Producer EricAbraham and director Mark Dornford-May have announced a new collaboration toproduce theatre and film projects based on South African talent for aninternational audience.

South Africantheatre veteran Mannie Mannim will serve as a consultant.

The projects currentlybeing developed include theatre co-productions with London's Young Vic Theatre,stage and film versions of Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela's book AHuman Being Died That Night and film and theatre adaptations of otherclassic texts set within a South African context.

Abraham's PortobelloProductions is already working with South African director Ian Gabriel with thein-development adaptation Unfeeling,set in Zimbabwe.

"Over thirty yearsago, as a Cape Town-born foreign correspondent, I helped give voices of thedisenfranchised black majority an opportunity to be heard abroad," Abraham saidin a statement. "Now as a film and theatre producer I want to do the same forsome of its extraordinary creative talent. From the films U-Carmen to Forgiveness -Tsotsi to Yesterday - South Africa has shown it has a rich seam of talentedindividuals in the creative arts. Mark Dornford-May and Pauline Malefane havepresented me with the perfect opportunity to reconnect with a country that isindelibly imprinted on my soul."

The new initiative hasalready been supported by actors Janet Suzman, Alan Rickman and PaulineMalefane, film-maker Stephen Daldry, Young Vic director David Lan and composerCharles Hazlewood.

SouthAfrica-born Abraham is now based in the UK . He previously produced filmsincluding Kolya, The War Zone and Birthday Girl.

Dornford-Mayis UK-born but living in South Africa and serving as director of PortobelloProductions in South Africa. He has been a theatre and opera director for 25years and made his feature film debut with Berlinale Golden Bear winner U-Carmen eKhayelitsha. His latest filmis Son Of Man.