Two films that were filmed on location in the Western Cape are in with a chance at the Oscars next month; one of which has been an international music sensation and the other a short film that hasn’t yet made waves but which has been very well received at international festivals.
Searching for Sugarman is a documentary with the feel of a movie – the story is so well told, such a human drama that whether you love the music or not you are drawn in. It’s the story of Rodriguez, the Seventies singer whose two albums never made it at home in the United States but who was a huge hit and a mysterious legend here in South Africa. Continue reading
South African ex-pats living in Canada may get a sense of déjà vu when the next Canadian ILC Lotto Max lottery campaign is released.
The commercial shows an idealistic world tour that a lottery winner might dream of, with picturesque scenes depicting India, Japan, New York and Mexico among other destinations, and yet the whole production was shot on location in Southern Africa. Have fun spotting which scenes were shot in Namibia, which around Cape Town and which Mexican ruins were actually shot in Zanzibar!
It seems that Southern Africa’s diversity of film locations together with the fact that it is English speaking with first class film production infrastructure made it the top choice for this wide-ranging production, as it has been for many other top commercial productions before it. Guaranteed to make South Africa ex-pats nostalgic for home whenever a commercial break comes on!
Cape Town is everyone’s favourite South African location for film production, so much so that Jo’burg often gets left out in the cold, but the very fact that it is less in the limelight made it the top choice for two recent film shoots that couldn’t be more different from each other.
A new thriller set in Syria, for obvious reasons, could not be filmed for real on the streets of Damascus, so Johannesburg has proved to be the perfect double – a varied cityscape that isn’t instantly recognisable as itself and yet has the smooth operating infrastructure that South Africa is renowned for in the film industry. The movie Inescapable is the story of a father searching for his missing daughter in the middle of Damascus.
At the other end of spectrum is the latest dramatic commercial for Opel. The producers needed city streets that were wide enough for several cars, streets that could easily be closed to regular traffic during the filming and where they could use dramatic smoke effects. Johannesburg proved to be the perfect location with a co-operative municipality and film office providing the extensive lock-offs needed. Look out for the final cut in the next Opel Corsa ad.
So don’t forget about Johannesburg for both gritty and beautiful cityscapes when you are searching out locations in South Africa.
South African movie fans were delighted to find three new movies filmed at home to choose from this weekend. The top three box office draws in South Africa this weekend were all filmed here, on location in and around Cape Town and Johannesburg.
First place was taken by Safe House with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds – an international production filmed both on location in and around Cape Town and at Cape Town Film Studios. It opened in SA this weekend to gross R4.1million. It did pretty well in the US as well, grossing $40m in its first weekend when it opened there on 10th February.
Next on the SA top 3 list is Afrikaans romantic comedy Semi-Soet, filmed on location in the Cape Winelands and in Jo-burg.
And only just beaten into third place is South African comedy, Material – The Movie, a story of a Muslim boy in Fordsburg, Johannesburg, who discovers a talent for stand up comedy, which received rave reviews.
For more details of all three movies read here.
We’re loving the fact that we can go to the cinema and see our own streets and landscapes on screen, as well as the fact that the South African movie industry is thriving so well. Looking forward to seeing many more movies filmed at locations in South Africa over the coming years.