Two movie studio development projects in Durban and Port Elizabeth aim to make the cities hot destinations for international filmmakers, just like Cape Town has done.
While the R7.5 billion Durban movie studio project has been known for years, having received approval in late 2017, a report by the City Press has revealed plans for a similar project in Port Elizabeth.
The project is being headed by businessman MK Malefane, according to the paper, and is still in the very early stages. Different locations are being looked at, but the Nelson Mandela Bay area is a front-runner.
Like Durban’s ‘Old Durban Movie Walk’, the plan is for a cinema and amusement park complex to be built, resembling something like Disney World.
However the focus will be on making it very African-centric, with the intent to recreate the city of Wakanda – the fictional Afro-futuristic city that featured in Disney and Marvel’s Black Panther feature film.
Malefane told the City Press that the developers were working with the same companies that built Disney’s theme parks.
Durban’s movie studios, meanwhile, will mirror the stylings of Universal Studios’ Universal City, and is designed as a “leafy tourist space”.
Cape Town has been a popular destination for filmmakers since being opened eight years ago. According to the City Press, the studios are fully booked for 2019 and draw in productions with budgets between R1 billion and R5 billion.