There’s nothing quite like Afrikaans cinema. Fit with its own quirks, style and talent, the South African Afrikaans movie scene has come a long way in recent years. So much so that it’s even making waves on the international circuit!
If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, take a look at this list of the best Afrikaans movies of all time - right up to 2017 films. We’ve got trailers, reviews and ratings - enjoy!
Take a look at the best South African and Nigerian movie releases of all time here:
- 16 Best South African Movies Of All Time - Up to 2017 Films
- 15 Best Nigerian Movies - Up to 2017 | Watch Online Now | Nollywood
Afrikaans Movies - 2017 Releases
2017 has been a great year for the Afrikaans movie scene. From light-hearted comedies to eye-opening true stories, this year has been one for the books. Take a look at some of the best films to hit the screens in 2017.
This full-length feature film tells a light-hearted story of Wim and Kevin who have been dreaming about owning a coffee shop for years. While they wait for their dream to become a reality, they find temporary work at a laundromat.
However, as fate would have it. Their dream drifts further and further away and the highlight of their existence becomes borrowing their clients’ clothes to crash parties at night. During one of the parties, they discover a chopped-off finger in a client’s jacket.
This discover leads to a series of classic comedy scenes featuring the underhanded owner of the finger, his sons and a ruthless traitor on the search for Wim and Kevin.
Vuil Wasgoed recently won the awards for Best Director (Morné du Toit), Best Editing (Quinn Lubbe), Best Actor (Bennie Fourie), Best Production Design (Merishen Wessels) and Best Sound Design (Janno Muller)and Original Music (Benjamin Willem) at the Silwerskerm Festival 2017.
- IMDb: 6.6/10
“Vuil Wasgoed really is a breath of fresh air in the local cinematic offering. It’s well-made and beautifully put together. But it also has its problems” Herman Eloff - News24
Vaselinetjie tells a story of a white girl, Helena, raised by her coloured grandparents in a remote rural village in the Northern Cape of South Africa. However, when the welfare services find out that Helena is not their biological grandchild, she is sent off to an orphanage in the city of Johannesburg.
Life in Joburg is harsh, cold and strange to Helena - she soon realises that life is not what it seemed. It successfully and beautifully tells a story about defining your identity and race within the turmoil of post Apartheid South Africa. Vaselinetjie won Best Film honours at the Silverskerm Festival 2017.
- IMDb: 7.1 /10
“It’s a timeless tale with themes that resonate strongly with audiences.” Marguerite van Eeden
Based on a true story, Krotoa tells the story of a young 11 year old girl removed from her family Khoi tribe to serve as Jan van Riebeeck.
Krotoa is brought into the first Fort where she grows into a visionary young woman who assimilates the Dutch language and culture so well that she rises to become an influential interpreter for van Riebeeck who then became the first Governor of the Cape Colony.
Krotoa ends up being rejected by her tribe and hated by the Dutch when she struggles to find the middle ground between the two opposing cultures.
- IMDb: 6.9 /10
“Inspired by real people, historical drama Krotoa slinks onto our local film circuit with very mixed media fanfare.” Theresa Smith
Johnny is nie dood nie
Set in 2002, Johnny is nie dood nie (Johnny is not dead) begins with four friends having a braai together after Johnny’s suicide.
They reminisce about their student days when they were young, drunken rebels saturare in the protest mist of Kerkorrel, Koos Kombuis and Bernoldus Niemand. The death of their friend remains a mystery and haunts them to no end.
Johnny is nie dood nie tells a story about friendship and betrayal, sexual and political liberation, the loss of innocence and compromise.
- IMDb: 8.9 /10
“Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie is a definite must-see film for discerning viewers looking for escapism that offers an invigorating visual experience with profound food for thought.” Daniel Dercksen
Jagveld tells a story of primary school teacher, Emma le Roux, who crosses paths with a drug syndicate on her way home to her family in the Great Karoo. She witness the murder of a policeman and her presence does not go unnoticed.
The film unravels as the men hunt Emma down but are unpleasantly surprised by the unmatched skills of Emma’s father. Jagvels manages to balance a truly South African film with a touch of Hollywood. If you’re looking for an action-packed drama - this one is for you!
- IMDb: 8.9 /10
“Jagveld has some good things going for it, some bad. It wants to be Proudly South African, but it also wants to be a Hollywood film.” IMDb Review
Afrikaans Movies - 2016 Releases
From heart-warming romantic comedies to heart-wrenching war films, 2016 was filled with an array of priceless cinema. Take a look at some of the best Afrikaans films released in 2016.
