Afrikaans film industry still in bloom


“There are a lot of young up and coming Afrikaans filmmakers who are bringing out new and exciting products. [They] hope in going to expand the South African cinema-going audience’s mind beyond Leon Schuster what they’ve seen before,” Karien Cherry, assistant and media designer on ‘Four Corners’, told CNBC Africa.

Leon Schuster is a South African comedian locally and internationally-known for films such as ‘Mr. Bones’, ‘Panic Mechanic’ and ‘Mama Jack’. Schuster is also one of South Africa’s biggest filmmakers and actors.

“Afrikaans audiences in general are really opening up to new content and younger directors. I think a lot of people are going to embrace what the industry is bringing this year,” said Cherry.


Corné Van Rooyen, director and writer of ‘Hollywood in my Huis’, added that the Afrikaans market is particularly loyal, which is creating the demand for films to be made in Afrikaans.

“People want to see films in their own languages, and the more the films come out the better the quality gets. I think the bar is set really high for me as a filmmaker. [My previous] film did really well, and that’s our bar at the moment. Let’s see if we can meet it.”

Van Rooyen added that while films may be in Afrikaans, they continue to tell universal stories, which makes it possible for them to be translated and marketed globally.

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“The film that I’ve just worked on, ‘Four Corners’, is the first Coloured Afrikaans film in South Africa, and we’re getting really amazing [and] critical reception internationally from people who are recognising  the film, but who can, even though it’s a foreign world to them, can connect with the themes of the film, and the story that it tells. Our films are reaching countries internationally.”

‘Four Corners’ was South Africa’s official foreign language film selection for the 86th Academy Awards that were held in America earlier this year.

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Van Rooyen however described the risk to authenticity of a film especially when attempting to try and translate it from one language to another via dubbing.

“The authenticity will be lost in a certain way by dubbing it into English, but our themes are extremely universal,” Van Rooyen added.