SA film students break into video-on-demand business

18 February 2019

SA film students break into video-on-demand business

Thanks to the growing popularity of video-on-demand services, there’s a new opportunity to help kickstart the careers of local filmmakers.

Numerous Hollywood blockbusters (District 9, Tomb Raider 2018, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron to name a few) have featured substantial shoots in Johannesburg and Cape Town. While providing great opportunities for SA’s production talent, aspiring writers and directors don’t get the same benefit.

So where can local creatives showcase their work? Broadcast TV isn’t a natural home for unknown short films, and while self-publishing platforms are readily available hosting options, it’s tough to get noticed and get traffic when competing with videos from across the planet.

But with the emergence of video-on-demand services into the mainstream, there’s now a solution. The African film school AFDA has teamed up with the streaming service Showmax to give local talent a much larger platform than ever before.

From 18 February, 18 of the best recent short films made by AFDA students from their Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth campuses will be live on Showmax. Drama, documentary, fantasy, and animation are all represented, in pieces running from under eight minutes to almost half-an-hour long. The full list of movies is included below.

Junior is on Showmax

Junior is on Showmax

Teresa Passchier, CEO of AFDA, said:

“AFDA, Africa’s number-one school for the Creative Economy, is proud to kickstart this exciting and meaningful journey with Showmax and AFDA students, ensuring emerging young African filmmakers’ voices are heard and given a platform. It’s groundbreaking to share young, local, culturally relevant content on the same platform as Hollywood blockbusters. I am certain that this unique initiative will serve to boost and develop the African film industry and the careers of many young South African and African students alike.”

O-Puncha is on Showmax

O-Puncha is on Showmax

Included in the short films coming to Showmax are the award winners Junior and O-Puncha. Junior, directed by Bert Dijkstra, picked up the Audience Award in the Made in South Africa Competition at the shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival Awards 2017. O-Puncha, directed by Adam Hansen, won two awards at the 5th annual Eldorado Film Festival: Best Student Made Short, and Best Editing – Alexander La Cock.

Sicela Amanzi is on Showmax

Sicela Amanzi is on Showmax

Another celebrated film is Sicela Amanzi directed by Mlu Godola, which talks to the subject of water shortage. The film’s heroine Zoleka is a mild-mannered young woman forced to go to extreme lengths when a small community’s only source of water unexpectedly collapses. The power of films like this is they shine a light on critical topical issues in new ways.

Speaking about working with the film school, Candice Fangueiro, Head of Content for Showmax, said:

“There’s immense depth of filmmaking talent in Africa and it’s a privilege to be able to give that talent a home and a platform. Showmax is becoming part of the fabric of film and TV production in Africa, and importantly we’re doing this as a partner rather than just as a consumer. This is a key competitive advantage of being local and something we aim to continue to work on.”

AFDA on Showmax

AFDA is an Academy Award-winning institution, founded in 1994, and the first and only African film school to win an Oscar – for the Best Foreign Student film in 2006, the postgraduate film Elalini, directed by Tristan Holmes.

The full list of AFDA short films coming to Showmax

  • Lullaby from the Crypt: animation (directed by Keenan Lott and Raven Davids)
  • Ko Ga Cherenyane: documentary (directed by Sibonokuhle Myataza)
  • Izilwane: drama (directed by Kyllian Roux)
  • Mallemeule: drama (directed by Jaco Van Bosch)
  • Canal Street: drama (directed by Brodie Muirhead)
  • On the Fence: drama (directed by Warrick Bews)
  • The Righteous Few: drama (directed by Lindo Langa)
  • Hlogoma Peak: drama (directed by Luke Ahrens)
  • Frozen Flame: animation (directed by Cameron Heathman)
  • Wolf: fantasy (directed by Brett van Dort)
  • The Walk Home: drama (directed by Sisanda Dyantyi)
  • Bear: drama (directed by Wesley Roodt)
  • Junior: drama (directed by Bert Dijkstra)
  • O-Puncha: drama (directed by Adam Hansen)
  • Umngeno: drama (directed by Siphosethu Ndunge)
  • Doreen: drama (directed by Luvuyo Equiano Nyawose)
  • Forever: musical (directed by Lindo Langa)
  • Sicela Amanzi: drama (directed by Mlu Godola)

Start watching now »

Original African stories by local talent

Nilichoma on Showmax

Nilichoma

The Kenyan Showmax Original docuseries features celebs who received an unexpected windfall, and then blew it all. Premiering on 28 May 2024.

Original
/images/ke.svgMade in Kenya
Melissa de Vries as Frieda and Lee-Ann van Rooi as Suzette in Mince Jou Hare

Mince Jou Hare S1

Shimmy Isaacs’s laugh-out-loud sitcom about a factory worker who opens a hair salon in her home lands on Showmax on 20 May 2024.

Original
/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Untying Kantai on Showmax

Untying Kantai

Untying Kantai follows King Kantai, a man who has spent 30 years of his life working hard to provide for his family, only to be conned out of his life savings. Now streaming.

Original
/images/ke.svgMade in Kenya
BigGirl Small World on Showmax

Big Girl Small World

Big Girl Small World follows Ciku, a plus-size woman who stumbles through a journey of self-discovery after a humiliating scandal. Stream now, with new episodes every Wednesday.

Original
/images/ke.svgMade in Kenya
Siyabonga Thwala as Khaya and Nambitha Ben-Mazwi as Ndoni in Empini on Showmax

Empini S1

Empini is a high-stakes, action-packed drama about Ndoni, a deeply troubled private security bodyguard in search of answers. Landing 23 May, with new episodes weekly.

Original
/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Original Sin: My Son The Killer on Showmax

Original Sin: My Son The Killer

Original Sin: My Son The Killer follows the murder of Andrea Venter by Gerhard Jansen van Vuuren, who then went on the run from South Africa to Brazil.

Original
/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Tracking Thabo Bester on Showmax

Tracking Thabo Bester

From the makers of Devilsdorp and the director of Convict Conman comes the true-crime documentary South Africa has been waiting for. All the episodes are streaming on Showmax.

Original
/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
The Illuminated S1 on Showmax

The Illuminated

The Showmax Original docuseries The Illuminated explores different religious movements in South Africa. All episodes now streaming.

Original
/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
What will be the cost of vengeance? Empini S1, coming soon
Ultimate Girls Trip SA: What happens in Jamaica?