The poster for Eternity, South Africa's answer to the Twilight vampire movie franchise.

South African model-turned-actor Christina Storm is set to give fans of the Twilight saga and True Blood a holiday treat with the opening of home-grown vampire love story Eternity at cinemas nationally in December.

Set in an atmospherically Gotham-like inner-city Johannesburg, the film tells the tale of Billy (Andre Frauenstein), a sensitive, handsome young vampire who spends his nights prowling the city haunts with his friends. They appear to lead a charmed life, owning the night and enjoying in the rich social life that the city offers. But Billy is lonely and yearns for the one true love who will give meaning to his solitary life.

When he meets Jenny (Rikki Brest), a beautiful and captivating human girl at a nightclub, he is immediately smitten. His easy charm and gentlemanly manner draw Jenny to him and, despite all attempts by Billy’s ex-girlfriend Lisa (Christina Storm) to scupper the budding relationship, Jenny falls for him. It seems that destiny has favoured both of them.

But all is not what is appears in the twilight world of the vampires. Jenny’s father, Tevis Shapiro (Ian Roberts), a human scientist researching a cure for the human HIV/Aids virus accidently produces a serum that will enable vampires to survive the sun’s rays and share the daylight with humans.

This leads to a clash between the vampire clan leaders – Constantine (Gys de Villiers), a traditionalist who is against the serum and Borlak (David James), a power-hungry upstart who is determined to lead the vampires out of the shadows and into the light so that they can walk with the humans. An all-out war ensues and Billy teams up with Detective Joe Kau (Hlomla Dandala) to defeat Borlak and claim the hand of the girl he loves.

The film is produced by independent South African producer Anton Ernst of Makadi Entertainment Ventures whose impressive body of work over the past 10 years includes the 2010 sleeper hit Jakhalsdans, an Afrikaans language love story.

“Eternity is a modern-day vampire film that contemporises these gothic figures,” says Ernst. “Billy is part of a new generation of vampire heroes who are stepping out of the moonlight and into the everyday world of humans. But like the traditional vampire gentleman, he is alluring in all the old-fashioned ways.”

Director Christopher-Lee dos Santos says the experience of directing a vampire film was unique. “It’s never been done before in South Africa. Making a vampire film allowed us to enter a stylistic world with a certain set of visual rules that I’ve always wanted to play with. It was also amazing to work with the cast and the parkour vampires, whose physical feats are astounding. It’s fast, it’s gritty, and it’s exciting.”

Eternity is the latest film to be released by Indigenous Film Distribution, which specialises in the distribution of South African movies.

“The genre and the fact that it’s packed with excellent special effects makes it a great addition to our slate of films for the year,” says Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution. “It’s been hugely satisfying to witness the quality and the variety of South African films that have been produced in the past year.”