See Cape Town as Mega-City One; inside those pirate ships off the N2

See Cape Town as Mega-City One; inside those pirate ships off the N2

Ever wondered why there were pirate ships lining the N2 in Cape Town? Turns out they were home to Captain Flint and his pirates, 20 years before Treasure Island, in Black Sails, a three-time Emmy winning TV series from Starz.

The first two seasons of Black Sails will be available to binge-watch on Showmax from 25 September 2017, along with a host of other films and TV series shot in South Africa or with South Africans.

Local company Film Afrika serviced Black Sails, which was filmed at Cape Town Film Studios. The hit show has an 80% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.3/10 rating on IMDB.

As The New York Times wrote, "Starz knows the formula for these costume-heavy action dramas from experience with shows like Spartacus and Camelot. And that formula is executed with particular skill in Black Sails, thanks to some strong performances and an exploration of the consequences of greed that could have come out of modern-day Wall Street."

For South African audiences though, an extra layer of fun is playing 'spot the South African star' among the swashbuckling pirates and lawless lasses. Look out for Sean Cameron Michael, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Patrick Lyster, Louise Barnes, Winston Chong, Andre Jacobs, Lise Slabber, and aKing frontman Laudo Liebenberg, among others. Trailer:

Dredd is another global hit filmed in South Africa, coming to Showmax on 14 September 2017. For Dredd, Cape Town was transformed into Mega-City One, a crowded dystopia where the title character (Star Trek's Karl Urban) is a police officer authorised to act as judge, jury and executioner. He teams up with a trainee (Juno's Olivia Thirlby) to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.

Look out for Game of Thrones star Lena Headey in Cersei Lannister mode as gang leader Ma-Ma, as well as South African actor Langley Kirkwood (Banshee) as Judge Lex.

The first film shot at Cape Town Film Studios (with local company Kalahari Pictures), Dredd won Best 3D at the Empire magazine awards, where it was also nominated as Best Science Fiction / Fantasy and Best British Film. Trailer:

Showmax's September lineup also includes:

An Afrikaans mockumentary about a middle-aged hotel manager, Ferdie Kruger (James Borthwick), and his small town staff. Hotel won the SAFTA for TV Comedy Scriptwriting in 2017 for its tale of the comic feud between old and new management as they struggle to keep the doors of the Mpumalanga hotel open. Beer Adriaanse, Schalk Bezuidenhout and Mila Guy co-star. Hotel is available to binge-watch from 21 September 2017. Trailer:

Sunu's been in the news this year after winning South Africa Gold at Cannes Lions and being the most awarded director at The Loerie Awards. Pride was his debut feature for Lionsgate, the underdog story of a black inner-city swimming team, which earned him and lead actor Terrence Howard Image Award nominations. Pride premieres on Showmax on 18 September 2017. Trailer:

Saints and Sinners
A gripping family drama about The Khumalos and Molosiwas, starring A-listers like Nthati Moshesh, S'dumo Mtshali and Tumisho Masha, who was up for a Best Supporting Actor SAFTA this year for his role. Saints and Sinners will leave you questioning your own moral code and what it would take for you to ignore it. The first three seasons will be available to binge-watch from 14 September 2017. Trailer:

Three Cape Town families make their living in the shopping centre Suidooster, in the fictional suburb of Ruiterbosch. A 2017 SAFTA nominee for Most Popular Soap, Suidooster was the first Afrikaans soapie to be filmed in Cape Town and boasts an all-star cast that includes Denise Newman, Marcel van Heerden, Cedwyn Joel, and Abduraghmaan Adams. The first two seasons will be available to binge-watch from 7 September 2017. Trailer:

Getroud Met Rugby
Join the Stryders rugby team in Johannesburg, as they struggle to maintain their discipline on and off the field. A 2017 SAFTA nominee for Most Popular Soap, Getroud Met Rugby will have four seasons available to binge-watch from 11 September 2017. Trailer:

Other local highlights include Lebogang Rasethaba's much-talked-about #FeesMustFall documentary, The People Vs. The Rainbow Nation (premieres 21 September 2017); Charlize Theron's interview with Dr. Jane Goodall on Iconoclasts (premieres 21 September 2017); and Comedy Central Presents shows with Schalk Bezuidenhout (premieres 11 September 2017), Deep Fried Man (premieres 18 September 2017), and Conrad Koch (premieres 25 September 2017).

See more of Showmax's local and international highlights at

About Showmax
Showmax is an internet TV service. For a single monthly fee, get all-you-can-eat access to a huge online catalogue of TV shows, movies, kids' shows and documentaries. Start and stop when you want. No ads. Cancel anytime - there's no contract.

Stream Showmax using apps for smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, computers and media players. Showmax also works with Chromecast and AirPlay. Manage data consumption using the bandwidth capping feature. No internet? No problem - download up to 25 shows to smartphones and tablets to watch later offline.

Showmax was born in 2015 and is part of the Naspers group. Showmax is currently available in more than 70 countries. For a free, no-risk trial, visit

Kevin Kriedemann
Kevin Kriedemann's picture

Get the latest film news and jobs in your mailbox!

Sign Up for the Weekly Newsletter, Click Here

Film Courses 2003 - 2019