Noem My Skollie
Noem My Skollie tells the story of Abraham and the Young Ones, a gang that were separated by a stint in the notorious Pollsmoor prison. Based on the life story of the script writer, John W Fredericks, Noem My Skollie is a period film set in 60’s in Cape Town.
The film unfolds as Abraham leaves prison and finds romance with his childhood sweetheart. On his path to his new life, his friends rope him into a murder for which they all face the hang-man's noose..The acting, wardrobe, and settings are exceptional and the film does an excellent job of depicting the impoverished gang lands of the Cape Flats.
- IMDb: 8.1 /10
“This movie holds a mirror to South African society and especially the Cape Flats and is therefore hard to watch at points.” Alex Isaacs
Jonathan: Die Movie
If you’re looking for a laugh, you need to get your hands on this film! The story follows the life of Jonathan, a wannabe comedian in his late 20’s who still lives with his parents.
After a failed open mic performance, Jonathan manages to crash his father’s car and ends up being kicked out of the house with nowhere to go. Jonathan resorts to becoming a carguard where he quickly learns that life isn’t easy as an outcast. Fortunately, the eldest car guard takes Jonathan under his wing and teaches him about how to overcome his rock-bottom situation.
Watch as he learns about life, love and forgiveness!
- IMDb: 7.4 /10
“While a visually beautiful film, Jonathan might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But if you’re game for the likes of a Lipstick Dipstick type of humour, then go for it.” Jean-Marie Korff
This film is based on the novel Whiplash by Tracey Farren and serves as a heart-wrenching look into life on the streets. Set in the Cape Town coastal suburb of Muizenberg, Tess tells the story of a twenty-year-old prostitute who survives by selling her body and feeding herself painkillers.
Her life takes a turn when she falls pregnant. Haunted by her past, Tess begins to question her sanity and life choices while she fights against her demons in search of the truth.
The film is Directed by Meg Rickards and stars Christia Visser, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Brendon Daniels, Dann-Jacques Mouton, Quanita Adams and Lee Anne Van Rooi. The screenplay was written by Tracey Farren.This trying role recently won Christa Best Actress at the Durban International Film Festival and the won best South African feature film.
- IMDb: 8.4 /10
“We wanted to use the the shooting style of documentary to the film so that it would feel naturalistic and organic.” Meg Rickards, Film director of Tess
This romantic adventure film tells the story of Nina who gets left at the altar despite her belief in fairy tale endings. Devastated, shocked and lost for words, Nina follows through with the weddings procession and indulges in a night of drinking which quickly turns into an adventure of a lifetime.
In an attempt to keep some of the wedding prep in motion, Nina convinces her former sweetheart, Hugo, to join her on a trip to Mauritius so that she can still enjoy her honeymoon.
While on the island, they met by a handful of interesting couples that start to make them change their views on love and the reasons they drifted apart all those years ago.
This local film has done the South African cinema scene proud. The detail, time and planning that went into character development, storyline, cinematography and acting make it an unforgettable story.
Vir Altyd was directed by Jaco Smit and stars local favourites Ivan Botha and DonnaLee Roberts.
- IMDb: 8.4 /10
"This local romantic comedy ticks all the right boxes, is well-made and delivers what it promises. Vir Altyd is definitely worth the watch." – Herman Eloff
Modder en Bloed
Set in 1901, Modder en Bloed is a period film that follows a Boer and family man, Willem Morkel, whose wife and son are murdered during the Anglo-Boer War.
As a prisoner of war, Willem fights to survive the incarceration in the notorious St. Helena concentration camp where placed under terrible oppression and hardship lead to an uprising through human spirit and more specifically, the game of rugby.
This film is a fictional account using the backdrop of Anglo-Boer War. The film's protagonist is loosely based on Dougie Morkel, who went on to play for the South African national rugby union team.
- IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
“Director Sean Else did a great job at steering clear of the clichés and the melodrama and instead served up a captivating film that’s undoubtedly worth the watch.”Herman Eloff - Geek Node
Top 6 Afrikaans Movies Released before 2015
Take a look at some of the best Afrikaans movies to hit the screens up to and before 2015. From local classics, to romantic comedies - we’ve got it all!
