SOME of the country’s most recognised small screen stars are heading for the big screen in a film currently being shot in East London.
Seasoned actor Luthuli Dlamini, who has starred in eTV’s Scandal, plays the role of drug lord Big Daddy in the film which looks into the dark and murky world of drugs. The working title of the movie is 360 Degrees – A Sacrifice.
Other well-known actors include Katlego Danke, who plays Dineo Dlomo in Generations and Wandile Molebatsi.
Dlamini said he had an “emotional attachment” to the film, as he was involved in production.
“[The film] is about how drugs affect us on a personal level,” he said. “It shows that to stop the scourge of drugs, it’s going to be a multi-pronged effort – not just the police. The whole community has to be involved. We are all affected indirectly and anyone can been caught in that world.”
He said the film delivered a positive message. “It is a beautiful picture with dark elements. There is action, a good message and it’s a beautiful piece of art. Viewers can expect to be emotionally moved,” he added.
In addition to playing Stan Nyathi in Scandal, Dlamini also played the role of Scott Nomvete in SABC 1’s Generations.
He said playing the role of Big Daddy had been a lot of fun. “I’m an old geyser and I’ve seen a lot of guys like Big Daddy and I have seen people being sucked into that world, so it’s real. As an actor it is always wonderful to play the bad guy because you depart from the norm,” he said.
Writer Pamela Mago said East London was used for the shoot as the city has some spectacular scenery while costs of filming were a fraction of what they would have been in Cape Town.
Scenes have so far been shot in Beacon Bay, Mdantsane and Ncera.
On an average shoot day there are about 40 cast and crew members working.
The initial budget for the film was R1.5-million but the figure is changing as the shoot progresses.
Filming is expected to be completed on January 17 and after post production the movie will be released around August. Organisers are hoping it will premier in East London.
Danke, who plays the role of Karen Kings, Big Daddy’s wife, said the experience had been great so far.
“Playing this role is pretty exciting for me, I am exploring the medium of film,” she said. “It’s exciting having to balance between a strong woman, but not too strong to over power Big Daddy as well as being a wife to him,” she said.
Molebatsi who plays Jeremiah said being in East London had been “amazing”.
Buffalo City Metro spokesman Keith Ngesi said the cast and crew were welcome in East London and hoped the film would create exposure for the city.
“We welcome that they have chosen BCM to shoot the movie. We are excited about the project and how they are showcasing the metro,” Ngesi said. — firstname.lastname@example.org