Fasten your seat belts! African streamer Showmax and Canal+ are getting ready to go pedal to the metal.
The streaming company, co-owned by African pay-TV giant MultiChoice Group and Comcast, and the French pay TV giant has released a trailer for the eight-part gangster and extreme sports drama Spinners, which The Hollywood Reporter is revealing exclusively.
The companies’ third co-production, set in South Africa’s Cape Town, became the first African show to take part in CanneSeries’ main competition.
Spinners follows Ethan (Cantona James), a 17-year-old driver working for a gang who is trying to support his younger brother and discovers a possible way out of gang life: spinning, an extreme motorsport that features drivers performing jaw-dropping daredevil stunts. However, a looming gang war jeopardizes his plans.
The cast includes James (Arendsvlei) and Chelsea Thomas (Arendsvlei) in leading roles, along with Elton Landrew (Recipes for Love & Murder); Dillon Windvogel (Blood & Water); Brendon Daniels (Zulu, Five Fingers for Marseille), who won the South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) for best supporting actor for his role in the movie Four Corners; Dann Jaques Mouton (Arendsvlei, Noem My Skollie); David Isaacs (co-creator of Joe Barber); and Katlego Lebogang (Wounds).
In May, James won the best performance honor at the inaugural Dakar Series event, where Spinners also took home best TV series and best editing awards (for Andrea Shaw and Matthew Swanepoel).
The African film industry will get a chance to watch the first episode of Spinners on Sept. 4, opening night of MIP Africa. The drama will then premiere across sub-Saharan Africa on Showmax on Nov. 8, with new episodes debuting Wednesdays for the rest of the year. It will also launch on Canal+ in Africa on Nov. 13.
Directed by Jaco Bouwer (Gaia), who won the SAFTA for best TV drama for directing 4 Mure, the English/Kaaps/Afrikaans-language series was co-created by producer Joachim Landau and showrunner Benjamin Hoffman of Empreinte Digitale. It is co-produced by Ramadan Suleman (Zulu Love Letter, Fools) from Natives at Large, Spinners’ local co-production company. DJ Ready D is the music supervisor and also composed tracks for the series.
StudioCanal is handling international sales for the series, which got its South African premiere at the Silwerskerm Film Festival on Friday.
In a recent interview with THR, Showmax CEO Yolisa Phahle lauded Spinners for making its way to the CanneSeries competition, “becoming the first African series to actually be selected, alongside massive productions from Hulu and HBO and everybody else.”
“Spinning is making art with your car,” said James. “Going in a donut, making an eight, people hanging outside a car while it’s spinning, standing on top of a car…it’s just thrilling.”
Co-star Thomas knew all about the extreme sport from her childhood. “Spinning has always been a big part of culture in Cape Town, in the Cape Flats,” she said. “I grew up in Kraaifontein, and for all my childhood I would go to the pitch on a Sunday. That would be where all the cars gathered to spin. And I’ve only ever seen men spin. So when I started the job on Spinners, then only I learned that females are actually dominating the sport now. Spinners shows a different side to it: it shows the passion, the drive, the adrenaline. So I’m excited for the rest of the world to see what our people are all about.”
Watch the trailer for Spinners below.