You can now rent or buy THE RECCE in the UK, Ireland, USA & Canada on the following digital platforms.


-Google Play

-Microsoft TV

-AMAZON *only available in the US & UK

More territories to follow...

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1981 - RECCE, Henk Viljoen, is wrongfully declared KIA behind enemy lines. Abandoned by his superiors; it’s a race for survival in which his mental and physical abilities are pushed to their limits, as he navigates his way through the treacherous Angolan war zone in an effort to make his way home to his loved ones.

Genre: Drama

Languages: Afrikaans and English (with subtitles)

Running time: 115 min

Produced by: Jac Williams

Director: Ferdinand van Zyl

Edited by: Jacques le Roux

Age restriction: 16 DLV

South African Distributor: Gravel Road Distribution Group

Starring: Greg Kriek, Christia Visser, Maurice Carpede, Marius Weyers, Elsabé Daneel, Albert Maritz, Sonni Chidiebere, Grant Swanby & Terrence Maloyi

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You can buy THE RECCE #DVD from MUSICA in South Africa now





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"The Bush is without conscience. He swallowed us whole and spat us out."

The year is 1980. South Africa has been knee deep in a bloody battle on the border of South-West Africa and Angola for over a decade, trying to keep the wicked “Red Danger” at bay.


THE RECCE: Characters

Our characters represent figures from our collective past, not only as South Africans, but also as humans. They are all connected through a network of universal themes. It’s through them that we relate and understand the world. It’s through them, that we tell our story.

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Captain Henk Viljoen

Played by: Greg Kriek

Henk is skilled, brave, patient, precise, efficient and above all loyal. One would be surprised by this, considering his boyish charm and innocent face. Domestic issues cloud his judgment and eventually lead to his downfall. He succumbs to the pressures of war and eventually spirals into a world plagued by the memory of his wife, daughter and lunacy. It is the memory of home that helps him cling to his humanity.

Description & Background

Henk is your typical South African "boere seun", born and bred on a wheat farm in the Swartland. From a young age he believed that his calling was to become a soldier. It was a regular sight to find young Henk playing war games with his toys.

After high school, Henk joined the Special Forces and soon married his high school sweetheart, Nicola. It was frowned upon members of the Special Forces to have wives, but Henk approached every decision he made in life with enthusiasm and there was simply no stopping him. Soon the couple had a daughter, but Henk’s persistent absence from home and the nature of his profession began to tear them apart.

Henk is now given a mission that is very sensitive and very dangerous – A mission to assassinate a Russian Colonel deep in the heart of Angola.

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Nicola Viljoen

Played by: Christia Visser

Nicola is a loyal and loving wife and mother. However, like most army wives, she lives in a world of paranoia and fear, not knowing if this time when Henk is called for duty will be the last time she sees her husband alive.

Description & Background

Nicola and her family have always been close friends of the Viljoen’s. Her father owned the butchery in their town and he was a close friend of Henk’s father Leon.

From a tender age, the two family’s children only had eyes for one another. Nicola was always outspoken, especially when it came to the war and the government. She never really accepted Henk’s tenacious attitude towards being soldier, but understood his calling to serve his country.

She grew despondent however, due to Henk being away from home so much. Unfortunately her patience is wavering and she is at the verge of separating from Henk, because his absence is taking its toll, not only on her but their infant daughter.

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Impi Buthelezi

Played by: Maurice Carpede

Impi can be considered the epitome of what constitutes a Special Forces Operator. His ability to execute orders without question is what garnered him the respect and confidence in his superiors to perform the
most difficult of tasks. He is the government’s garbage man who terminates any and all men they deem a threat.

Description & Background

Not much is knows about this character, he moves through the story like a ghost.

His body pays witness to a painful past…he is the product of a history of violence.

Impi is the government's garbage man, a cold and calculated killer. But the relentless killing is weighing him down. He begins to relive the memory of the first time he took a life…the life of his rabid dog, a life he had to take with his bare hands at a very tender age...

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General Visagie

Played by: Marius Weyers

Visagie is ruthless and in all actuality, not a bad general. But his ego has tainted and callous ambition clouds his judgment. Abraham Lincoln once proclaimed: “All men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” The pressures of war might actually have placed Visagie’s sanity under the guillotine.

Description & Background

General Piet Visagie hails from a long legacy of military ancestors. The Great War claimed his grandfather and the 2nd World War left his father with PTSD. However great their suffering, he still believes and lives for the military.

This relentless dedication has left him somewhat socially despondent and isolated.

Visagie is a man of strict morals and discipline who will do whatever it takes to complete an assignment, even if it means to send a young operator such as Henk on a suicide mission without the government’s consent.


