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Unique New South African Film Set for Release

My Father’s War is the unique new South African film set for release nationwide on 5 August 2016.

This Afrikaans/English drama focuses on the broken relationship between a father and his rebellious teenage son. This proudly South African film is set to reach a broad audience, more especially those touched by the Border War: soldiers, wives and husbands. To bring back memories, exorcise ghosts and help to bring more understanding and emotional healing to viewers. Including those who had absolutely nothing to do with the war.  Any parent and child will be able to relate to it on a personal level. 

The film combines the theme of a broken relationship with the Border War through instrumental dream sequences. Additionally overcoming the gap between a father and his son even though the war occurred almost thirty years ago. 

Professional writer, director and producer, Craig Gardner, directs the South African film. He is also the founder of the multi-award winning production company, The Shooting Party. Gardner wrote, directed and was supervising producer on the groundbreaking television series, Suburban Bliss. His other popular series directive contributions include Scandal, Madam and Eve, Backstage and Egoli. This film, however, is Gardner’s first feature film as a writer/director.

Unique New South African Film Set for Release
A scene from the film, My Father’s War. Photograph by Jennifer Wheatley.

Set in 2003, 19-year-old Dap Smit (Edwin van der Walt) is constantly fighting with his Border War veteran father, Dawid (Stian Bam). The men don’t see eye to eye on anything, and there seems to be no hope for reconciliation between them. Dawid’s wife, Carina (Erica Wessels) is caught in the middle of their epic battle.

Then, Dap has a series of dreams where he is a combat soldier in the Border War in the 1980s. There he meets his father at the same age. These dreams turn young Dap’s perception – and life – completely upside down. There’s no going back but what is the way forward?

Consequently, Edwin van der Walt says that the making of this film was a very personal experience for him. That he learnt a lot about love and relationships, as well as the truth. 

This film forms part of a specific season in my life and to play with my mentor, Stian Bam, was and will always be one of the highlights in my career.  It was a challenging process, but really enriched all of us.  I hope and trust that this film will be a step in the right direction for people to heal personal relationships.  I hope that everyone learns more about the Border War. Most importantly, about the effect that it had on our Grandfathers, Brothers and Fathers.

Finally, Neels Clasen, Hannes Muller, Meren Reddy, Fumani Shilubana, Vian Singleton and David Rees are some of the other actors that can be seen in the film.

Lion Mountain Films are the producer of the South African film, while distribution is by Ster-Kinekor Entertainment. For more information on My Father’s War, visit

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