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 was nominated for five Africa Movie Academy Awards, including Best Film, Director and Actress.
1Magic’s thrill-a-minute The River was nominated for an International Emmy for Best Telenovela last week, having earlier been the most awarded production overall at this year’s SAFTA, with 10 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 populated by society’s upper crust in exquisite mansions who will go to any lengths to maintain their wealth; the other world is inhabited by the exploited ‘common folk’ who constantly toil with little to show for it.
At the SAFTAs, Moshidi Motshegwa won Best Actress as Malefu; Presley Cheneyagae won Best Actor as Cobra and Lawrence Maleka won Best Supporting Actor as Zolani. Other stars include Sindi Dlathu as Lindiwe, a mining magnate whose stilettos have squashed anyone who dared stand in the way of her wealth, as well as Don Mlangeni, Hlomla Dandala, 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 left 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
Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story
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.
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.
But wait, there’s more …
Other South African gems to enjoy on Showmax include:
- 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.