Captain Le Roux

Played by: Grant Swanby

Le Roux is the moral center of our story. He navigates Henk’s, Impi’s and Nicola’s world, i.e. the battlefront and the homefront according to a strict moral compass. Le Roux feels betrayed by his government once he realizes that he is actually working for a system that has nothing but contempt for the men they so regularly send to their death. Consequently, he finds himself in his superior’s crosshairs.

Description & Background

Captain Le Roux acts as the moral center of the film. His father died when he was still an infant, leaving his mother, an English professor at UCT to raise him all by her lonesome.

Le Roux took it upon himself to be the man of the house and excelled in every endeavor he embarked on. Once conscription was initiated, Le Roux was first in line to fight off the wicked “Red Danger” looming on Southern Africa’s doorstep..

He believed in his mission, although he never really agreed with the NP government’s segregation laws. Nonetheless, he climbed the ranks rapidly.

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Played by: Sonni Chiedebere

A product of misery and mayhem; a victim & child of war. This is a man, like so many, who sadly became nothing more than the enemy. He was once a loving father and husband who lost his whole family to the horrors of war. But because he picked up a gun, and fought for what he loved and lost, it rendered him an adversary and nothing more…a nameless enemy standing in the way. Wrought by despair and vengeance, he will stop at nothing to bring retribution to those who wreak havoc in his country – his home.

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Sandra Viljoen

Played by: Elsabé Daneel

Sandra is a strong-willed individual who carries her son and husband on her shoulders. Since Henk has given her a granddaughter, Sandra couldn’t be happier. Family is everything to her.

Description & Background

Leon’s faithful wife is a true daughter of the desolate plains of the Swartland. Sandra is a warm and humble woman who lives to please the men in her life (Leon and Henk).

Since Leon was stricken with illness, Sandra became the pillar of the Viljoen home. She supports her husband and believes with all her heart that her son will return from the border...

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Leon Viljoen

Played by: Albert Maritz

Leon a gentle and humble man, who has nothing but resentment towards the government for taking his boy. Leon struggles with depression and dementia.

Description & Background

Leon Viljoen is Henk’s father and a humble wheat farmer in the Swartland. His wife, Sandra, bore him only one son and it goes without saying that he would do anything to protect his heir.

Unfortunately, old age does not sit well with Leon and he is slowly but surely losing grip on reality.


"THE RECCE is a timely crucial story that has been needed to be told in a way that spares no punches - without any political agenda or bias - and at a level of excellence that will affect audiences all over the world owing to its universal relevance .

Beyond the action, the drama, the romance - it is an ode to the unrelenting, burning desire of the human spirit to LIVE no matter what gets thrown our way! What an honour to play the lead - Henk Viljoen- a master of survival - a man caught between home and the bush - it was a defining role for me both personally and professionally. "


“It is a dramatic story of great sorrow in a time of war, but also of faith, family and the good in people. Over and above there is a challenging and complex character for me to portray!”


"How many more sons, plucked from their mothers?

"Husbands from wives...?

"Brothers from Brothers?"

Most South African families have lost a father, a brother and a son to conscription. Many of them never returned, resting forgotten in unmarked graves scattered over a forlorn landscape forever lacerated by the horrors of war.

Those who did return left a piece of them self in the bush.

THE RECCE: Filming Locations

The Locations we filmed in were challenging.  From forests, till the Karoo. There were huge temperature variations and environmental factors. Some locations had no vehicle access or radio signal. The locations really added to the authenticity of the film.

BERGRIVIER / Eastern Cape

Bergrivier is conveniently located in the scenic Eastern Cape, only 50 km west of Port Elizabeth, and close to the N2. The very popular beach resort Jeffreys Bay, is only 35 km away to the southwest.

Situated on the world-famous Baviaanskloof route close to the hamlets of Loerie, Hankey and Patensie, this beautiful farm has been home to the Williams family for the past 160 years.

Bergrivier provided is with a lot of different options for the Angola scenes, indeginous forests, acacia trees, rivers etc. and we build a African village set there as well.

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WORCESTER / Western Cape

Worcester is a town in the Western Cape, South Africa. It is located 120 kilometres (75 mi) north-east of Cape Town on the N1 highway north to Johannesburg. Being the largest town in the Western Cape's interior region, it serves as the administrative capital of the Breede Valley Local Municipality.

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Kersefontein has an unique combination of river and estuary vleis, with dry, cracked pans, a flat horizon and big sky, coupled with veld and shrub, clay airfields, and distressed walls of old buildings as well as the extraordinary light in the early mornings and mid-afternoons have made the farm a popular destination for those seeking a location for commercial film, catalogue and editorials.

