Lea Vivier, Pallance Dladla star in ‘Dam’, a new Showmax Original psychological thriller

Filming has wrapped on the Showmax Original Dam, a small-town psychological thriller shot in the Eastern Cape. 

About Dam

Silwerskerm Best Actress winner Lea Vivier (WonderlusFynskrif) stars as Yola Fischer, who returns from Chile to the Eastern Cape to bury her father, only to be tormented by spirits in the farm house she has inherited. But with her mother institutionalised, and her own meds running out, Yola has to wonder if the spirits are real or just in her head? 

Two-time South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) winner Pallance Dladla (ShadowIsibaya) co-stars as Themba, her love interest, a biker on the run.  

Natasha Loring (who’s voiced game characters in both the Star Wars and Game of Thrones franchises, and starred in international series like Beaver Falls) plays Yola’s sister, Sienna; SAFTA winner Antoinette Louw (An Act of DefianceDie Laaste Tango) plays her aunt Dora; and Fleur du Cap winner Faniswa Yisa (Blood Psalms, Knuckle City and Skin) is Lindiwe; with aKing frontman Laudo Liebenberg (Black SailsDie Byl) and Gerald Steyn (Meisies Wat Fluit, Fiela Se Kind) as brothers Rudy and Max Reese.

“It’s the story of a family – and a town – with dark secrets, and about how what you push down will eventually rise up,” says Alex Yazbek (The WildUnmarried, Isibaya), a four-time SAFTA winner who is writing and directing the eight-part series. 

Neil Sandilands returned from Hollywood for the series – his first South African role since 2013’s Die Ballade Van Robbie De Wee. Since then, Sandilands has appeared in hit shows like The FlashThe 100The Americans and Hap and Leonard, as well as films like Paul Greengrass’s News of the World, opposite Tom Hanks. 

An all-star cast

Dam’s all-star cast also includes Fleur du Cap winner and three-time SAFTA nominee Jennifer Steyn (Goodbye BafanaAbo Mzala, Master Harold and the Boys) as Yola’s mother, Yvette, and theatre legend Andrew Buckland (Catching Feelings) as her father, Jacob, not to mention SAFTA winner Siv Ngesi (Blood PsalmsStill Breathing, Knuckle City), SAFTA and DSTV Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Award winner Thembisa Mdoda-Nxumalo (Baby MamasUnmarriedOur Perfect Wedding), Fiesta winners Tarryn Wyngaard (Noem My SkollieRaised by WolvesDwaalster) and Andre Odendaal (SwartwaterDwaalster), and the likes of Marvin Lee Beukes (Die Byl), David James (District 9, Isidingo), and Francis Chouler, who is making his local TV series debut after more than 20 international roles in the likes of Eye in the Sky and Prisoner 760.

32cee3ac pallance dladla in dam - Lea Vivier, Pallance Dladla star in ‘Dam’, a new Showmax Original psychological thriller
Photo: Supplied

SAFTA winners Picture Tree (Vehicle 19) are producing the series, with three-time SAFTA winner Tom Marais (Hunter Killer, iNumber Number) as DOP; SAFTA winner Sue Steele (MaterialVehicle 19) as production designer, creating things like frog-covered floors; award-winning model maker Roger Titley creating barbel fish-headed monsters; and SAFTA winner Smartie Olifant (IntersexionsThe Wound) overseeing makeup, including a trypophobia-inducing skin disorder. 

“It’s safe to say you’ve never seen anything like Dam on South African TV,” says Candice Fanguiero, Showmax’s head of content. 

Dam premieres on Showmax in February 2021. 

Other upcoming Showmax Originals include the reality series Lebo M: Coming Home, due 2 December 2020, as well as Jahmil X.T. Qubeka’s ancient Africa series Blood Psalms, a co-production with Canal+ International; the long-awaited second season of the SAFTA-winning comedy, Tali’s Wedding Diary; the Cape Flats neo-noir murder mystery Skemerdans; and Uthando Lodumo, a reality series about controversial celebrity couple Babes Wodumo and Mampintsha, all expected in 2021. 

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