY MURDER THING SPECIAL | Stop-motion

Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken was one of three nominees for Best Short Animated Program at the 2020 Emmys, for its Christmas special, Santa’s Dead (Spoiler Alert) Holiday Murder Thing Special (also known as S10, ep 11). Think Murder of the North Pole Express, with Inspector Jesus on the case and a train full of fairytale suspects.

Listen out for the voices of Robot Chicken co-creator and three-time Emmy winner Seth Green as Santa, four-time Golden Globe nominee Jason Alexander (George in Seinfeld) as Krampus; and Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) as Ginger.

SOMERKERSFEES | Movie | First on Showmax, 1 December

In Somerkersfees, a dysfunctional family’s Christmas beach holiday forces them to come to terms with their flaws, differences, hate and love for each other.

Directed by  multi-award-winning theatre director and SAFTA nominee Jaco Bouwer (Rage, Dwaalster, Die Spreeus), Somerkersfees stars Milan Murray (Liewe Kersfeesvader, Die Waterfront), Edwin van der Walt (Wonderlus), Marguerite van Eeden (Sara Se Geheim), Joanie Combrink (Fynskrif, Dwaalster), Marvin-Lee Beukes (Wonderlus, Die Byl) and SAFTA winner Lionel Newton (Triomf).

POSBUS 1 | Movie | First on Showmax, 1 December

In Posbus 1, when Ben (Carel Trichardt from Rhodes) and his wife’s address is given out as Santa’s, they get thousands of letters from hopeful children. When Ben’s wife dies, he burns every letter except one, which sends him on a journey of healing. Cindy Swanepoel (Binnelanders), Charlie Bouguenon (Vuil Wasgoed), Melissa Willering (Getroud Met Rugby), and Thapelo Aphiri (Parable) co-star. Posbus 1 is directed by Nico Scheepers, who won Best Director at Silwerskerm 2017 for Die Maan Val Bewusteloos.

HERB & MOON | Movie | First on Showmax, 5 December

In Herb & Moon, Herbert Brenner (SAFTA winner Robert Whitehead from Legacy) may be losing his marbles but he’s not prepared to lose his granddaughter. Can an outspoken man with rusty joints break out of his old age home, make his way across town, overcome his daughter and son-in-law’s attempts to keep him from his granddaughter, and give Gemma her Christmas gift?

Herb & Moon is directed by SAFTA winner Tim Greene (Skeem, Hard Copy, Taryn & Sharon), with Keenan Arrison (Shirley Adams, When We Were Black) co-starring.

A BOERE-KRISMIS | Movie | 5 December

In A Boere-Krismis, Lara Toselli (Tali’s Wedding Diary, Swaaibraai) stars as Claire, a failed comic-actor-director-screenwriter-producer-playwright-presenter who uses her Afrikaans fiancé’s family to further her career by documenting their disastrous Christmas Day.

Johann Vermaak (It’s Complicated, Swaaibraai) co-stars as her fiancé, alongside the likes of SAFTA winner Louw Venter (Swartwater, Die Laaste Tango), Albert Maritz (Alles Malan, Dwaalster), SAFTA nominee Cintaine Schutte (Fynskrif, Ekstra Medium), Silwerskerm winner Carel Nel (Rage, Slaaf, Hum), Lida Botha (Rage) and Sean Cameron Michael (Black Sails).

A Boere-Krismis is directed by Silwerskerm winner Willem Grobler (Hum) and produced by Marche Media (Kanarie).

A Boere-Krismis
A Boere-Krismis / Image: Supplied

EUPHORIA SPECIAL | Christmas Special | 7 December 2020

Zendaya became the youngest ever best actress Emmy winner this year for her performance in Euphoria as Rue, a 17-year-old who returns home from rehab with no plans to stay clean, and falls for the new girl in town, Jules (played by trans superstar Hunter Schafer). Euphoria also won 2020 Emmys for Original Music and Lyrics for All For Us by Labrinth, as well as Contemporary Makeup (Non-Prosthetic).

Now the hit HBO drama is back with Trouble Don’t Last Always, which follows Rue as she celebrates Christmas, in the aftermath of being left by Jules at the train station and falling back into old habits.

JOE PERA HELPS YOU FIND THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE | Christmas special | 7 December 2020

Comedian Joe Pera’s breakout Adult Swim special was called Joe Pera Talks You To Sleep: he just has that kind of voice – in a good way.

This Christmas, let his deadpan comedy get you into the Christmas spirit as he helps you find the perfect Christmas tree. As Decider says, “This Adult Swim classic is about so much more than finding the perfect Christmas tree. Pera’s folksy charm and aw-shucks sincerity combine to make his outstanding holiday special a treat that can be enjoyed by the entire family… Insanely funny.”

HOME AFFAIRS: A CHRISTMAS TALE | Movie | 19 December

In Home Affairs: A Christmas Tale, a feuding family is forced to spend Christmas under the same roof. Will they end up killing each other before the turkey is served? Or will they overcome their past issues and realise the reason for the season?

Directed by Lizé Vosloo (screenwriter on Raaiselkind, Alles Malan and Nul Is Nie Niks Nie), Home Affairs: A Christmas Tale stars rising stars like Hilton Pelser (The Kissing Booth 1 and 2, Moffie), David Viviers (Rage, Tali’s Baby Diary), Bronté Snell (Sara Se Geheim) and Shamilla Miller (The Girl From St Agnes, Blood & Water, Tali’s Baby Diary) alongside familiar faces like SAFTA winner Deon Lotz (Trackers, Skoonheid), SAFTA nominee Christia Visser (Tess), and Fleur du Cap winner Rehane Abrahams (Arendsvlei, Vimeo Staff Pick short film Buitenkant).

