Roodt’s new film


Darrell James Roodt (Yesterday, Little One, Sarafina!), the Oscar-nominated South
African film director who is currently working on his fourth Afrikaans-language film,
believes the quality of Afrikaans movies has improved considerably in a short period
of time.

He is of the opinion that it is exciting times for Afrikaans filmmakers. “I’m convinced
the next Oscar winner from South Africa could very well be an Afrikaans film! Wouldn’t
that be amazing?’

He decided to venture into the Afrikaans genre because of a simple reason. “There’s a
loyal audience out there – in other words, if you make an Afrikaans film then people
will see it. Most importantly, the investors get a return and then invest in the next
Afrikaans film.

“The trick is not to fall into a trap of merely giving the audience what you think they
want to see. It would be no use to anyone if we kept on making films like
Jakhalsdans and Pretville without venturing out into bolder territory with films such as
Verraaiers and Roepman.’

According to Roodt there is a difference in filmmaking cultures between Afrikaans and
English filmmakers in South Africa.

“The essential difference is that when we make a film in English, it’s always at the
back of our minds that we can potentially sell it to a bigger market like the US, UK,
etc. Consequently our films tend to be more generic and less culture-centric than the
Afrikaans ones, which are all about being a mirror of their culture,’ he says.

Roodt is currently filming Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee, the story of a music
producer, Len van Jaarsveld, who discovers a new talent (Robbie de Wee) in the
alternative rock world and makes him a star. And then fate steps in.

The cast includes Neil Sandilands, Marno van der Merwe, Leandri Scholtz, Rolanda
Marais, Sarah Theron, Anna Mart van Der Merwe, Altus Theart and Chris de Clerq.

By Jakkie Groenewald

Screen Africa magazine – April 2013


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here