Production has started in South Africa on Bille August's NelsonMandela project Goodbye Bafana, with Dennis Haysbertof TV's 24 playing the former South African premier and Joseph Fiennes as hisprison guard for almost 20 years, James Gregory.

Diane Kruger also stars asJames' wife, Gloria, in the Banana Films/ArsamInternational production adapted for the screen by Greg Latter and Bille August from Gregory's own memoirs, published as Goodbye Bafana:Nelson Mandela, My Prisoner, My Friend.

To be entirely shot in South Africa, where it is being co-produced by David Wicht's Film Afrika, Goodbye Bafana's budget has been reported at the$30m mark and it is being sold internationally by Celluloid Dreams. Earlypick-ups include X-verleih in Germany,Sandrew MetronomeforScandinavia and Instituto Luce for Italy with deals close in France and the UK.

Cinematographer Robert Fraisse's cameras started rolling on April 17. Dario Marianelli will compose the original music, with JohnnyClegg composing a song and Herve Schneidacting as editor.

Jean Luc Van Damme's Banana Filmsstarted developingtheproject in 2002 with Ilann Girard's Arsam International. Co-producersAndroSteinborn of Germany's X-Filme creative havealso come in on the project withUK Future Film head Stephen Margolis and Italy's Gherardo Pagliei of Fonema. Michael Dounaev and Kami Naghdi of Thema Films haveinvested equity in Goodbye Bafana, which commenced sales at the European FilmMarket in February.