The 12th kykNET Silwerskerm Festival will be held from 28 to 31 August, 2024, at the Bay Hotel and Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay. These are the thoughts of Waldimar Pelser, director of M-Net Premium Channels: “The kykNET Silwerskerm Festival aims to do everything possible to discover new storytellers, put talent in the spotlight, and to provide the industry with a space where people can talk, show and come together, with Afrikaans as the glue that binds us,” he says.

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In 2023 the project expanded to include documentaries, and this year the exciting shotgun short film initiative will feature prominently. The shotgun shorts concept was launched last year when established filmmakers were invited to submit proposals for professional short films, and in August these films will be introduced at the festival.

Besides the six shotgun short films, six feature films, eight short films (by emerging movie makers) and five short documentaries will debut this year.

The inclusion of pilot episodes of brand-new series on TV and streaming services, proved to be a hit last year, and this year festivalgoers can again look forward to exclusive previews.

As in the past, kykNET will bring several experts to the festival to present informative workshops, panel discussions and masterclasses. Among the topics to be discussed are intimacy management on film sets, the process of adapting books for the silver screen, and all the ins and outs of co-productions.

KykNET will conclude the festival with a glitzy Silwerskerm award ceremony for Film and TV, to honour the best films on the festival as well as top TV work.

This event will be on Saturday 31 August at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), where Silwerskerm trophies will be handed out to achievers at the film festival and in TV over the last year.

During the awards ceremony, kykNET’s iconic blue carpet will be rolled out to welcome the biggest stars, and top musicians will be on stage. The event will be broadcast the next evening, Sunday 1 September, on kykNET (DStv channel 144).

Feature films 

Comedies are present in abundance – with four of the six movies promising to have audiences in stitches. But there are also two dramas to look out for, while a thriller will have viewers gasping for breath.

Die dekonstruksie van Retta Blom is based on Zelda Bezuidenhout’s debut chick-lit novel. Henriëtta Gryffenberg adapted it for the big screen. This drama offers a glimpse into the life of Retta (Antoinette Louw), a housewife who starts questioning the so-called certainties of her life.

Annelize Frost makes her feature film directorial debut with the Showmax Original romcom Gebokste Liefde. Devil’s Peak’s Tarryn Wyngaard stars as divorced single mom, Suma-Lee. When she’s fired from her job as a fashion designer, she joins a boxing gym and finally finds the courage to stand up for herself and fight for what she wants. Model Roché Killian, who kykNET viewers will remember from the first season of the reality series Plaasjapie, plays her ex-husband, while Jandré le Roux is her coach.

After winning an award for best screenplay for the short film Beurtkrag at the 2015 festival, Stiaan Smith returns in 2024 as screenwriter and director of the Showmax Original murder mystery, Die Bloedhonde. Elani Dekker, who acted opposite Stiaan in Toorbos, stars as Katrien, whose holiday with her family is cut short by an unexplained death in a resort.

Som van twee, another comedy, sees Hotel actress Simoné Pretorius behind the cameras as both director and screenwriter. Louw Venter portrays Henk, a psychologist who wants to give up on life after his wife’s death. He struggles to communicate with his son Renier (Adriaan Havenga). The movie has a star-studded cast that also includes James Borthwick, Greteli de Swardt, Righard van Jaarsveld and Pierre Breytenbach.

The fourth comedy competing for best feature film is Die Kwiksilwers. It features an assembly of doyennes in the Afrikaans film and TV industry. Lida Botha portrays Elsabé Marais, a widow in her eighties whose three friends (June van Merch, Susanne Beyers and Theresa Sedras) convince her to join them on a hilarious road trip through the Karoo to experience a meteoric shower in Sutherland.

Quanita Adams is not only the screenwriter and director of Hier.Na; she also stars in the drama. The movie addresses issues that affect communities and their faith, and tells the story of the Burgess clan, an open-minded family from Cape Town’s northern suburbs.

Multi-award-winning theatre, TV and film director Jaco Bouwer’s horror film Breathing In, set during the Anglo Boer War, has its debut. In Breathing In a gravely wounded Boer general is nursed by a mysterious traditional healer and her other worldly daughter.

Short films

Promising new and established filmmakers are responsible for eight captivating short films in various genres.

“Pop, skiet en donder” is the catchphrase on the poster of Johann Vermaak’s short film Die groot twis. It features puppets created by Marelize Viljoen. The film provides a satirical view on The Great Trek and with its absurd perspective on historical figures and events, entertainment is guaranteed.

Die skynwerper, a psychological drama by Dewet van Rooyen and Linsen Loots, tells the story of Nelis (Ben Albertyn) who is caught up in his dark past. He lives in isolation with his embittered, paralysed father (Dawid Minnaar).

Liewe Dudu, a comedy penned by Lydia Anne Stander, is about Dudu (Gugu Madlanbane), a sprightly beauty therapist who works at a stereotypical (cheap) day spa in Pretoria. During the annual inspection, Dudu’s day turns into complete chaos.

Marie se laaste dag is another comedy sure to elicit laughter. Lourensa Eckard and theatre maker Mercy Kannemeyer combined their talents to produce this tale that is set in the period after the first democratic election in 1994.