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Surrounded by rugged rock formations, Klein Cederberg is in the 200 000 ha Swart Ruggens Conservancy at the very south end of the Cederberg. It is situated 1000m above sea level and 2 1/2 hours drive from Cape Town on a very scenic route.

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HOPEFIELD / West Coast

Hopefield is a settlement in West Coast District Municipality in the Western Cape province of South Africa on the R45 between Malmesbury and Vredenburg. It is the oldest town in the West Coast.

It is the beauty of the Berg River, its accompanying vleis, cracked pans, big sky, veld, fynbos and old buildings that make the place so attractive. And the sea is just down the road.

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CAPE TOWN / Western Cape

Cape Town is a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain. Cape Town is an unique and preferred location, especially when it comes to film productions.

Behind the Scenes

Take a look at a few behind the scenes photos that was taken during THE RECCE's production.

Technical Equipment

Camera: Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6 K cameras with PL Mounts

Editing Software: Blackmagic Design DaVince Resolve Studio

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Man Makes a Picture is a film production and service company that has been operating form the Old Castle Brewery building in Woodstock, Cape Town since 2008.

During the past 3 years MMaP produced 3 high quality short films, Juweeldiewe (Jewel Thieves)Jan Umkhwetha and Die Wasgoedlyn (The Washing Line)  for South Africa’s prestigious Kyknet Silwerskerm film festival  (Silver Screen Festival).

During 2013 / 14 MMaP produced It’s Africa’s Time - A big budget 13 episode series on sustainable development through inclusive business, highlighting and showcasing people, planet and profit across Sub Saharan Africa. The show aired on the DSTV’s CNBC Africa channel 410 and several other channels across Africa.

Man Makes a Picture


We are currently in production of the feature film - "8"

This is the 2nd film in a slate of movies from production company, MMAP. In this film we explore the horror genre, combined with African mythology.

"An old man, fated to collect souls for eternity, seeks
atonement after trading his daughter’s soul."


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DIRECTOR Ferdinand Van Zyl


Johannes Ferdinand (Ferdi) van Zyl Ferdinand established his passion for cinema at a very young age, when he worked as an usher at the local bioscope in his hometown during his teens. After completing a diploma in photography and video production, he spent three years in London, to feed his curiosity for life.

Upon his return to South Africa, he heeded the inherent call and decided to study film and television at UCT where he graduated with distinctions in Screenwriting. With nothing but a Western Pilot Episode under his arm, Ferdinand entered the local television and film industry and has since secured numerous series development contracts, before throwing his anchor down at The Aleit Group as producer, director and screenwriter for the company’s film division, Afilm.

Over the last two years he created countless audio visuals and high quality music videos for top bands such as AKing. Ferdinand recently released his directorial debut, “Die Versoening Van Daniel Du Randt”, followed by a dark country gothic short film entitled Selah, featuring Albert Maritz. He spends his free time writing and developing feature film screen plays. Ferdinand teamed up with producer Jac Williams from Man Makes a Picture where MMAP produced his feature film directorial debut, The Recce.

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PRODUCER Jac Williams


Jac has a passion for the film industry and thrives on telling stories and creating memories through the medium of film. He believes firmly that the screen is a reflection of his character and ethic and therefore he is well known and respected as a producer for putting the maximum value into every frame of every production.

Jac studied Film and Television Production at City Varsity in Cape Town where he majored in Camera & Lighting in 2005. He then went on to production assist, camera loading, chaperone & shoot behind the scenes in the international commercial industry. He started Man Makes a Picture in 2008 with Jacques Le Roux which he build up while freelancing.

During 2010 Jac produced a successful 13-part series for DSTV’s KykNET, entitled Straat Praat (Street Talking). Over time the company created many high profile corporate videos for clients such as Wesgro, Sasol, WC Department of Agriculture, etc. He also produced music videos for bands such as Mr. Cat & the Jackal, documentaries, a live unplugged DVD for The Parlotones and work on the Springbok Nude Grils documentary.

In 2012 Jac secured a big television contract to produce a 13 part series entitled It’s Africa’s Time. He went on to direct all 13 episodes and production took him to 12 countries all over Africa to produce 39 inserts. This series took more than 14 months to complete and was broadcasted in 11 countries to 160 million viewers.

In 2014 Jac produced the 24 min art house short Die Wasgoedlyn (The Washing Line), a period piece, directed by Maridi Jooste and was nominated best short film and best actress for South Africa’s annual Mzanzi short film festival. During 2014 Jac also served as insert director for the kykNET morning show Dagbreek. Jac produced the glossy crime caper short Juweeldiewe (Jewel Thieves) with Alan Hayward - A film which was one of the 15 chosen shorts for kykNET’s Silwerskermfees (Silver Screen Festival). In 2015 Jac produced another high production value Silwerskermfees short film, Jan Umkwetha, starring Ian Roberts.

