The River Showmax

Showmax: This Heritage Day, stream these proudly SA contenders from the Emmys, Jackson Wild and the AMAAs

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Showmax: South Africa’s film industry has a lot to celebrate on Heritage Day tomorrow. This week, at Jackson Wild, arguably the Oscars of the wildlife film world, Stroop is up for the Impact Award and South African Bonné de Bod is competing – against the likes of Dame Judi Dench – for the Best Presenter title. Last week, The River was nominated as Best Telenovela at the International Emmy Awards and Ellen: Die Ellen Pakkies Storie received five Africa Movie Academy Awards nominations, including Best Film, Director and Actress.

ALSO READ: The surprise box office hit ‘Ellen: Die storie van Ellen Pakkies’ is now streaming on Showmax


1Magic’s thrill-a-minute The River was nominated for an International Emmy for Best Telenovela last week, building on its success as the most awarded production overall at this year’s SAFTAs, where it won 11 awards, including Best Telenovela.

Produced by Tshedza Pictures, the show sees two different but interdependent worlds collide in spectacular fashion. One side of the river is home to exquisite mansions populated by society’s upper crust, who will go to any lengths to maintain their wealth; the other by those who have little to show for their hard work.

At the SAFTAs, Moshidi Motshegwa won Best Actress as Malefu; Presley Chweneyagae won Best Actor as Cobra; and Lawrence Maleka won Best Supporting Actor as Zolani. Other stars include Sindi Dlathu, Hlomla Dandala, Don Mlangeni and newcomer Larona Moagi. Just be warned: the body count is high in this one, so don’t get too attached to anyone…


Two first-time filmmakers, award-winning editor Susan Scott (The Last Lions) and 50/50 presenter Bonné de Bod, explore the war for rhino horn. Initially setting out on a six-month project, the duo leave their jobs, sell their homes, and even move in with their mothers as they quickly find themselves immersed in a world far larger and more dangerous than they had imagined. They only emerge from their odyssey across Africa and Asia four years later, with a gripping wildlife crime thriller documentary that’s won 24 international awards, including Best of Festival at The International Wildlife Film Festival. This week, Stroop is competing for the presenter and impact awards at Jackson Wild, arguably the Oscars of the wildlife film world.

“The tell-all film.” Daily Mail

“This film will change things.” Africa Geographic


Last week, Ellen was nominated for five Africa Movie Academy Awards: Best Film, Director (Daryn Joshua), Actress (Jill Levenberg), Supporting Actor (Jarrid Geduld), and Production Design. It’s the latest in a string of accolades for the film, which was the most awarded feature at this year’s SAFTAs, was South Africa’s official entry for the foreign film category at the 2019 Golden Globes, was the third most popular local film at the South African box office in 2018, and won Best Actor (Jarrid Geduld), Best Actresss (Jill Levenberg) and Best Script (Amy Jeptha) at Silwerskermfees.

In 2007, the death of 20-year-old Abie Pakkies made headlines across South Africa and the world. The most disturbing part of the case was that the murderer was his mother, Ellen.

Based on this heart-rending true story, Ellen explores how this loving mother became desperate enough to take her own son’s life, and why a judge let her off with a three-year suspended sentence and 280 hours of community service.

Ellen Pakkies consulted on the film, which was partly shot in her own home in Lavender Hill.


Other South African gems to enjoy on Showmax include:
• Lwazi Mvusi’s roadtrip movie Farewell Ella Bella, up for Best Soundtrack at the 2019 Africa Movie Academy Awards
• Rea Moeti’s Marikana-themed Mma Moeketsi, up for Best Short Film at the 2019 Africa Movie Academy Awards
• Christiaan Olwagen’s Kanarie, named one of the 14 Best LGBTQ International Films of 2018 by Indiewire
• Shameela Seedat’s Thuli Madonsela documentary, Whispering Truth To Power, which won the Special Jury Prize at Hot Docs, North America’s most important documentary festival.

Image Courtesy: Supplied

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