Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Fok, fok, fok, fok"....South Africa is in the spotlight....again

The nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards are out. South African based films have made a good showing.

District 9 received four nominations, including: Film Editing, Best Picture, Visual Effects and Writing (Adapted Screenplay). The film cost $US30mil to produce, and has grossed over $US200mil. The film’s director, Neill Blomkamp had the following to say:

"Every aspiring filmmaker dreams of being nominated by the Academy, but when we began making District 9, none of us dared to think that our small film, shot in South Africa, with no well-known actors, could be Oscar nominated. And honestly, if it weren't for Peter Jackson’s belief in the film, we wouldn't be here today. I'm extremely gratified, excited, and humbled, and I'm also grateful to the Academy for recognizing so many of the talented people who helped make it a reality."

Invictus received 2 nominations, one for Best Actor (Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela) and the other for Best Supporting Actor (Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar). The film cost $US50mil to produce.

This kind of exposure is wonderful for South Africa. In my opinion, the positive exposure that South Africa has received from these films, and the $US 80mil spent on producing these films, far outweighs the benefits of the expensive, traditional marketing of South Africa.

Soweto, the Johannesburg skyline, rugby and terms like “Are you okay bru?”, “What a doos!” and "Fok, fok, fok, fok" are now firmly entrenched in the international entertainment and tourism industries.....

......and for all the right reasons.

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