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FreeState Press Kit


SALLAS De JAGER (Writer, Director & Producer)

Since 2002 Sallas has been telling stories through music as a member of the famous Afrikaans group, Klopjag. He has also established himself as a competent writer, director and producer of music videos, theatre productions and full feature films.

Sallas has worked as a producer and writer for a number of theatre productions including: Sestien Stawe op my Spoor, Droogland 1, 2 en 3, St Tuiglik, Baby as ek Verby Ry, Stuur Groete aan Mannetjies Roux and Hier Huil jy net Twee Keer. In 2008, he founded the Bosbok Ses Films (BSF), where he worked on an adaption of the book, “Roepman” and was chosen to participate in the Spark workshops in Cape Town and completed NFVF’s Sediba Masters Scriptwriting program in 2012.

Other film credits from Sallas include: Verraaiers, Musiek vir die Agtergrond and Stuur groete aan Mannetijies Roux. Sallas has also won 14 other awards and numerous nominations including “Best African Director” at IIFFSA and an MK music video award. Sallas is set to become one of the biggest writer/directors to rise from African shores!



Rajiv studied Mechanical Engineering & completed Post Graduate Diploma in Advanced Computing. Rajiv also applied patent (PCT) on mobile backup system in SA and other countries for myVirtualMobile and was short listed as Young Entrepreneur in 2006 in South Africa. Alongside his technological career, Rajiv is the founding organizer of the Utkarsh Marathi Film Festival in South Africa which then became, IIFFSA (Indian International Film Festival of South Africa).

His dream to produce a truly Cross Cultural & Cross Border feature film was realised with Free State. Rajiv is the founder of the Intuthuko Arts and Crafts community groupwhich helped unemployed people to create jobs for themselves. He also became involved as sponsor with “The Ayurveda Foundation of South Africa”.

Rajiv is also the Founder of the Marathi Mandal Group (Marathi Speaking people) in South Africa. The group has more than 1000 members and they arrange various cultural programs for the Marathi speaking community in South Africa.

PIET De JAGER (Producer)

Without a doubt, Piet can be reckoned as one of the most beloved producers in the South African film industry. He is an advocate at the Pretoria Bar Council since 1984 and was given Senior Status by the late President Nelson Mandela in 1996.

Alongside Sallas and six other members, Piet founded Bosbok Ses Films (BSF) which produced the critically acclaimed film, Roepman with Film Factory. Roepman was nominated for 6 SAFTA awards and won for Best Supporting Actress. Roepman was sold for theatrical release in the US and was an official selection at the African film festivals in Warsaw, Poland and Vancouver, Canadq. Soon after, Verraaiers, BSF produced and released Musiek vir die Agtergrond, as well as Stuur groete aan Mannetjies Roux.

These four films have won numerous awards including Silwerskerm Film Festival’s “Audience Choice”, “Best Actress”, “Best Cinematography” and IFFSA’s “Best African Film”. Piet is also a well-known published poet. His anthology, Ouhout, was published in 2006 and in 2012, he published an Afrikaans translation of Albert Camus’s La Pest, titled, Die Pes.

DANIE BESTER (Line Producer)

Danie is one of the pioneers in the revival of the South African film industry after 2008. Danie has produced 20 films in the last 8 years and this includes box office hits BAKGAT, Pad na jou Hart, Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling and Vir Altyd. Hy also produced and line produced award winning films like Roepman, Verraaiers and Musiek vir die Agtergrond. Danie’s enormous knowledge about filmmaking and his work ethics is respected throughout the African film industry and he is constantly used as mentor for young filmmakers by the NFVF as well as MNET and KYKNET.

TOM MARAIS (Director of Photography)

Tom Marais (SASC) is a filmmaker at heart. He was part of the revolutionary indie team of The Film Factory, which kick-started commercially viable South African films again and hasn’t stopped ever since. Tom won two Silwerskermfees awards and a SAFTA award. In 2013, he was honoured by being accepted into the elite and prestigious South African Society of Cinematographers (SASC). Tom loves a challenge and enjoys the process of collaborating with creative individuals on each and every project. He prides himself on being flexible and part of his creative process is finding the right look and feel for each distinctive narrative, while working closely with his team, every step of the way.


Waldemar Coetsee started his film career while studying at AFDA in Johannesburg by assisting on every student film he could. After his studies, Waldemar was a set decorator on numerous projects including White Light, Tornado and Bakgat! 1, and has now been the production designer on 21 films and four television series.

He has also gained valuable experience as art director on a number of commercials, TV series and films (including District 9) as well as familiarising himself as a special effects artist. Waldemar has been nominated for three Safta Awards, namely for his work on Roepman, Room 9 and Faan se Trein, and received a Safta Award for his work on the latter.

Waldemar has left an indelible mark on projects, which is easily seen in his passion and eventually in the end product of every successful production on which he’s worked.

MARLÉ DROTSKY (Costume Designer)

Marlé Drotsky (B. Tech Style Design & Technology) began her career in the film industry as a wardrobe designer and she completed work on her first movie Superhelde with The Film Factory.

Since then, Marlé has worked on several period pieces, such as Roepman, Verraaiers, Stuur Groete aan Mannetjies Roux and 2016’s Freestate. Marlé has also worked as wardrobe designer on the contemporary productions Hoofmeisie, Wolwedans in die Skemer and Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling. To date, she has had an expert hand in 13 movies, two television series, a few music videos, corporate projects and a Nike-UK commercial. Marlé uses concepts, colour pallets and styles to eventually transform them into a festival of colour that remains true to the story, characters and director’s approach.

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