Despite being hit by the cancellation of screenings as a result of load shedding and the Coronavirus lockdown, the South Africa-meets-Bollywood film, Bhai’s Cafe, was appreciated by audiences who saw the film. Having released on Valentine’s Day, after successful festival showcases at Durban International Film Festival as well as the Joburg Film Festival, the film launches on DSTV BoxOffice on the 20th May.
Audiences, including DSTV subscribers and non – subscribers, who missed the cinema screenings, will now have an opportunity to enjoy the film in the comfort of their homes.
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.
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, whose performances in Knuckle City and Still Breathing have been lauded, plays the lead role of male love interest Patrick. His character is a fan of Bollywood movies and music, and participates in multiple dance sequences, even singing 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 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 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.”
For first time producer, Razia Rawoot, the experience was wonderful. She tackled the challenge of producing her first film with aplomb, given some guidance and advice from her husband, Bawa, a seasoned actor and line producer, but more so being mentored by director / producer Maynard Kraak. Razia relished this opportunity, on the back of having produced 2 successful seasons of the Religious TV series Living Ramadaan, to produce her first feature film, Bhai’s Cafe. To her credit, Maynard has brought her aboard an international Canadian / South African co – production which is her next venture.
Audiences who attended the screenings 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.
Check out Bhai’s Café on the following social media platforms:
Bhai’s Cafe Trailer link: