Renate Engelbrecht
Content producer
3 minute read
16 Sep 2021
10:29 pm

What you need to know about new Afrikaans romcom ‘Kaalgat Karel’

Renate Engelbrecht

The long-anticipated and highly acclaimed romantic comedy, Kaalgat Karel, will finally hit cinemas on 24 September – some welcome, Covid-free entertainment.

Eden Classens in Kaalgat Karel. Image: Supplied

Boondogle Films’ hilarious film, Kaalgat Karel, starring Francois Jacobs (Vir die Voëls) and Christia Visser (Ballade vir ’n Enkeling) is giving fans the opportunity to see it first with sneak previews at participating cinemas this weekend, even though the film will only be launching in cinemas officially on Heritage Day.

Schalk Bezuidenhout and Francois Jacobs
Kaalgat Karel’s Schalk Bezuidenhout and Francois Jacobs. Image: Supplied

According to director Meg Rickards, it was frustrating to have to postpone the romcom’s release twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.

“But the new timing is excellent,” she says. “We think a ‘fun fliek’ is more needed than ever, because the past eighteen months have been full of sadness and loss.”

Aside from brilliant cinematography by Bert Haitsma, the movie also boasts a star-studded cast that includes Siv Ngesi, Tracey-Lee Oliver, Rosebelle Clasen, Eden Classens and comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout, who agrees that this feelgood movie is just what the doctor ordered.

READ: How Suidooster’s Eden Classens got abs in one month

Kaalgat Karel tells the heart-warming story of Karel Venter (Francois Jacobs), a thirty-year-old guy who loves the thrill (and accompanying social media stardom) of streaking during sports matches. He falls head-over-heels for the paramedic, Rita (Christia Visser), who saves him after a streak gone wrong. There’s just one problem: she has no interest in his streaking shenanigans.

Christia Visser and Francois Jacobs
Christia Visser and Francois Jacobs in Kaalgat Karel. Image: Supplied

Here are five things you might not have known about the movie:

  • You’re in for a treat as Kaalgat Karel – a hapless streaker – seeks to win the heart of a strait-laced single mom, who must find a way to bear his soul rather than his buttocks.
  • Despite all the problems our country faces, South Africans know how to party and to have fun. The film producers’ aim was to capture this true South African spirit, while also putting up a mirror to South Africans in a more satirical way.
  • While doing research for the screenplay, the producers discovered that there are professional streakers who don branding on their torsos to make money. People like Mark Roberts and Vitaly Zdorovetskiy – who are responsible for some of the most notable streaks in history – were studied and Kaalgat Karel’s central character was partly built around them.
  • Most of the streaking scenes were filmed guerrilla-style. Passersbys found it hilarious to see the almost-naked Francois Jacobs or Siv Ngesi streaking post hollering and jesting – sometimes being pursued by actor Schalk Bezuidenhout filming on his phone, and by several crew members with go-pros hot on their heels. East Londoners often joined in on the fun, testimony to their good humour.
Schalk Bezuidenhout and Francois Jacobs
Kaalgat Karel has a brilliant cast. Image: Supplied
  • Boondogle Films is deeply committed to developing young talent and to transfer skills. With support from the Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council (ECPACC), they ran a successful internship programme with young filmmakers working within Kaalgat Karel’s crew, under guidance from talented mentors. 

The film has already won awards at various international film festivals, including Best Feature Film, Best Romantic Comedy, Best Produced Feature Film Screenplay and Best International Production. The movie features English sub-titles, an impressive music score by Loki Rothman and a cheeky theme song by Jack Parow, Altyd Op Vakansie.