Penguin Films is one of the premiere film and television production companies in South Africa, having achieved success both locally and internationally in the fields of feature film, long form television drama and comedy.
The company has produced five feature films: Inside out, Skilpoppe (M-Net), Ingoma (6 SAFTAS for Best Made-for-TV Movie – M-Net), Felix (winner of 17 awards including TIFF Kids, Lucas Film Festival, Cinekid, Tumbleweeds and many others for Best Feature Film), Krotoa (Winner of 9 international awards including Best Film at the Montreal International Black Film Festival 2017 and the Harlem International Film Festival 2017).
Most recent drama series for M-Net include: Saints and Sinners Seasons 1, 2 & 3, Ring of Lies (M-Net telenovela), Sara se Geheim (kykNET).
Recent Dramas for other channels include Disney Cookabout (SABC/ Disney Channels UK, SA, Turkey and Greece ) Won 2017 award for Best Children’s Programme at the SAFTAS and was nominated for an 2017 International Kid’s Emmy)
Penguin Films’ television series have won numerous SAFTA awards and received many nominations including:
Home Affairs (4 x nominee in the drama category, International Emmys, Special mention at the Golden Rose festival and BANFF), Sokhulu and Partners (2 x nominee in the drama category, International Emmys) Sara se Geheim won a Tempo award for best television series in 2018.
Penguin is acclaimed for their work in democracy education. To educate first time voters in 1994, they produced South Africa’s flagship educational comedy drama series, Khululeka which was broadcast from 1994 to 2009. Khululeka was first commissioned by the Matla Trust, a trust fund set up by former President Nelson Mandela for democracy education. Together with the Center for Applied Legal Studies (Wits), they produced a talk show Future Imperfect, that was broadcast from 1993 to 2000 hosted by Prof. Dennis Davis that introduced to South African viewers their future leaders who had been in exile.
Penguin’s popular sitcoms include ‘Sgudi ‘Snaysi (It’s Good It’s Nice); Going Up, About Us; Madam & Eve; SOS; Fishy Feshuns; Going Up Again; Mazinyo dot Q, Stokvel and About Us. These productions have had several seasons (many still airing) and have won many local and international awards for best comedy including a Rose at the Golden Rose Festival in Switzerland for Madam & Eve in 2002 and an honourable mention for About Us in 2005.
The company is currently in production with Arendsvlei, kykNET & Kie’s first original Afrikaans telenovela, Disney Cookabout Season 5 and 6, Sara se Geheim Season 3 and Projek Dina – a 13 part procedural drama about a South African missing persons’ task team.
- Krotoa (2017) distributed by Shoreline Entertainment USA
- Ingoma (2016) Won 6 SAFTAs 2016 for best Made for TV Film
- Felix (2013) distributed by Off the Fence in Amsterdam and has been sold to the UK, Italy, Turkey, Australia and most of Africa
- Skilpoppe (2004) – M-Net Movie of the Month
- Inside Out (1998) – distributed by Ster Kinekor and Icon Entertainment
International Film Awards
- Best Film at The Harlem International Film Festival
- Best Narrative feature at The Montreal International Black Film festival
- Best foreign feature film drama at Depth of Field International Film Festival Competition
- Best feature film at the IndieFEST Film Awards
- Award of Excellence Special Mention: Women Filmmakers at the Accolade Global Film Competition
- World Platinum Award at the World Woman Awards
- Diamond Award at the Filmmakers World Festival
- Award of Excellence at the International Film Festival for Women: Social Issues and Zero Discrimination
- TIFF Kids Festival Young People’s Jury Award for Best Feature Film
- Audience Choice Award for Best Film at Durban International Film Festival in South Africa,2013
- Lucas award for best film at the Lucas International Children’s Film Festival in Frankfurt, Germany
- Michel award at the Hamburg Film Festival in Germany
- Cinekid Audience Award in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- Best Director award at the African International Film Festival in Nigeria
- The Marcinek award for best full length film for children at the International Young Audience Film Festival Ale Kino in Poland
- Teacher’s Jury Special mention award at the International Young Audience Film Festival Ale Kino in Poland
- Special Jury Recognition: First Feature film by a director, at the Pan African Film festival in Los Angeles, USA
- Audience Award at Tumbleweeds Film festival in Utah, USA
- Best Children’s Feature as voted by the Children’s Jury in Antwerp at the European Youth Film festival of Flanders
- Writer’s Guild of South Africa (WGSA) Muse Award for Best Feature Script
- Youth Jury prize for Best Film at the Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth in Vancouver, Canada
- Best Film award at Kikife International Children’s Film Festival in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany
- Adult Jury Prize – ‘Die Goldene Klappe Award’ for best Picture at the Augsburg Children’s Film Festival in Germany
- People’s Choice Award for Best Feature at the 2014 Vancouver South African Film Festival (VSAFF)
- The Moviezone Cinekid Youth Jury Award in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- Audience Award for best feature drama at Freeze Frame, International Film Festival for Kids of All Ages in Winnipeg
- Children’s Jury Award – Best Feature Film – La Matatena International Children’s Film Festival in Mexico.
Disney Cookabout is an international co production between Penguin Films and The Walt Disney Company. We are currently in production with the 5th and 6th seasons. Cookabout has been sold internationally including the UK, Greece, the United Arab Emirates and several Scandinavian countries.
- SAFTA Award for Best Children’s Programme (Disney Cookabout 2017)
- Nominated for an International Emmy Kids Awards (Disney Cookabout 2017)
- Ambitions (eTV)
- Sara se Geheim 1&2 (kykNET)
- Z’bondiwe 1, 2 & 3 (eTV)
- Isikizi 1&2 (Mzansi Magic)
- Saints and Sinners 1, 2 & 3 (Mzansi Magic)
- Sokhulu and Partners 1, 2 & 3 (SABC)
- Home Affairs 1, 2, 3 (SABC)
- Montana 1 & 2 (SABC)
- Izingane Zobaba (SABC)
- Shreds and Dreams 1, 2 (SABC)
- Forced Love 1, 2, 3 (SABC)
- Sgudi Snaysi (SABC)
- Going Up 1, 2, 3, 4 (SABC)
- About Us (SABC)
- Madam & Eve 1, 2 ,3 (eTV)
- SOS 1, 2, 3 (eTV)
- Fishy Feshuns 1, 2, 3 (SABC)
- Going Up Again (SABC)
- Mazinyo dot Q (SABC)
- Stokvel 1, 2, 3 (SABC)
Penguin’s television drama series have received many local SAFTA awards in South Africa and international recognition including:
- Nominee Drama International Emmy (Sokhulu and Partners– 2009)
- Nominee Drama International Emmy Awards (Home Affairs– 2007)
- Nominee Drama International Emmy Awards (Home Affairs– 2006)
- Nominee Sitcom International Emmy Awards New York (Stokvel – 2004)
- Rose d’Or Switzerland Special Mention (Home Affairs- 2007)
- Finalist Banff Canada (Home Affairs- 2007)
- Best Sitcom Bronze Rose at The Golden Rose Awards Switzerland (Madam & Eve– 2002)
- SAFTA Award for Best ensemble TV comedy 2010 and 2012
- SAFTA Award Best Editing for Drama (2016)
- Best made for TV movie INGOMA (2017)
Currently in Production:
- Arendsvlei 156 eps telenovela for Kyknet & Kie – TX started 1 Oct 2018.
- Projek Dina season 1 (13 x 52 mins drama series) for Kyknet