6 must-see local films that came out of Netflix and NFVF partnership

Runs in the Family. Picture: Supplied

Runs in the Family. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 15, 2024


There is no shortage of quality content to watch these days, so check out this list of the best new micro-budget films available for streaming at home right now.

With an ever-expanding list of new films to watch, how can you be sure you are watching the best of them?

Rather than spend time sorting through the diamonds in the rough, you can check out this list of six of the newest and most popular micro-budget films to watch at home.

These films are a result of the R28 million joint fund by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and Netflix, created with the intent to finance each production at 100% of their budget.

This partnership was announced in March 2021 to create new opportunities for emerging filmmakers in the local film industry after many productions, locally and internationally, had ground to a halt due to the Covid-19 global lockdowns.

Runs in the Family. Picture: Supplied

Runs in the Family”

Directed by Ian Gabriel, “Runs in the Family” is a film about a reformed con artist, Varun, and his transmasculine son, River, who go on a road trip across South Africa to break River’s estranged mother out of rehab.

Varun faces trouble from his past while forming a deeper connection with his son.

The film features Ace Bhatti, Gabe Gabriel, Diaan Lawrenson, Rob van Vuuren, and Cleo Wesley.


Directed by Thabiso Christopher, this is a film about a young man trapped by indecision triggered by his abusive father’s death, shaken by the trauma of his mother’s suicide and cutting into the woman he loves, setting him up for the seduction of an ancient demon.

It features Richard Gau, Nomsa Twala and Jasmine Hazi.

Inkabi. Picture: Supplied


Frank, a retired hitman, chose to disappear and start his life as a private taxi driver. He befriends Lucy, a young woman working at a shady downtown casino. After losing custody of her child Angela, Lucy is back on a downward spiral of drugs and high-class prostitution.

One night she witnesses the murder of one of her clients, a prominent millionaire in the city.

Lucy manages to escape but the killer is out for her blood. She has no one to turn to except Frank, her only friend.

The film is directed by Norman Maake and features Tshamo Sebe, Michelle Tiren, Dumisane Dlamini, Muzi Mthabela and Kenneth Nkosi.

Soweto Blaze”

Directed by Brad Katzen, this is a hyper-stylised stoner-comedy set in Soweto, Johannesburg. A small-time pot dealer’s attempts at making a better life for himself are ambushed when his dim-witted friends sweep him up in a wacky kidnapping scheme involving a feisty young woman with her own plans.

The film features Matli Mohapelo, Dimpho More, Nhlanhla Masiya, Sydney Ndlovu, Nyeleti Khoza, Sello Sebotsane and Palesa Mosiea.

Smart Casuals. Picture: Supplied

Smart Casuals”

About two couples from Johannesburg, who travel equal and opposite paths in their search for love.

Taki has sworn off coupledom, that is until he meets Tumi. Mahlatsi and Bheka have been together for years and are looking forward to their third attempt at getting married.

As one couple moves towards love and a life together, the other realises that love is not what they imagined it to be.

Directed by Zwo Farisani, the film features Anga Makubalo, Angela Sithole, Terrence Ngwila and Mandisa Constable.

Gina Galalaletsang Koffman on Real Estate Sisters. Picture: Supplied

Real Estate Sisters”

This film will take you on a wild ride as two feisty real estate agent sisters, down on their luck and high on sass, aspire to go from selling shabby apartments to high-end real estate in Pretoria.

Directed by Reabetswe Moeti-Vogt, the film features Gina Koffman, Leera Mthethwa, Lerato Makheta, Marcus Mabusela, Sibongile Nojila, Jerry Chirindza, Sammy Fever, Jude Ben O’Donovan and Karin van der Laag.

Available to stream on Netflix, the streaming service’s VP of Content for Middle East and Africa, Ben Amadasun said they were incredibly proud of the creators, cast, and crew of all six films that became possible through their partnership with the NFVF; and having the opportunity to bring them to local and global audiences on the platform.

“These South African stories by South African filmmakers, demonstrate our commitment to growing and nurturing the next generation of talent and storytellers.

“We remain committed to investing in local storytellers to keep bringing exciting local stories from emerging and established filmmakers to our local and global audiences,” said Amadasun.