Afrikaans romcom scores at box office


The new Afrikaans romantic comedy Semi-Soet earned more than R1.3m at the box office on its opening weekend, 17 to 19 February. It was released at 65 cinemas nationwide and seen by more than 41 000 people which secured it a 2% higher site average than the hit musical Platteland earned on its opening weekend.

Semi Soet did 126% better than Jakhalsdans, 5% better than Bakgat 2 and secured a solid 84% of the takings that Liefling die Movie did on its opening weekend. The film managed to hold onto the Number 2 position on the industry Top 10 with the other local success story, Material securing the Number 3 spot.

The film tells the story of workaholic Jaci van Jaarsveld, who will go to any lengths to protect the advertising agency for which she works from being bought and dismantled by a ruthless businessman known as “The Jackal”. A huge contract to market a prestigious wine farm internationally will help save the agency, but winning this contract is no simple matter.

Jaci needs to convince the owner that she believes in family values and commitment. She persuades a drop-dead gorgeous man who she finds standing outside a modelling agency to be her fiance for the day. But when the client insists that she and her bogus fiance spend the weekend at the estate to better understand the business and his requirements, things get complicated and her plan starts to unravel with hilarious consequences.

“Semi-Soet is light, uplifting entertainment,’ says Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution. “It’s uniquely South African, and brings the wine lands of the Cape and the city of Johannesburg to life. It also has some excellent Afrikaans word play that audiences just love. We are really happy with its performance. This indicates just how ready South Africans are for home-grown rom-coms.’

The film was conceptualised by Anel Alexander, Joshua Rous, James Alexander and Sandra Vaughn, and is directed by Joshua Rous (City Ses’la) and produced by James and Anel Alexander’s Scramble Productions.

Semi-Soet stars Anel Alexander (Discreet, 7de Laan, Binnelanders), Nico Panagio (Die Storie van Susanna van Biljon, Survivor), Diaan Lawrenson (7de Laan, Stander), Paul du Toit (Liefling, Binnelanders), Louw Venter (The Most Amazing Show), and Sandra Vaughn (Getroud Met Rugby).


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