Jac is currently producing feature films for Man Makes a Picture including Ferdinand van Zyl’s military drama The Recce which just wrapped at the end of October 2016.

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EDITOR Jacques Le Roux


Jacques worked as a freelance cameraman and editor in the industry for 5 years before starting Man Makes a Picture with Jac Williams in 2008.

Since then he has directed, shot and edited many television series, music videos, short films, documentaries and corporate videos for local and international clients and broadcasters.

Highly skilled and experienced, Jacques is married to his Mac and known for his meticulous frame by frame attention to detail. Often putting in the long days, Jacques delivers only the finest and polished finished products. Over the years Jacques has edited and coloured all the Man Makes a Picture productions.

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Jacques has always been passionate about image making for television and the big screen. He graduated from AFDA Cape Town in 2008 and started working as a Digital Imaging Technician on commercials, series and feature films.

This allowed him to work alongside and learn from some of the biggest names to visit Southern Africa. Some of the highlights of his DIT career included working on DREDD (2012, Anthony Dod Mantle), MAD MAX: Fury Road (2015, John Seale) and The Jungle Book: Origins (2018, Michael Seresin).

Jacques has shot numerous documentaries and a few commercials for local television. THE RECCE is his debut as Director of Photography for a feature film.

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Pieter Bosman started in the Art Department in 2009 after farming for 11 years. After 5 years of doing advertisements he worked as Fabricator on Neil Blomkamp’s “Chappie”(2014). This sparked his passion for film making and he followed it up as On-set-Art director and Props Standby on international movies and TV series such as “Eye in the Sky”(Gavin Wood) ,” Of Kings and Prophets”(Michael Offer, David Boyd,Michael Robinson) and” Cape Town”(Peter Ladkin, written by Deon Meyer).

In 2015 he debuted as Production Designer on Deon Meyer’s “Jagveld” (Byron Davis), Production Designed “Recce”(Ferdinand van Zyl) and Art Directed a Belgium TV Series, “Salamander 2”(Frank Tuus).

He currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Since graduating from AFDA Cape Town in 2010, Nico has developed his work skills and passion for film and aesthetics. Having worked in costume teams on numerous feature films including Natale In Sud Africa 2010, Death Race Inferno 2011, Safe House 2012, House Party – Tonight’s The Night 2013, The Price of Sugar 2013, Heatstroke 2014, Blended 2014, Twee Grade van Moord 2016, Maze Runner 2017 and TV Series including Homeland Season 4 Ep 1-4, Black Mirror Season 3 Ep 1.

At the end of 2014 Nico launched a clothing brand, Stiebeuel, and developed a new creative outlet to act as designer and creative director. Stiebeuel is currently stocked in ‘highstreet’ stores around SA and boasts it’s own online platform shipping out internationally from Stiebeuel’s studio showroom.

In 2017 Nico has acted as key stylist on TVC’s for clients such as VW, Shell International, Citroen France, Capitec, Fanta and Vaseline to name a few.

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SOUND Adriaan Drotsché


Adriaan qualitied from City Varsity (Sound Engineering) in 2004.He did various sound engineer freelance work for Club Bialys Kings Cross in London, Natti Simone, MTN Varingfees, Aardklop, Volksblad Fees, Huisgenoot, KKNK, Gariepfees, Cultivaria, Golden Circle Productions, Rocking the Daisies, Jazz Fest, to name a few..

He started his own audio company, Audioimps in 2005 that specialize in all sound related work. Audiopimps also owns their own equipment. They work in two broad audio categories Live Sound & Film / TV. Audiopimps has worked with various South African bands, festivals, theatre, and pre- and post production of film and TV.

His experience in post production mixing gives him a unique advantage in knowing which sound to capture on location. Adriaan has worked on Short Films Juweeldiewe, Jan Umkhwetha & Die Wasgoedlyn and Future Films Jane Austen & THE RECCE and various KYKNET & VIA TV shows.

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MAKEUP AND HAIR Cailin Nicolson


JCailin Qualified from AFDA with a degree in Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance and went on to complete a year’s internship with Clinton Smith at Cosmesis Advanced Prosthetic Studio. Her passion for the film industry began with her love for special effects/prosthetic make-up.

Cailin’s attention to detail and dedication to this art form has allowed her to work on a number of films including: The Sinking of Laconia, Safe House , Death Race 2 , Dominion 2, Of Kings and Prophets, Modder en Bloed, Jagveld, and many others.

Cailin is currently working on a Netflix/BBC production.

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