Once divided into the separate worlds of Gugulethu and Bishop Lavis, Montana chronicles the intertwined lives of four families who live in and around the melting pot suburb of Montana, Cape Town.
The inhabitants - from different backgrounds and demographic groups - were historically segregated into separate worlds by the rule of law. But now, with these geographical and political boundaries no longer enforced, their lives become intertwined and their destinies inextricably linked.
Montana chronicles the tangled lives of four families who live in and around this melting pot district. The four families are:
A family with strong community roots in both the commercial and political sector
A working class family with aspirations for the future which are threatened by secrets from the past
A destitute family struggling to elevate themselves from the poverty they have endured for so long
An affluent but wildly dysfunctional married couple.
In particular Montana focuses on the principal twenty-something couple, the engaged-to-be married Victor Jordaan (Charles Tertiens) and Nolitha Ntshinga (Zikhona Sodlaka) who live together and, like the suburb in which they reside, are a symbol of the unification of the two previously segregated worlds.
Noli and Victor share a passionate dream to open a cultural centre to empower the local community and to attract tourists to the area. However, their dream is under constant threat.
Initially, the threat comes from Victor’s charming but ruthless sister, Dalene (Chantal Stanfield), who uses her financial investment in the centre as an excuse to promote her own dubious agendas.
But when a dead body is found buried in the grounds of the centre, the couple quickly realises that their community harbours secrets – secrets which may destroy their dream forever.
Montana introduces us to many colourful characters who inhabit this vibrant, exciting and sometimes dangerous world. There’s successful businessman, Richard Duze (Jet Novuka) – a man who will do whatever it takes to succeed and defeat his rival Charles Johnson (Langley Kirkwood) - even if it drives Richard’s troubled and childless wife, Vatiswa (Ayanda Tini), to the brink of madness.
There’s Nolitha’s family – happy-go-lucky brother, Malusi (Chumani Pan), whose taste for the good life lands him in trouble; mother Nothemba (Poppie Tsira) who works in the Duze household and sees more than she should; and father Patrick (Sizwe Msutu) – a casino security guard who risks everything for his family.
There’s Victor and Dalene’s family and friends – irrepressible mother Maud (June van Merch) who works at her daughter Dalene’s beauty salon and is never without an opinion...or some choice gossip; Dalene’s husband Winston (Az Abrahams) – a community leader whose eyes are closed to his wife’s infidelity with Richard Duze; and sweet Rochelle (Lu Chase) – an employee at the salon who becomes involuntarily involved in an explosive love triangle.
Living on the periphery of their lives, but soon to be thrown centre stage, are the Yilis – father Sizwe (Chris Gxalaba) who is struggling to find a way to support his twin sixteen-year-old children.
Zola (Mthunzi Ntoyi) is the perpetual optimist, determined to dance his way out of the poverty and into stardom along with his B-boy crew Denver (Ambrose Uren) and Simphiwe (Ubuntu Plam).
But his sister Zoliswa (Zikhona Mda) is willing to do whatever it takes to escape her misery – a decision which puts her life in grave danger.
Add to this mix the return of a mysterious and dangerous stranger (Anelisa Phewa) with a past link to Noli; two police officers (Warrick Grier and Riana Alfreds) on the track of a murderer, and an international smuggling racket which jeopardizes a number of the lead characters, and you have a recipe for high drama, romance and intrigue - all set in the exciting social melting pot of Montana.
Season 1 was a co-production between Penguin Films and Paw Paw Films, under the creative direction of producers Roberta Durrant and Portia Gumede. It was directed by Thabang Moleya and Grant Nale.