Showmax continues to deliver some of the best local content with some amazing new offerings this July – and we’ve picked five of our favourite picks you should definitely be checking out this month.

The River
Premise: In this hit 1Magic telenovela, The Dlaminis and the Mokoenas are two very different families brought together and divided by the discovery of a diamond in Cullinan, a stone’s throw away from Pretoria.
Why you should watch: 1. Muvhango good girl Sindi Dlathu plays a villain for a change as mining magnate Sindiwe Dlamini – and nails it. She’s supported by the likes of Hlomla Dandala and SAFTA winners Don Mlangeni, Presley Chweneyagae, and Moshidi Motshegwa.  2. It’s written by Phathu Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon of Tshedza Pictures and co-produced by Connie and Shona Ferguson – the same team that brought you The Queen. 3. Three-time SAFTA-winner Johnny Barbuzano (Rockville, The Wild) is directing.
Accolades: Episode one has just under one million views on YouTube alone.
Due date: Episodes 1-110 are out 2 July, to be followed by new episodes daily, express from 1Magic.

Lockdown S1-2
Set in a women’s prison where power and survival mean everything, this fast-paced drama will take you into the lives of the inmates as they battle demons that hold them prisoner in every sense of the word.
Why you should watch: 1. Season three comes to Mzansi Magic on 9 July 2018, so now is the perfect time to catch-up on one of the most acclaimed local series of recent years. 2. The impressive cast includes the likes of SAFTA winners Linda Sebezo, Zola Nombona, and Lindiwe Ndlovu (although many would argue that Lorna Cooper is the real star as a prison boxing champion).
Accolades: Lockdown won SAFTAs this year for Best Script: Drama & Best Makeup & Hairstyling, It was also nominated for Best Cinematography and Production Design.
Due date: Seasons one and two are available to binge now

Bitten: Sarah Graham Cooks Cape Town S1
Premise: Sarah’s chatty, fun approach to cooking has earned her blog, cookbook and TV series many devoted fans as she invites one and all into her home and kitchen.
Why you should watch: Produced by Okuhle Media, this breakout South African cooking show is now screened in over 40 countries worldwide.
Accolades: Best Variety and Lifestyle Show, SAFTAs, 2014
Due date: Season one is available to binge from 5 July 2018

Ocean Adventurer S1
Premise: An adventure-filled series that dives below the surface of the Cape of Storms’ diverse marine ecosystems and wildlife.
Why you should watch: It’s the closest thing to free-diving in Cape Town that you can get without a wetsuit and a brain freeze. You’ll get closer than you ever imagined to mega-sharks, great animal migrations and dolphin super pods.
Accolades: Best Factual Education Program, SAFTAs
Due date: Season one is available to binge from 5 July 2018

Man on Ground
Premise: Ade (Hakeem Kae-Kazim) and Femi (Fabian Adeoye Lojede) are expatriate Nigerian brothers. Ade is a successful banker in London, while Femi, once a political dissident in his home country, has had to escape to South Africa, live in refugee tenements and work menial jobs. During a short visit to Johannesburg, Ade discovers that his brother has been missing for a week. He sets out to investigate Femi’s mysterious disappearance, reconstructing the pieces of his everyday life and the cruel hardships he endured just to survive.
Why you should watch: 1. It’s inspired by the real-life xenophobic attacks that took place in the East Rand in 2008. 2. It’s written and directed by Akin Omotoso, who followed this with the hits Tell Me Sweet Something and Vaya. 3. The performances are incredible: Fana Mokoena won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Variety called Thishiwe Ziqubu “the film’s brightest spot… a talent to watch,” and the film won Best Ensemble Cast at the Monaco Charity Film Festival.
Accolades: In addition to screening at A-list fests like Berlin and Toronto, the film won the Special Jury Prize at the Africa Movie Academy Awards, Best Film at The Jozi Film Festival, and Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for Direction, Cinematography, Editing and Sound.
Due date: 12 July 2018

Other African-linked highlights coming to Showmax in July  include:

• the award-winning Desmond Tutu documentary Children of the Light, due 2 July 2018
• season four of the wildly popular, multi-award-winning Isibaya, due 2 July 2018
• Zimbabwean-South African actress Sibongile Mlambo’s star-turn as a mermaid on Siren, due 9 July 2018
• the animated series Zafari, due 9 July 2018, about a zoo of unique creatures near Mount Kilimanjaro
• Christia Visser’s big screen debut in the South African grindhouse film Girl From Nowhere, due 12 July 2018
• stand up comedy specials from legendary South African comics Barry Hilton and Marc Lottering (due 16 July 2018)

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