Showmax-Home Affairs A Christmas Tale
Home Affairs A Christmas Tale / Image: Supplied

LAST CHRISTMAS | Movie | 21 December

Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians), Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Emma Thompson (Years and Years) star for director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) in the romantic comedy Last Christmas. 

Kate (Clarke) harrumphs around London, a bundle of bad decisions accompanied by the jangle of bells on her shoes, another irritating consequence from her job as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop. Tom (Golding) seems too good to be true when he walks into her life and starts to see through so many of Kate’s barriers. As London transforms for the most wonderful time of the year, nothing should work for these two. But sometimes, you gotta let the snow fall where it may; you gotta listen to your heart.

Last Christmas features new music from Grammy winner George Michael, as well as his bittersweet holiday classic of the film’s title. The film was the 62nd biggest box office hit of 2019.

A ZULU CHRISTMAS | Movie | 25 December

In A Zulu Christmas, a young boy – who is used to the city life, being spoiled by his mother and getting his way – has to spend Christmas with his grandmother on her farm in KZN. Will he rediscover his heritage and find a deeper meaning in Christmas?

Directed by Thabo Ntsako Mashaila (Uhambo), A Zulu Christmas stars Deli Malinga (Imbewu), Thembinkosi Mthembu (The River), Sphumuzo Sidzumo (Matwetwe), Ayanda Banda (Omen) and SAFTA winner Nomsa Buthelezi (Lockdown, Our Perfect Wedding).

A CHRISTMAS CHORUS | Movie | 25 December

When the Covid-19 pandemic shuts down all theatres, a group of actor friends decide to come together and create a unique Christmas Eve performance. The directorial debut of SAFTA-winning Kanarie screenwriter and composer Charl-Johan Lingenfelder, A Christmas Chorus is a musical about awakening hope and passion during dark times.

A Christmas Chorus stars Fleur du Cap winners Dean Balie (Kat and the Kings) and Edith Plaatjies (King Kong) alongside SAFTA winner Jill Levenberg (Ellen: Die Storie Van Ellen Pakkies), KKNK Kunste Onbeperk Young Voice 2019 winner Lynelle Kenned (West Side Story, Wonderlus) and 2020 Fleur du Cap nominees Bianca Flanders (Krotoa: Eva Van De Kaap) and Namisa Mdlalose (Kinky Boots), who also won the 2020 Standard Bank Ovation Award for girl. 

Produced by Marche Media (Kanarie) as a celebration of the arts, A Christmas Chorus was filmed at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town while it was closed for lockdown.

A TWISTED CHRISTMAS | Movie | 26 December

In A Twisted Christmas, a wealthy family loses everything just before Christmas and the only person willing to take them in is their long-time Muslim gardener and his family. Together, they celebrate a ‘Mubarak’ Christmas and learn the meaning of real family.

Directed by Muneera Sallies, co-writer of Encounters Audience Award winner Action Kommandant, A Twisted Christmas stars Kate Liquorish (Still Breathing, Queen Sono), Euodia Samson (Arendsvlei) and Abduragman Adams (Suidooster).

BUT THERE’S EVEN MORE IN YOUR STOCKING

Showmax will be counting down to Christmas by releasing a new Christmas movie every day from today.

These include A Christmas Princess, A Christmas Surprise, A New York Christmas Wedding, A Royal Christmas Engagement, A Taste of Christmas, Another Christmas Coincidence, A Very Nutty Christmas, Baking Christmas, Candy Cane Christmas, Carole’s Christmas, Check Inn to Christmas, Christmas at Graceland, Cooking Up Christmas, Home for the Holidays, Christmas Break In, Christmas Getaway, Christmas Love Letter, Christmas Matchmakers, Christmas on Holly Lane, Christmas on Ice, Elf Day, Elfland, Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer, First Christmas, Homemade Christmas, Lucy Shimmers and the Prince of Peace, Merry Wishmas, Merry Ex Mas, Miss Christmas, Mistletoe & Menorahs, My Dad’s Christmas Date, One Fine Christmas, One Crazy Christmas, Pixi Post and the Gift Bringers, Road Home for Christmas, Rose for Christmas, Santa Girl, Santa’s Squad, Staging Christmas, Starring Christmas, Switched for Christmas, The Christmas Lottery, and The Last Christmas Home.

And if that doesn’t have you overflowing with Christmas spirit, Showmax also offers you the classic Senegalese short film, Dyana Gaye’s Deweneti, which won the Special Jury Award: International at Clermont-Ferrand, the world’s most prestigious short film festival, among other awards for its story about Ousmane, a beggar on the streets of Dakar, who decides to write a letter to Santa.

Or you can rewatch favourites like the Oscar-winning Dr Seuss adaptation How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which is celebrating 20 years this year; Annecy-winning Julia Donaldson animation Stick Man, animated in South Africa by Triggerfish; Golden Globe-nominated animation Arthur Christmas; box office hit A Bad Moms Christmas, with Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn; or with the kids, Peppa Pig’s Christmas Party special; Timmy’s Christmas Surprise; A Garfield Christmas. And we haven’t even started on Christmas episodes of your favourite shows: this year, we especially recommend Santa, Schmanta from the Emmy-nominated animation American Dad!, where Roger the alien converts to Judaism and tries to make Hanukkah more popular than Christmas.

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