Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Into Africa

So what’s it like filming in Africa?
Across the continent, film groups are trying to pull film producers in to learn more about options and opportunities.
James Hall, executive director of the Golden Lion Film Festival in Mbabane, Swaziland, has spent time cultivating the consular corps in his country. The work has netted him invitations to visit France and Cannes to market his festival and country.
The Golden Lion web site makes this invitation: “Filmmakers are invited to explore Swaziland, where African culture and tradition thrive in a beautiful mountainous setting. Mlilwane Game Reserve is only 15 minutes from two of the festival’s principal venues. Our South Africa venue, Casterbridge Cinema, is located in White River, the gateway to Kruger National Park, Africa’s oldest game reserve.” http://www.goldlionfest.co.sz/festival.html
And in Uganda director Kevin Macdonald told how his visit in 2002 for research encouraged him to return when it came time for filming. Macdonald’s The Last King of Scotland has been earning raves and actor Forest Whitaker appears a shoe-in for Best Actor at this weekend’s Academy Awards. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0455590/
"The locals had the desire for it to be good because it was their story, a lot of them had lived through the Amin period or knew Amin,” Macdonald said in an article posted on Filmmaker South Africa.
In South Africa recently, screenwriters were cultivated with a symposium for writers attended by two-time Academy Award-winner Emma Thompson and British actor Stephen Fry at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. The programs were held prior to the release of a film on local poet Ingrid Jonker. http://www.capefilmcommission.co.za/

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