A Semi-Soet movie featuring Vrede en Lust

On Friday, 17 February, history will be made when South Africa’s first Hollywood-style Afrikaans RomCom hits the big screens. Get ready to laugh yourself into a coma when the actors of Semi-Soet take you on an entertaining and uplifting journey of love, lust and a whole lot of wine.

Shot in Johannesburg and the now-iconic Vrede en Lust Wine Estate in Franschhoek, the plot revolves around a workaholic woman named Jaci (Anel Alexander) who is desperately trying to save her boutique advertising agency from the claws of a ruthless businessman known as “The Jackal”, played but the scrumptiously delicious, Nico Panagio.

Nico Panagio at the Cape Town premiere of Semi-Soet

In order to save the day, Jaci needs to convince the owner of a family-owned wine estate, to sign with their agency as a marketing client. The owner of Vrede en Lust, Andries Buys, is however a man with high family values, and in order to convince him, Jaci needs a boyfriend to drag along to the estate for a weekend. As luck will have it she, unknowingly picks “The Jackal” as her make-believe fiance and the consequences are hilariously funny.

Step aside Sideways and make way for Semi-Soet! It’s by no means just another slap-stick Afrikaans movie and the best part is that it promotes wine in a big way. Vrede en Lust receives a massive punt in the movie, along with the Franschhoek region. Wine-name-dropping happens throughout the movie and fans can even buy the 2008 ‘Vryersvoetpad’ Limited Release, which features in the movie.

The 2008 ‘Vryersvoetpad’ Limited Release retails at R130 a bottle

It will be no surprise if Vrede en Lust gets booked up as “THE-venue-to-have-your-wedding-at” until the year 2050. The scenes in the movie pay tribute to the breathtaking beauty of the estate and the plot adds a “SOLD” swing tag to the venue and it’s facilities. Apart from this, I believe Vrede en Lust’s wine sales are bound to shoot through the roof. I mean, who wouldn’t want to drink a wine that featured in a glossy big screen movie?

Not only is Semi-Soet well produced, it’s also a phenomenal punt for the wine industry and Vrede en Lust. Those wine farms who turned the producers away when they looked for a venue, will have a hernia when they see the publicity and marketing opportunity they’ve missed out on. As they say “no guts, no glory”, so big-up to owner, Dana Buys, for taking the chance and putting his brand’s image and name in a film that could have been just another lame Afrikaans embarrassment.

The "real" owner of Vrede en Lust, Dana Buys and his wife Anneke at the Semi-Soet premiere in Cape Town

Thankfully it’s not. Semi-Soet has all the characteristics of a top produced Hollywood production and everyone involved in it, must receive a standing ovation.