Africa has an enormous contribution to make to the world’s film industry.  So says Lance Samuals of Out of Africa Entertainment, who are currently shooting the true story of four South African photographers who risked their lives to capture the harrowing political violence of the early 1990's.

Principal photography on The Bang-Bang Club started on 30 March and the shoot will continue for 30 days, with the anticipated wrap being on 2 May. The film recounts the events surrounding a group of photographers who covered the last years of apartheid in South Africa. Two surviving members tell the story of the four remarkable young men who made up the original group, the relations between them, and also the story of the end of apartheid.

In Focus spoke to Out of Africa Entertainments Lance Samuals:

“This is an amazing story of photographers Greg Marinovich, Kevin Carter, Ken Oosterbroek and Joao Silva and is based on the semi-autobiographical book written by the surviving Club members, Silva and Marinovich.

“It’s a Canadian/South African co-production with Daniel Iron of Foundry Films Canada the co-production partner. We were approached by Foundry films in October last year, and you know this project has been around for about seven years and they weren’t  happy about it not moving forward, so since I have always loved the project, I jumped at the opportunity of being the South African co-production partner,” explains Samuals.

Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights) will play Kevin Carter and Ryan Phillippe (Cruel Intentions, Crash) will star in the film as Greg Marinovich. Anna, the photographers' photo-editor who looked out for the Bang Bang Club, while ensuring their pictures were seen all over the world, will be played by Malin Akerman, whose film credits include The Heartbreak Kid and 27 Dresses.

South African actors Frank Rautenbach, (Hansie Cronje in the recent movie about the late cricketer) and Neels van Jaarsveld (Binnelanders) will play photographers Ken Oosterbroek and Joao Silva respectively.

“The majority of the shoot will take place in Soweto,” continues Samuals. “Ninety per cent of the time we are using the actual locations where reality happened. We will also be using Thokoza, Downtown Joburg, Melville and the Magaliesberg.

“The thing that is very special for me about The Bang-Bang Club is that that for once I am working on a movie which happened during a period that I remember well, and this is a completely new experience for me. Also, to be making a movie about people who are still alive. We have been in consultation with both Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva, the two remaining members of the Bang-Bang Club, and it is so unique to be able to talk to the people who are the subject of the movie.”

The Bang-Bang Club is directed by South African-born director Steven Silver, now living in Canada. The Director of Photography is Miroslaw Barscak, and location sound is by Nico Louw. The shoot will be on 35mm with stock supplied by Kodak.

“All the processing and the transfer of dailies will take place in Technicolor Canada,”  says Samuals,  “as this is part of the co-production agreement.  The camera, light and grips are being supplied by Media Film Services. In fact, all the postproduction will also take place in Canada.”

The Bang-Bang Club will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on 9 September this year and the release date will be determined by the sales at the Festival.