Unlike Nolly and Bolly, Cally isn’t just a local industry.
Although plenty of South African TV shows, movies and commercials
are made in Cape Town, it’s the US movies being made there that are
really making an impact.
If one movie can be said to have changed things, it’s
. A big-budget actioner with stacks of stars from Denzel
Washington to Ryan Reynolds, Brendan Gleeson to Sam Shepard, not
only did it prove that Callywood was capable of handling tasks from
set-piece locations to high-octane car chases, it also worked to
promote the city. That’s because it’s largely set in South Africa’s
Mother City. So, without ever being a travelogue, the movie has the
spectacular scenery of Lion’s Head, the fine white sand of Clifton
beaches and even the higgledy-piggledy earthiness of the Langa
township built into its story.
Washington plays a rogue ex-CIA agent with a phial of
incriminating data. When he’s chased by murderous gunmen he hands
himself in at the US Consulate and is interred in a Safe House guarded by Reynolds. The Safe House was a set, built by Moonlighting Film Production
Services, the South African company that’s spearheading the city’s
Philip Key is the CEO of Moonlighting and is an instantly
engaging man with zen-like calmness. Not to mention the experience
of over 1,000 commercials and 40 movies in the area. He is clear
why Cape Town is a rising force.
“The place has a lot going for it,” he told me, standing on the
turf of the city’s World Cup stadium, a key location in the movie. “
Many of the richer cities in the world are in the northern
hemisphere, so shooting in their winter – our summer months – is
trickier. The South African currency is generally weakish, so that