Hip-hop music and dance in all its local variations are the foundation of Pop, Lock 'n Roll
Hip-hop music and dance in all its local variations are the foundation of Pop, Lock 'n Roll. (Photo: poplocknroll.com)

Johannesburg and its world-famous township, Soweto, are providing the gritty urban setting for the second all-South African dance feature film to be shot in the city in the space of a few years.

Following the success of landmark dance film Hear Me Move, which introduced the world to the unique South African dance forms Sbujwa and Pantsula, filming is under way on an ambitious production involving a crew of over 35 people and a cast of over 80 - including 50 of the country's top hip hop, krump and break dancers.

In a statement last week, production company Mandela Bay Pictures said that Pop, Lock 'n Roll promised to be SA's "largest, most successfully epic dance film to date".

The film is being directed by Ziggy Hofmeyr, produced by Mayenzeke Baza and co-produced by Pascal Schmitz, with a team of professional dancers that include previous Red Bull BC One finalist Jed and dance crews Vintage, Street Kingdom and Soweto's Finest.

"The film also boasts a team of eight choreographers, led by Craig Bullock, whose son Jed, the current World Champion for Hip Hop Street Style dancing, also features in the film.

Prepping for a rooftop shoot in downtown Johannesburg
Prepping for a rooftop shoot in downtown Johannesburg. (Photo: Pop, Lock 'n Roll on Facebook)

"Hip-hop music and dance in all its local variations are the foundation of the film, with nine dance scenes that feature crumping, voguing, popping, locking, pantsula, and breakdancing amongst others."

Local actors Maurice Paige and Yasira Bhelz (Bhelekazi Ruiters) - both of whom have undergone months of professional dance training - will star alongside Lionel Newton.

"I have been committed to this project for two years, because from the moment I saw the script I knew it was an incredible opportunity for me to showcase my versatility," Paige said. "The cast, crew and entire production team are amazing, and this film is really going to reflect the talent in South African film and hip-hop dance."

Written by Steven Pillemer, and featuring four original songs, Pop, Lock 'n Roll is being made with funding support from the Department of Trade and Industry, M-Net and the National Film and Video Foundation.

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission