Hollywood-selected South African screenplay filming in Jo’burg


Mukunda Michael Dewil, whose screenplay Vehicle 19 made it on to Hollywood's 2010 hit list for the year's 'best original screenplay', is directing the action thriller in Johannesburg with international star Paul Walker (Fast and Furious) in the lead. Walker is also the executive producer.

Walker's character 'Michael' unwittingly pick up the wrong rental vehicle, having just got off a long haul flight. He soon realises that he is the target of a police force that will use any means necessary to stop him and the tied-up female 'passenger' he discovers in the trunk, from getting to the courthouse to testify against the corrupt chief.

K5 International is handling all international rights and Rena Ronson at UTA is handling North American rights. K5 has already sold the film to Optimum Releasing in the UK, Kinowelt in Germany, MadMen in Australia and Falcon Films in the Middle East.

Producer Peter Safran and Ryan Haidarian, former head of production and development at the National Film and Video Foundation, joins Dewil, who directed Retribution. The producers will use Safran Company and Forefront Media Group respectively. Gary King of Picture Tree Films (which represents Dewil's commercial work) co-produces. Miles Goodall is director of photography. The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of South Africa is financing the production.

The cast includes Owen Sejake (Tsotsi, Shake Hands with the Devil), Naima McLean (BBC's Wild at Heart) and Tshepo Maseko (More Than Just a Game).

The film will be shot on location in and around Johannesburg for five weeks, during which time Dewil's debut feature film 'Retribution' opens on the Ster-Kinekor theatrical circuit on 19 August 2011.