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.
He 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 received a Maroela Media award in 2015 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 and Ballade vir ’n Enkeling won the same award in 2015. Vaselinetjie won Best Feature Film at the Silwerskermfees in 2017 and Vir die Voëls won best international feature film at the Edmonton Film Festival in Canada.
He 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 and networks talent from across the globe. Danie is also a graduate of the highly esteemed Trans-Atlantic Partnership, a 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.
The film Bakgat! became a box-office hit in 2008 and lead to the production of Bakgat! 2 and Bakgat! 3 – the first 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 and the box-office hit, Vir Altyd followed.
Danie is gradually shifting his focus to the development of local productions that can be released internationally. Vir die Voëls, Jou Romeo and Sy Klink Soos Lente were released in 2016 and Vaselinetjie and Vuil Wasgoed in 2017.
He is currently working on Thys & Trix, Stroomop and Fiela se Kind.