Danie Bester has produced 25 feature films in the past ten years and is regarded by many as a key person in the renewal of the South African film industry.
Danie completed his matric in 1993 at Paarl Boys High. He studied B.Com Marketing Management at the University of Pretoria, where he was also a DJ at the student radio station TuksFM. During 1996 and 1997 he spent his time in London, Scotland and India.
In 2002, Danie completed his honours degree (cum laude) at AFDA Johannesburg in Motion Picture Medium. His graduation film, Skitterwit (M-Net New Directions), which he wrote and directed, won the AFDA award for best picture, screenplay and director.
Danie produced Ouma se Slim Kind, South Africa’s official entry in the foreign film category of the 2008 Academy Awards. In 2011, he was honoured by Mr Video for his contribution to the local film industry and in 2015 he received a Maroela Media award for his contribution to the Afrikaans film industry. Pad na jou Hart won the Huisgenoot Tempo award for most popular film of the year in 2014, Ballade vir ’ n Enkeling in 2015 and Vir die Voëls won the same award in 2017. Vaselinetjie won Best Feature Film at the Silwerskermfees in 2017 and Vir die Voëls won best international feature film at the Edmonton International Film Festival in Canada.
Danie represented South Africa at the Rotterdam Lab, an initiative by the Rotterdam Film Festival and also at the Berlin Talent Campus. The Berlin Talent Campus forms part of the Berlin Film Festival. Danie is also a graduate of the highly esteemed Trans Atlantic Partnership, a co-production initiative between Europe, Canada & the USA.
Danie was involved with the production of more than 100 commercials and music videos. Companies and musicians he has worked with include, Nike UK, Sony USA, Czar Belgium, Happiness Brussels, SAB, Jessie Clegg, Karen Zoid, Mandoza, Tumie and The Volume, as well as the jazz legends, Sipho Gumede and Pops Mohammed.
Bakgat! Becomes a box office hit in 2008 and leads to the production of
Bakgat! 2 and Bakgat! 3 – the first ever Afrikaans trilogy. The movies, Superhelde, Ek Joke Net 1 and 2, Night Drive, Roepman, Hoofmeisie, Wolwedans in die Skemer, Verraaiers, Musiek vir die Agtergrond, Pad na jou Hart, Agent 2000, Hear Me Move, Jou Romeo, Sy Klink Soos Lente, Vaselinetjie, Vuil Wasgoed, Thys and Trix and the box office hits, Vir Altyd, Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling, Stroomop and Vir die Voëls follows.
Danie is gradually shifting his focus to the development of local productions that can be released internationally. Fiela se Kind and Vergeet my Nie is slated for distribution in 2019.