Directors and Producers


Boet Troskie 

Dr. Cornelis Abraham (Boet) Troskie established Mimosa Films in 1964 after reading a script from the legendary comedian Al Debbo. After his successful debut, Die Wonderwêreld van Kammie Kamfer, one of his most successful partnerships arose; that with writer and director Jamie Uys (who at the time was already climbing the ladders of the South African film industry). 

Between 1969 and 1973 Boet produced award winning films, including the popular Dirkie (aka Lost in the Desert), which followed a father's journey to save his son from the harsh Namibian desert. In 1972, "Lost in the Desert" won an award at the Teheran Film Festival, and became a classic in its own right. In 1974, Boet produced a highly successful documentary with Jamie as writer, director and cinematographer. The film took a number of years to complete, but their efforts were well awarded. Internationally, Beautiful People aka "Animals are Beautiful People" won the Golden Globe for Best Documentary, the Golden Scissors award for Outstanding Achievement in Editing and the Eddy Award for Best Editing. Between 1975 and 1980 Boet continued to work with the most successful names in the South Africa film industry, including directors Daan Retief, Jan Scholtz, Dirk de Villiers, Elmo de Witt, Emil Nofal, Ivan Hall and Jamie Uys. In 1980 Boet, as Executive Producer, released South Africa's most successful feature film to date, the cult classic The Gods Must be Crazy. Boet secured an agreement with Twentieth Century Fox for the film and settled in America to personally oversee the film's distribution and promotion. Boet returned to South Africa and produced another six films between 1981 and 1989, including the sequels Funny People II and The Gods Must be Crazy II

Today, Boet remains an integral part of the Mimosa Film group as Chairman of the Board.
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Bill Troskie

Bill Troskie was an avid sports car driver. In the 1960s, Bill excelled at the sport and was crowned the Free State stockcar champion six times in a row.

Bill joined his brother Boet in the film business in the late 1960s. His first picture as producer was Staal Burger (1969). Bill went on the produce Die Rebel (1976), Sonja (1978), Night of the Puppets (1979) and Beloftes van Môre (1981).

The arduousness of The Gods Must be Crazy (1980) saw Boet settle in the States to oversee its distribution and marketing. Bill took over operations of Mimosa Films as acting CEO until Boet’s return to South Africa a few years later.


Films Produced by Mimosa Films 

1964   Die Wonderwéreld van Kammie Kamfer
1967   Die Professor en die Prikkelpop
1969   Staal Burger
1969   Dirkie (aka Lost in the Desert)
1971   Breekpunt / Breakpoint
1972   Salomien
1973   Jamie 21
1974   Beautiful People (aka Animals are Beautiful People)
1975   Soekie
1976   Die Rebel (Sending vir 'n Voortvlugtige)
1976   Funny People
1977   Dingetjie en Idi
1977   Mooimeisiesfontein
1977   Kom tot Rus
1978   Iemand Soos Jy (Someone Like You)
1978   Sonja
1979   Grensbasis 13
1979   Night of the Puppets
1980   Kiepie en Kandas
1980   The Gods Must be Crazy
1981   Beloftes van Môre
1981   April 1980
1983   The Riverman
1983   Funny People II
1986   Back to Freedom
1989   The Gods Must be Crazy II

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Al Debbo
The inimitable and irresistible Alec Debbo was born in Bloemfontein on 22 June 1924. He is one of South Africa’s biggest variety artists ever. The charming actor with his trademark saucer eyes enjoyed a career that spanned more than five decades in the entertainment industry. He had a proven track record as comedian, stage actor, film actor, singer and recording artist. Debbo has entertained generations of South Africans and inspired all those who’ve met him. As one of the most famous artists of his generation he made an enormous contribution to Afrikaans music and culture.

Some of Debbo’s greatest hits were:
Daar Kom die Alibama, Bokkie, Hasie, Stoppie, Tamatiesous en kerriekos, Sousboontjies, Riksjabooi, Die brake van Turffontein, Baas Jack, Sonbrilletjies, Die tantes van Nantes, Ek ry met die trein, Teddiebeer, Brakkie in die venster, Ek kan my lag nie hou, Bolandse nooientjie, Hoë polvy, Ding dong, Stellenbosch die roep my, Boerekos, Koos van der Merwe, Sikkedoema, Hy-ba-ba-rie-bab, Die spook, Vlooi, My dolla is ‘n loskop, Kiewiet, Kappit yt, Byt vissie byt and Bloubergstrand


