Jollywood sign up on the hill

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

The South African film industry will soon have its own version of an international film brand.

The concept, which is being driven by the film company Brain Africa Film in Johannesburg, will see short movies being produced and distributed in the country.

Leonard Ashu, pictured, the Kenyan-born filmmaker who is now based in Johannesburg, said that it is possible to shoot a low-budget movie for not more than R30000, and that the filming can be completed within seven days.

Brain Africa Films is holding auditions throughout the country for prospective actors who will form part of the pool of Jollywood actors.

"We will be focusing on the production of movies based on the South African culture and way of life and like Nollywood, all productions will be released on DVD and VCR as well as on MNet DStv channel 102.

"The objective of Jollywood is to ensure that lots of movies are produced in South Africa for South African families to sit back and enjoy at home and thereby create employment for thousands of people involved in the production, sales and marketing and other avenues in the movie industry," Ashu said.

Jollywood will serve as an umbrella organisation where a whole lot of producers and owners of movie companies can operate from, the filmmaker said.

"The various movie companies will be embarking on different movie productions all based on the cultures in South Africa and about things happening in the society," Ashu said.

Brain Africa Films has been researching Nollywood since 2005 and travelled to Nigeria where the company produced two movies that were released in Nigeria and on MNet Channel 102.

The company said the research in Nigeria showed that up to 50 movies were produced in that country each week, a path Jollywood will be following.

"We already have production companies registering to be a part of Jollywood and we have already lined up the first movie which begins filming by September 25," Ashu said.

"We'll be embarking on cheap, fast and effective productions to ensure that the industry grows big in the shortest time possible."