Fans of the popular South African TV soapie 7de Laan can look forward to seeing
two of their favourite characters in completely different roles when new
Afrikaans feature film, Pad na jou Hart, is released on Valentine’s Day.
Ivan Botha (Verraaiers, Bakgat! 1, 2 and 3) and Donnalee Roberts (Klein Karoo)
respectively play the roles of Pieter and Annelie in 7de Laan. Apart from being
the producers of Pad na jou Hart they also play the lead roles in the film and
wrote the script.
The plot centres on the arrogant Basson Jr. van Rensburg (Botha) who is given
five days to get to Cape Town after his father, portrayed by veteran actor
Marius Weyers, dies. But he has to fulfil certain tasks before he can take over
the family business.
On his journey he meets Amore (Roberts), a free-spirited young woman who
does not play a part in Basson’s extravagant and glittering lifestyle. She is on
her way to Cape Town in her dilapidated 1968 Ford Anglia and Basson is forced
to bum a lift from her.
As they travel through the country, they find that there is much more to life than
they thought or believed.
The production is described as being the ’first Afrikaans romantic adventure film’.
According to Botha it is a movie which will “touch the viewer at all levels’.
He says: “In some instances you are going to burst out laughing when the
couple meets very interesting characters on their journey. It’s going to make the
audience cry because they will be sharing the same feelings as the characters at
a deep level. There is enough romance to make you fall in love all over again
and there is enough action which will make you sit on the edge of your seat – all
ingredients for a lekker adventure.’
Roberts adds: “Our country also plays a role in the film. The shooting took place
in winter and we travelled 3 300 kilometres across South Africa. We shot scenes
in the most beautiful parts of the country where the two characters’ road trip
took them. As they experienced emotional changes, the landscape also changed
and in time, with the growth of our characters and belief in love, the dry
countryside changes into the exuberant green of the Cape’s winter season.’
Both scriptwriters are mad about travelling and they wanted to have people
falling in love with South Africa. Says Roberts: “We decided that we wanted to
write a story with so much heart and depth that it would basically be impossible
for people not to be touched by it. There were specific themes which we wanted
to incorporate to make people proud of the stories which are born in our
Some of the footage was shot in Johannesburg, “to characterise Basson’s cold,
steely character’. Other locations were Clarence in the Free State, the
Vanderkloof Dam, De Aar in the Karoo, various small towns and Cape Town.
Although both actors are mainly perceived as soapie stars, both believe they
should challenge themselves and develop in different areas.
The process of writing the script was quite difficult. “Due to minimal time
available as we were mostly on the set of 7de Laan, we wrote in-between takes
and one of us would then take the scene home and email the other to further
polish it. And then we would work on it again the following day,’ says Botha.
Although soapie lovers have the inclination to have a specific perception of
actors’ characters, the duo is not worried that their fans won’t accept their new
characters. “We think a lot of people who like our soapie characters and who
expect to see those characters in the film, are going to be surprised to meet two
totally different characters,’ explains Botha.
Pad na jou Hart is Jaco Smit’s debut as director of a feature film. His short
Buurtwag, won Best Film at the kykNET Silwerskermfees in 2012 and he has
worked as assistant director on projects such as Hoofmeisie (Head Girl),
Verraaiers (Traitors), as well as various music videos and short films.
Smit says it was a big challenge to get comfortable with the genre. “I’m not
necessarily the greatest fan of romance; therefore I had to associate with how
the genre works and the world which I chose where the story should play itself
He continues: “It was also important to create remarkable characters that were
unique to Pad na jou Hart in order for Ivan and Donnalee to have the
opportunity to act out someone new and original.’
“I wanted Pad na jou Hart to be of world-class quality, a good story, beautifully
filmed and with acting of note which would blow life into every character on
screen… and I think we achieved that.’
Pad na jou Hart releases nationwide in South Africa on 14 February 2014.