Films

1948  Die Kaskenades van Dr Kwak
1949  Kom Saam Vanaand
1965  Die Wonderwêreld van Kammie Kamfer
1950  Hier’s Ons Weer
1951  Alles Sal Regkom
1957  Dis Lekker om te Lewe
1960  Hou die Blinkkant Bo
1958  Fratse in die Vloot
1952  Altyd in my Drome
1957  Donker Afrika
1961  Boerboel De Wet / Private Eye
1962  Gevaarlike Spel / Dangerous Deals
1962  Tom, Dirk en Herrie
1962  Die Geheim van Onderplaas
1969  Stadig oor die Klippe
1975  Kniediep
1974  Pens en Pootjies
1976  Haak Vrystaat
2004  Oh Shucks I’m Gatvol
Television programmes and special awards

1981  Attie en Joos (Attie and Joos)
1994  Guest artist on Noot vir Noot (music quiz programme on television)
1996  First of the guest artists at Oudtshoorn
1996  Release first CD – Ek lewe nog
1996  Former Minister Hendrik Schoeman unveils a commemorative broach in honour of Debbo’s 50 years in the entertainment industry
2003  Special honourary award in Rustenburg
2005  SAMA lifetime award for contribution to South African music industry
2007  KykNet honours Debbo with the documentary Koning van komedie (King of comedy)

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Jamie Uys

Jamie Uys, born 30 May 1921, is undoubtedly one of South Africa's most successful and beloved film makers. Uys produced some of the most memorable South African films, and won numerous local and international awards, including a Golden Globe for the documentary Beautiful People (aka Animals are Beautiful People), a Golden Scissors Award and an Eddy Award. Many young filmmakers attribute their careers to Uys, citing him as a strong influence in their decision to enter the film industry. Despite his successes, Jamie was a workaholic who cherished the ordinary. He is best known for the South African classic Dirkie (aka Lost in the Desert) and the international hit The Gods Must be Crazy, which had three years of uninterrupted screening in the United States. Jamie's history is beautifully captured by Dr Jan-Ad Stemmet. If you wish to read Jamie's full history, please visit our History page. 

Jamie passed away on 29 January 1996.


Films

1951   Daar Doer in die Bosveld
1952   Vyftig / Fifty (aks Vyftig / Vyftig or 50/50)
1954   Daar Doer in die Stad
1955   Geld Soos Bossies
1958   Die Bosvelder
1959   Rip van Wyk
1960   Hans en die Rooinek
1961   Doodkry is Min
1962   Lord Oom Piet
1964   Dingaka
1965   All the Way to Paris
1969   Dirkie (aka Lost in the Desert)
1974   Beautiful People (aka Animals are Beautiful People)
1976   Funny People
1980   The Gods Must be Crazy
1983   Funny People II
1989   The Gods Must be Crazy II

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Daan Retief
Born shortly before the Great Depression, the would-be film maker grew up in an orphanage in Cape Town. Retief escaped the orphanage’s sad reality through flights of fantasy – painting and the arts. Retief matriculated in 1943, and his first job was that of a messenger at the National Assembly. Later, his love for arts and entertainment led him to join the traveling theatre troupe, the Hanekom-teatergeselskap. By 1952 he had been working for the National Theatre Organization for a number of years, and for Retief, life on the road was becoming difficult. He found work at the radio service of the South African Broadcasting Corporation. In 1955 he wrote a short story, Die Stil Plek (The Silent Place) for Die Huisgenoot and quickly established himself as a highly productive storyteller. His first radio-serial, Die Konsertinakoning (The Concertina King) was a big hit. In 1960 his radio story Die Vlakte Duskant Hebron (The Plain At The Other Side Of Hebron) cemented him as a masterful writer. The story was later developed as a television series. Staal Burger, Retief’s spy story for radio, was undoubtedly his most popular radio series. It was also later turned into a successful feature film (by Retief himself). In the late 1960s, Jamie Uys convinced Retief to venture into films. Subsequently Constantia Films - an affiliate of Mimosa Films - was formed. Breekpunt (Breaking Point) was his first feature with the company, after which and he made one after the other hit – including Salomien (1972), Jamie21 (1973), Soekie (1975), Die Rebel (1976), Sonja (1978), Night of the Puppets (1979) and Beloftes van More (1981). In the early 1980s Retief ventured into television. Trans-Karoo, Kromburg, Jasper Lefeuvre, Klaradyn and the Seders van Lebanon are just some of the popular series' he created. Whether for radio, TV or film – Retief had an undisputed Midas touch when it came to storytelling. He passed away in 1990.

