Cape Town and Jo’burg may be popular filming locations for filmmakers and television producers both at home and abroad, but KwaZulu-Natal has had a lot of time in the limelight too. Sometimes KZN plays KZN, as we’re currently seeing in Reyka. Other times, places in the versatile province act as a stand-in for elsewhere in the world. With beaches, verdant vegetation, and bustling city life, it’s little surprise that it’s been a popular destination for holidaymakers and filmmakers alike.
Here are just a few of the many movies from at home and abroad that have used KZN as a filming location.
A Reasonable Man (1999)
A few years before he headed to the Oscars to take home a statue for Tsotsi, South African director Gavin Hood delivered this courtroom drama. It was Hood’s first feature film as director and is set in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Blood Diamond (2006)
This thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou is set primarily in Sierra Leone. Although parts were shot in Sierra Leone, Mozambique and South Africa were also used as filming locations to stand in for certain parts of the West African country, including Port Edward in KZN.
Cry, the Beloved Country (1995)
Based on the book by South African author Alan Paton, the 1995 adaptation stars James Earl Jones, Richard Harris, and South African actor Vusi Kunene as Reverend Msimangu. Both the book and film are set in Jo’burg and Natal, and the author himself is from Pietermaritzburg.
Faith Like Potatoes (2006)
If you recognised Jason in Lioness, it might be because you saw actor Frank Rautenbach in this uplifting film. Based on the book by Angus Buchan, the film was shot in Greytown and on the author’s farm. It also stars Reyka actor Hamilton Dhlamini.
Watch Faith Like Potatoes on Showmax.
Watch Lioness this September on M-Net City channel 115.
I Dreamed of Africa (2000)
Before he became Bond, you may have spotted Daniel Craig in this movie based on the book by Italian author Kuki Gallmann, who made a life for herself in Kenya. Like Out of Africa, a book and movie with a similar story, parts of I Dreamed of Africa were shot in Kenya. However, Hluhluwe also served as a location.
Izulu Lami (2008)
Durban takes centre stage in this local movie about two orphans searching for a new life in the city. With the two young children moving from rural to urban life, the movie allows a glimpse into the diversity of the province.
Keeping Up with the Kandasamys (2017)
There’s a rich Indian heritage in KZN and it’s on proud and colourful display in this family comedy set and shot in Chatsworth. Two years later a sequel, Kandasamys: The Wedding, was released bringing even more of Durban to the screen, including the Verulam market.
Darrell Roodt, who also directed Cry, the Beloved Country, is behind the lens of this local drama as well. Set and filmed in KZN, it stars Leleti Khumalo as Yesterday Khumalo, an HIV-positive mother fighting to stay alive long enough to see her daughter go to school. It was the first South African movie to be nominated for Best International Feature at the Oscars.
WATCH: The Reyka cast talks about filming in KZN.
Watch Reyka every Sunday at 20:00 on M-Net channel 101.
Missed an episode? Catch up with DStv using your connected device.