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 family comedy is about him.
Producers Bruce Lawley, Bruce Macdonald, Craig Jones, and Murray Macdonald bring this film to life with the role of Van played by 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 van Vurren.
“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.”
Barry Hilton plays the role of Freddie, the barman and Van’s best friend. Complete with the misconceptions, biases and characteristic inability to succeed, Van Der Merwe is about family politics, awkward situations, and living up to the Van Der Merwe title.
The film is distributed by Ster-Kinekor Entertainment and will be released in cinemas nationwide on Wednesday, 28 July.
You can watch the trailer for Van Der Merwe here.