‘Kandasamys: The Baby’ writer and director. Images: supplied.

‘Kandasamys: The Baby’: Q&A with director Jayan Moodley

‘Kandasamys: The Baby’ director Jayan Moodley opens up about taking her love letter to Chatsworth, to the world, in an exclusive interview.


‘Kandasamys: The Baby’ writer and director. Images: supplied.

Netflix hosted the official premiere for Kandasamys: The Baby on Thursday, 19 October, and we chatted to the film’s writer and director, Jayan Moodley.

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Shanthi Naidoo (Maeshni Naicker) and Jennifer Kandasamy (Jailoshini Naidoo) are back for Kandasamys: The Baby – the fourth instalment of the Kandasamys films. The film, which is written and directed by Jayan Moodley, was released on Netflix on Friday, 20 October.

Kandasamys’ fans witness the growth of each character in the four films. The first film, Keeping up with The Kandasamys, a love letter to Chatsworth, dived into the love story of neighbours Jodi Kandasamy (Mishqah Baker) and Prishen Naidoo (Madhushan Singh) as they dealt with their meddling moms.

The second film, Kandasamys: The Wedding, showcased the big fat Indian wedding and all the drama that came with it as Prishen married Jodi.

The third film, Trippin’ with The Kandasamys, took viewers on the emotional rollercoaster of a Kandasamy and Naidoo family vacation, shot in the south of KwaZulu-Natal. The film touched on the struggles of fertility and marital struggles.

Now, Jodi and Prishen are ready to welcome their bundle of joy in Kandasamys: The Baby, but not without excited grandmothers Shanthi and Jennifer trying to take over. The film was shot in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and in the picturesque island of Mauritius.

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It’s so rare to see a film go into its fourth production, not just in South Africa but the world. How does it feel to have made a fourth film and, for the second time, take your love letter to Chatsworth to the world?

It feels incredibly special. I think we are all filled with absolute gratitude that we have been gifted with this opportunity to produce a fourth film. Our love letter to Chatsworth continues as we so proudly continue to represent our community and, now even more so, our country as we get a worldwide release on Netflix. It also feels a bit surreal, like this is all just a beautiful dream, and then we realise that it’s actually happening!

This film was shot on the beautiful island of Mauritius. What made you choose this island paradise for this film? What was your highlight of shooting there?

Shooting in Mauritius was incredible. It was the most phenomenal experience, and we were welcomed with so much of love that we never felt we were away from home. It felt like home to us. Everywhere we went, the warmth of the Mauritian people shone through, and it made the shoot totally unforgettable.

The highlight for me was the temple scene in Mauritius when we shot the baby naming ceremony. I knew we had the shot of the movie on that day, but even more precious was that it rained all around the area, but the sun stayed on the temple, and we all felt very blessed.

There were so many topics that you creatively tied into the story. One of which is postpartum depression, which is something many new moms experience and in many communities, mental health is such a taboo subject. What do you think viewers could take from the struggles experienced by Jodi and Jennifer?

It’s always important for us to have comedy with heart, to leave the viewer with something to ponder over, and for the film to be a conversation starter. Of course, we want to bring joy and laughter into your homes, but we have this amazing opportunity to do both. To make you laugh and cry and to leave the viewer with a few messages.

Mental health is so often seen as taboo, and we are hoping that this breaks down in time and people start realising just how important it is to support each other, to get help and to stop putting a stigma on mental health. We want viewers to acknowledge, firstly, just how tough it is for new mums, to acknowledge that mental health issues are very real, but also that we should all lend a helping hand and a listening ear when we can and not judge and criticise at every moment we get.