A serial streaker and a paramedic set the stage for the Romcom of the year, which is currently being filmed in East London and will make its on-screen debut on Heritage Day 2020.
Local audiences can soon look forward to a hilarious new Afrikaans romantic comedy by Boondogle Films. A far cry from their most recent works – fiction feature Tess and the documentary 1994: The Bloody Miracle – the new film promises lots of humour, sport, and high-adrenalin fun!
Produced by Boondogle’s Paul Egan and Meg Rickards (who is also the director), KAALGAT KAREL tells the story of Karel Venter, a guy who loves the thrill of streaking during sports matches – and the accompanying social media stardom! He falls head-over-heels for the paramedic who saves him after a streak gone wrong, but there’s a problem; she’s a strait-laced single mom who has no interest in his streaking shenanigans.
“Paul was intrigued by why someone would do something as crazy as streaking at a sports match, and even more so by the crowd’s reaction – despite the disruption to the game, the crowd seemingly almost always loves a streaker,” says Meg. “So, we started researching streakers and what makes them tick. We wondered what would happen if a streaker fell in love with someone who disapproved of their activities. This got us thinking about social media and how it creates a ‘connection’ between people — but is this virtual connection enough?”
As for casting, Paul and Meg worked closely with casting director Christa Schamberger and held ‘chemistry’ auditions to see how different actors would work together. The result? The film stars Francois Jacobs (Donkerland, Vir die Voëls, Pad Na Jou Hart) as Karel, Schalk Bezuidenhout (Kanarie, Hotel, Sara se Geheim) as his friend and roommate Flip, Christia Visser (Tess, Ballade vir ’n Enkeling, Hollywood in my Huis) as no-nonsense single mom and paramedic Rita, Siv Ngesi (Knuckle City, 24, Black Sails) as Vuyo, Karel’s streaking rival, well-known comedian and singer, Tracey-Lee Oliver (The Voice, Project Fame) as Rita’s fellow paramedic and Eden Classens (Suidooster, Dancing with the Stars) in the role of the glamorous plastic surgeon Jean-Pierre du Toit.
The film will also feature Rosebelle Clasen, daughter of a local entertainment powerhouse couple, Neels and Eloise Clasen, in the role of Bella, Rita’s daughter.
“Many of the cameo roles were cast in the Eastern Cape and we have been overwhelmed by the talent and enthusiasm in this part of the world,” says Meg.
KAALGAT KAREL starts filming on 5 February 2020 and is set for release in September. “The timing is intentional,” explains Meg. “While the film boasts a naughty sense of humour, it’s also a subtle, satirical commentary on contemporary South Africa. That said, the movie counters all the current doom and gloom, is proudly South African and taps into South Africans’ undying optimism, generosity and determination.”
Boondogle Films not only specialises in films that challenge common perceptions of the continent but is also committed to providing training opportunities for new and up-and-coming filmmakers. For this film, they have put associate producer Noxolo Nelana of Nelana Media House in East London in charge of training.
“We are also taking on several trainees as we believe passionately in skills transfer and are trying to help establish an Eastern Cape film hub,” says Meg. “This is one of the country’s poorest provinces and local government is working hard to establish it as a film centre to help stimulate the economy and create much-needed employment.”
In addition to KAALGAT KAREL, the company currently has several projects in the pipeline, including Borderlines, a UK co-production; Snake, an adaptation of the novel by Tracey Farren; Strumming High, a Xhosa-language high school love story written by Mustapha Hendricks; and the comedy Pensioners’ Day, also written by Mustapha Hendricks.
KAALGAT KAREL is an endearing love story that will appeal to audiences across gender, age and demographics. It is being produced in cooperation with kykNET, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), the Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council (ECPACC), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and its brand integration partners, Galito’s, Red Alert and the Hathaway Group of Guesthouses.
The film is distributed locally by Filmfinity (Pty) Ltd. and will start showing in theatres nationwide on 24 September 2020.
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