Welcome to What’s Hot On The Screen, a weekly round-up of some of the new and interesting releases in the world of online, film and television; based in South Africa. With Women’s Month but a sleep away, this week fittingly finds us with a slew of hefty releases centred or led by powerful black women within the film, television and reality spaces; including multiple Queen B’s.
Streaming Releases and Highlights
Seriously Single – Netflix
Fulu Mugovhani and Tumi Morake steer South Africa’s latest romantic-comedy in what feels like the first local film to have it’s premiere on the platform, with Seriously Single. Seriously Single finds love-struck Mugovhani struggling to be single and independent after suffering from consecutive failed relationships. Her care-free best friend, played by Morake, urges her to move on in a journey of self discovery.
Joko Ya Hao – Showmax
This week finds another gripping local short film being added onto a major streaming platform with Joko Ya Hao. Set in the 1950’s, during the era of forced evictions, Joko Ya Hao follows Simphiwe Dana as a bold and aspiring preacher with ambitions of becoming a pastor. It follows her journey as she becomes a defiant symbol of resistance when her church community is set to be evicted from their place of worship.
Jab – Netflix
Netflix acquires another South African drama series with this 2016 boxing effort, Jab. When a boxing enthusiast faces the loss of her family home, she decides to take a fight to cover her costs. A swift and unexpected win kickstarts her journey into the world of women’s boxing. Led by Vanessa Ntlapo, the pilot of this series is packed with a lot of heart and teases promising performances from the likes of Lemogang Tsipa and Knuckle City‘s favourite Thembekile Komani.
A Very Bonang Year – SABC 1 at 18h00 (1 August)
Saturday launches a two-part documentary special centred around one of the South Africa’s reigning presences, Bonang Matheba. A Very Bonang Year is set to bring viewers into a globe-trotting adventure that finds her asserting herself as one of South Africa’s best and a growing global presence.
Black is King – M-Net at 20h00 (1 August)
Beyoncé is the queen of visual musical experiences and Black is King teases to be her most ambitious effort within this regard, Black is King acts as the visual counterpart to Lion King companion-piece The Gift. Black is King follows a young African king who’s been cast out from his family into an unforgiving world. He subsequently undergoes a journey of betrayal, love and self-identity to reclaim his throne. The story is told through the voices of present-day Black people.
Idols SA – Mzansi Magic at 17h00 (2 August)
Finally, rating-juggernaut Idols SA returns for it’s 16th season this Sunday. The singing competition returns with it’s now synonymous trio of judges of Randall Abrahams, Unathi Nkayi and Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung on their search to find one of South Africa’s next singing sensations. This week’s episode finds the judging panel being joined by special guest Cassper Nyovest.