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May 21, 2010

Hit the film trail in Cape Town


Morgan Freeman (left) and Matt Damon, in a scene from Invictus. Photo courtsy Lord_Henry

Cape Town is one of the world’s most recognised movie destinations – and even if you’re in the Mother City for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, there’s no reason not to mix film and football!

Some of Hollywood’s most popular movies were shot in this beautiful city, sandwiched between the impressive Table Mountain and the wide blue expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Why not visit some blockbuster locations while you’re in Cape Town?

If you’re a sports fanatic, you can retrace most of movie star, Matt Damon’s steps, while portraying former Springbok rugby captain, Francois Pienaar, in the 2009 film Invictus. Some scenes were filmed in the old Green Point Stadium – but it’s since been demolished to make way for the brand new Cape Town Stadium, at which several World Cup matches will be played. You can also visit Robben Island just like the characters in the film did, or down a lager or two at the Ferryman’s Pub at the V&A Waterfront, which also featured in the movie.

As you explore the city, keep an eye out for locations that were used for other popular movies over the past few years. It was the natural choice for the creators of the 2008 film Disgrace, about a Cape Town professor (played by John Malkovich) who moves to the Eastern Cape. The movie is based on the renowned novel by South African author, J.M. Coetzee.

The film version of another piece of famous South African literature, Antjie Krog’s Country of My Skull, was shot entirely in Cape Town over a period of 10 weeks. It stars Samuel L. Jackson and Juliette Binoche.

Parts of the 2007 film Rendition, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon, were shot in the city, as was the Leonardo DiCaprio feature Blood Diamond (released in 2006).

Lord of War (2004) star, Nicholas Cage, filmed in Cape Town for 10 weeks, while prehistoric epic 10 000 BC saw several actors attending a fitness boot camp in the city before starting filming in the Cape summer. The mammoth bones you see in the 2007 movie were also made in the Mother City!

All this filmmaking means you also have a relatively good chance of spotting Hollywood’s big names out and about in Cape Town. Other celebrities who’ve called Cape Town their “office” over the years include Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, Patrick Swayze, Christopher Lambert and Dennis Hopper.

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