We receive a ton of tips every day from independent creators, unaffiliated with any major motion picture studios, television networks, new media studios, or other well-funded online video entities. The Indie Spotlight is where we’ll write about and shout out to a select few of them and bring you up to speed on the great (and sometimes not-so-great) attention-grabbing series you probably haven’t heard about until now. Read previous installments here.

Thesha is offering a gritty, realistic look at South African culture through the eyes of two teenage friends. The web series, directed by Lungelo Mdlalose, has generated international acclaim by painting an honest picture of class struggles in the metropolis of Johannesburg.

The protagonists of Thesha are two young men who hail from drastically different backgrounds. One is middle-class, while the other hails from a poor township. Together, they face multiple temptations, ranging from the appeal of the drug trade, to a burgeoning career in music, to a number of budding romances. These plotlines play out across an eight-episode season, which can be found on YouTube.

The first episode of Thesha was uploaded last September, but the series gained international acclaim after taking home an award at the Vancouver Web Fest. It deserves the praise it has received. Mdlalose realizes the lives of his young protagonists with a canny lens, shooting their lives vividly. Though Thesha is South African, it is a gripping tale that possesses plenty of universal appeal.


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Got a series you’d like to see featured in the Indie Spotlight? Be sure to contact us here. For best coverage, please include a full episode in your e-mail.

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