Hollywood comes to Toti

2016-07-20 06:00
Photo: Johann van Dalen Fabian Adeoye (left) plays the lead male and Aissa Maiga plays Nandi.

Photo: Johann van Dalen Fabian Adeoye (left) plays the lead male and Aissa Maiga plays Nandi.

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THE crew of Comatose visited The View in Amanzimtoti last week to film parts of this international movie intended for South African, French and Nigerian audiences.

“Because of the involvement of the Natal Film Commission on this project, we tried to find suitable locations in and around Durban. The View's interior had the five-star look to meet the character's lifestyle,” said Christa Greyling, Comatose production manager.

Greyling said they filmed in nine locations­ over five weeks - Midmar Dam, The Crescent Bed and Breakfast in Overport, Liberty Towers, 32 Milkwood and 34 Milkwood in Umhlanga, at the Addington and Umdloti beaches, Miami Boulevard Club in Florida Road, and The View, including driving scenes around Durban streets.

The film tackles the complex issue of euthanasia. Reportedly, the longest person to live in a coma was Elaine Esposito, who remained in a coma for 37 years, eventually dying without ever gaining consciousness.
However, there are many people who have come out of a coma, with some going on to live normal lives. Others, however, have never recovered.

“The argument about whether to ‘pull the plug’ has raged on for decades, resulting in a stalemate that has lasted many years, with most governments enacting laws that prevent euthanasia or assisted suicide.
“Many non-profit organisations have been established ‘for’ and ‘against’ euthanasia and have continued to challenge their governments. Recently, there is rising interest in the subject and many governments are reviewing their laws, with some of them passing laws that allow euthanasia”, this according to research done for Comatose­.

The film delves into this matter, swinging the audience this way and that, bringing out the complexities of the issue.

Mickey Madoda Dube is the producer, an international award-winning film, TV and commercials director and producer and also a Fulbright Scholar at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in LA who features under the sponsorship of some top Hollywood filmmakers.
His filmography spans the commercial and sociopolitical arenas, with emphasis on looking at the complexity of human nature and the dilemmas of a multi-identity.

The cast is international and well-known in their respective countries. South African actor, Robert Whitehead, famous for his long-running role as Barker Haines in Isidingo, plays Dr Collins, the doctor looking after a comatose mother, while South African icon Mary Thwala plays Nana, the comatose woman. Thwala is well known for winning the Best Supporting Actress award for her role inTaxi to Soweto.

Fabian Adeoye Lojede is the co-producer and plays the lead, Segun, who is internationally known for his role as Bola Abayomi in the five-season Jacob's Cross.

Aïssa Maiga, a Senegalese-born French actress, plays Nandi. Some of her most notable films are Paris j’et aime, Cache, Mood Indigo, Bianco e Nero (Italian) and Bamako (Cesar Best promising actress award).

Hakeem Kae-Kazim plays Dr Kalu, the Nigerian-born, English-raised SA actor, now living in Los Angeles. Hakeem Kae-Kazim is best known for his work in the Starz television series Black Sails and his portrayal of Georges Rutaganda in the 2004 drama film Hotel Rwanda. He is also known for his role as warlord Colonel Ike Dubaku on the TV series 24: Redemption (2008) and in 2009.

The role of Omowunmi (Segun’s sister) is played by Bimbo Akintola, a seasoned theatrical, screen actress and well known in the Nollywood movie industry.

The movie release date is yet to be announced.

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