FILMING: Robing van der Byl, 25, from Beacon Valley, Mitchells Plain. CREDIT: Patrick Louw
It’s lights, camera and action as Mitchells Plain: The Movie is about to be released.

The film is described as a true-life drama, with a bietjie comedy thrown in that the producer says will hopefully change the negative perceptions about the Plain.

Robin van Der Byl, 25, from Beacon Valley, started writing the movie script two years ago, and says it’s been a labour of love.

“I actually studied Business Management, not even drama… this is just my passion,” says Robin.

So, without formal training and a tiny budget, he started putting together a cast and crew to make movie magic.

Mitchells Plain: The Movie is about the trials and tribulations of three teenagers, as they and their loved ones get involved in crime, drugs and gangs, and the consequences of their actions unfold in the one-and-a-half hour long film.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, Robin says: “At the end of the movie there is a good message.”

Due to a lack of money, the director and a few cast and crew members left last year.

Robin called in the help of CTV technical director Andrew Bennett, who also hails from Beacon Valley, to direct his movie.

Andrew says: “It’s the same like community TV, there’s practically no budget, but we did it.”

Filming took place on weekends and the cast were all volunteers who are as passionate as Robin and Andrew about the project.

The film was shot in Westridge, Rocklands, Beacon Valley, Eastridge, Strandfontein and Tafelsig.

Robin says: “I told everyone at our first meeting that there is no budget, so they are all volunteers, I can’t afford to pay them.”

Their aim is to project Mitchells Plain as a place of hope and dispel the negative images that people have of the area.

Robin says: “They think (it’s all about) gangsterism, drugs and crime and it shouldn’t be that way.”

The editing process has now started, and Mitchells Plain: The Movie will premiere at the City of Grace Living Waters Church in Belhar on May 14.

Robin says they are not aiming for an Academy Award.

“The tagline for the movie is Change Starts In The Heart, and that’s what we want to tell people,” he says.