The best festive season and Christmas movies to stream on Showmax

Best festive season and Christmas movies on Showmax
A scene from 'Carol.' Image credit: MultiChoice/Showmax

Christmas is around the corner and to set the mood, Showmax has announced that it is releasing new festive season movies every day until 25 December 2021.

In this article, we list some of the best movies available for streaming on Showmax this December.

Festive season and Christmas movies on Showmax

Boxing Day

Boxing Day is available to stream on Showmax from 23 December, but you can watch the trailer on YouTube here.

Unable to afford to bury their gogo, Vele and her hot-headed younger brother become amateur kidnappers on Christmas Day, taking a government minister hostage in exchange for ransom money that they want to use to be able to celebrate her life and give her a fitting farewell. 

Directed by Black Brain Films co-founder Mandla N (2021 SAFTA winners Loving Thokoza and Lockdown), this multilingual comedy movie stars SAFTA winners Zola Nombona (Lockdown) and Hamilton Dlamini (Five Fingers For Marseilles), as well as S’thandiwe Kgoroge (Shuga) and newcomer Phumlani Magadla. 

Asseblief & Dankie

Stream Asseblief & Dankie from 15 December or watch the trailer here. A homeless woman saves the life of a wealthy CEO, and in an unusual moment of Christmas spirit, he invites her to recover in his luxury penthouse. He laughs off her claims to be from another world – until his own starts tipping over. 

Directed by SAFTA winner Tertius Kapp (GaiaDis Ek, Anna), this Afrikaans comedy stars Laudo Liebenberg (Black SailsDAM), SAFTA winners Crystal-Donna Roberts (KrotoaArendsvlei) and Jill Levenberg (Ellen: Die Storie van Ellen Pakkies), SAFTA nominee Cintaine Schutte (Fynskrif) and Silwerskerm winner Carel Nel (GaiaRaised by Wolves).

A Safe Bet

This charming movie is available to stream from 16 December. It is about Pearl, who is the most sought after attorney in the country – at the cost of her love life. When her boyfriend dumps her just as the Christmas family gathering is around the corner, Pearl’s increasingly impatient mother drags her to church for some divine intervention. She receives a life-changing prophecy about who she’ll find her happily ever after with: a man with the surname Dlamini. But will Pearl follow her heart or the prophecy? 

A Safe Bet’s stellar cast is led by actress, fashion icon and presenter Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa (Queen SonoRockville), with Jerry Mofokeng’s son, actor and musician Lerato Makhetha (Isidingo), Cedric Fourie (Skeem SaamDurban Gen), and SAFTA winner Charmaine Mtinta (Scandal!Yizo Yizo) co-starring. 

Season’s Feelings

In Season’s Feelings (available to stream from 16 December; trailer here), on their way to a not-so-conventional Christmas party, a band of outsiders collide with themselves and each other as they try to figure out quarter-life, half-loves and family.

Co-directed by 2021 SAFTA winner Jozua Malherbe (Griekwastad) and Nagvlug Films co-owner Zandré Coetzer, this young adult comedy fit for the festive season co-stars Natalie Robbie and Zandile Lujabe (AyeyeIsidingo). 


In Nativity (stream from 24 December; view trailer here), a group of well-intentioned community members tries to produce an amateur Christmas show to save their community hall.

The feature film directorial debut of Fleur du Cap-nominated actress Bianca Flanders (Troukoors [Wedding Fever]Address Unknown), Nativity co-stars the likes of SAFTA nominee David Isaacs (HotelDwaalster) and 2021 SAFTA winner June van Merch (Sara Se Geheim). 

Eve’s Christmas

In Eve’s Christmas, two feuding siblings, Carl and Eve, are forced to face their differences when Carl’s son asks (in a prayer) that Eve come to visit for Christmas. This sets in motion some seriously comical (and bittersweet) events involving a toy, Father Christmas, and maybe even honouring their father’s dying wish.

Co-directed by Ephraim Gordon (co-director of Skemerdans and producer of Barakat) and Marvin-Lee Beukes (Die Byl actor; One Night Kwa Mxolisi writer), this comedy-with-heart co-stars Juliette Pauling (Tali’s Baby Diary) and Mark Elderkin (ReykaBlack Sails). Stream it from 24 December. YouTube trailer is available here.


Carol (watch the trailer here) may prove to be one of the most unforgettable Christmas movies you have watched. Why? Because it sits at #9 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the best Christmas films of all time.

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively at the 2016 Oscars for their roles in Carol, a powerful drama about a married woman in 1950s New York, who risks everything when she embarks on a romance with a younger department store worker. 

