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, 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 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.
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.
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 officesuccesses – 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.
|SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS
Shepherds and Butchers which had its World Premiere 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.
|MANDELA : LONG WALK TO FREEDOM
Mandela : Long Walk To Freedom celebrates Nelson Mandela’s extraordinary journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his election as President of South Africa. It explores the Mandela unknown to most of the world – the lover of fast cars and women, the boxing enthusiast and playboy, the skilful lawyer and the gun-toting freedom fighter. It is a thrilling and ultimately joyous story of an exceptional – but not perfect – human being, who rose to the challenge of his times and triumphed – an intimate portrait of the making of a modern icon.
|THE FIRST GRADER
Set in a mountain village in Kenya the film tells the remarkable true and uplifting story of a proud old Mau Mau veteran who is determined to seize his last chance to learn to read and write – and so ends up joining a class alongside six-year olds. Together he and his young teacher face fierce resistance, but ultimately they win through – and also find a new way of overcoming the burdens of the colonial past.
|MY HUNTER’S HEART
Shot over three and a half years, My Hunter’s Heart, explores the 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. In modern times, their traditional nomadic way of life has changed and westernisation has severed their link to the land and the animals. The film follows younger members of the clan, /Urugab and his family, as they embark on an epic journey to try to recapture some of the knowledge and skills of their ancestors.
Fans of stand-up comedy will be treated to a rare comedy experience in Outrageous where John Vlismas presents the stand-up movie of the year with Barry Hilton, Mark Banks, Loyiso Gola, Joey Rasdien, Riaad Moosa and Krijay Govender joining forces to deliver the heaviest comedy line-ups ever. Outrageous sees Vlismas and his friends featured together for the first time in a comedy stand-up film where no punches are pulled as they shower blows on sacred cows from every angle.
The comedy Jozi, which is directed by Craig Freimond (Gums ‘n Noses), stars Carl Beukes, Lionel Newton, Lindiwe Matshikiza and Nick Borraine. Jozi follows James, a successful comedy writer who feels overwhelmed by crime, politics, pessimism and a feather duster salesman. When his girlfriend leaves him for a guy who he thinks is the most boring man in the world, he loses the very spark of humour which enables him to earn his living. In a madcap journey, James travels through the highways and byways of South Africa from Daspoort Rehab to Johannesburg to try and recover his elusive sense of humour as well as his ability to love and laugh again.
|MR BONES 2
The year is 1879 and the African kingdom of Kuvukiland is threatened by Redcoat soldiers, who are killing off the Kuvuki tribe’s sacred springbok and taking over the land. During the wedding ritual of Hekule (the future king of Kuvukiland) and his queen, Hekule is given a gemstone by the dying Kunji Balanadin, one of the Redcoats’ cooks. The stone is cursed and causes Hekule to become possessed by the spirit of this mischievous Indian cook. It is up Mr. Bones, to get rid of this cursed stone to cure his king by returning the gem to its home in an Indian village.
|MORE THAN JUST A GAME
Released in April 2008, More Than Just A Game is the inspirational story of five former Robben Island prisoners: Mark Shinners, Anthony Suze, Lizo Sitoto, Sedick Isaacs and Marcus Solomon. More Than Just A Game tells the story of how political activists sent to Robben Island in the 1960s rise above their incarceration by creating a football league, the Makana Football Association, and find an outlet for their passion and commitment to discipline through football.
Following Mr Bones, South Africa’s most successful film ever, comes Mama Jack, the story of Jack Theron, an ordinary person, working on a film set, however, his movie director boss hates his guts. In a bid to get rid of Jack, the director spikes his drink at a glamorous function, and before long Jack has unwittingly offended all the attending dignitaries, ruined the function and got himself on the wrong side of the law. Now, on the run and desperate, Jack turns to his friend, Shorty, a make-up artist for help, and emerges disguised as a black woman, Mama Jack. Mama Jack soon finds “herself” employed by the producer’s fiancée and begins to fall in love with her. A series of deceptions and misunderstandings pile up and comic mayhem results. The film was a runaway success in South Africa, grossing R28 million at the South African boxoffice.