Showmax has been the home of some of the best documentaries and docu-series of recent years. Some of them produced in-house, some picked up for distribution at prestigious film festivals and some licensed from the top independent production companies.
From Wig, to It will be chaos, to Fake Famous, here below is a list of 8 must watch documentaries on Showmax.
1. Fake Famous
Fake Famous explores the meaning of fame and influence in the digital age through an innovative social experiment. Following three Los Angeles-based people with relatively small followings, the film explores the attempts made to turn them into famous influencers by purchasing fake followers and bots to engage with their social media accounts.
Peeling back the layers to reveal what’s really happening behind the scenes of influencer fame, the film highlights our obsession with the number of likes, followers, and favorites we get and how most of our online world is more fabricated than we realize.
Fake Famous is directed, written, and produced by Nick Bilton; produced by Annabelle Dunne and Mary Recine; executive produced by Graydon Carter.
2. How to with John Wilson S1
John Wilson serves as writer, director, cameraman, producer, and narrator of this all-new six-episode comedy docuseries. In a uniquely hilarious odyssey of self-discovery and cultural observation, Wilson covertly and obsessively films the lives of his fellow New Yorkers while attempting to give everyday advice on relatable topics.
Along with Wilson, the show is executive-produced by Nathan Fielder, Michael Koman, and Clark Reinking.
Transhood chronicles the lives of four young people (aged 4, 7, 12, and 15 at the start of filming) and their families as they navigate growing up transgender in America’s heartland. By sharing personal realities of how gender expression is reshaping their lives, the film explores how these families struggle and stumble through parenting, and how the kids are challenged and transformed as they experience the complexity of their identities.
Directed by Sharon Liese, produced by Sasha Alpert (Autism: The Musical), and executive-produced by Kimberly Reed, Transhood offers a long-range understanding of transgender youth through the nuanced and authentic stories of Jay, Avery, Leena, and Phoenix.
4. Western Stars
Bruce Springsteen fans will be swept away by Western Stars, the live, intimate concert performance of the 20-time Grammy winner’s 19th studio album, released in 2019. Filmed at the artist’s own ranch, the film documents an intimate gig in a 100-year-old barn, where Bruce is backed by a band and a full orchestra as he performs all 13 songs from the album, taking us on a journey of love, loss, loneliness, family and the passage of time.
Western Stars was nominated for Best Music Documentary at the 2019 Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, where Bruce himself won for Best Narration.
From Emmy-nominated filmmaker Chris Moukarbel (Gaga: Five Foot Two), Wig offers a vibrant cultural history of drag and the annual outdoor festival that came to epitomise it: Wigstock. Drawing on unfiltered access to some of New York’s most famed drag artists, the 2020 GLAAD Media Award-nominated HBO documentary follows legendary drag queen Lady Bunny as she aims to resurrect Wigstock for a new generation.
Featuring appearances by the likes of RuPaul and the documentary’s co-producers, Neil Patrick Harris and his husband David Burtka, Wig is a high-energy, uplifting and provocative celebration of inclusivity and respect. Note that the documentary is rated 18 for nudity and language.
6. It will be chaos
Against the backdrop of the ongoing European refugee crisis, It Will Be Chaos unfolds between Italy and the Balkan corridor, intercutting two unforgettable stories of human strength and resilience. The HBO documentary film won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Current Affairs documentary at the 2019 News and Documentary Emmy Awards.
7. Stolen daughters: Kidnapped by Boko Haram
HBO’s 2019 Emmy-winning documentary Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped By Boko Haram follows the story of one freed group of the Chibok Girls, who were kidnapped in Nigeria in 2014 by Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram. Filmmaker Karen Edwards, a two-time Emmy nominee and exec producer of Channel 4’s Dispatches series, and Emmy-nominated director Gemma Atwal (Marathon Boy) also examine the plight of the thousands of Forgotten Girls, whose struggle to reintegrate into society continues.
8. The Jinx: The life and deaths of Robert Durst
The winner of two Emmys in 2015 and a Peabody Award in 2016, The Jinx: The Life And Deaths Of Robert Durst follows a seven-year investigation by Oscar-nominated filmmakers Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling (Capturing the Friedmans) into the complicated life of reclusive real estate icon Robert Durst, the key suspect in a series of unsolved crimes.
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