A Rocklands man has made a movie inspired by a life of crime, the unity of dance and Michael Jackson’s hit song Smooth Criminal.
Director and producer, Nick Matthee, said on Saturday January 23 at the Las Vegas Lounge while filming the final scene of Wally Wages: The Smooth Criminal.
The protagonist is Wally Wages, played by dancer and actor Joshua Williams, who faces a life of crime as a young person but wants to turn his life around to influence those around him to live a good life.
The movie is about how Wally uses dance to change the lives of young people around him.
“This idea started at my workplace. I work with different people with different personalities every day,” said Mr Matthee.
“It dawned on me that I could bring people together to understand our diversity, our differences, where we come from, to name a few. With this, I want to change the narrative, bring different people together and create something explosive enough to start conversations about unity and coming together amidst the social ills affecting our lives.”
Mimicking the themes of the video of Smooth Criminal, the costumes are inspired by the 1920s and 30s, but Mr Matthee has put a modern twist on the script.
Most of the actors are from Mitchell’s Plain, and some scenes were shot in Camps Bay and at the Castle of Good Hope.
Lead actor Joshua Williams, 22, from Parow said before getting involved in this movie, he had been an extra in ads.
“At the start of filming it was nerve-racking but I am constantly focused on doing my best. To the young people: staying consistent for long enough will get you to a point of achieving success. Keep going,” he said.
Playing the villain, Kiss Deable’, is Nadia Gouws, 18, from Kuils River.
Nadia was a matriculant at The Settlers High School last year and makes her acting debut in this movie. Her dream was to become a dancer but she is currently pursuing both acting and dancing, she said.
“It is very exciting to shoot this movie. Everyone here is like family. They make me feel at home. Nick shared his life story with me and I am so inspired by his journey. I look forward to being a part of this,” she said.
Nadia encouraged those wanting to pursue their dreams, to never give up on them even if they don’t have the support. “No matter the circumstances, pursue your dreams,” she said.
Dancer and TikTok star, Henry Sanger, 28, from Tafelsig, plays bad guy Mr Money who creates trouble in the movie and shines a light on the reality in his own community.
“Playing this character helps me see what our community is faced with every day,” said Henry.
“I was influenced by gangsterism growing up, I wasn’t supposed to be here today. I realised very quickly that I needed to change. I got involved in dance and this helped me. I don’t want other young people to go through this, so I am encouraged to do my best in everything, this is my passion.”
He started their dance group called Street Kings with Chadwin Plaatjies, 20, his brother Bevan Sanger, 19, and Shagon Fortuin, he said.
Ricardo Julie, from Tafelsig, who plays bad cop Agent Japie is also part of the Tafelsig duo group, Khoisan Plasterz with Michael “Koosie” James.
“Dance is a thing that can heal a person from anything. I have known Nick for 22 years and I am so proud of what he has done. There are too many bad vibes and this movie will help bring people together through dance and art,” he said.
The movie will be released on February 28.
For more information on the movie contact Nick on firstname.lastname@example.org.