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Production

Videovision has produced more than 80 feature films over the past 30 years in South Africa, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Hong Kong.

 

Among the company’s productions are some of the most profound films to have been produced in South Africa, including A Place Of WeepingCry, The Beloved Country and Sarafina! The company also produced Yesterday, the first South African film to receive an Academy Award Nomination.

The company produced Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom which is based on Nelson Mandela’s autobiography and was released in November 2013. The film stars Golden Globe winner, Idris Elba as Mandela and Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela. The film has been lauded worldwide and has received prestigious award recognitions, including Academy Award and BAFTA nominations and a Golden Globe Award win.

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The live action remake of Yasuomi Umetsu’s hit Japanese anime movie, Kite was shot on location in Johannesburg and is directed by Ralph Ziman and stars Samuel L. Jackson, India Eisley and Australian sensation Callan McAuliffe.

Remember, shot in Canada in 2015 stars Academy Award® Winner, Christopher Plummer (‘Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo’, ‘Beginners’) and directed by Academy Award® Nominated and Cannes Grand Prix Winner, Atom Egoyan. In Remember, Zev (Plummer) discovers that the Nazi guard who murdered his family some seventy years before is now living in America under an assumed identity. Despite many challenges, Zev sets out to deliver long-delayed justice. What follows is a remarkable cross-continent journey with surprising consequences.

Shepherds and Butchers which won an Audience Award at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival is directed by multi-award winner, Oliver Schmitz (‘Life, Above All’; ‘Paris, Je T’aime’) and stars Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominee, Steve Coogan (‘Philomena’), Andrea Riseborough (‘Birdman’, ‘Oblivion’) and talented newcomer, Garion Dowds. The film follows a jaded lawyer, John Weber, who takes on a seemingly hopeless multiple murder case and uncovers scandalous shortcomings in South Africa’s capital punishment system as he mounts a defence for a prison guard traumatized by the executions in which he took part.

The Number which reveals the origins of the fearsome numbers gangs that operate in prisons throughout South Africa, features Mothusi Magano in the lead as Magadien, Warren Masemola, Sibusiso Msimang, Presley Chwenegyagae, Lemogang Tsipa, Kevin Smith, and Deon Lotz while the internationally acclaimed Terry Pheto and Hakeem Kae-Kazim make guest appearances.

Clara tells the story of Isaac Bruno an astronomer obsessed with searching the cosmos for signs of life beyond Earth, despite the collapse of his own personal life around him. Isaac takes on an unqualified but spirited young research assistant named Clara who restores balance and perspective in the midst of his downward spiral. The film stars Patrick J. Adams of ‘Suits’ fame.

Through Black Spruce, a contemporary drama about despair, loss and redemption, framed within a tight knit Indigenous family sees cultures and narratives collide. Cree hunter Will Bird, forced into desperate action, tries to escape from his troubled life in Moosonee, while his niece Annie heads south in search of her missing sister Suzanne. The cast includes Tanaya Beatty (‘The Night Shift’), Kiowa Gordon (‘The Twilight Saga’), Brandon Oakes (‘Blackstone’) and Graham Greene (‘Dances With Wolves’).

Upcoming is The Song of Names, a story of friendship, betrayal and reconciliation, set in the world of classical music. The film’s cathartic, dramatic core is a song – a song whose birthplace is in the death camp of Treblinka, a song that decades later illuminates the story’s mystery, in a concert at Carnegie Hall. The screenplay is written by Oscar Nominee, Jeffrey Caine (‘The Constant Gardener’), based on the novel by distinguished music scholar Norman Lebrecht.

Imbewu: The Seed which is broadcast currently on e.tv in South Africa, stars Leleti Khumalo. I is set in Durban and KwaZulu-Natal, with a storyline that spans from the most-affluent parts of Umlazi and to the humblest street in Umbumbulu and the township of Chatsworth. A deep and unspoken truth, representing the cultural legacy between two brothers, is at the centre of the series’ captivating plot.

Videovision’s association with South Africa’s Number One Box Office star, Leon Schuster, has seen the production of three of the Top Five 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.

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 OrphansA 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.