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#OnTheBigScreen: Lady Gaga, a masked killer, and four single moms

The films releasing in South African cinemas on 12 October 2018 are A Star Is Born, a contemporary re-imagining that speaks to the timeless nature of human feelings and failings; a masked killer turns a ghoulish travelling carnival into a slaughter ground in Hell Fest; and the local comedy Baba Mamas revolves around the daily lives, loves, and drama of four professional women who are all in different stages of their own real-life baby mama.

A Star Is Born


In this new take on the tragic love story, Bradley Cooper plays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, who discovers - and falls in love with - struggling artist Ally (Lady Gaga). She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.



The cast of A Star is Born also includes Andrew Dice Clay with Dave Chappelle and Sam Elliott. In addition to playing Ally, Gaga, who earned her Oscar nod for the song ‘Til It Happens to You from The Hunting Ground, performs original songs in the film, which she wrote with Cooper and a handful of artists, including Lukas Nelson, Jason Isbell, and Mark Ronson.  All the music is original and was recorded live.

It marks the third remake of the original 1937 film, which was adapted into 1954 musical and then remade as a 1976 rock musical with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. Putting his own stamp on the tale with his contemporary take on A Star Is Born, director-writer Cooper strove to make something that speaks to the timeless nature of human feelings and failings, mixed with today’s diverse world of music.

Read more about A Star is Born here.

Hell Fest


On Halloween night, three young women and their respective boyfriends head to Hell Fest - a ghoulish travelling carnival that features a labyrinth of rides, games, and mazes. Every year, thousands follow Hell Fest to experience fear at the ghoulish carnival of nightmares. But for one visitor, Hell Fest is not the attraction – it is a hunting ground.



An opportunity to slay in plain view of a gawking audience, too caught up in the terrifyingly fun atmosphere to recognise the horrific reality playing out before their eyes. As the body count and frenzied excitement of the crowds continue to rise, he turns his masked gaze to Natalie, Brooke, Taylor and their boyfriends who will fight to survive the night.

Hell Fest is the latest thrill ride from Hurd, directed by Gregory Plotkin from a screenplay by Seth M. Sherwood and Blair Butler and Akela Cooper, from a story by William Penick, Christopher Sey, and Stephen Susco.

Read more about Hell Fest here.

Baby Mamas


It follows the daily lives of four (middle class) friends, played by Salamina Mosese, Thembisa Mdoda, Dineo Ranaka, and Kay Smith, as two of them struggle with the challenges that face single mothers, another finds out she’s pregnant, and the other grapples with the fallout of an abusive relationship. Four women share all their experiences on the joys and woes of being single moms, while still searching for true love.

How Stephina Zwane's film Baby Mamas celebrates single moms

Writer-director Stephina Zwane's Baby Mamas takes a closer look at four women who share all their experiences on the joys and woes of being single moms, while still searching for true love...

By Daniel Dercksen 10 Oct 2018


This is a comedy-drama revolving around the daily lives, loves, and drama of four professional women who are all in different stages of their own real-life baby mama drama. A sisterhood develops among these four very different women, as they find in each other the strength and courage it will take to navigate the treacherous waters of the relationships, good and bad, that they have with the men in their lives.



Directed and written by Stephina Zwane.

Read more about Baby Mamas here.

Read more about the latest film releases: www.writingstudio.co.za.
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About Daniel Dercksen

As a freelance film and theatre journalist for more than 30 years, published playwright and creator of the independent training initiative The Writing Studio, Daniel Dercksen received the number one spot for most popular lifestyle contributor for 2012, 2014 and 2015, and 2nd spot in 2016 on Bizcommunity.com.
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