On Friday evenings proudly South African films will be showcased at the Showroom Theatre.
The iconic character of Van Der Merwe comes to life on the big screen on Friday, 12 January at 7pm. Tickets are R35 at the door.
Every country has a person who is the butt of all jokes. In Ireland, it is Paddy. In Israel, it is Hymie and in South Africa, that person is Van der Merwe and this tongue-in-cheek family comedy is about him.
Producers Bruce Lawley, Bruce Macdonald, Craig Jones and Murray Macdonald bring you this star-studded affair with the role of Van, the underdog, played by the well-known and very talented, Rob van Vurren.
“I had the best time shooting Van Der Merwe! What an experience. An unforgettable opportunity to play an iconic South African character. I think people are going to have a great laugh seeing Van come to life and I hope they also connect with the heart I tried to imbue the character with. I loved playing him and I hope they love watching him,” says Rob.
Setting the scene for all sorts of problems and challenges, the film centres around Van’s daughter, Marike, who returns home from a gap year in England with a new fiancé, George, a British medical student. Not only does Van have to come to terms with the fact that his daughter is marrying an Englishman but he is also pressured by his bossy, traditional father to put an end to the relationship. This puts Van in a precarious situation, as he must either risk the wrath of his father by condoning the wedding or obey his father and risk losing his daughter forever. The fireworks really begin when the family of the English fiancé arrives on the farm, as the clash of cultures results in a number of side-splitting incidents and hilarious situations, as we witness some classic Van Der Merwe jokes played out in front of our eyes.
“Van is part of our culture, a character that we can all relate to. He has a history and a place in our hearts. Bringing him to life on the big screen is something that a lot of people want to see,” says director and screenwriter, Bruce Lawley, about his debut feature film. “Van Der Merwe is a feel-good film. More than anything, we want viewers to leave the cinema smiling and with the positive message that no matter what your circumstances – or shortcomings – are, things will be okay. But you have to be able to laugh at yourself. You can’t take life too seriously. Be true to yourself, keep trying and keep smiling,” he adds.
On Friday, 19 January at 7pm you can laugh out loud with Material. Tickets are R35 at the door.
A low-budget movie about a young Muslim man’s quest to make it on the Johannesburg comedy circuit wowed audiences across South Africa, and its powerful portrayal of the clash between youth, tradition and religion lead to global recognition.
Set in the Muslim Indian enclave of Fordsburg in Africa’s “City of Gold”, Material charts the tempestuous relationship between Cassim Kaif, played by local stand-up comedian Riaad Moosa, and his ageing father, Ebrahim, whose one dream is for his son to take over the family’s struggling fabric shop.
Shot on a shoestring $1m budget, the movie combines moments of heart-wrenching family and personal drama with hilarious snippets of stand-up comedy and everyday life in one of the continent’s most cosmopolitan cities.
“The film celebrates the goodness of South Africa’s spirit and the legacy of a unique and historical part of this land,” said producer Ronnie Apteker, a successful internet entrepreneur whose energies are now dedicated to filmmaking.
“It is not a Bollywood film, but a contemporary Indian story. It is a movie for the whole family, contains no profanity, and should be able to be enjoyed by people of all ages both in South Africa and the rest of the world.”