Carol, which was also nominated for Oscars for Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design, and Score, won 79 awards worldwide and was recently named the fourth best LGBTQIA+ movie of all time by Rotten Tomatoes, where it has a 94% critics’ rating.

Once Upon A Sesame Christmas

There’s no place more magical than Sesame Street – especially during the holidays! Join Elmo, Grover, Big Bird and their friends for the magical, musical 50-minute special Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas, in which Elmo’s father tells him a bedtime story about the time, way back, when joy, kindness and caring first came to Sesame Street. 

The show won an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Programme and has 4/5 stars on Common Sense Media, where they recommend it for ages 4+, calling it “a sweet story about holiday spirit and… an excellent reminder of the value of even the smallest acts of kindness.

Stick Man

“Stick Man lives in the family tree with his Stick Lady Love and their stick children three,” until he’s taken further and further away from home on an epic adventure across the seasons. He runs from a playful dog, gets thrown in a river, escapes from a swan’s nest, and even ends up on top of a fire, as he tries to get back to his family in time for Christmas.

Animated in Cape Town by Triggerfish and co-directed by South African Daniel Snaddon (ZogThe Snail and the Whale), this 27-minute BBC One Christmas special by Magic Light Pictures (The GruffaloRevolting Rhymes) won the top prizes at leading animation festivals like Annecy and Kidscreen, among others.

Based on the much-loved picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Stick Man is voiced by the likes of Martin Freeman (Black PantherThe Hobbit) and Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), with Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) narrating.

The Man Who Invented Christmas

Teen Choice winner Dan Stevens (Downtown Abbey) stars as Charles Dickens, while the late, great Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music) is Scrooge in The Man Who Invented Christmas, about the creation of A Christmas Carol, the timeless tale that redefined Christmas.

The Man Who Invented Christmas is at #25 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the best Christmas films of all time. Stream it immediately on Showmax. The trailer is also available on YouTube.

A Christmas Feast

A warm slice of life story that follows a large Italian family on Christmas Eve, A Christmas Feast (aka Feast of the Seven Fishes) has an 88% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes – a Christmas miracle for a Christmas movie.

Rising star Skyler Gisondo (The Righteous Gemstones, Booksmart), Madison Iseman (Jumanji: The Next Level) and Addison Timlin (Fallen) star alongside the likes of Joe Pantoliano (The MatrixMemento) and Ray Abruzzo (The SopranosThe Practice).

Last Christmas

Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians), Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Emma Thompson (Years and Years) star for director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) in the romantic comedy Last Christmas.

Kate (Clarke) harrumphs around London, a bundle of bad decisions accompanied by the jangle of bells on her shoes, another irritating consequence from her job as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop.

Tom (Golding) seems too good to be true when he walks into her life and starts to see through so many of Kate’s barriers. As London transforms for the most wonderful time of the year, nothing should work for these two. But sometimes, you gotta let the snow fall where it may; you gotta listen to your heart.

Last Christmas features new music from Grammy winner George Michael, as well as his bittersweet holiday classic of the film’s title. The film was the 62nd biggest box office hit of 2019.

Office Christmas Party

When his uptight CEO sister threatens to shut down his branch, the branch manager throws an epic Christmas party in order to land a big client and save the day, but the party gets way out of hand…

Office Christmas Party stars Emmy winners Jennifer Aniston (FriendsThe Morning Show), Jason Bateman (Ozark), Courtney B. Vance (Lovecraft Country), Rob Corddry (Ballers) and Kate McKinnon (Bombshell, Ghostbusters).

A Bad Moms Christmas

As if creating a perfect holiday for their families wasn’t hard enough, our three under-appreciated and over-burdened moms now have to do it all while entertaining their own mothers, who have dropped in unexpectedly.

A Bad Moms Christmas (watch trailer here) reunites People’s Choice winner Kristen Bell (The Good Place), People’s Choice nominee Mila Kunis (Black Swan) and Emmy nominee Kathryn Hahn (Mrs. Fletcher) as the bad moms, with Emmy winner Christine Baranski (The Good Fight), Oscar winner Susan Sarandon (Ray Donovan) and Emmy nominee Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) as their mothers.


Oscar winner Mel Gibson (Mad MaxBraveheart) stars in this action festive season movie as a rowdy, unorthodox Santa Claus who must contend with a hitman sent by a spoiled kid, who’s looking for revenge after receiving a lump of coal for Christmas.

Oscar nominee Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Secrets & LiesWithout a TraceHomecoming) and Emmy nominee Walton Goggins (Ant-Man and the WaspThe Righteous GemstonesJustified) co-star.

To explore more festive season and Christmas movies on Showmax, click here.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. South African musicians share their fascinating Christmas traditions | Current Affairs ZA
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