Behind-the-scenes: The making of Vaselinetjie

2017-09-20 11:34

Cape Town – Director Corne van Rooyen says bringing Vaselinetjie to the big screen was the biggest risk of his career. 

The film adaptation of Anoeschka Von Meck's award winning novel hits cinemas nationwide on Friday, 22 September. 

Corne is both director and shares writing credits with his wife Rene on the film.

Vaselinejtie is a story that he has wanted to tell since he first read the book 11 years ago. But in order for him to tell the story he needed the perfect cast and so Corne and Rene embarked on a nationwide audition tour. 

Over a period of a year the couple travelled South Africa and auditioned over 6 000 actors.

Nicole Bond was cast as young Vaselinetjie, Shaleen Surtie-Richards as Grandma Kitta and Royston Stoffels and Grandpa Simon while Marguerite van Eeden was cast as the older Vaselinetjie. 


While on the audition tour they also scouted locations to film – they ended up filming in Durban (the Bluff), Northern Cape - Springbok, Nababeep, Fonteintjie and Johannesburg.

They found the perfect location for Vaselinetjie's formative years with her grandparents in a small village tucked away between the rocks and mountains called Bulletrap.

An old abandoned children's Hospital called Children's Memorial in Braamfontein became the orphanage. 

The building was flooded with water, had no electricity and full of ghosts. It took a month to clear the building of water, clear the rubble then paint and restore.


With all the legwork done they were ready to film. In total it took five weeks to bring the film to life.

About the filming process Corne says: "Pre-production was everything. This took almost two years. The day we walked onto set we were ready to execute. I took the biggest risks of my career making this film. It was a risky story to start off with and this motivated me and my team to be bold and courageous with the filming process."

See behind-the-scenes pics here:

(Photos: Jay Loots & Ivann Pieterse |

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