The world’s cameras roll in CT

2012-10-20 19:45

A gun-toting Forest Whitaker on the streets of Cape Town is not a sight one expects to see every day.

But if it’s your lucky day in the Mother City, you might just spot the Oscar-winning Hollywood star looking menacing as he trades bullets with gangsters.

International filmmakers and Hollywood stars have been flocking to the Western Cape for the past few years, but this year has seen an exceptional regularity in their visits.

Fresh on the footsteps of Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds is another cool pair that is hot in Cape Town right now – Whitaker and Orlando Bloom.

The two are in the city to shoot the cop action thriller Zulu directed by Jérôme Salle, who also made the beautiful Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp thriller romp, The Tourist.

Since June this year, 11 international productions are being, or have been, filmed on our shores.

According to the National Film and Video Foundation spokesperson Naomi Mokhele, films shot in the country have an indisputably positive domino effect on the country’s economy.

“New jobs are created during the process and there is an increased spending at locations, thereby increasing investment in the country. With the South African scenery being flighted in a number of international countries we also attract tourists to our shores,” she said.

Mokhele’s point was recently emphasised when Beyoncé’s baby sister Solange Knowles made a quiet entrance in Cape Town last month to shoot a music video for the song Losing You.

The video used a mostly South African cast and crew.

Speaking about her shoot, Knowles said: “(We called) some of my friends from New York to come down to Cape Town and we all had a very damn good time.”

According to film producer Craig Jones of The Fabulous Boomtown Boys production house, which recently shot the movie Perfect Wave with Clint Eastwood’s son Scott, filming in South Africa is “relatively ­inexpensive”.

“But location costs have gone up because there is a significant interest being shown as more films come out of the country,” he said.

Having already hosted stars such as Halle Berry, Olivier Martinez, Gerard Butler, Sophie Okonedo, Idris Elba and Morgan Freeman, it’s time Capetonians got intimate with their cameras for those paparazzi moments.

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