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The Rise of South African Studios

The Rise of South African Studios

An article on a 2015 film blog, labelled South Africa as “Hollywood’s other studio” and with recent developments in production facilities offered around the country, it looks definitely looks like the label fits. According to Cape Town Film Studios CEO Nico Dekker, their state of the art production facility is “already booked through next year, and possibly until 2020. It’s remarkable. We’re turning work away again and I never thought that would be possible.” Such is the demand from overseas production companies to film in South Africa. Producers and performers have praised the studio, with actor and author Stephen Fry tweeting that the Cape Town studio made Britain’s famed Pinewood Studios “look v shabby”. The 200-hectare studio has become increasingly popular amongst Hollywood circles, as it duplicates the looks of high-tech block blusters at a much lower cost. For example, Fox’s Chronicle earned close to $130 million worldwide, but cost only $10 million to make. The studio’s latest sound stage is the first in Africa, with a double-stage and movable sound wall. Dekker hopes to continue expansion of the studio In the wake of Cape Town Film Studios success, comes the launch of a filmmaking hub in Johannesburg. Studio Joburg was launched in May this year and hopes to become an “important content and entertainment hub for Gauteng Province”, said Managing Director Eddie Mbalo. The new studio is based at the Joburg Expo Centre in Nasrec, which is very familiar with film production – having served as the venue for TV series Rockville, BBC’s Undercover and Neill Blomkamp’s District 9.   “The Expo Centre’s multipurpose facilities includes more than 50 000 square metres of indoor space and double that in versatile outdoor space, as well...
Cannes 2015

Cannes 2015

Tis the season once more, and filmmakers flocked from far and wide to attend this years prestigious Cannes Film Festival.  As always Mannequin Films made sure to represent and went to promote South Africa as well as some great new projects which have recently been added to our slate. 2015 brings with it the 68th annual Festival de Cannes and one can not help but to get caught up in all the glitz and glam of it all.  So we thought we’d indulge in some of the most talked about films from this years’ festival with Amy definitely being one of them.   It comes as no surprise that this film caught the attention of worthy critics, as we are constantly looking for people to shine new light on the so called 27’s club, of which Amy Winehouse sadly now forms part off.  Apart from showing the dire effect of drugs, which we got a very real glimpse of from its predecessor recently released Cobain Montage of Heck, the film also comments on the huge impact social media has had on artists in this day and age.  Although at first glance it might come off as just another superficial biography trying to ride the last wave of Amy Winehouse’s fame and fortune, this film has actually proved to be quite noteworthy. Of course for those who prefer their films to be fictional rather than factual, Cannes was dripping with gems such as Mad Max:  Fury Road, Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth as well as the sensuous Carol which has Oscars written all over it! Needless to say, Cinema’s are going to be overflowing with great films in the weeks to come, so if you missed out on...
Hollywood – same old, same old…

Hollywood – same old, same old…

Is Hollywood running out of original ideas?  This is the question that comes up in too many conversations these days when referring to the current cinema circuit. Of course, one can’t help but  wonder if Hollywood has turned into a big bad sequel and remake machine, and whether they are slowly but surely starting to run out of original ideas. When looking at recent releases I do find myself letting out the unintentional yawn…  With films such as Resident Evil 6, Transformers 4 and Dolphin Tale 2, it does seem to be a battle of the sequels, with the one being as watered down as the next.   How many times does a dolphin need to lose its tail before Hollywood draws the line and decides enough is enough. Apart from these, we can also look forward to films such as Tetris and Peeps.  Yes, that’s right the 80’s classic, building blocks video game will soon be coming to big screens near you.  How or why, I am not sure and what would the story be, well even the trailer(please see below) couldn’t quite clear things up for me.  And well don’t get me started on Peeps.  Yes, that’s right, Peeps, you know, those little gooey Easter treats.  Apparently Adam Rifkin bought the rights to these delicious little chics and will soon be turning them into the next big holiday blockbuster. Has Hollywood now finally become the big, green, money hungry, movie making empire we have always feared them to be?  Have they finally stopped caring about us, the loyal movie goers.  Or on the other hand, are they just giving us...
Security reigns at the Mzansi Film Festival

Security reigns at the Mzansi Film Festival

Security, the Indie short, which was shot in association with Focus Features as part of their African First project, is having a fantastic first few weeks as festival season is on its way.  It is now only at the start of its festival run and is already proving to be very successful.  Apart from knocking the rest out of the park at the Jozi short film festival, it is also one of the chosen shorts for this year’s International Durban Film Festival.  Not to mention, its success at the Mzanzi film festival.  We are proud to announce that Security shone at this years Mzansi Film Festival by taking an overwhelming 4 awards: 1.  Best Cinematography 2.  Best Original Screenplay 3.  Best Actor in a Short Film 4.  The People’s Choice Award    ...