The much-anticipated heist film The Blue Mauritius is back on track with its
new producing partner Benaroya Pictures.
The Blue Mauritius is the first film that will test D Street’s mandate to create
a “star system’ in South Africa. The producers cast South African actors Deon Lotz,
Pearl Thusi and Nicola Breytenbach in principal roles alongside other international
stars such as John Rhys-Davies, Gerard Depardieu, Thomas Kretschmann and now of
course Anthony Mackie.
D Street’s president Ernest Napoleon comments: “What we’re proposing is not rocket
science, one of the key elements to creating a star system is exposure. The more we
create content like The Blue Mauritius with South African actors in prominent
roles, the better our chances are to produce South African films that can be sold
D Street isn’t stopping with The Blue Mauritius, the company is teaming up
with South African producer Grieg Buckle and his Enigma Pictures to produce the
faith-based basketball film Ballin: On the Other Side of the World.
The story is about a young South African boy whose talent in basketball is discovered
by an American priest during missionary work in Cape Town.
The film is yet another example of how D Street is developing content with
South African storylines, while utilising American and African talent in leading roles.
The company’s relationship to Hollywood is imperative to the success of the model.
D Street Releasing, the distribution arm of D Street Media Group has made clear
of its intentions to be the go to distributor to handle South African and African films
that can compete with other English and foreign language films in America, and is
actively looking for a content partner in South Africa to help grow that business.
“The way we see growth happening in the South African film industry is from the
outside in. Indeed, creating a star system will be a huge part of that, but more
importantly we think utilising America’s more than 40 000 screens as a home for
South African films is strategic and central to the plan. If France can generate an
almost $100MM annual box-office take in America, there’s no reason why South
African films can’t do at least half that business,’ said executive producer and CEO of
D Street Media Group Dexter Davis.
“South Africa has to think bigger about being a global player in film and cannot
depend on its own screens to build its industry. The country has the talent and the
know how. Hopefully it has the will to be bold as it has in other industries. Obviously,
D Street wants to be a big part of that.’