Marie (Mandri Sunderland), the long-time secretary of the Minister of Mineral Resources, Hendrik van der Merwe (Deon Lotz), is tasked to arrange a meeting with the new Defense Minister, Mayihlome Khumalo (Dumisani Mbebe).

Noise & Neighbours, a drama by Fraser du Toit, is a story about a bored little girl and a man who has given up all hope. Bolelo (Maliaka Adonis), daughter of a working single mom, spends her days alone. The grumpy Helmut (Tobie Cronjé) lives in a flat downstairs. But when Bolelo gets a piano as a birthday present, everything changes …

Zandélle Meyer’s O, Griet! Sy’s droog is described as a dramatic arts film. The artist Johan van der Merwe (Ugan Daniels) literally captured three women in separate framed paintings.

Ons, a dramatic thriller by Izel Bezuidenhout, features the married couple, Liezl (Izel Bezuidenhout) and Dirk (Jacques Adriaanse), whose relationship is shaken to the core by a series of revelations and a fatal incident.

Steek vir steek, a comedy by Jacqueline Viljoen and Jaco van Bosch, follows Rita (Susan Coetzer), an elderly woman, and the ladies of her knitting club who become aware that their retirement resort is up for sale.


By die soutwater, a documentary by Marguerite Venter and the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation, puts the spotlight on the other side of the V&A Waterfront in the heart of Cape Town, where a team of marine specialists, scientists and volunteers try to protect sea animals from tourists and an active commercial harbour.

Gerrie Janse van Vuuren’s documentary, Jan Bloed, focuses on the life of Alister Fortuin, a.k.a. Jan Bloed, a former member of the Fast Gun gang in Westbury, Johannesburg. He also is a former general of the notorious 26 gang.

Marisa van Tonder’s love for animals and a visit to De Doorns inspired Maak stil die geblaf. It follows a group of 11-year-olds and their dogs in a farming community. As the children go about their lives in an environment marked by limited opportunities and violence close to home, they teach Tiger, Fluffy, Sussa and Lady to jump hurdles and navigate them through tunnels. In the process, they develop compassion for the animals while simultaneously discovering their own authentic voices.

Tussen die draad en die dropper takes viewers on a journey with photojournalist Willem van der Berg as he goes on a mission to track down the Karoo’s master fencer. Willem has a long and close friendship with Hans Jors, about whom he wrote an article in 2015.

Vergeet van my is a musical documentary made by Dirkie van der Merwe and the actor Beer Adriaanse. When Beer’s parents cleaned out their storeroom in 2021, they discovered a forgotten crate containing photos, journals and plastic bags with tapes that were recorded during various music tours. The treasure trove highlights a series of events from an almost forgotten period in the South African music industry. Archive material spanning more than a decade during a revival of alternative Afrikaans music, unveil a story of discovery, coming of age and the dream to be part of something bigger. With music by Zinkplaat, Foto na Dans, eF-eL, Straatligkinders, Tidal Waves, New Holland any more.

Shotgun Shorts

This year the Silwerskerm Festival reaps the rewards of the exciting shotguns shorts project with the first films, submitted by storytellers to kykNET last year, being released.

Bennie Fourie’s Baas se honne, which he also directed, is a dark comedy about the life and times of Gys (Albert Pretorius). His existence is a mess, and he finds himself in a dark corner. His boss Roelf (Carel Nel) burdens him with an unwanted dog that Gys must put out. But how can anyone with a heart kill an innocent, healthy dog? Gys has to come up with a plan as his choices are limited: his job, or the dog! Safta-awarded musician Peach van Pletzen created the soundtrack for this interesting Shotgun Short.

Adri Britz’s musical comedy, Deuntjie, features that little voice in everybody’s head. In the case of Deuntjie (Anja Taljaard), a shy girl, her inner voice manifests as Vera (Daneel van der Walt), a larger-than-life diva accompanied by two backing vocalists, Moses and Jacob.

Die boodskapper is a fantasy story produced by Rebecca Scher and directed by Paul Crafford. A model clay man comes to life when the tears of Jake (Liam Kruger), a young boy caught in a bitter conflict between his parents, falls on him.

In die verloop van, written by Philip Rademeyer and Emma Kotze, is an intimate film focusing on everyday life amidst a tragic personal loss. It tells the story of Jana (Emma Kotze) and Chris (Wilhelm van der Walt) who wake up after an eventful night.

Liminale is a science fiction drama from Hanneke Schutte’s pen. It explores the broken psyche of the depressed Mia (Inge Beckmann), who finds herself in a futuristic institution while being harassed by memories of her husband’s abuse. A psychiatrist, Dr Venter (Michele Burgers), introduces her to the groundbreaking new form of VR therapy, inspired by the work of psychologist Carl Jung.

Selah, directed by the Safta-winner Brett Michael Innes, is a disturbing exploration of postnatal depression and the unvoiced challenges of new parents who struggle to cope. It is about a mother (Erica Wessels) who struggles with her colic baby. S

The multi-award-winning director and cinematographer Jozua Malherbe creates a rich, immersive visual dream with Stilte, full of conflicting emotions around a poem by Hunter Kennedy about fatherhood and how we change over time yet remain the same.

What: kykNET Silwerskerm Festival 2024
28 – 31 August 2024
Bay Hotel and Theatre on the Bay, Camps Bay, Cape Town