EC movie industry rapidly growing
By Mihle Tolobisa
A circulating video of a woman abducted on Oxford street has caused much mayhem around East London. But do not despair, it is a scene from a new local movie. East London has been chosen as the location for a new film project Kaalgat Karel currently being shot by local self-taught and graduate filmmakers.
The movie will be shot over six weeks starting from February 5, 2020. National entertainers and actors Sivuyise Ngesi, Francois Jacobs and Schalk Bezuidenhout are part of the lead roles in this romantic comedy about an adrenaline-seeking young man who loves surfing and online affirmation.
Unfortunately, something goes wrong during one of his stunts and that changes the way he sees life. The film is directed by Meg Rickards and produced by Paul Egan of Boondogle Films, they opted to work with the group of filmmakers that will also be mentored in the necessary departments needed to shoot and produce a film.
“The filmmakers were mentored to ensure that they grow in the industry and increase the talent in the province so we can work with them in future shoots,” enthused Egan.
Experienced Cambridge filmmaker, Noxolo Nelana, facilitated the training and skills development in the production to ensure that all locals hired are capable of handling make up, lighting, camera and the costume department. “The film will be followed by a workshop that will cover the theoretical part of all that they had been learnt from the six weeks of shooting. Filmmakers will also have to prepare for shooting their own film,” said Nelana.
Faith Mqala Pityi, one of the trainees who is working as an account intern during the shoot has worked on film accounts for three years. Her duties include weekly visits to the set to make payments to suppliers, the cast and crew.
“I am happy to be working with this production in ensuring everything stays within budget. This department is as essential as others in ensuring that production has everything it needs to produce quality work on time,” she said.
East London will host the 5th Eastern Cape Film festival over four days from March 25 -28 to showcase work by local filmmakers. The festival will also feature master classes by internationally renowned filmmakers who have been nominated for Oscars and other prestigious awards across the world.
Locals will also be educated on how they can be part of the diverse industry that includes costume makers, caters, builders, venue for hire owners, hospitality, security and transport.
The South African film industry generates up to R12.2 billion per year for the economy. Each year the number of employment opportunities doubles with more movies being shot.