South Africa: Emmy, Golden Globe Star Filming Miniseries


Judy Davis, 2007 Emmy winner of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie, The Starter Wife, has recently been in South Africa for filming of the lead in Rough, a two-part adventure/drama miniseries.

This screenplay of Canadian writer David Vainola is being helmed by British directors Andy Wilson and John McKay. The international cast is headed up by the multiple award-winning Davis whose other Emmys include include (1995) Outstanding Supporting Actress, Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (1995), Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, for Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001), for which she also garnered a Golden Globe Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television in 2002.

British artists include James Purefoy (Marc Anthony in the series Rome), Sir Derek Jacobi (Gladiator), and Louise Rose (Dream Team). Among the stellar South African cast are Marius Weyers (Blood Diamond), Jeremy Crutchley (Lord of War), and newcomers Mbongeni Nhlapo and Njabulo Qobose.

Rough is a Canadian (Sienna Films), South African (Philo Pieterse - Love Reigns) and British (Alchemy Television Productions) co-production. The series is executive produced by award-winning Canadian producing partners, Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny, and Carrie Stein. Philo Pieterse is the SA producing partner along with Nick Witkowski in the UK. The series is associate produced by Elise Cousineau (CA), with Georges Campana (France) serving as production executive.

In the tradition of epic mini-series events, Rough weaves together five story strands, each providing a different perspective of the world of diamond trading and the enigmatic characters that inhabit it. The intertwined sagas encompass power, war, sex and politics in the shocking and exploitative world of diamonds.

"It's great to be shooting this story, there are so many layers into this world and we are trying to capture it." says Jennifer Kawaja. "We are proud to have been successful in having a partnership with Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny, and for South Africa to be one of the principle locations in the production." commented Philo Pieterse.

In the upcoming months the epic adventure/drama is filming on location in three countries: in Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal in SA, in the UK, and in Canada - where filming wraps in December.

Alchemy Television Distribution is distributing and, to date, the series has been licensed to broadcasters in Canada (CBC), France (Canal Plus), Spain (Antenna) and SA (SABC).

(Biz-Community (Cape Town), 8 October 2007)