Bollywood is indeed going global, and as Indian cinema celebrates the completion of 100 glorious years, countries around the world are vying to get a bigger slice of this film industry.
South Africa (SA) is one among them!
Already one of the most sought after locations for Bollywood film-makers, South Africa is wooing Bollywood big time by offering its scenic landscapes, extending special facilities.
There is no doubt that Bollywood does play a role in influencing travel decisions to countries that have been featured in our films.
And since Bollywood is getting bigger (many movies doing business more than 100 crores), most foreign countries want to be prepared for the opportunity.
South Africa is quite active in the process of identifying the Indian filmmakers requirements so that they are able to enhance the offerings and facilitate greater support and value addition when the Indian filmmakers come to South Africa for film shootings.
Obviously, they are keen to attract more Bollywood producers, and also hope that locals will stand to benefit when Bollywood films are made there.
Movies Shot in SA
A number of Hindi films, such as ‘Race’, ‘Gandhi My Father’, ‘Heyy Babyy’, ‘No Entry’, ‘Aankhen’, ‘Break Ke Baad’, ‘Dhoom 2’, ‘Ek Tha Tiger’, ‘Ghajini’, ‘Murder 3’, ‘Chasme Badoor’, ‘No Problem’ and ‘Ashiqui 2’, have been shot in the recent past in South Africa.
“Phata Poster Nikla Hero”, an upcoming romantic comedy film starring Shahid Kapoor and Ileana D’Cruz, was recently shot in this country.
‘Just Love Me’ song from ‘No Entry’, shot at the ‘Palace Of The Lost City’, Sun City Resort in South Africa
Reasons for SA’s Popularity
Couple of reasons for the popularity of S.Africa, among filmmakers & even tourists, is that:
And though most Indians know about Cape Town, Johannesburg & Durban (courtesy another passion – Cricket), there’s a lot more to the country.
The Gauteng Province in South Africa, home to cities like Johannesburg and Pretoria, has a booming economy, developed infrastructure, an established film industry, and offer an incredibly diverse filming locations, which makes it so attractive to filmmakers around the world. You can shoot the urban landscapes of Johannesburg, or go further away and shoot gold mines, small towns, nature reserves, historical buildings and the majestic Magaliesberg mountain range.
No wonder that Gauteng is what drives the economy of South Africa. Its home to several major multinational companies, and over the years several major international events have been held in this province — United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, Rugby World Cup, Cricket World Cup, FIFA World Cup.
What impresses most filmmakers is that you really don’t have to travel long distances to film its varied locales. Within two hours’ flying time you can reach the Okavango delta, the Victoria Falls, the Cape winelands, the tropical beaches of Maputo, the arid desert of Namibia, the Kruger National Park as well as the magnificent Drakensberg range of mountains.
Film crews are required to obtain film permits (from local councils) when filming in public spaces and government-owned buildings. The Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) offers attractive incentive schemes for foreign filmmakers who wish to shoot their films in South Africa, not just in Gauteng but in the entire South African region.
Film Awards / Functions
The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA), which promotes Indian cinema globally, had organised its second award ceremony in Sun City, Africa in 2001, and again two years later (in 2003), in Johannesburg.
Recently, South Africa India Film and Television Awards (SAIFTA) was also launched (by Celebrity Locker) to felicitate talent from both countries in the area of cinema and television. The first award ceremony was held in Durban.
Madhuri Dixit and Priyanka Chopra are set to dazzle fans at SAIFTA 2013, which will be held at the Durban ICC Arena on 6th September. Bollywood stars John Abraham, Jaqueline Fernandes, Ranveer Singh and Siddharth Malhotra will join TV celebs Manish Paul, Mona Singh, Apurva Agnihotri and Shilpa Agnihotri among others at Durban’s ICC alongside a slew of SA talent including Durban’s Karen van Pletsen, The Durban Gospel Choir and Aaron MacIlroy.
Facts About South Africa
Here are some important facts about this country:
Capital / Important Cities
South African rand (ZAR)
Although the country is located in the sub-tropical region, the climate is comparatively cooler, especially in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Most precipitation occurs as brief afternoon thunderstorms. However, relative humidity never becomes uncomfortable, as in Mumbai.
Ebola Scare, Fewer Tourists for South Africa but Bollywood Shoots On
Its common nature for human beings to get worried, and in the current scenario, people seem to be scared of Ebola. And its having an impact on the tourism business.
One country that is witnessing a big drop in demand from tourists is South Africa. And although the country may not be affected by Ebola at all, the fact that the country’s name has the word ‘Africa’ seems to be driving the tourists away (We understand that many are not good at Geography).
That’s the reason South African Airways plans to educate travellers and tell them that South Africa is not at all affected by the deadly Ebola virus, and that their country is located far from East Africa (where there have been several deaths).
They intend to show that the distance between East Africa, which has the presence of Ebola, and South Africa is equal to the distance between Hong Kong and Dubai.
Whether this strategy will have a positive impact, only time will tell. But then South African Airways had to do something to increase the flow of tourists in the country.
Although, frequent travellers are unlikely to cancel a visit to South Africa, because they know what to expect. However, that may not be the case with the first time visitor to South Africa, who’s more likely to consider travelling to an alternate destination, considering the Ebola scare.
South African Airways operates six flights a week to Mumbai providing the only direct air link between India and South Africa. The airline largely carries point-to-point traffic although some passengers also use the airline to travel on to South America and neighbouring states in Africa.
And what about Bollywood? Bollywood seems to be least bothered by Ebola and continues to repose faith in the country. South Africa is a favorite destination for filming Bollywood movies and studios are already planning to shoot a few more in South Africa.
Best Places to Visit
Here are some of the more popular places in South Africa:
Sun City Resort
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
Kruger National Park
South Africa Woos Indian Tourists
South African Tourism has launched a promotional video that will be shown during the screening of Bollywood’s most awaited movies, at major cinema halls across various Indian cities.
It will also provide moviegoers in India, an opportunity to shop for an attractive holiday package to South Africa right, at the cinema hall itself.