‘Spinners’ wins Best Foreign TV Series at the 29th Shanghai TV Festival’s Magnolia Awards

Cantona James in ‘Spinners’. Picture: Supplied

Cantona James in ‘Spinners’. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 1, 2024


On Friday, June 28, the first season of “Spinners” achieved a remarkable victory, beating the Emmy-winning final season of “Succession” to win best Foreign TV series at the 29th Shanghai TV Festival’s Magnolia Awards.

“Spinners” also held off strong competition from other well-known series. These included the Bafta-nominated fourth season of “All Creatures Great and Small”, “La Storia”, which was named 2024 series of the year by The Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists, and “Aspergirl”, which won best actor for Carel Brown at last year’s series mania in the French competition.

“Spinners” recently began airing on CANAL+ in France, with two episodes released every Monday. This follows its CANAL+ debut in French Africa in November of the previous year.

Reviews in France have been as positive as those in South Africa.

“Le Figaro” praised the series for exploring new fictional territories and introducing viewers to an astonishing motorsport.

“Diverto” said it was “absolutely captivating,” “breathtaking” and “both spectacular and full of suspense”.

Allociné called it “a gripping thriller … somewhere between ‘Fast and Furious’ and ‘Gomorra’ with a little hint of ‘Moonlight’.”

“Le Journal DuManche” said if you combined “City of God”, the “Fast and Furious” franchise, and the “Gomorra” series, the result would be like “Spinners”.

Télé-Loisirs suggested that “Spinners” has more to offer than the “Fast and Furious” saga and will thrill viewers.

“Spinners” is notable for being the first African series ever selected for the CanneSeries.

It follows the story of Ethan, played by break-out star Cantona James, a 17-year-old driver working for a local gang.

As he becomes increasingly disillusioned with gang life, Ethan discovers a potential escape through spinning, an extreme motorsport where he can use his driving skills for a better purpose. With a gang war looming, Ethan must turn his life around quickly.

Brendon Daniels in ‘Spinners’. Picture: Supplied

The series boasts an all-star cast including Albert Pretorius, Braeden Buys, Brendon Daniels, Carel Nel, Chelsea Thomas, Clayton Evertson, Dann Jaques Mouton, Danny Ross, David Isaacs, Dillon Windvogel, Elton Landrew, Ernest St Clair, Jihaad Otto, Katlego Lebogang, Keeno Lee Hector, Lee-Ann van Rooi, Melanie du Bois, Monique Rockman, Stephren Saayman, Waleed Osman and Zenobia Kloppers.

Actor and singer Lee Hector said: “It’s crazy how well this show has done and we can’t wait for season 2 – so let’s make that happen.”

“Congratulations to to all of the crew, cast members involved. I’m so proud of the work that we did,” he said.

Last year, “Spinners” premiered as the opening night film at MIP Africa and won three awards at the inaugural Dakar series: Best TV Series, Best Performance for Cantona James and Best Editing for Andrea Shaw and Matthew Swanepoel.

The series was also featured on international trade Deadline as part of their Global Breakouts strand.