!KE E: /XARRA //KR, (Diverse People Unite) in Southern Africa
In July, LMGI members Aaron Hurvitz, Sabine Schulmeyer and Nick Rafferty were among nine guests from around the world invited by Locations Africa for a tour of two very special regions of Africa.
KwaZulu-Natal, nicknamed “the garden province” of South Africa, is roughly the size of Portugal. Known for its beaches, safari parks, green hills and vast sugar cane and banana plantations, its capital city of Durban is the country’s chief seaport.
The island country of Mauritius is located off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. Its capital and largest city, Port Louis, is one of the most densely populated places in the world.
“We left early in the morning every day and always did so at a brisk pace to get to know as many places as possible,” reports Schulmeyer. “Every part of the trip was so well organized by Azania Muendane and her team from Locations Africa, all doors swung open! In the middle of the tour, we had the opportunity to listen in on the Durban FilmMart and meet more film people from around the world, see competition films and attend panel events.”
Says Hurvitz, “From the bustling streets of downtown Durban to the white sandy beaches of Mauritius, and everything in between, we left no stone undocumented. We saw one-of-kind locations, untouched nature and even managed to squeeze in a local film, thanks to the Durban FilmMart.
“From vineyards to lions, historic to modern, we saw firsthand just what kind of diversity South Africa has to offer. Guided by local film professionals who face similar tasks around the world, we immediately felt a kinship that can only come from a shared experience.”
Enthuses Rafferty, “It was a true masterclass! When you are with best-in-class colleagues from all over the world, you begin comparing instincts and shooting styles. You are trying like hell to capture a picture while admiring your colleague who is doing the same, and in the process, you elevate your game. You inspire each other and learn from each other. There’s nothing like it.”
In October LMGI members Jen Farris, Kate Beall and Joseph Mennella were invited by Locations Africa to be a part of a second Fam Tour of South Africa. This time focusing on the famous Garden Route.
This fam tour started with the Locations Africa 2023 Conference, which offered a full program of educational seminars for filmmakers and also promoted filmmaking in Africa. LMGI 1st Vice President Alison A. Taylor and President John Rakich Zoomed in for a one-on-one conversation talking about how being part of the Guild benefits location scouts and managers globally, and attendee Jen Farris was able to talk to many of the African location professionals there about joining the LMGI.
After which the adventure through the Garden Route began.
“The country offers a great opportunity for location filmmaking, from dramatic seascapes to forests, beaches, exotic wildlife and pastoral backgrounds. There is also architectural vernacular unlike any I’ve seen that can be modern, colonial, traditional or lodge-like all within proximity of each other.” – Joseph Mennella
“Exploring South Africa was remarkable. The experience was truly enriching, and I look forward to discovering more of South Africa’s possibilities in the future.” – Kate Beal
A huge thank you to Locations Africa along with their partners KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission KZNFilm Tourism KZN, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Agency, Film Studios Mauritius, Tamarin Film, Light & Light, Compass Locations for your hospitality and generosity in sharing the wonders of your country with the LMGI.
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