After successful festival showcases at the Durban International Film Festival as well as the recent Joburg Film Festival last year, the South Africa-meets-Bollywood film, Bhai’s Café, is set to release in select national movie theatres nationwide on Valentine’s Day in 2020.
The 99-minute film is filled with drama, romance and good humour. It is produced by Razia Rawoot and Maynard Kraak, who also serves as director.
The film’s trailer raked up over 23,000 page views on the Nu Metro Facebook page in its first week of release– more than any upcoming film release in South Africa over the next six weeks – and is proving to be a much-anticipated local film that caters to all sectors of the South Africa film audience.
Bhai’s Cafe focuses on “family, urban gentrification and romance with a Bollywood touch” and was filmed entirely on location in Cape Town.
Bollywood comes to Wynberg, in Bhai’s Cafe, as this cornerstone of the community comes under threat from a ruthless property developer. At the same time Bhai’s daughter is swept off her feet by the property magnate’s son in true Bollywood fashion, setting up a battle of epic comic proportions as Bhai rallies the community to save the Cafe, the neighbourhood and a blossoming love affair.
Actor and comedian Siv Ngesi plays the lead role of male love interest Patrick. His character is incidentally a fan of Bollywood movies and music, and participates in multiple dance sequences and even sings in Hindi.
Actress Suraya Rose Santos, a rising star on the international modelling and acting scene, delivers as the love-struck Rashmi while Mehboob Bawa (a 30-year veteran of film, television and radio) and Rehane Abrahams (currently in the Kyknet&Kie telenovela Arendsvlei) play Rashmi’s parents. Key cast members in the film are: Thabo Bopape, Khalil Kathrada, Rameez Nordien, Fahruq Valley-Omar, Carishma Basday, Elodie Venece and Stavros Cassapis.
The screenplay was written by Darron Meyer and Aaron Naidoo, based on a story by Rawoot and her husband, Executive Producer and actor, Bawa, for whom this film is a labour of love. It is the result of years of hard work, passion and sacrifice by the dedicated duo.
“It was an honour to accept Mehboob and Razia’s invitation to direct this film,” says Director Maynard Kraak whose films include Vrou Soek Boer, Finders Keepers and The Last Victims, which has recently won the Best International Film award at the Uganda Film Festival. “It was also a personal challenge to do a film with dance and singing, something I’d never done in my twenty-year career.”
Audiences who have attended the various festival screenings in Durban, Joburg, Knysna and at the Silwerskermfees in Cape Town have been unanimous in their response to the film. Everyone has resonated with the core themes and left the cinema with a huge smile on their face.