Mr Bones 2: Back from the Past – the follow-up to the phenomenally successful Leon Schuster comedy, Mr Bones, will have its world premiere screening at a glittering invitation-only gala event at the International Convention Centre in Durban on 13 November.
The city of Durban is proud to host the world premiere event, in association with film producers Videovison Entertainment. A majority of the film was shot in and around Durban earlier this year in what the city hopes will be he first of many such major collaborations with South African and international film-makers.
Mr Bones 2: Back from the Past was initially planned to be shot in Mumbai, but after visiting locations in and around Durban, Schuster and director Gray Hofmeyr (who also directed the original 2001 film) re-considering the location and ultimately transferred the shoot of the movie to Durban.
Durban features strongly in the movie. It was chosen as the film has a strong Indian flavour. The film was shot in and around the city with major locations being the Dakota informal settlement in Isipingo Beach; Umhlanga; La Mercy and Blue Lagoon. This theme is continued with the casting which includes actress / TV presenter/comedian Leeanda Reddy (Reshmi), local comedian Kaseran Pillay (Kunji), and introduces Keith Gengadoo (Eyepatch) – as well as nearly 1000 extras played by citizens of Durban – including the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Logie Naidoo!
It is the first time Schuster has done any major filming in Durban, and judging from the praise from director, producer and crew, he may well be back. “Everybody had a great time in Durban,” confirms producer Anant Singh of Durban-based Videovision Entertainment. “Leon was keen to do a movie in Durban and this one will help put our city as a major film location in South Africa.”
Singh said that the majority of the budget of the film was spent in Durban and this would have a positive economic impact on the city. “The way a film works is that it has a multiplier effect. Catering, security and accommodation have a knock-on effect. This film has the biggest spend for a local movie in the province, so the spin-offs will be good. The benefits are substantial from a tourist standpoint, because you can assume that almost every South African will at some point see the movie,” said Singh.
“With a contingent of more than 100 stars and crew (headed by Leon Schuster himself) staying in Durban for almost three weeks, it meant some 1 700 bed nights for the local hospitality industry. It is expected that the movie will also boost Durban tourism,” continues Singh.
The city’s proactive Durban Film Office has been hard at work the past few years in courting industry decision-makers to consider the eastern seaboard and Durban as the host city when considering locations for feature films, documentaries, adverts and music videos.
“Durban is an exciting and cost effective new location opportunity for local and international filmmakers and has hosted over 300 productions since the establishment of this office in 2003. Hosting the Mr Bones sequel was a special treat for the local industry and offered an opportunity to meet one of the most well known professionals in the history of South African film” says Toni Monty, Acting CEO, Durban Film Office.
Adding to the glitz and glamour of the World Premiere at the ICC, Durban is live television coverage and a contingent of photographers shooting activities on the red carpet as guests arrive at the venue.
Mr Bones 2: Back from the Past is the sequel to Mr Bones which holds the record for being the highest-grossing South African-made film, and for being one of the most watched movies on television. Leon Schuster once more reprises the title role. He also created the story and co-wrote the screenplay.
It opens at cinemas nation-wide on 27 November and will be a must-see film this holiday season.
Mr Bones 2: Back from the Past is a Videovision Entertainment production in association with the SABC, Distant Horizon and Mr Bones (Pty) Ltd. The film stars Leon Schuster, Leeanda Reddy, Tongayi Chirisa and Kaseran Pillay. It is edited by Johan Lategan and director of photography is Chris Schutte with music by Didi Kriel. The film is executive produced by Sudhir Pragjee and Sanjeev Singh with the screenplay by Leon Schuster and Gray Hofmeyr. It is produced by Anant Singh and Helena Spring and directed by Gray Hofmeyr.