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Release: January 2020


Directed & Written by:                              René Van Rooyen

Based on the Novel by:                              Dalene Matthee

Produced by:                                              André Scholtz and Dries Scholtz         

Associate producer:                                  Elias Ribeiro                       

Director of Photography:                          Brendan Barnes  

Edited by:                                                    Ronelle Loots, Dries scholtz                 

Production Designer:                                Waldemar Coetsee

Wardrobe:                                                  Sulet Meintjies     
Sound Designer:                                       The Workroom Audio Post
Sound Mixer:                                             Byron Meyer        
Music:                                                        Andries Smit          
Stills photographer(s):                             Danah Spies                             
Production Company:                              The Film Factory  
Financial Support from:                           NFVF (National Film and Video Foundation, South Africa);                                                                                            Department of Trade and Industry South Africa, M-Net

Toorbos explores the uprooting of a young forest woman during the time of the last forest inhabitants of South Africa's Knysna forest of the 1930's. It tells the story between the intimate relationship of an initiated “forest woman” Karoliena Kapp and the heart of the forest and how it becomes an obstacle in her experience of the townsman she falls in love with. We follow Karoliena as she is coaxed into marriage, experiences the realities of progress, the growing power of money, the oppresion of nature and what it will take to stay true to herself.


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."


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