We chat to the star of the hottest new film to come out of South Africa – Vir Altyd.
Valentine’s Day has come and gone and while the roses will slowly wilt away, our love for romantic comedies is as strong as ever. We took our significant other to watch the romantic new Afrikaans film and it rounded off the perfect weekend of love. Since then, Vir Altyd shattered local box office records making a staggering R4.7 million in its opening weekend – the highest ever for a South African film. This means that just under 90 000 people saw it this past weekend! We caught up with the film’s writer, producer and lead actor, Ivan Botha, shortly after the film hit theatres and he tells us why this is your must-watch local film of early 2016.
Ivan plays Hugo, a professional photographer who, after travelling the world for the past 10 years, returns home to Paarl on the same day his childhood lover ties the knot. However, things go horribly wrong and Nina, played by Donnalee Roberts, is left at the altar. Desperate to not let the wedding she planned to perfection go to waste, the two get drunk and find themselves going on her honeymoon to Mauritius. Naturally, their own love story blossoms, however, the two have some unsorted issues that need to be ironed out.
“It is always a pleasure working with Donnalee, we have a production company together and make a strong writing team. I think the reason we work so well together is because we share the same passion for storytelling and for our industry,” Ivan tells us on his co-star and business partner. The film is shot beautifully and it’s thanks to the hard work of the cast and crew who pushed boundaries in the hopes of making this one of the best films to have come out of South Africa.
Naturally, shooting in Mauritius helped with the beautiful landscape shots seen throughout the film. “Filming in Mauritius was a dream come true,” Ivan tells us. “For a local filmmaker to be able to travel into foreign territories to tell stories is unreal. It made the story and the adventure more real. We had the Mauritius Tourism Authority on board as partners and they made our wildest wishes come true. If we wanted a helicopter we got one. If we wanted to shoot on the ocean, they made it happen. It was a beautiful journey.”
The film, much like Ivan and Donnalee’s previous production, Pad Na Jou Hart, is expected to be a box office smash, however, as much as box office success is something every film tries to achieve, Ivan reveals that the elements the movie goer takes away from the film makes it all worth it. “As writers we opened the conversation of love, relationships and friendships. However, there is one central theme that was very important to us,” Ivan admits. “In life we are often so focused on the happy ever after that we forget about the here and now, about the detail in every moment of our lives. That’s what we wanted to remind the audience about.”
After watching the film, we love how detailed the character development is. Not only will you find yourself routing for Hugo and Nina, but the film will also make you feel emotions from love to hope, pity, heartache and sadness. The film is bound to touch the heart of every viewer and we totally recommend you add this film to your ‘must-watch’ list.
Vir Altyd released in theatres on the 12th of February and is scheduled to stay on screens for the next few weeks.