Claremont woman directs local romcom

Meg Rickards.

Meg Rickards, 47, of Claremont, directed the local romcom, Kaalgat Karel, which hits cinemas on Heritage Day, Friday September 24.

Kaalgat Karel is about a hapless streaker, Karel, played by Francois Jacobs, seeking to win the heart of a straight-laced single mom, Rita, played by Christia Visser.

Rita is a paramedic who saves him after a streaking incident goes wrong, and he falls head over…, um, heels in love with her.

Rickards says she and her husband, Paul Egan, a fellow producer and writer on the movie, came up with the idea of writing a love story about a streaker back in 2017.

“It took about a year or so to write several drafts of the screenplay, 18 months to sort out the funding and logistics, and then we shot it in February and March last year, on the eve of lockdown.”

The movie was filmed in East London. Its initial release was planned for Heritage Day last year, but it was postponed because of the pandemic.

“I think the new timing is pretty good, South Africans are desperate for light-hearted content considering how tough it has been for everyone over the past 18 months, and It seems we could all do with a good laugh,” she says.

Kaalgat Karel is something of a light-hearted departure for Rickards, who has previously directed more serious movies, such as 1994: The Bloody Miracle (2014), which she co-directed with Bert Haitsma; Tess (2016); and, more recently, Atlantis, which was released last month on e-tv’s streaming service, eVOD.

“To my surprise, I found I absolutely love working in comedy, and have written a brand new comedy drama, which is going into production next year,” she says.

Kaalgat Karel also stars Schalk Bezuidenhout, Siv Ngesi, Tracey-Lee Oliver and Eden Claassens. It can be seen nationwide at Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro cinemas.

Cast members of Kaalgat Karel, from left, Siv Ngesi, Eden Classens, Tracey-Lee Oliver, Christia Visser, Francois Jacobs and Schalk Bezuidenhout.
Meg Rickards behind the scenes with Schalk Bezuidehout.