Subscribe to industry newsletters

Search jobs

Lifestyle jobs

MoreSubmit a jobOpen account

#OnTheBigScreen: Dog, Gangubai Kathiawadi and Blacklight

There are three films released this week: Dog is a buddy comedy that follows the misadventures of two former Army Rangers paired against their will on the road trip of a lifetime; Gangubai Kathiawadi celebrates the rise of a simple girl who had no choice but to embrace the ways of destiny and swing it in her favour; and in Blacklight, a fixer for the FBI confronts the truth of his profession. The Sound and Screen Festival is a cinematic celebration of music that features an amazing and eclectic array of music-related movies.


This buddy comedy follows the misadventures of two former Army Rangers paired against their will on the road trip of a lifetime. Army Ranger Briggs (Channing Tatum) and Lulu (a Belgian Malinois) buckle into a 1984 Ford Bronco and race down the Pacific Coast in hopes of making it to a fellow soldier’s funeral on time. Along the way, they’ll drive each other completely crazy, break a small handful of laws, narrowly evade death, and learn to let down their guards in order to have a fighting chance of finding happiness.

For Channing Tatum, Dog marks his directorial debut. He co-directed with producing partner Reid Carolin, who wrote the script from a story developed with Brett Rodriguez. It’s a movie about the uncanny ability of road trips to go awry in the craziest possible ways and how animals can be healing, even when relationships with them aren’t unconditionally effortless. So perhaps, it is that easy to describe it — a road trip that a guy takes with a dog — in the end, they rescue each other.

For Tatum and Carolin, the inspiration for Dog came from a very real place. Dog was inspired by a documentary the pair produced for HBO called War Dog: A Soldier’s Best Friend. They were fortunate to get to know many in the Army Rangers community who work in the Special Operations with their dogs. And while several movies about the military have focused on action and combat, they realised there were many more stories to tell.

Read more here.

Gangubai Kathiawadi

Indian Hindi-language biographical drama celebrates the rise of a simple girl who had no choice but to embrace the ways of destiny and swing it in her favour.

The narrative walks through the life of young Ganga, who ran away from her small town of Kathiawad to pursue her dreams of becoming a movie star. As fate would have it, her lover betrayed her and sold her off to a brothel. Ganga was left with no choice but to survive in these dire circumstances. With time, Ganga marks her territory and transforms into Gangubai – the matriarch of Bombay’s infamous red-light district – Kamathipura. Gangubai takes it upon herself to become a symbol for the fight against the injustices imposed on prostitutes. She becomes the voice of the suppressed and makes it her mission to try and legitimize a tainted profession that dates back to ancient times.

The film is directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the cast includes Alia Bhatt, Abhinay Raj Singh and Ajay Devgn. With English subtitles.


The dark side of duty and the hidden, morally murky parts of heroism are rarely seen in the light — they’re illuminated by unexpected turns, unpredictable events, and changes in perspective.

For Travis Block (Liam Neeson) the decades of shadowy work have blurred together, since a killing during the last days of the Vietnam War connected his future to his then-fellow officer, Gabriel Robinson (Aiden Quinn).

Fast-forward to the present day, and Block is a freelance government ‘fixer’ working for Robinson who’s now director of the FBI and overseeing Washington, D.C. with an omniscient gaze. But storm clouds are gathering that even Robinson can’t control. When a young anti-government activist, Sophia Flores, is killed under mysterious circumstances and FBI agent Dusty Crane (Taylor John-Smith), who had infiltrated Flores’s group, wants to come out of deep cover, Block begins to question if the job he’s been doing getting agents out of dangerous undercover assignments is accomplishing what he thought it did.

When director, co-writer, and producer Mark Williams was looking to follow up 2020’s Honest Thief, he read a script that had an interesting hook but was especially intrigued by the character of Travis Block, a guy who has to go into places and get good people out of bad situations., so he rewrote and updated the story to make the action-thriller Blacklight, with a lot on its mind, in a genre that harkens back to great conspiracy-minded actions-dramas of the past while being very of-the-moment.

“The film is a great ride, rooted in the ideas of family, loyalty, truth, and the idea of betrayal,” says Neeson. “It has some wonderful action sequences that come out of what’s been happening between the characters. The action is never gratuitous in Blacklight. It’s driven by the story, which is very gripping.”

Read more here.

Sound and Screen Film Festival

This cinematic celebration of music features an amazing and eclectic array of music-related movies, documentaries and subjects linked to music and sound in all of its forms from around the globe, including movies from across Africa, Europe, Asia, North America, UK and beyond.

From subdued, beautiful, lyrical musical sentiments all the way through to eruptions of audio genius, innovation, intensity, history and madness, and everything in between, you can expect genre variants from Pop, Rock, Hip-Hop, African, Classical, Metal and Punk, to Choral, Disco, Experimental, ‘80s Pop Legends, Electronic, Folk, Garage, Jazz, even something for vinyl collectors and horror fans! This virtual streaming takes place from 25 February – 6 March.

Read more and book tickets here.

Read more about the latest and upcoming films here.

About Daniel Dercksen

Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit

Let's do Biz