Release: January 2020
Toorbos explores the Afrikaner feminine, through her fragility and power. This magical realist period drama, set in South Africa's Knysna forest of the 1930's, follows the free-spirited Karoliena as she is coaxed into marriage to a townsman and has to navigate the realities of progress, oppression of society, denying her true self, love and war back to her own personal freedom.
TOORBOS film WINS WORK IN PROGRESS AWARD at CTIFM&F:
After screening 54 entries from over 15 countries in Africa, the CTIFM elected five fiction films to take part in their Works in Progress program. This intensive process, showcased to programmers from Rotterdam, Berlinale, Tribeca, SXSW, Cannes Critics Week, Cannes Directors Fortnight, Venice, TIFF and London BFI; international sales companies such as Pyramide International, Flourishing Films, MPM Premium, Memento and Versatile. Talent Agents Casarotto Ramsay & Associates and Curtis Brown took place at the 2018 CTIFM&F in Cape Town. There, winning the WIP award. This is what the jury had to say about Toorbos:
"Rene van Royen is a local voice. She is not too far from Cape Town. If you have not heard this name before, make sure you take notice, we have clearly witness the birth of an auteur. An accomplished and assured feature from Rene Van Rooyen. While a period setting the skill and voice of this filmmaker is tremendous and undeniably fresh. We are guided through the magic and the wonder of the forest which is beautifully and thoughtfully captured and brought to life through our strong central female character."