Nobody’s Died Laughing is a theatrical-action-documentary film, celebrating the life and work of South African activist and artist Pieter Dirk-Uys.

The film takes the audience on a journey from South Africa to Berlin, London, Los Angeles and Geneva to highlight the importance of standing up for what you believe in with the power of laughter. Witness the ups and downs of Pieter Dirk-Uys’ personal and professional life through his performances, archive footage and interviews with Desmond Tutu, Charlize Theron, FW De Klerk, Dame Janet Suzman, Thoko Ntshinga, David Kramer, Zolani Mahola, Anna-Mart van der Merwe, Lizz Meiring, Sophia Loren and many more, with footage of Tessa Uys and Nelson Mandela.


Year 2015/2016
Running Time 94 MIN
Subtitles ENGLISH

Written & Directed by WILLEM OELOFSEN

Cinematography by NIC VAN DER WESTHUIZEN



Starline Entertainment commissioned and acquired a 52min version of Marche Media’s Nobody’s Died Laughing, to exploit internationally. This trimmed-down version focuses on the international reach of PDU’s. The shorter version of the film is aimed to be sold for broadcast on television. The new cut, called Laughing at the Dark profiles Pieter-Dirk Uys, and features interviews with former archbishop Desmond Tutu and actresses Sophia Loren and Charlize Theron paying tribute to Uys in the film. 

Uys risked his own safety with his performances in the days of apartheid, gaining a following among those seeking change. Today, his work includes raising awareness in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

Starline’s director of acquisitions, Piers Nightingale, negotiated the rights deal with Marche Media’s Jaco Nothnagel, Jaco Smit, and Louis Botha.

“The courage shown by Pieter-Dirk Uys in the face of brutality is nothing short of extraordinary, and ‘Laughing at the Dark’ will appeal to audiences everywhere,” Nightingale said. “We are delighted to be working with Marche Media and can’t wait to bring this truly inspiring documentary to the international market.”

London-based Starline has picked up several profiles of figures in the world of art and entertainment recently, including Sky’s rockumentary on Blondie drummer Clem Burke and a film about opera star Marina Rebeka.

A trailer for “Laughing in  the Dark” shows Tutu and Theron, among others, talking about the life and work of Uys.

See the Variety article about this doccie.