The story behind the story

What is next? What weighs so heavy on the heart that the pen should write about it? You battle with all the questions, look deep inside yourself, and try to capture the psyche of the people on the street. You toy with various concepts just to return to that idea that keeps you awake at night, that gets you out of bed in the morning.

We’re trying to say that you don’t choose your next story, it chooses you.

That was how Stroomop happened for us.

Three years ago we had the idea of making a film in which a man doesn’t save the woman, where a woman’s identity isn’t based on unrealistic expectations and worldly perceptions, where women are the heroes ... where the women save themselves.

However, this idea had so many challenges with regards to logistics, story, finances, time, nature elements, etc. But we couldn’t just turn our backs on Stroomop and five unique women who deserve life on screen, their pain, courage and stories had to be shared.

The time couldn’t have been more perfect, because little did we know – or were able to predict then – that during the same year we’d make and release our film women worldwide would start swimming upstream, that women’s movements would raise their voices, that women would stand up for themselves, for equal rights, against unfairness and injustice, for what they believe in!

On Women’s Day on 9 August 2018 we’ll have the privilege to raise a (half FULL) glass to the release of our new, very challenging, but very exciting adventure film set in the Northern Cape on the Orange River – a part of our country that is so wild and raw, yet so beautiful that it presses on one’s chest and makes it difficult to breathe. In some places, in the middle of everywhere and nowhere simultaneously, there are no electricity, no signal, only our film team and all the elements of nature.

Stroomop is a film about self-discovery, forgiveness, healing and acceptance. As a team, we travelled daily with our characters on this life-changing journey of survival and discovered all the wonderful and difficult elements of being a woman with these phenomenal women. Together we swam rivers, climbed mountains, rowed the toughest rapids and, to be honest, sometimes it was frightening, but with each swim stroke upstream, we became stronger and braver.

Stroomop follows the lives of five very unique, very diverse women who are all trying to keep their heads above water on this river we call life, but who are actually busy drowning under the definition of being perfect ... Perfect mother, perfect woman, perfect career, perfect weight, perfect hair ... (Yes, this list can get very long!) Women who are being tossed about in the biggest waves that sometimes thunder over us in life and who are simply being swept away while losing themselves in a steady stream of worldly expectations.

So we lift our (half FULL) glass today and say no, stop looking in all the wrong places – everything we need to overcome everything and to be everything that we’ve been made to be, is already there, inside of us, just waiting to be discovered. Then only will you get stronger with each swim stroke, will you swim away from the norm and determine your own norm, will you discover what makes YOU beautiful and unique and what really makes you shine from the inside!

So CHEERS! Cheers to complete, fearless, unpretentious, non-judgemental unique WOMEN. May we appreciate each other and lift one another, may we be them, may we know them, may we raise them.

The most valuable gift someone can ever give you, is their time, and if someone gives you two hours of their lives to watch your film, it’s our responsibility as storytellers to give people value for their time. Our wish is to take our audience on an epic adventure and then leave them with a message in their hearts to take home with them. This time the journey is even bigger and wilder than before. Put on your life jacket and dare to travel on the Orange River with our characters. What is the worst that can happen?

All our love Ivan & Donnalee