SA's Daryn's Gym to make international premiere at International Film Festival Rotterdam

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Daryns Gym
Daryns Gym
Photo: Supplied
  • South African mockumentary Daryn's Gym will make its international premiere at the 51st Edition of IFFR (International Film Festival Rotterdam).
  • The festival will run virtully from 26 January to 6 February 2022 and will feature a number of masterclasses and industry programs.
  • The film is available to stream on eVOD nationally. 

Daryn's Gym, the mockumentary by writer-director Brett Michael Innes, has been selected to be part of the 51st Edition of IFFR (International Film Festival Rotterdam), where it will have its international premiere as part of the Big Screen Competition section of the program. 

The Big Screen Competition is the result of a long-lived collaboration between IFFR and VPRO, bridging the gap between popular, classic and art house cinema by showcasing sixteen feature films from across the globe to an audience jury.


"I was completely blown away," says Innes when asked about the selection. "It is notoriously difficult for comedies to find a place at festivals, as the genre is often passed over for more 'prestigious' content. In addition to this, South African films that have festival traction almost exclusively focuses on our pain and trauma, so to have one that celebrates our shared humanity through the lens of comedy is a huge honour."

In pre-pandemic times, filmmakers would have travelled to Rotterdam to present the film to audiences of the festival, but the recent lockdown in the Netherlands has forced the festival to pivot from a physical event to a virtual one. The festival will run from 26 January to 6 February 2022 and will feature a number of masterclasses and industry programs. 

"We're naturally very disappointed that we won't be able to experience this in person," says producer Paulo Areal. 

"I was fortunate enough to attend the festival in 2018 when my film Ellen: The Story of Ellen Pakkies played in the program and have always been blown away by the love and support extended to filmmakers by the festival."

Set in a family gym in Randburg, the film sees the lovable Daryn JNR pitted against a multi-national fitness centre's ruthless owner as he fights to keep his family legacy alive. Starring newcomer Clifford Joshua Young, the comedy also features performances from Hlubi Mboya, Natasha Sutherland, Siv Ngesi and Deon Coetzee. 

The film is available nationwide on eVOD for everyone to enjoy. 

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