SPECIAL EVENT: Latin American Film Festival
From 1 to 5 February, SBS On Demand is proud to premiere a selection of films as part of the Latin American Film Festival (LAFF). The LAFF offers a chance to view films from a region largely underrepresented on Australian screens, and we could not be happier to be involved.
Together with the Latin Embassies of Australia, SBS On Demand is streaming these 10 films till 30 April:
- The Dognapper (Mato Sem Cachorro), Brazil, 1 February
- Rey (King), Chile, 1 February
- Alma De Heroe, Colombia, 2 February
- Panama, Ecuador, 2 February
- Hunting Party, Guatemala, 3 February
- Kimura, Panama, 3 February
- Guaraní, Paraguay, 4 February
- Las Toninas van el Este, Uruguay, 4 February
- La pasión de Javier, Peru, 5 February
- El Baile de la Gacela, Costa Rica, 5 February
Starring Stanley Tucci and Jessica Biel, Limetown is adapted from the popular 2015 podcast of the same name. Biel plays Lia Haddock, a radio journalist investigating the unsolved disappearance of over 300 people at a neuroscience research facility in Tennessee 15 years ago. The missing people all worked at the facility and lived in a township set up to be a utopian collective by charming scientist Dr Oskar Totem (Alessandro Juliani), but things obviously went awry somewhere. Tucci plays Haddock’s uncle Emile, one of the missing.
Limetown season 1 is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Cacciatore: The Hunter
Based on a true story, Cacciatore: The Hunter takes us to Palermo, Sicily in 1993. After decades of conflict between the mafia and the state, two rival bosses continue their bloody battle for dominance. But one young provincial prosecutor, Saverio Barone (Francesco Montanari) has the guts to stand up. When Barone reports his own boss, the Antimafia unit promptly appoints him.
In what became known as the ‘hunting season’, three hundred Mafiosi were taken into custody, with Barone dubbed ‘The Hunter’ for his contribution to the spectacular raids and front-page arrests that took place. Set against the sparkling scenery of Sicily, this is a stylish, beautiful, moody and violent series, bringing the untold story of Mafia hunter Alfonso Sabella to light.
Cacciatore: The Hunter season 1 is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Norwegian crime drama Kieler Street is the latest to join the Nordic Noir catalogue at SBS On Demand. Under a new identity, Jonas Schulman (Thorbjørn Harr) is resettled in Kieler Street with his wife and daughter in the sleepy village of Slusvik, but one day, when his neighbour and best mate Geir blackmails him, certain of Jonas’ past deeds come to light, threatening to unravel his peaceful new life. It seems his fellow residents also have pasts they’re trying to escape, plunging them all into desperate self-protection mode.
Kieler Street season 1 is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Like Italy’s Cacciatore: The Hunter (above), this Dutch series is based on events that took place in the 1990s. This time, we’re in Holland where the titular Stanley is Stanley Hillis, one of the country’s most infamous criminals. Over three decades, Stanley evolved from ‘gentleman’ bank robber to ruthless kingpin. In the early ’90s, thousands of kilograms of drugs (as well as weapons and explosives) were allowed to enter the country in an effort to catch the leader of the Dutch drug empire.
The four-part Stanley presents the cat-and-mouse game between the Justice Department and the criminal underworld, introducing us to remarkable characters on both sides. With Stanley’s group marred by mistrust, money problems and betrayal, heads surely roll. A fascinating look at this recent criminal history, Jeroen Spitzenberger stars in the lead role.
Stanley season 1 is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
‘Turn the lights back on and your daughter dies.’ This is the message received by the Belgian prime minister whose daughter has been kidnapped. The country is plunged into darkness after an act of sabotage shuts down the nuclear power plant. This tense drama is a deft blend of political and crime thriller. Sara de Roo stars as Prime Minister Annemie Hillebrand.