Interesting fact:

Daan Retief, one of Mimosa’s many celebrated directors, grew up in an orphanage. It was there that the future filmmaker developed his active imagination which stretched far beyond the confines of his surroundings.   
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Dirk de Villiers
Born in 1924, Dirk de Villiers can easily lay claim to the title of being the South African filmmaker with the longest professional career. His career started as an actor in productions such as Ivan Hall’s Kruger Millions in which he played a member of the Cavalier suicide commando who attempted to derail the plans to mint the gold coins by disposing of them in the Blyde River Canyon. His first feature film as director was in the light comedy Jy Is My Liefling, starring Franz Marx (also in his first film role) and Min Shaw. He followed this up with one of his finest films, Die Geheim Van Nantes, an adaptation of the famous Springbok Radio serial. Dirk de Villiers was honoured at the 2008 Klein Karoo Arts Festival for his contribution to the South African film industry.

He went on to make 23 feature films, 13 documentaries and a phenomenal 25 television series.


Films

1968   Jy is my Liefling
1969   Geheim van Nantes
1970   Die Drie Van der Merwes
1971   Die Lewe Sonder Jou
1971   A New Life
1972   My Broer se Bril
1973   Die Wit Sluier
1974   Met Liefde van Adele
1974   Pens en Pootjies
1974   Skadu's van Gister
1974   Virgin Goddess
1974   Tant Ralie se Losieshuis
1975   Diamond Hunters
1975   My naam is Dingetjie
1975   Daan en Doors oppie Dieggins
1977   Dingetjie en Idi
1978   Decision to Die
1978   Die Spaanse Vlieg
1978   Witblits en Peach Brandy
1979   Charlie word 'n Ster
1989   That Englishwoman
1994   Arende: Die Rolprent
1994   Kalahari Harry
1997   Kaalgat Tussen die Daisies (met Koos Roets)

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Elmo de Witt
How did Elmo get started in films? In his final school year, his father bought a 16mm film camera. During the July holiday, Elmo gathered some of his friends to make a short film, which earned him an award from the Pretoria Cine Club.
Not soon after his first foray into filming, Jamie Uys met with Elmo’s father in an effort to sell shares in his film company. Elmo’s father told him about his son’s passion and Jamie took the time to watch the young man’s film, which led to Elmo being offered a job in Johannesburg.

On the set of Jamie’s GELD SOOS BOSSIES, Jok Uys, Jamie’s brother, was the cameraman. However, Jok also had to act in the film, which led to Elmo becoming stand-in cameraman. They were so impressed by Elmo’s skill  that he got to film the rest of the movie and was credited once the film was completed!
JABULANI AFRIKA was a short film made by Elmo and Jock Uys. For Jamie’s DIE BOSVELDER, Elmo was cameraman again.

With Jamie’s business expanding, Elmo soon got his first taste of directing when he was appointed as director for SATANSKORAAL. He was 23 years old at the time! It was a complex film with several aerial shots, as well as underwater filming of choral reefs and submarines and action scenes in the marshes of Inhaka Island off the coast of Mozambique. Elmo also edited this film.
He also acted as editor of DOODKRY IS MIN (a film on the history of Afrikaans).

Then came DEBBIE. Although the movie was a huge success, it was so controversial that an initial age restriction of 16 was later upped to 21. The age restriction was later lifted and the movie was shown without restrictions.
His third solo film, HOOR MY LIED, with singer Gé Korsten as leading man, earned a million rand – incredible in a time when movie tickets cost a mere 45 cents. In today’s terms (ticket sales), this film would have earned R35 million. With HOOR MY LIED, Elmo also became director (head of production) at Kavalier Films.

