NEW SA TALENT TO EXPLODE ON BIG SCREEN in "HITCHHIKER"
A host of exciting local young talent is set to explode on the big screen at movie theatres around South Africa on Friday, 1st February 2008, with the release of the South African movie, HITCHHIKER.
The movie HITCHHIKER is a light-hearted, escapist movie that takes a look at the lifestyles of the rich and famous in South Africa. A young man leaves his game farm to go and convince the girl of his dreams that he loves her. She is a student at the University of Cape Town. He gets picked up by a rich Englishman who is driving his vintage Rolls Royce from Johannesburg via Kimberley to the Cape. The two men strike up a comfortable friendship during the trip. They are both going to meet the women they adore on their arrival in Cape Town.
Filled with romance, jealousy, passion, old money and a bit of international crime to boot, HITCHHIKER follows two parallel love stories from the Highveld bush to the winelands of Stellenbosch.
Young heartthrob Paul Gardyne in his first film role, plays the role of a love-sick young bushveld boy, Regardt, who hitch hikes across the breath of the country in pursuit of his true love. This Durban-born hopeful is definitely going to wow the ladies in this sweet love story set against the backdrop of international art theft and love triangles.
Following in the celebrity footsteps of their father, theatre impresario Richard Loring, are the beautiful Natasha and Samantha Loring. Cape Town based Natasha plays the lead role of Julie (Regardt's love interest), the affluent young lady whose parents send her to university in Cape Town, so as to get her away from the attentions of their neighbour's son who they consider low born and déclassé. London based Samantha plays the role of a fun, if slutty friend who seems to get with all Julie's boyfriends.
Other exciting young talent include New York-based swimsuit sensation, Justine Gundelfinger whose sexy and sultry role will definitely win her more admirers. English hunk, Lee Savage, adds an international flavour to the cast, in the role of the young English gentleman who drives his Rolls Royce across South Africa as part of a bet. He picks up the hapless young Regardt, and a comfortable friendship ensues, despite their complete economic and social opposing statuses.
HITCHHIKER is the first feature film from SA Wild Productions and the Witch & Wizard Productions. Writer, director and producer, Chris du Toit, is well known in film, theatre and literary circles in South Africa, but this is his most ambitious effort in film making. Supported by acclaimed talent from the advertising and production world such as Jurie van Leeuwen, Cobus Zwennis and Theo Pretorius, the film is a technical masterpiece. This enterprising team of young film makers dug into their own pockets to make this feel good story.
Producer and director, Jurie van Leeuwen is well known for the success of SA Tourism's award-winning "I am an African" international ad campaign. This is evident in the beautifully shot showcase of the scenic beauty of South Africa, stretching from Mphumalanga, Kimberley, Clifton and the environs of Cape Town as they have never been seen before. A selection of unique shots highlight the beauty of our incredible country and will certainly encourage tourism in and around South Africa. Mel Botes' beautiful soundtrack adds to the backdrop of this light hearted drama.
The success of this film will lie in incredible talent of industry stalwarts including Rika Sennett, Erica Wessels, Lynne Maree, Julie Hartley, Martin le Maitre, the late Roger Dwyer and the hilariously funny Trudie Taljaard, all who have featured popularly in films and on television in South Africa.
The idea of making HITCHHIKER came about a number of years ago when writer/director Chris Du Toit read an article written by Barry Ronge in a February 2002 edition of The Sunday Times Magazine called "The Big Picture". In it, Barry mentioned that instead of telling South African stories, we tend to project our political and social agendas. Says Chris; "We wanted to provide a purely escapist movie, where audiences can watch a movie with a heart-warming story-line, attractive characters who wrestle with normal relationship problems, romantic and sexual intrigue - and loads of stunning scenery. HITCHHIKER pointedly ignores racism (past and present) and inequality in our society."
CHRIS DU TOIT Writer/Director/Co-producer of HITCHHIKER
Chris grew up on a farm near Petrus Steyn in the Orange Free State where he attended a farm school, Molendraai, on horse back.
He matriculated at Lindley High School and then went on to achieve a BA degree at the University of the Orange Free State. He then received a second qualification; B.Ed at TUKKIES in Pretoria.
He taught at Pretoria Boys High under Mr DF Abernethy and had many challenging but memorable years there. He still visits the school regularly for reunions.
He was later awarded a British Council Scholarship and studied Linguistics at The University College of North Wales, Bangor.
Chris returned to South Africa to lecture at University of Pretoria, and it was during this time that the film and television bug bit him!
He acted in and produced a number of commercially successful films and TV serials including "Mashitaba" for Lilian Dube for which she won an award for Best Actress.
This is Chris' first attempt at writing, directing and producing a local movie, and is very proud of HITCHHIKER which is a feel good, escapist, non-political, scenic commercial feature film.
READ INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS DU TOIT
For more information on HITCHHIKER, log onto at: www.hitchhikermovie.co.za
PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN FILMMAKING