GFC invests in major co-production series

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A Canadian/French/SA mini drama series, The Torchbearers, which will explore the lives of the famous writer Alexander Dumas’ rather interesting family, will be shot partially in SA.

Alexander Dumas is best known for his novels “Three Musketeers’ and “Count of Monte Christo’. Together with the SA producers, Total Eclipse Films, the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) has made an investment in the series as part of their mandate to develop and stimulate the Gauteng film industry. Included in the terms of agreement for this funding is a skills development/transfer component, with scriptwriting in particular, being a key focus area.

Sam Snape, a top UK-based scriptwriter who is the scriptwriter for The Torchbearers, is to run scriptwriting workshops with both established and senior student scriptwriter in Johannesburg from 6 to 10 February. The workshops are under the auspices of the GFC, the SA Scriptwriters Institute (SASWI) and Total Eclipse Films.

The Torchbearers series relates the history of the Dumas family who descended from a Haitan mother and a French marquis. Alexander’s father, Thomas was a general in Napoleon’s army and Alexander was one of France’s most financially successful writers. Part of the series will be shot in Gauteng and Durban, and given the GFC’s investment, skills transfer to the local industry is an important facet. They expect it to create 250 jobs but will also include a developmental component which will involve trainee directors and film technicians to work on the project.

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