Pad Na Jou Hart
If you’re in the mood to sit back and enjoy a feel-good rom-com then this film is one of your best bets. Another brilliant film starring the likes of Donnalee Roberts and Ivan Botha, Pad Na Jou Hart follows the story of the overly confident businessman Basson van Rensburg's (Ivan Botha) who meets the free spirit, Amory (Donnalee Roberts), while on his way to his father’s funeral.
The film follows their journey across the rugged South African landscape where they meet wonderful characters and life changing experiences. The two soon start to fall in love when their trip takes a turn for the worst and they are both left heartbroken.
- IMDb Rating: 6.7 /10
“Strongly scripted and well paced, this is a sweet Afrikaans road trip movie with a heavy rom-com leaning and English subtitles. Even when you guess where it’s headed, it is all about the journey.” Theresa Smith
This heartwarming comedy tells that story of workaholic Jaci who will stop at nothing to protect her advertising agency from being bought by a ruthless businessman, The Jackal.
As fate would have it, there’s hope in a huge contract for a prestigious wine farming family. However, the contract will only be giving to someone who mirrors the family ethics of commitment and love.
In the hopes of winning the contract, Jaci hires someone to be her fake fiance during the pitch. All is well until the family invites the couple on a weekend away to experience the farm first-hand. Suddenly, things start to get complicated, especially when Jaci discovers that her fake fiance is in fact The Jackal himself.
- IMDb Rating: 7.1 /10
“A heartwarming story, a bubbly script, beautiful South African city/landscapes, a good-looking cast and some charming performances make Semi-Soet a winner. Ironically, the title is something of a self-fulfilling prophecy in the way that it's sweet, only tarnished by its intentional over-reliance on the cliches of the formulaic 'romcom' ” Spling Review
Die Pro (The Pro), a film about a young surfer (Tiaan) who tragically loses his best friend (Dirkie) to a surfing accident. After his Dirkie’s death, Tiaan swears never to surf again! Dirkie’s twin sister, has different ideas and asks Tiaan for his help to get her surfing ready for the World Surf Tour.
For her to succeed, Tiaan needs to face his fears and get back in the water.
- IMDb Rating: 6.2 /10
"Die Pro takes full advantage, adapting a popular young adult novel by Leon de Villiers into a coming-of-age drama about a young surfer dealing with the tragic loss of a friend." Spling Review
Dis ek, Anna
This South African Afrikaans-language drama is based on novels by Anchien Troskie (writing as Elbie Lotter): Dis ek, Anna (It's me, Anna) and Die Staat teen Anna Bruwer (The State vs Anna Bruwer).
It is set in modern-day South Africa and tells the story of Anna Bruwer, who avenges years of abuse from her stepfather and the court case that follows!Written by Tertius Kapp. Produced by Niel van Deventer. Directed by Sara Blecher, this film has done South Africa proud!
- IMDb Rating: 8.3/10
“Dis Ek, Anna has won Best Director, Best Film and Best Actor without trying and I firmly believe, solely based on this film, that there is hope for the South African film industry. If this film is something to go by then we’re definitely in for a treat in the future.” Desolation Morris - Geek Node
Die Windpomp (The Windpump) tells the story of a 20 year old boy, Hendri, who arrives at a retirement village to live with his grandfather after his mother dies.
Much to his dismay, garden ornaments, bingo nights and ‘ballie’ behavior become this norm until he follows five figures into the forest on the outskirts of the small town, and finds more than he expected.
Die Windpomp began its life as an AFDA film school student short film. ZenHQ Films producer, Chris Roland, saw a screening of the short, and optioned it to develop into a feature length film
- IMDb Rating: 8.3/10
“Die Windpomp is what South African film has been waiting for. It's not just a fresh, beautifully told love story, but also a story about being human and dealing with human issues such as getting older, loneliness and exploring the wonder of youth.” Jean-Marie Korff
Ah Bakgat - a classic in most high schools around South Africa! This film tells the story of a geek, Wimpie Koekemoer who is constantly embarrassed by his parents.
While he dreams of being popular, it seems impossible until one day when the most popular girl in school vows to make Wimpie the first team rugby centre to get back at her ex-boyfriend.
This unexpected popularity leads to unexpected friendships and even more unexpected parties. Watch as this somewhat hilarious tale of friendship, sport and high school drama unravels.
- IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
“This is a fresh teen comedy in Afrikaans a very good storyline with Ivan Botha, Cherie Van Der Merwe, Lelia Etsabeth en Will Roberts.” IMDb review
Whether or not you’re a fan of Afrikaans movies, take some time to watch some of these local classics. Trust us, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the talent, cinematography and production value.
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