"8", a SA original will premiere on Netflix on June 19. 
Picture: Supplied
"8", a SA original will premiere on Netflix on June 19. Picture: Supplied

SA horror '8' to premiere on Netflix in June

By Entertainment Reporter Time of article published May 25, 2020

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South African productions are becoming a hit with the global audience. 

The recent premiere of Netflix's second African original "Blood & Water" is a reflection of the boundaries South African script writers, directors and actors are crossing to make entertaining content in all genres. 

In June, another highly anticipated film will hit the streaming platform. 

"8", a supernatural thriller is set to premiere on June 19. 

It is grounded in South African folklore and mythology in a dark story of atonement, rooted in traditional beliefs about ancestors and the spirit world. Reality and superstition collide in the intersection where the world of the living meets the dead. 

"8" tells the story of an unaccomplished William Ziel, played by Garth Breytenbach, who returns to the farmhouse he inherited from his estranged father with his wife, Sarah (Inge Beckmann), and their adopted niece, Mary (Keita Luna). 

Soon after moving in, they meet a mysterious local outcast Lazarus (Tshamano Sebe), who carries with him a dark secret that will put everyone at risk. Lazarus persuades William to hire him in spite of Sarah’s reservations and successfully forges a kindred bond with Mary, who, like him, still aches for her lost kin. 

But among the locals, Lazarus is an unwelcome menace who carries a dark secret in his sack: a demon reincarnation of his deceased daughter with an insatiable appetite for human souls. In his pursuit to calm her nag, he facilitates several deaths and killings in the village, drawing the circle closer to the Ziels.  

“We’re really excited about the quality of productions like 8 which was made in South Africa and will now be available for our members to enjoy,” says Ben Amadasun who leads Netflix Licencing and co-productions in Africa. 

“Through Netflix, creators now have the opportunity to reach more audiences. Our aim is to be a good partner for Africa’s creative industry. We’ll continue to create new partnerships that will enhance our library with a wide variety of powerful, engaging stories from across Africa.”

The script of “8” came out of writer and director Harold Holscher’s personal connection to the story of loss and guilt, combined with his love for the genre of the supernatural and the complexities of South African culture. 

“I love that one can take personal strife and place it within a film that can be watched and is relatable. The horror genre is a great genre to do this in, and I hope people enjoy and appreciate this for what it is,” says Holscher. 

On the collaboration with Netflix, producer Jac Williams of Cape Town-based, Man Makes a Picture Productions says, “local stories are being told in ways that find credence abroad, and Netflix is geared at facilitating this new movement globally for filmmakers”. 

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