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Remake of slavery drama Roots films in South Africa

Roots TV dramaA remake of the classic slavery drama Roots has filmed scenes in South Africa, doubling the country for Gambia.

The miniseries is based on the 1976 novel by Alex Haley and follows the plight of generations of slaves in the US from the late 18th century.

The original Roots miniseries was a huge hit back in 1977 and tells the story of the kidnapped Kunte Kinte. The new adaptation was serviced by Film Afrika with the support of the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission.

“This production bears testament to the fact that KZN is a globally competitive, diverse and sustainable choice film destination,” said a spokesperson for KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission in comments to Independent Online.

“KwaZulu-Natal’s amazing locations will double for scripted areas in Gambia and along the Kambay Bolongo River, where Kinte is taken prisoner, transported down the river and put on to a ship to be sent to America.”

South Africa is a hugely popular international filming location with a generous incentive programme that makes it one of the leading film-friendly country in Africa, along with Morocco.

Dramas exploring slavery in the US have become more popular in recent years following the success of movies like the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Both films shot on location in Louisiana, which offers a tangible historical connection to American slavery, while also offering generous filming incentives.

For more on filming in South Africa, see our production guide.

 




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