SA's lockdown film shot with cellphones premieres today

Actors Tem Muller, Jessica Pietersen Scott and Bonko Khoza.
Actors Tem Muller, Jessica Pietersen Scott and Bonko Khoza.
Image: Supplied

South Africa’s first Covid-19 feature film called Cabin Fever and which was inspired by the stringent lockdowns across the world is set to premiere on Wednesday on M-Net Box Office.

Cabin Fever which was written and directed by Tim Greene  was shot in 34 days of the first national lockdown using laptop cameras and cellphones to film it.

Apart from South African actors from Johannesburg and Cape Town, the film also features actors from other different parts of the world like Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Wales and Australia.

The list of actors includes Jenna Upton, Keenan Arrison, James Cunningham, Bonko Khoza, Ndoni Khanyile and Lesego Chabedi among others.

The auditioning for the film was unusual. Greene posted a call on social media to which more than 100 actors responded.

Greene said about the film: “Cabin Fever tells the story of a family, all under lockdown in different parts of the world, who are brought together by the second wife after she learns that her husband’s first wife is dying of Covid-19.

“Family differences and conflicts come to the surface as they each try to come to terms with their emotions which are heightened during the lockdown.”

Khanyile, who portrays the role of Londi,  said: “It is incredibly exciting to be involved in something that is so experimental. The film is a complete and pure creative response to unusual global times. It was really wonderful to see the creative response from all of us as a team. And it will be part of history where we can always look back to what was happening in our country and in the world.”

Greene said he came up with something creative to do during lockdown because he wanted to stay sane. “Big part of it was can I write a screenplay with these ridiculous limitations where we are forced to communicate through video calls, voice messages and emails? Using those platforms, can the film be engaging enough to make an entire 90 minutes?”

Khanyile said what was so fulfilling about being part of the Cabin Fever was that all actors involved will be able to share the money that would be generated by the film..

Greene has produced films such as  Skeem and a Boy Called Twist while on television he produced shows such as Hard Copy, Zero Tolerance and Tsha Tsha.

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