Logo for movie Jagveld on DStv

Leandie du Randt, Bouwer Bosch, Albert Maritz

Gentle, pacifist school teacher Emma le Roux just wants to go home for the holidays. She’s on the way to her father’s farm in the Great Karoo, when she witnesses a policeman’s murder – and the killers see her.


Bosman, Baz, Jay, Boela, AJ and Piet are part of a drug syndicate, with violent psychopath Bosman in charge. Baz and Jay are his henchmen - violent dogs on a short leash. AJ and Boela are just on board to make a quick buck in the criminal underworld, while Piet is Bosman’s cousin – a weakling who’ll do anything he’s told.


When they see Emma witnessing their crime, they start to hunt her down. But they didn’t count on the fact that Emma is the daughter of a former Special Forces soldier – and the hunt takes a surprising twist.


Featuring a top-notch local cast of actors playing decidedly different roles from the ones they’re synonymous with, Jagveld is a South African thriller unlike anything that’s gone before it. Penned and produced by global best-selling author Deon Meyer, the film is part Beyond The Reach and a little Desierto – with hints of Tarantino – as the cat & mouse chase ebbs and flows across the dusty Karoo landscape. Meyer’s hugely popular crime novels have been translated into 28 languages around the globe, though Jagveld is based on an original script rather than one of his novels. It’s not his first link to the screen though –his novel ‘Dead Before Dying’ was turned into international TV series ‘Cape Town’ and he has written two other series for television, four feature film screenplays and directed Afrikaans-language films of his own.


Jagveld – touring under the title Hunting Emma for English-language markets (the film is in Afrikaans, with English subtitles), won the ‘Best Dramatic Feature’ Award at the 2017 Woods Hole Film Festival in the USA.


The cast worked really hard to get into character for the film – especially since they’re not used to playing such gritty roles! Neels van Jaarsveld was so invested in his character that he sustained a concussion during his final scene – and he was still receiving treatment for it, months later! Leandie du Randt and Tim Theron underwent martial arts training to make their fight scenes look more realistic. While Leandie had a stunt double to do some of the tougher stuff on set, Tim did all his own stunt work – and didn’t manage to dodge all the punches thrown at him.


Weird trivia alert: the hat worn by Albert Maritz’s character has a history! It was worn by both Theuns Jordaan in Jakkalsdans and Louw Venter in Die Laaste Tango.