New Showmax Original, the Afrikaans murder mystery Skemerdans, now in production
In the upcoming Showmax Original, filmed at the iconic Galaxy nightclub in Cape Town, Glenn Fortune, the owner of The Oasis jazz club, is murdered in cold blood. As soon as he’s out of the picture, the club becomes the centre of a power struggle between two brothers, a scorned widow and an organised crime syndicate.
SAFTA winners Kevin Smith (Isidingo, Arendsvlei), Ilse Klink (Stroomop, Isidingo) and Brendon Daniels (Four Corners, Sara se Geheim, Arendsvlei) lead the all-star cast as Glenn, his wife Shireen and his brother Trevor respectively. Ceagan Arendse (Suidooster, Arendsvlei, who tragically passed away in February 2021) is the black sheep of the family, Warren; Trudy van Rooy (Die Byl, Sara Se Geheim) is Glenn’s prodigal daughter, Jessie; and SAFTA nominee Vinette Ebrahim (7de Laan, Binnelanders) is the formidable Fortune family matriarch.
2019 Comics Choice nominee – and Good Hope FM Happy Hour host – Carl Weber also stars as one of the Adams brothers, mob bosses who are busy buying up the strip around The Oasis. Bongo Mbutuma (Die Spreeus, Erfsondes) plays his partner in crime and brother from another mother.
The murder mystery’s ensemble cast also includes Fleur du Cap winner Mbulelo Grootboom (Sara Se Geheim, Projek Dina), Fleur du Cap nominee Ann Juries (Arendsvlei, Ander Mens), Danny Ross (Nommer 37, Arendsvlei, Suidooster), Kim Syster (Binnelanders, Suidooster), Carmen Maarman (Arendsvlei, Lui Maar Op, Belinda), Sanda Shandu (The Kissing Booth 1 and 2) and legendary Cape Town muso Alistair Izobell.
“We wrote the story with Galaxy and Voortrekker Road in mind. We wanted to … give them the same treatment [as] LA noir, to make them feel as cinematic and iconic.” – showrunner Amy Jephta
2019 Standard Bank Young Artist Amy Jephta (writer: Trackers, Die Ellen Pakkies Storie, and director of the upcoming feature Barakat) is executive producer and showrunner on this new 13-part series, co-directing alongside Ephraim Gordon (Sara Se Geheim, Suidooster). Nagvlug Films (Rage) is producing.
Filming is taking place along Voortrekker Road and at Club Galaxy in Rylands, arguably Cape Town’s most famous club ever since it opened in 1978, which is doubling as both The Oasis and the Adams brothers’ strip club The Velvet Room. SAFTA-winning DOP Chris Lotz (Jan, The Endless River, Rage, Shoreline) is shooting mostly between dusk and dawn, leaning into the shadows, silhouettes and neon lighting that makes the locations so perfect for a noir series.
“We wrote the story with Galaxy and Voortrekker Road in mind,” says Amy. “We wanted to take these completely local settings and give them the same treatment we associate with LA noir, to make them feel as cinematic and iconic.”
A organic, hyper-local mix of both Afrikaans and English, the 13-part half-hour series will launch on Showmax in 2021, with a nostalgic Cape jazz soundtrack guaranteed to take you back to your own time on the Galaxy dancefloor as you try figure out who killed Glenn Fortune, and why.
Other upcoming Showmax Originals include the reality series Lebo M: Coming Home, due 2 December 2020, and Jahmil XT Qubeka’s ancient Africa series Blood Psalms, a co-production with Canal+ International; the long-awaited second season of the South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA)-winning comedy, Tali’s Wedding Diary; and the small town horror Dam, all expected in early 2021.
Also look out for Showmax action movie Rogue, starring Megan Fox, due 3 December 2020.