Videovision has produced more than 75 feature films over the past 30 years in South Africa, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Hong Kong, with an aggregate value of production costs in excess of R1 billion.
Among the company’s productions are some of the most profound films to have been produced in South Africa, including A Place Of Weeping, Cry, The Beloved Country and Sarafina! The company also produced Yesterday, the first South African film to receive an Academy Award Nomination.
The company holds the coveted film rights to Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom. The film is currently in production and stars Golden Globe winner, Idris Elba as Mandela alongside Tony Kgoroge (Walter Sisulu), Riaad Moosa (Ahmed Kathrada), Zolani Mkiva (Raymond Mhlaba), Simo Magwaza (Andrew Mlangeni), Fana Mokoena (Govan Mbeki) and Thapelo Mokoena (Elias Motsoaledi), Naomie Harris, Lindiwe Matshikiza and Terry Pheto.
Videovision’s association with South Africa’s Number One Box Office star, Leon Schuster, has seen the production of three of the Top Four All Time South African box office successes – the hit comedies Mr Bones 2 which has earned R35 million, Mr Bones which grossed R33 million at the box office and Mama Jack which grossed R28 million.
Released in 2008 in South Africa was More Than Just A Game, the moving docu-drama feature which tells the inspiring story of organised soccer among prisoners on Robben Island (the maximum security prison where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were incarcerated by the apartheid regime in South Africa). Recent releases include the comedy Jozi, which is directed by Craig Freimond and features some of South Africa’s leading young talents and the stand up movie, Outrageous! which sees South Africa’s top stand up comics come together in a no-holds barred, adults only stand up comedy experience.
Shot in the United States are American East with Tony Shalhoub (Monk) and the re-make of Japanese horror maestro Hideo Nakata’s Don’t Look Up, directed by award winning Hong Kong filmmaker, Fruit Chan (Dumplings, Three Extremes).
The First Grader which is set in a remote Kenyan and tells the remarkable and uplifting story of a proud old Mau Mau veteran who is determined to seize his last opportunity to learn to read and joins a class of six year olds. The First Grader was a hit at both the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals and was the Audience Prize runner-up in Toronto.
Released in 2011 was My Hunter’s Heart which explores the world’s oldest world’s most ancient shamanic culture which is severely threatened as their traditional way of life and skills have been taken away from them. It tracks the Khomani San of the Southern Kalahari, the oldest living indigenous tribe in the world, who are genetically linked to every human being on Planet Earth.
Videovision acquired the South African rights to and also successfully produced the international hit gameshow, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? for three seasons. It also produced a weekly drama series, The Res for the SABC and has produced numerous documentaries, among which are: Nkosi – The Voice Of Africa’s AIDS Orphans, A Hero For All (a tribute to Nelson Mandela as he stepped down as President), Countdown to Freedom (documenting the 10 days preceding the first democratic elections in South Africa 1994) and Prisoners of Hope (documents the reunion of 1250 former political prisoners, led by President Mandela, on Robben Island). Produced as a 90th Birthday tribute to Nelson Mandela, was Viva Madiba: A Hero For All Seasons. The company scored a major coup with the timely production of Obama: People’s President, a documentary feature that explores the unique and innovative US presidential campaign mounted by Barack Obama.
Videovision is among the leading independent film distributors, acquiring more than three thousand international films for distribution in South Africa over the last 25 years, ranging from independent films and documentaries, Foreign Language and Arthouse films to multi million dollar blockbuster films. Among the recent films distributed are The Concert, Transporter 3, An Education, Of Gods and Men, Made in Dagenham, The Cup and Midnight in Paris. Upcoming releases include Elite Squad 2 and Dredd 3D.
The company also has a 50% stake in the specialist video/DVD distribution company, Next Entertainment, which holds the South African rights to numerous libraries, including National Geographic and popular children’s programming from HIT Entertainment. Next Entertainment also holds the South African distribution rights to home entertainment product from the 20th Century Fox and MGM stables.