‘Spinners’ competes for best foreign TV Series at the Shanghai TV festival

Cantona James as Ethan in ‘Spinners’. Picture: SUPPLIED.

Cantona James as Ethan in ‘Spinners’. Picture: SUPPLIED.

Published Jun 28, 2024


The first season of the Showmax Original "Spinners", is competing against the Emmy-winning final season of "Succession" for Best Foreign TV Series at the 29th Shanghai TV Festival’s Magnolia Awards on Friday, June 28.

Made in Lavender Hill in Cape Town, the local production was first African series selected to be shown at The Cannes International Series Festival, which is also known as CanneSeries.

"Spinners" shines a light on the spinning culture on the Cape Flats.

The South African motorsport which involves driving cars at speed in circles and performing stunts in and out of the car, has often received a bad rap, but the show’s spinning coordinator Yaseen Damon, believes that it entails so more than what meets the eye.

It follows the life of Ethan, played by Cantona James, a 17-year-old driving enthusiast who grows up in the gang-riddled and crime-stricken community.

In desperate need to support his younger brother but increasingly disgusted with gang life, Ethan discovers a potential escape through spinning.

With a gang war on the horizon, he must navigate dangerous waters to turn his life around in time.

Meanwhile, "Spinners" is up against other notable series, including the British Academy Film Awards-nominated "All Creatures Great and Small", "La Storia," which was named as the 2024 Series of the Year by The Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists as well as "Aspergirl," which won Carel Brown the Best Actor award at last year’s Series Mania in France.

"Spinners" also received glowing reviews when it was released on CANAL+ in France earlier this week. French newspaper, “Le Figaro” praised it for exploring new fictional territories, while publication “Diverto” called it: "absolutely captivating" and "breathtaking."

French magazine “Allociné” described it as "a gripping thriller" akin to "Fast and Furious" and "Gomorra", with a hint of "Moonlight."

Le Journal DuManche said it combined elements of "City of God," "Fast and Furious," and "Gomorrah,"while, Télé-Loisirs said it surpassed the "Fast and Furious" franchise when it comes to offering viewers a sense of excitement.

The series is a co-production between Showmax and CANAL+, co-created by Joachim Landau and showrunner Benjamin Hoffman, with the story developed by Sean Steinberg and Matthew Jankes.

Co-produced by Ramadan Suleman from Natives at Large, "Spinners" has made a significant impact, highlighting the global reach and quality of African storytelling.