When Jamie Uys left the company, and following Elmo’s film DIE KAVALIERS, he became co-director of the film company Kavalier Films. He made several movies for Kavalier Films, including THE LAST LION (a Wilbur Smith story with the British actor Jack Hawkins in the lead) as well as SIEN JOU MÔRE.
In 1973, with the film SNIP EN RISSIEPIT, a new team got together: Elmo de Witt and Jan Scholtz. In the same year, Elmo established his own film company, Elmo de Witt Films, after 19 years in the film industry. In 1974, he made MÔRE, MÔRE. It was a huge success and positioned Elmo’s new company to become one of the most successful film companies in South Africa’s history.
Then followed LIEFSTE VEERTJIE, KWIKSTERTJIE and ‘N BEELD VIR JEANNIE. In VERGEET MY NIE, Elmo discovered the talent of international film star Alice Krige and placed her on the road to stardom. TER WILLE VAN CHRISTINE has earned more money in the first week of release than any other local movie.
In 1977, Elmo and Jamie Uys got together again to work on MOOIMEISIESFONTEIN, IEMAND SOOS JY (with former Miss World Anneline Kriel in the lead) and GRENSBASIS 13. Then followed YOU MUST BE JOKING, a collaboration with Toron Films (with Leon Schuster in the lead). It was a candid camera type film which broke all local records for a first release with its earnings of R5 million! This film also had huge success on the international circuit.
With the arrival of television in South Africa, local directors were asked to produce material for this new medium. Elmo immediately got involved. In the years following the introduction of television in SA, he created and produced television series such as THE SETTLERS, TOWN GUARD, CITY PEOPLE and TAAKMAG. Initially, he also produced SHAKA ZULU (which was released internationally), as well as HOEKIE VIR EENSAMES, MOORDSPELETJIES and several others. Together with Telecip France, he made the series HERITAGE, which was released internationally as REAP THE WHIRLWIND.
In 1988, Elmo de Witt Films made the international film WILDE ZONE (an African adventure thriller) as well as ACCIDENTS (a spy thriller). His third international film, ENEMY UNSEEN, was filmed in 1989.
His last film as editor was TOLLA IS TOPS, another candid camera movie, but with a strong South African flavour with local funny man Tolla van der Merwe in the lead.
 
Apart from the financial success of his films, Elmo was also known throughout the industry as “the man with an eye for talent”. Not only did he discover several actors and actresses, but he also gave many of today’s well-known directors and editors their first taste of the film industry, and also trained many of them.
Apart from ALICE KRIGE (whom he discovered while she was still a student at Rhodes University), he is also credited with discovering HANS STRYDOM, SYBIL COETZEE, RIKA SENNET and many others. He was also the first to work with LEON SCHUSTER and ANNELINE KRIEL.
Some of the well-known editors who cut their teeth at Elmo de Witt Films are Danie Joubert, Manie van Rensburg, Gray Hofmeyer, William Faure and Sias Odendaal.


Hit films with Elmo as director

1959   Satanskoraal (at age 23)
1965   Debbie
1967   Hoor my Lied (met Gé Korsten)
1966   Die Kavaliers
1969   Danie Bosman
1972   The Last Lion
1970   Sien Jou Môre
1971   Zebra
1972   Die Wildtemmer
1972   Sperrgebiet
1973   Snip en Rissiepit
1973   Môre, Môre
1974   Die Kwikstertjie
1975   Ter Wille van Christine
1975   Liefste Veertjie
1976   Vergeet my Nie
1976   n' Sondag in September (met Jan Scholtz)
1976   ’n Beeld vir Jeannie
1977   Kom tot Rus
1977   Mooimeisiesfontein
1979   Grensbasis 13
1978   Iemand Soos Jy (Someone Like You) – released internationally
1986   You Must be Joking (met Leon Schuster) - released internationally
1987   You Must be Joking Too (met Leon Schuster)
1990   Toothman and Killer (met Ian Roberts)
1990   Tolla is Tops (met Tolla van der Merwe)
INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTIONS

1989   Accidents

1989   Enemy Unseen
1989   Wild Zone

TELEVISION SERIES
(not a complete list)

The Settlers I and II
Town Guard
City People
Gysbert Jonker (Herman Charles Bosman)
Taakmag
For King and Country
Shaka Zulu (released internationally)
Hoekie vir Eensames
Meisie van Suidwes
Moordspeletjies
Heritage / Reap the Whirlwind (released internationally by Telecip)
Malonya
Running Free
U Senzikile I and II
Umfo Kamkhize
Shosanguve
Kinders van die Sabbatsee

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Emil Nofal

Emil Nofal was born in South Africa in 1926

Filmmaker Emil Nofal teamed up with Jans Rautenbach in 1964 to form a production company.  Their collaboration aroused the ire of conservative South Africans and the constant suspicions of censors who did not catch the heavily disguised meaning of their highly symbolic allegories.  Like many other South African filmmakers, the two use many stereotypes; unlike their peers, they use the creatively in their stories to make their point.

Prior to the collaboration with Jans Rautenbach, Nofal has been a documentarian known for his frequent clashes with the Publications Control Board, the National Party, and the Dutch Reformed Church.


