Star-studded Skemerdans Series Now Filming at Cape Town's Iconic Club Galaxy FeaturedWritten by Ryan Swano
After the murder of owner Glenn Fortune, The Oasis jazz club becomes the centre of a power struggle between two brothers, a scorned widow and an organised crime syndicate.
Skemerdans literally translates to "Dusk Dance" and plays itself out as a dusk-till-dawn depiction of the Cape Flats nightlife and nightclub scene.
The real novelty about this neo noir murder mystery series is that shooting largely takes place from dusk till dawn, and despite being set in Cape Town there are no typical Cape Flats urban scenes or any of he touristy mountain or sea views anywhere to be seen.
The idea with Skemerdans being created and filmed in the neo noir style we are told is to give it a feel that it could possibly take place anywhere in the world.
SAFTA-winning DOP Chris Lotz (Jan, The Endless River, Rage, Shoreline) is shooting mostly between dusk and dawn, leaning into the shadows, silhouettes and neon lighting that make the locations so perfect for a noir series.
Of course this isn't just anywhere else in the world. This is Cape Town and what better place than the iconic Club Galaxy in Rylands, arguably Cape Town’s most famous club ever since it opened in 1978, to double as both The Oasis and the Adams brothers’ strip club The Velvet Room? Filming also takes place along the always bustling Voortrekker Road, or at least it was bustling pre-covid-19 and as witnessed by yours truly having spent a lifetime not just partying but also at times working at clubs in the area, has always had an interesting mix of night spots that ranges anywhere from dingy bars to some really sophisticated hi-tech night clubs all with either neon lights above their entrances right on the main road side-walk or with staircases and alleys leading to side and rear entrances. We are quite sure that will make for some really thriiling scenes.
“We wrote the story with Galaxy and Voortrekker Road in mind,” says exutive producer and co-director Amy Jephta who was the writer of the gritty true story film Die Ellen Pakkies Storie.
“We wanted to take these completely local settings and give them the same treatment we associate with LA noir, to make them feel as cinematic and iconic.”
For genuine auhenticity Skemerdans has an organic, hyper-local mix of both Afrikaans and English, and the 13-part half-hour series will launch on Showmax in 2021, has a nostalgic Cape jazz soundtrack which, if you’ve ever been to the Galaxy or any other similar club, is guaranteed to take you right back to that dance floor as you try figure out who killed Glenn Fortune, and why.
SAFTA winners Kevin Smith (Isidingo, Arendsvlei), Ilse Klink (Stroomop, Isidingo) and Brendon Daniels (Four Corners, Sara se Geheim, Arendsvlei) lead the all-star cast as Glenn, his wife Shireen and his brother Trevor respectively. Ceagan Arendse (Suidooster, Arendsvlei) is the black sheep of the family, Warren; Trudy van Rooy (Die Byl, Sara Se Geheim) is Glenn’s prodigal daughter, Jessie; and SAFTA nominee Vinette Ebrahim (7de Laan, Binnelanders) is the formidable Fortune family matriarch.
2019 Comics Choice nominee – and Good Hope FM Happy Hour host – Carl Weber also stars as one of the Adams brothers, mob bosses who are busy buying up the strip around The Oasis. Bongo Mbutuma (Die Spreeus, Erfsondes) plays his partner in crime and brother from another mother.
The murder mystery’s ensemble cast also includes Fleur du Cap winner Mbulelo Grootboom (Sara Se Geheim, Projek Dina), Fleur du Cap nominee Ann Juries (Arendsvlei, Ander Mens), Danny Ross (Nommer 37, Arendsvlei, Suidooster), Kim Syster (Binnelanders, Suidooster), Carmen Maarman (Arendsvlei, Lui Maar Op, Belinda), Sanda Shandu (The Kissing Booth 1 and 2) and legendary Cape Town muso Alistair Izobell.
2019 Standard Bank Young Artist Amy Jephta (writer: Trackers, Die Ellen Pakkies Storie, and director of the upcoming feature Barakat) is executive producer and showrunner on this new 13-part series, co-directing alongside Ephraim Gordon (Sara Se Geheim, Suidooster). Nagvlug Films (Rage) is producing.
The Showmax Original Skemerdans is currently in production in Cape Town. The Cape Flats neo-noir is expected to launch on Showmax in 2021.
All Images Supplied by Showmax.
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