DATE: May 19
TIME: 6pm


This film has been sponsored by Peter and Elaine Smaller of Southern Steel Group

Genre: Musical Drama
Directed by: Christiaan Olwagen
Starring: Schalk Bezuidenhout, Hannes Otto, Germandt Geldenhuys, Gerard Rudolf,
Jacques Bessenger, Ludwig Binge, Francois Jacobs, De Klerk Oelofse, David Viviers, Anrico Goosen
Running Time: 123min
Language: Afrikaans with English Subtitles
Produced by: Marche Media


We look forward to a performance from Bondi Sings, a non auditioned community choir which was formed many years ago as an initiative of the Waverley Council. The choir is directed by Gary Smith, music educator and freelance musician. ‘We sing many styles of music including, pop, folk, classical, gospel and world music. If you can hold a tune you’re welcome to join anytime’.
Visit their website here: bondisings.com.au


A coming-of-age war musical about a small town boy who gets chosen to serve his compulsory two year military training in the South African Defence Force Choir and Concert group- known as the “Canaries”- during the height of the Apartheid regime.



When Johan Niemand, gets called up for military service at the age of 18 in 1985 South Africa, he auditions and is accepted to the South African Defence Force Choir called the ‘Canaries’.

Against a landscape where law and religion oppress individuality, Johan and the Canaries have to survive military training and go on a nationwide tour of the country, travelling from town to town, entertaining people whilst also fortifying the belief in the military effort and promoting the cause of both Church and State.

On tour, Johan falls in love with a fellow choir member, and starts to question everything about himself and his world. He meets a myriad of characters; some proud of the choir efforts and others who awaken him to the realities and truth of Apartheid South Africa. As Johan starts questioning his religion, patriotism, and sexuality, his emerging creativity and passion for music leads to direct conflict with his commanding officers.

This is the second feature film from acclaimed director Christiaan Olwagen, brought to you by the producers of Johnny is nie dood nie and Nobody’s Died Laughing, starring Schalk Bezuidenhout in the lead role with musical direction and composition by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder.


 … one of those rare gems …. laced with provocative arguments about religion, patriotism and sexuality …. one of the best South African movies in years.” Peter Feldman – The Citizen

“God and country and Culture Club all figure in [this] South African musical drama …. the film never turns preachy, wisely maintaining its focus on one young man’s awakening …” The Hollywood Reporter

Kanarie is …. a heartwarming and affecting tale that in one moment will have you singing along, and in another will have you tearing up with its powerful performances.”  Theolin Tembo – Cape Argus

“ … a quirky, emotive, magnetic and breathtaking screenplay …. hones in on two sensitive subjects: the weaponisation of Christianity as military propaganda and the silencing of homosexuality.”  Zaza Hlalethwa – Mail and Guardian