PREPARATIONS are well under way for the shooting of a boxing film Knuckle City produced by Mdantsane-born filmmaker, Jahmil Qhubeka’s production company, Yellowbone Entertainment, co-founded with producer/editor Layla Swart.
The film will be shot in Mdantsane and East London.
Shooting on Knuckle City, which begins in Mdantsane and East London later this month, follows the career of struggling boxer, Dudu Nyakama, from Mdantsane who with help from his criminal brother, finds himself taking on the biggest boxing match of the year.
Producer, Layla Swart, said although the film has received resistance in some quarters for bringing in filmmakers who do not reside in the region, the movie would help develop p film is working on developing and uplifting the standard of filmmaking standards in the province.
“I am highlighting this because we have received some resistance from locals in terms of us being an outside entity coming in with cast and crew who do not reside here,” she said. “I want to impart [to critics] that our intentions are to demonstrate to our finance partners such as M-Net’s Mzansi Magic and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that the Eastern Cape is a suitable region for development in this sector in order to benefit filmmakers who are from here.”
She added that although all the cast were originally from the Eastern Cape, they have had to bring in a crew from Cape Town and Johannesburg who have the necessary experience.
“Our key cast are all originally from the Eastern Cape. They have made a name for themselves on television and in films. This is why we have cast them, movies can only be financed with recognisable cast. “For this reason, as much as Jahmil is keen to develop the region, he also needs to maintain his standard of work and has had to bring in crew from Cape Town and Johannesburg with the necessary experience,” said Swart.
The crew held auditions for key roles and extra roles last weekend and will continue again this weekend.
“We have a plethora of key support roles and extra roles that we are casting for in East London. These auditions have been held from Saturday last week and will continue until next Saturday in Mdantsane and East London,” she said.
“We will announce the cast once this process is done. It is very important to us that the community accept our humble venture into their region, and acknowledge the director as one of their own, and support him on his journey. He has always represented Mdantsane on his travels with his films.”
“A large portion of us may not be from here, but because of Jahmil’s passion for his hometown, this film is 100% authentically local. We hope that together with the people of Mdantsane and East London we can create something truly incredible and ensure that this region develops in leaps and bounds in the film industry sector,” the producer said.