Two Afrikaans movies with multi award-winning filmmaker Darrell James Roodt at the
helm release at the South African box office this year. Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee
(The Ballad of Robbie de Wee) and Alles Wat Mal Is (Everything Crazy), both
distributed by Nu Metro, release in October and November respectively.
Says Roodt: “Alles Wat Mal Is is a romantic comedy written by the team of Afrikaans
blockbuster Semi-Soet, so that’s a good start. The screenplay is sparkling and we’ve
managed to get the best possible actors. They’ve made a great screenplay wonderful
because they have a lot of depth.’
Roodt elaborates that experienced actors Louw Venter (Semi-Soet, Jimmy in Pienk,
Die Laaste Tango) and Erika Wessels (Die Wonderwerker, Strike Back, Vloeksteen)
bring humanity to the comedy, which makes the film soar.
According to Roodt the main reason for his involvement with Afrikaans movies is that
a large number of them are being made with relatively low budgets. “I’ve done a
couple now, but with my last one, Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee, I think I’ve taken
a leap forward.
“I really think by making that story, which was a Deon Meyer thriller, I was fortunate
enough to cast again with great actors and was just able to let go and tell a
Roodt trusts his cast to guide him through subtle nuances in the text which he may
not pick up. He adds: “The same thing can be said of the Zulu and Xhosa films I
make. The actors are really good at what they do so they are always able to red-flag
something if I’ve missed it, just to keep me in check.’
Alles Wat Mal Is took four weeks to complete in and around Johannesburg. Location-
heavy and shooting to strict time constraints, Roodt says the crew and cast could
move forward at a very sophisticated fast pace.
The movie was shot on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. “I am a fan of the 5D because it
gives the film a cinematic look. We’ve pretty much used the same crew on both
movies and I was fortunate enough to work with cinematographer Will Collinson
“We move fast and as a result we don’t have much time to light. But that is where
Will comes into play. He is such a gifted cameraman to work with, he has changed my
Roodt concludes: “Because he is much younger than I am I get to experience his
visual understanding as opposed to the old school, which is also good. I mean I love
the old guys too, like myself.’
Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee releases nationwide on 25 October while Alles Wat
Mal Is screens in November. Both movies are produced by The Karoo Film Company.