Blackout season 1 is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Cheyenne & Lola
From creator (and Spiral writer) Virginie Brac, Cheyenne & Lola is about an unlikely alliance. When Cheyenne, fresh out of prison, witnesses Lola killing her lover’s wife, she assumes she’ll take the rap given her past, and delves into crime once more. The ruthless duo, who present an innocent façade to great effect, quietly take on a side hustle that ranges from swindling to killing. They don’t always get along, being so different – Cheyenne is a tattoo artist with plenty of life experience who cleans ferries for a (reputable) living and Lola is a selfish young Parisienne new in town – but their chemistry is undoubtable, and they’re determined to take a piece of the pie.
Cheyenne & Lola season 1 is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Renegade detective Evert Bäckström is famous in Sweden for solving 99% of his cases. But when a bullet-ridden skull is found in the archipelago, DNA results confirm it belongs to a victim of Thailand’s 2004 tsunami. Faced with this inexplicable mystery, Bäckström is left to contemplate whether one can die twice. Based on the novel, Can You Die Twice? by Leif GW Persson (who is also a writer on the series), fans of Nordic Noir will lap up this intriguing mystery. Kjell Bergqvist (Spring Tide) stars in the lead role.
Bäckström season 1 is now streaming at SBS On Demand:
If you need something to replace the Vikings-shaped hole in your life, Romulus is for you. This gritty Italian historical drama presents the ancient myth about the founding of Rome, but rather than be about brothers Romulus and Remus and the she-wolf who saves them, “[it’s] a story about tribes,” explains executive producer Marco Chimenz (Gomorrah). The series follows three or four outcasts, “almost primitive men and women, terrorised by nature and gods … and how they survive and take their destinies into their own hands.” Interestingly, the series is spoken entirely in ancient Latin.
Romulus season 1 is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Our favourite weird and lovable New Zealand police officers are back for season 3 of Wellington Paranormal. With their signature relaxed responses to bizarre supernatural scenarios, join Officers Minogue and O’Leary and Sergeant Maaka on the beat in this unique mockumentary that only could have been made in the Land of the Long White Cloud. (It’s a spinoff by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement of their vampire comedy film, What We Do In The Shadows, and it’s blooming excellent.)
Wellington Paranormal season 3 airs on SBS VICELAND Wednesday nights at 8:30pm from 24 February. Seasons 1–2 are now streaming at SBS On Demand with season 3 episodes streaming after they go to air. Here is season 3 episode 1:
Poldark’s Heida Reed is Stella Blómkvist in this crime drama from Iceland. Stella is the kind of lawyer who takes rules and smashes them, or uses them to smash her opponents. As well as being smart and ruthless, she’s also flexible with morals and her sexuality, with a taste for easy money and fine whiskey. When the prime minister’s assistant is murdered, it appears to be an open-and-shut case, but the deeper she goes, the murkier the details become, leading Stella into a maze of corruption at the heart of government itself. A thrilling ride, Reed shines in this sexy neo-Noir series.
Stella Blómkvist is now streaming at SBS On Demand. It will air on SBS later in the year.
In this French comedy, 25-year-old Lola Bouvier is a former ice-skating star with a massive ego. Determined to become the greatest roller-derby champion of all time, she unwittingly joins one of France’s worst teams, the Cannibal Unicorns. Dubbed by Variety as “fast-paced” and “darkly comic”, Chloé Jouannet (Riviera, My Summer in Provence) stars as Lola.
Derby Girl season 1 is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
When his dream to enter police academy falls over, brainy mystery-novel fan Qin is packed off from China to visit his cousin Tang in Bangkok. Tang is reputed to be a top detective in Chinatown, but when he arrives, he realises Tang’s sleuthing nous leaves much to be desired. At first glance, Detective Chinatown may appear to be a buddy comedy romp, but it’s sharper than that, and after one of them is suspected of murder, the pair ends up striving to solve a case after all. A fun, intelligent ride through the Thai capital, the series is based on the Chinese film franchise of the same name.
Detective Chinatown season 1 is now streaming at SBS On Demand.