The streets of London's South Kensington are being recreated in South Africa's Cape Town, which is hosting the shoot of the $2m The Long Supper.
The dark comedy stars South African born Henry Goodman, the acclaimed British stage star who has just completed a run of Richard III for the RSC.
Goodman plays a celebrity chef whose show is plummeting in the ratings. His career crisis is saved, however, when armed strangers hijack one of his private influential dinner parties and the siege becomes a media event.
The film is the feature debut of Robert Heath, a winner of the UK's First Film Foundation New Director scheme for his film Ice Cool Reception.
Joy Mellins and David Shanks produce the Theta Films Production from a screenplay by Bob McCabe and Rob Churchill. The executive producers are Christopher Theo, Costa Theo, Costa John Theo and Ronnie Apteker with Sunu Gonera and Diana Keam of Faith Creations acting as SA co producers and Vine International handling world sales.
The Theos - an Uncle and two brothers - formed Theta Films in May 2002 to develop a slate of features. Following The Long Supper, their next film will be Dizzy Heights that has gone into pre-production in Ireland. The company will then embark on Blind Guy, a South African/Canadian co-production next Summer.
The film is being financed out of South Africa and the UK through South Africa's Industrial Development Corporation, UK private equity investors and South African entrepreneur Ronnie Apteker (executive producer and co-writer of Lakeshore Entertainment's Purpose in 2002).
Costa John Theo said: "The costs of shooting in South Africa are substantially less than in the UK. Coupled with the financing opportunities offered by the IDC, South Africa was the perfect choice. With our UK production designer working in collaboration with our art director from South Africa we have managed to recreate South Kensington in London very convincingly."
Theta Films intend to establish a lasting presence in South Africa producing at least two films a year.
Theo says that because of their South African roots and connections they are also looking at local content films and are interested in developing African stories that will have the ability to travel and be viewed by a worldwide audience.