20 June 2018
5 African-linked highlights to stream in June
These series and movies fly the flag for our continent, and they’re all available now on Showmax.
Premise: It’s based on Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake’s beloved collection of rebooted fairy tales, starring a pistol-packing Red Riding Hood, her resourceful best friend Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf, seven jockeys with gambling debts, three little property developing pigs, and a prince who doesn’t get the girl this time…
Why you should watch: Roald Dahl wrote all your favourite children’s books, like Matilda, The BFG, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, James and The Giant Peach and Fantastic Mr Fox. This BBC Christmas special was partly animated in Cape Town at Triggerfish.
Accolades: Revolting Rhymes was nominated for an Oscar and won everything else, including the International Emmy Kids Award for Animation; Best Animation at the BAFTA Children’s Awards; Best Animated Special at the Annie Awards; and Best One-Off Special at Kidscreen.
Runtime: 2 x 29m
Premise: A fast-paced tour through the high-powered world of African oil deals. Or as Variety called it “a real-life Chinatown or There Will Be Blood.”
Why you should watch: The documentary has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, who write, “A good movie gives you a ticket to a secret world and Big Men delivers again and again, taking you into rooms you have no business entering. You’ll eavesdrop on meetings about oil deals worth billions of dollars and watch heavily armed militants preparing to strike.”
Accolades: Big Men won the prestigious Edward R Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Association of America for the “best TV interpretation or documentary on international affairs.” It was also nominated for three News & Documentary Emmy Awards.
Premise: Two paramedics are on a twelve-hour night shift, treating a patient with multiple stab wounds, when they get hijacked in Cape Town…
Why you should watch: This is based on a true story, which makes it even scarier. The cast is amazing too: SAFTA winner Brendon Daniels (Four Corners) is the patient and Trix Vivier (Waterfront) and Clayton Evertson (Shooting Stars) are the paramedics.
Accolades: Winner of Best Short Film (12 minutes) and Best Screenplay (12 minutes), Silwerskerm, 2017.
Premise: An adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestseller, The Highway Rat is a swashbuckling tale of a greedy rat who craves buns and biscuits and comes to a sticky end.
Why you should watch: In 2015, Donaldson (The Gruffalo, Room On The Broom, Stick Man) topped the UK book sales charts for the sixth consecutive year – with sales exceeding £10m – the first author to do so. People’s Choice winner David Tennant (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) leads an impressive cast in the title role. And did we mention this was also animated in Cape Town at Triggerfish?
Accolades: Audience Award for 3-6 year olds at New York International Children’s Film Festival; in competition last week at Annecy, the world’s top animation festival.
Premise: Inspired by the shenanigans in the South African Parliament, Point of Order is a comedy panel show that allows SA’s top comedians and special celebrity guests to talk politics like real MPs, perhaps with a little more sense and sensibility.
Why you should watch: It’s produced by Both Worlds, best known for the two-time International Emmy nominee, ZANews’ Puppet Nation. It stars all your favourite comedians, including Savanna Comics Choice winners Tumi Morake, Deep Fried Man, Loyiso Gola and Mark Banks, and many of your favourite celebs too.
Accolades: Season one won the SAFTA for Best Game Show in 2017, with Tumi Morake nominated as Best Presenter. Season two, which is now on Showmax in its entirety, was nominated in both categories again this year.
Runtime: 25 episodes of 28m episodes across two seasons
Other African-linked highlights now available on Showmax include Deon Opperman’s whistleblower thriller series Fluiters, starring Marius Weyers and Sandra Prinsloo; the hit animations Madagascar and Madagascar: Escape To Africa; and the soccer documentaries Men in The Arena, about two Somalis with big dreams, and We Must Go, the story of the Egyptian national team’s attempt to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.