Gauteng is home to a thriving cinema industry, with the earliest cinema experiences occurring as far back 1896. In the past 20 years, major international hit films have been shot in Gauteng, the most famous being the Academy Award-winning Tsotsi, directed by Gavin Hood and released in 2005.
Gauteng is home to more than 30 commercial cinemas, screening the latest international blockbusters.
Besides these commercial cinemas, Johannesburg has three active independent cinemas. Operating on a weekly basis, the Bioscope is located in the Maboneng Precinct, and screens a number of local and international independent films that wouldn’t usually make it to big commercial screens. It is situated on the ground floor of Main Street Life, an inner-city complex of retail, creative and residential space.
It showcases the creative energy of Johannesburg by hosting not only films, but also live music performances and informative talks. The Bioscope is a great destination to experience the complexity of Johannesburg’s inner city.
The other two independent cinemas have been part of Johannesburg’s vibrant cultural past for a while. The Gem Bioscope in Troyeville on the east side of the city screens films for independent film festivals and is also a venue for live music events. It is located on the corner of Roberts Avenue and Albermarle Street in Troyeville. Phone +27 (0)82 452 1790 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
King’s Cinema in Second Avenue, Alexandra, has been bringing entertainment to this northern informal settlement since the 1940s. During the early days of this historic township cinema, popular music acts such as the Alexandra All Star Band and the Jazz Maniacs performed there. Currently the cinema screens films that are playing at mainstream cinemas. Contact Fahmeda Cassim on +27 (0)11 531 5695 for more information.
Gauteng has its own film commission, which facilitates film industry activities between the government and commercial entities in an effort to present the province as an international film-making destination. For more information on film-making in Gauteng, visit the commission’s website on www.gautengfilm.org.za.
According to the Gauteng Film Commission, these are some the blockbusters that have been filmed in the province:
- Bang Bang Club
- District 9
- Hotel Rwanda
- Cry the Beloved Country