’Plain director premiers local film

Some of the cast and crew of Meisie vani Lavis Bradley Jakes, Von D Kemp, Barryl Pietersen, Severo Lategan, Meliza Arendse, Charmaine Segels and Mark Matroos.

A Cape Flats film told through the eyes of a Morgen’s Village director and shot in Bishop Lavis will premier in Portland at the weekend.

Mark Matroos, 35, wrote, directed and produced Meisie vani Lavis – a 72-minute film, which he completed with a limited budget.

He set his sights on telling a local story which many people could relate to, with a cast of 13 first-time actors who all volunteered their time.

“They’ve done a fantastic job and I am humbled that I was able to mould and bring the best out of them on screen,” said Mark.

Lead actress Melissa de Vries Joseph, however, had some experience under her belt, having starred in Arendsvlei, a local television series.

She plays Veruscha, who grew up in Bishop Lavis, is well mannered and comes from a Christian background, and raised by a single mother.

“Life is hard for them and sometimes there is no food to eat. This closely knitted bond between mother and daughter quickly unravels.”

She starts hanging out with troubled Menta, who is mixed up with a few bad guys.

While her mom tries to warn her about the dangers of hanging out with the wrong crowd, Veruscha’s world spirals out of control.

Mark’s self-funded film was shot with a hand-held camera
and edited at his home editing studio. “I’m very impulsive. As ek aan ’* ding dink dan doen ek dit. I’m very goal-driven and have a high work rate turn-over.”

The full-time musician and entrepreneur is a self-taught cameraman and director, who started off selling caps to making music videos for him and the band Afrikaansruk.

“Making this film was so real for all of us that when we
shot a kidnapping scene, children who were playing outside witnessed it and went to call their mummies.”

One mother responded by setting the dogs on them.

“It was the most funny and scary at the same time, when the dog was hot on our heels.”

Mark said they went back to explain themselves and the mother said this is a reality “for us, where our children are kidnapped,’’ he recalled.

He said the cast and crew were invested in making the film a success and were determined to sell tickets, for which money would be used to cover screening costs, for them to get a bit of a stipend and for him to reinvest in more equipment.

“Ons almal werk om tickets te verkoop. So we can save for our next project because it is not going to stop here,” he said.

The film premiers at the Mitchell’s Plain indoor indoor sports centre, in Portland, on Sunday December 1 at 6pm. Tickets cost R50. For more information and tickets, WhatsApp or text Mark on 071 474 3144 or get tickets from Webtickets.