Films

1951   Song of Africa
1960   Rip van Wyk
1962   Lord Oom Piet   (Writer)
1962   Voor Sononder
1963   Kimberley Jim
1963   After You, Comrade  (Actor)
1967   Wild Season
1968   Die Kandidaat  (met Jans Rautenbach)
1969   Katrina  (met Jans Rautenbach)
1973   The Winners / My Way
1973   Ongewenste Vreemdeling (Producer)
1979   The Fifth Season
1980   The Super-Jocks
1985   You’re in the Movies
1987   You Gotta be Crazy

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Jan Scholtz
For the past 30 years, Jan Scholtz has been active in the film industry following his initial entry into the industry as a writer. Since the early 1970s he has received several awards for his work, including a Star Award, an Artes for Jopie Fourie, two Rapport Oscars, two Star Tonight awards, four South African Academy awards and two ATKV awards. He has been nominated six times for an Artes.

Jan grew up at Noupoort in the Karoo, as well as in Witbank and Boksburg. After matriculating from Voortrekker High School, he studied at the University of Potchefstroom before going into teaching.

Jan was one of the first directors and writers for an Afrikaans television series, Keertyd. In 1975 he established his own film company.

In 1983, he married Michelle van Niekerk, and they are the parents of twin boys, Carl and Maynard.


Jan is the writer and/or director of 21 feature films, including:

1975   Ter wille van Christene (met Elmo de Witt)
1976   ‘n Beeld vir Jeannie (met Elmo de Witt)
1977   Die winter van 14 Julie
1978   Diamant en die dief
1979   Die eensame vlug
1979   Herfsland
1980   Kiepie en Kandas
1980   April 1980
1985   Magic is alive, my friends
1988   The emissary


1970   Sien jou môre (met Elmo de Witt)
1973   Môre, Môre (met Jan Scholtz)
1973   Snip en Rissiepit (met Elmo de Witt)
1975   Liefste Veertjie (met Elmo de Witt)
1976   Daar kom Tant Alie (met Koos Roets)
1976   Vergeet my nie (met Elmo de Witt)
1976   Springbok (met Tommie Meyer)
1976   ‘n Sondag in September
1980   Skelms
1986   Dada en die flower
1988   Paradise Road

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Ivan Hall

Ivan Hall began his film career with the then newly renamed Kavalier Film Productions with the Anglo Boer War drama / musical “The Kruger Millions” (1967), a sequel to the 1966 film “Die Kavaliers”, directed by Elmo de Witt. The film starred Leon Le Roux, Helga van Wyk, Carel Trichardt and Dirk de Villiers. 

Hall quickly attained the status of director in residence at the Kavaliers Studios, situated on Aasvoëlkop, Randburg. He went on to direct a string of successful films for Kavaliers, including “Dr. Kalie” (1968) with Siegfried Mynhardt and Brian O’Shaughnessy, “Lied In My Hart” (1970) with Gé Korsten and the former Miss South Africa, Mitsi Stander, “Vicki” (1970), the police themed films “Flying Squad” and “Gold Squad” (both released in 1971), “Lokvalin Venesië” with Ge Korsten, “Karate Olympia” (the first African martial arts film, released in 1976) and the political thriller “Funeral for an Assassin” with Vic Morrow. “Funeral for an Assassin” was banned in 1974 by the then all powerful South African censors for no apparent reason, and unbanned just as quickly, again for no apparent reason.

 

Aside from his work with Kavalier Studios, Hall also directed the film “Aanslag Op Kariba” in 1973, a sequel to Brigadiers Films’ enormously successful film “Kaptein Caprivi”.

 

Ivan Hall’s greatest success as a filmmaker came in 1981 when his martial arts film “Kill & Kill Again”, became a major international box-office success both in the USA and in the Far East. This film reached number one on the USA Variety box-office list and made an instant star out of its lead actor, James Ryan, who had also starred in “Karate Olympia”.

 

Ivan Hall went on to produce “The Riverman” (1983) with Michael Parks who has played in more than 100 films and TV shows over a 50-year career, and Christopher Cazenove who was best known in America for his TV role as Ben Carrington in Dynasty (1981), "Back to Freedom" (1986) with Michael D Roberts who in 1988 landed the roll of Vern in the Oscar winning film Rain Man directed by Barry Levinson and starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman, “Skollie” with George Ballot and “Trackers” with Craig Wasson and Henry Cele.

 

Ivan Hall was honoured by the National Film, Video and Sound Archives, the Volksbladfees Directorate and the Mimosa Film Productions Directorate in June 2007 for his invaluable contributions to the South African film industry.

 

Mr Hall will be greatly missed by all his colleagues and friends in the South African film industry.


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