The versatility of Gauteng, South Africa�s economic hub, and the abundance of fascinating historical stories and heritage sites is resulting in the province gaining popularity as a location for co-productions.

Complementing these factors are the readily available and experienced skills base, as well as an attractive rebate, resulting in a shooting paradise for a demanding global filmmaking community.

Such recent movies shot entirely, or partly, in Gauteng include The Bang Bang Club, District 9 and Warner Bros. Pictures� as-yet-untitled drama on Nelson Mandela and South Africa�s 1995 World Cup rugby story, directed by Clint Eastwood.

�For long, Gauteng and Johannesburg have been the centre of the local film industry with a regular stream of South African features being produced here. Now we are increasingly also seeing co-productions being filmed in the province as producers capitalise on our excellent production capabilities,� says Terry Tselane, Chief Executive of the Gauteng Film Commission.

The Bang Bang Club, which features Hollywood actors Ryan Phillippe and Taylor Kitsch, has just completed shooting in Soweto and Johannesburg. The movie, directed by Steven Silver, is centred on four photographers who among them won two Pulitzer prizes through their contributions in documenting the twilight of South Africa�s apartheid. A Canadian/South African co-production, the movie qualified for the South African Department of Trade & Industry rebate. While all the principle photography was recently completed in Gauteng, with local crew and equipment, the post-production will be done in Canada.

The same street and the same wall where photographers Ken Oosterbroek was killed and Greg Marinovich was wounded, in Thokoza township, were used in the film, as well as Nancefield Hostel in Soweto and the train station and platform which formed the backdrop for Marinovich�s famous Pulitzer-prize winning photograph of the necklacing by ANC supporters of a man they believed to be an Inkatha spy.

District 9, produced by award-winner Peter Jackson, is shot entirely in Gauteng, and according to Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) information has just announced its worldwide release date in the USA as 14 August 2009.

Peter Jackson explains about the film: "These aliens arrived 20 years ago in a dead, derelict mothership, which hovers above Johannesburg. It's enormous, like the size of 10 football fields. The aliens have ended up in a Soweto-style township beneath the ship. It's clear that they're not really integrating into society�."

Writer and director Neill Blomkamp explains where the idea for District 9 originally came from: "I was a science-fiction nut when I was growing up in Johannesburg. I just wanted to see that kind of imagery in a third world setting with the complex political history of South Africa."

Principle photography was completed in Soweto and Johannesburg during 2008 and the project is now in post production.

The yet-to-be titled film (originally known as The Human Factor) which tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela, then newly elected president of South Africa, joined forces with the captain of South Africa�s rugby team, Francois Pienaar, to help unite their country as SA won the 1995 World Cup Championship, recently shot on location in Gauteng.

The Warner Bros. Pictures� drama, is being directed by four-time Oscar� winner Clint Eastwood, and stars Morgan Freeman, and Matt Damon, while the South African cast includes Tony Kgoroge, Patrick Mofokeng, Matt Stern, Leleti Khumalo, and Marguerite Wheatly.

The film is, according to IMDB information, scheduled for release by the end of the year.

Elsewhere it has also been reported that UK director Danny Boyle will direct Ponte Tower � a thriller set in Johannesburg�s infamous apartment tower. Michael Thomas (Scandal, Backbeat) is writing the script, loosely based on a book by German novelist Norman Ohler. The production is a planned co-production between the UK and South Africa.