Nearly 20 yearsafter A World Apart, the acclaimed film about her relationship with hermother - a leading anti-apartheid campaigner who was killed by a parcel bomb -writer Shawn Slovo is revisiting South Africa's last two turbulent decades.
Slovo, the daughterof Ruth First and leading ANC figure Joe Slovo, has teamed with the UK'sWorking Title Films, which produced A World Apart, for Hot Stuff,a politically-charged dramatic thriller.
Australiandirector Phillip Noyce, who tackled apartheid issues in indie hit Rabbit-ProofFence, is to start shooting aroundMay.
Like A WorldApart, Hot Stuff will mix politics and drama, telling the story of a how apeaceful man is driven to terrorism. WithSouth Africa still under apartheid, A World Apart had to shoot inZimbabwe in 1987. Hot Stuff, however, will shoot near Johannesburg,where it is set. Robyn Slovo, Shawn Slovo's sister, will produce.
Tim Bevan, Working Title'sco-chairman, described the film's relevance as beingwider than just South Africa.
"We're not setting out tomake a film about apartheid; we're making a film about a peaceful man who isdriven to the point where he becomes a terrorist. That is its poignancy today.At the end of the story, in the South Africa of today, we will show the Truthand Reconciliation Commission as an example of how the world might proceed."
Bevan said thatNoyce would help bring a thriller element to the story. Along with intensedramas such Rabbit-Proof Fence and The Quiet American, which alsodealt with terrorism, Noyce's credits include action-laden studio films PatriotGames and The Saint.
The productionis amongst a surge of high-profile international productions heading to SouthAfrica this year. Projects involving Anthony Minghella, Ralph Fiennes, MartinScorsese and Rachel Weisz are lining up to shoot in the country, which has justintroduced new tax incentives and is developing international co-productiontreaties with the UK and Australia.
Local filmmakersare also enjoying success, with U-CarmeneKhayelitsha winning the Golden Bear at last month's Berlin InternationalFilm Festival and Aids story Yesterday earning an Oscar-nomination.
See this week's Screen International for full analysis ofthe South African boom